Category Archives: Experiences

Safe mode

Ever since my battery died yesterday morning, my radio hasn’t worked. It’s stuck in safe mode. What a learned last night is that safe mode is the auto-theft feature that makes it worthless to thieves.

The manual states that driving while listening to the radio can be distracting and you should only listen when it is safe to do so. Well, I have news. Driving while listening to your thoughts is far more dangerous. I’ve been totally distracted. Not to the point of leaving my car in gear in a carwash, but not quite focused on lights, pedestrians and small rodents.

For some reason, the card in the manual did not include the code. No problem, I could crack it myself. I sat in my driveway determined to try every combination. With four digits from 0 to 9, that’s, well…you do the math, but I’d probably still be there.

So I called my dealership this morning on my way to work and it turns out they are unable to give me the code over the phone. Ever the online marketer, I asked if they would email it to me; no go.  I rushed there tonight before my guitar lesson to collect the proper digits. A very nice gentleman, whom I hadn’t met before, believed I was actually myself and revealed the combination.

I skipped, and I do mean that literally, to my car to plug them in. XXX9. No go. With minutes to spare, I rushed back in to break the bad news. He checked the computer once more and then told me that if I had pressed any other number in the last hour, it wouldn’t work. Ok.

After my lesson, I skipped once more to my car, dreaming of Gretchen Wilson blasting me back to attentive driving. Carefully, I punched in the numbers. Nothing. Then I remembered my guitar lesson is only a 1/2 hour long. Great, another terrifying ride home with my thoughts.

So, the car sat in my driveway for well over 3 hours without my sticky fingers on the buttons and I just now battled the snow storm to try one more time. Ever the optimist, I turned down the volume and confidently punched in the code. Again, nothing. I’ve given up. Either that’s not my radio or I really f*cked it up trying to pick the lock.  

Oh, how I desire to sing along, or listen to Louise Hay and drown my thoughts with someone elses.

But perhaps I’m being too hard on myself, I did have a few meaningful notions today:  go buy that MP3 player you’ve wanted for so long; isn’t it funny that you can’t remember the words if there’s no music; and, do you think I could play Jimmie and drive?

Oh yeah, two more: what is that thumping sound in the front end, and safe mode makes my radio pretty worthless to me too.


Batteries not included

March break and the boys are so excited. Monday was a jammie day. How proud they were to roll out of bed and head to their Dad’s for breakfast. Day 2 and KD changed into new jammies this morning ready for another “special” day.

Ever industrious and helpful, I left them to clean off my car and warm it up. It’s a standard so they couldn’t actually turn it on but had everything else going full throttle. At least until I tried to start the car. Fortunately their Dad is off this week and tripped over in his jammies to give me a boost.

Breakfast Thursday morning will be on me.

Bedtime Stories have arrived

I was the lucky winner in one of Susan’s February draws. My booty arrived on Thursday and is sitting gently bedside. Sadly, I’ll be reading silently tonight.  I skimmed it briefly and me thinks it will bring lots to smile about. I’ll be back to let you know all about it. Thanks Susan and UPS.

The boys and I visited the Museum today. Headed out in a snow storm, against my better judgement. We enjoyed the Polar Bear exhibit, igloo, the Trace Fossils Mystery and, of course, Gus, Gus the Gopher Tortoise. Having worked at the museum for two years, it was nice to be back and I ran into some former colleagues. The Trace Fossils Mystery exhibit reminded me of my friend Deb, the Curator of Geology at the Museum. Deb and Zoom looked after Mandy this summer and she adapted Mandy into new routines that I thought were unreachable. A woman of many talents, whom I’m very grateful to. Hope you’re doing well Deb! I think of you often.

After the gift shop, we headed for home. I put our packages in the front seat along with my purse and keys. For some reason, when I closed the door, it locked. So, here we are, fort knox for a car and driving snow accumulating fast. Fortunately, my cell phone was in my pocket so a quick call to Dad set the wheels in motion, so to speak. An hour and a half later, we were on our way, gingerly making our way home. We did fine until we reached the driveway. I skidded coming in so thought I would try again, and again, and again. Then backwards, and again and again. Finally, I parked it just shy of the street. “The first one was the best Mom,” KD piped. “I know honey and I’m sorry for swearing so much.”

I’ve said it before:  sometimes your ex can still be your best friend…and today proved it once again.

Hitting the wall

So following an amazing couple weeks with Jimmie, learning new songs and playing for real people, reality slammed hard tonight when I “had difficulty” playing melodies in second position. I had two solid weeks to learn, but chose to spend my time on new material to add to my repertoire. Roger was patient…wait…no he wasn’t…he was amused and I’m sure slightly agitated. “That was the slowest Marianne I ever heard,” he laughed, “Come on girl, you know this stuff.”

I’ll get it. Promised by next week my mind will toss aside thinking and absorb something new.  Let it wash over me, till I’m refreshed. Still, I’m doing pretty good and Roger doesn’t deny that, but I’m reminded how much there is to learn, if in fact the learning ends at all. Sounds like life to me.

Goalie’s choice

KD loves to be in the net. Whether it’s soccer or hockey, he’s the ultimate defenceman. Yesterday he donned goalie gear for the first time and took to the ice. With great agility he managed to look like the real thing, dropping and stopping pucks. Of course, many went through the 5 hole, but that’s to be expected. Underneath that gear was one sweaty little boy, a quarter of the size fully dressed in padding and cups.

His teammates told the real tale. “Korey is our goalie,” they said, in awe of my baby’s new status. And, “Korey is a great goalie” was heard more than once in the dressing room.

Today he played out and it confirmed for him what a mother knows instinctively.

I have a goalie.

Embracing the silence

Often, the most meaningful conversations occur without a single word.


I’m notorious for beginning a book and then stopping part way through and not going back for months, but I finished one today, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It’s about a young Shepperd who abandons his life in search of his Personal Legend. The journey takes him from Spain to Egypt and back again.

The book had been sitting in my briefcase waiting to be returned to Lilly for about a month now. It’s her favourite book and she’s one of my favourite people so you’d think I’d be kind enough to return it promptly, but I hung on because I wanted to finish it. Today, I took the bus to work. It’s the first time I’ve rode the bus in more than 20 years and I say this with some shame. You know, I kind of liked it, the bus ride. I managed to get through most of the book on the way in and made it to the third last page on the way home.

Besides feeling a little car sick from the starts, stops and fumes, it’s not a bad spot to read. I’m a people watcher though so I’m easily distracted. Fortunately, my route isn’t too busy so I had lots of room to relax and not much pulling me away.

Not sure waiting for the bus is for me though. Too much looking to the left.

Things to do

My list is growing while I sit and write this, but it has to come out…when you gotta write, you gotta write.

So far today I managed to get the clothes folded. Now it’s just, hand washing my fine washables, a shower, grocery list development, dishes, sweeping the floor, tidying up, cleaning bathrooms, eating something and grocery shopping.

But I did manage to get a song down better on my guitar, read some nice poetry, play with my dog, sleep in, practice yoga and pilates…all in my jammies.

I’ve been thinking that what happens to us in life isn’t really what it appears. We see things through our judgements, attachments and desires. When we can just be with it, nothing seems really scary. We are stronger than we think.

I saw the Marilyn Munroe exhibit at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Thursday. She was a beautiful woman. I found she got younger looking as she aged. Less makeup perhaps. The Martini Girls had dinner at a local pub on the waterfront and went on from there. We entered the Art Gallery through the back door and got lost. Around and around we roamed, until Kathy called to tell them we couldn’t find our way to the main entrance. A very nice person arrived to collect us. What a cultured group we are.

The performance of Marilyn: Forever Blonde was definitely the highlight. The scene is Marilyn’s bedroom on her final night as she recounts her entire life through words and music. My heart broke for this woman who merely wanted to be loved, but was only played with by men who didn’t think to look deeper within her soul. Sunny Thompson was stunning, breathtaking and completely Marilyn. I will never forget it.

Valentine’s Day

KD wrote up his own Valentine’s Day cards this weekend. What a change from last year when I basically had to tie him to the chair and feed him candy to keep his attention. JB can make three letters, J, K and O. Did I mention his penmanship is remarkable for a four year old?

We went for a family skate today, all five of us. We got the family rate.

The boys were up since 6 am. KD decided he didn’t want to go to hockey. It was my intention that they would go back to sleep for an hour or two, but that didn’t happen. It was a long day for JB. He melted down at least three times. I held it together until the last one. Now I feel bad. He fell asleep with me lecturing him on how we had to work together. It’s not easy for Mommy and I need them to be good for me and not whine for stuff. When I say “No” it’s for a reason. I’m not trying to be mean. 

The downstairs phone is still missing. JB used it as a prop/hammer to make his point. He won’t even entertain the thought of trying to find it. I’ll have to call myself tomorrow to uncover it.

I’m thinking now I need to write something substantial, like a short story. I have a bunch I started a few years ago. One that keeps coming back to me and gives me chills when I read it. Now that I’m further along in my writing, I realize it needs tightening up; more showing, less telling. I got this spark from a writer I emailed online…yes a response. Not everyone is watching football I guess.

Another friend I met online called today to say he is going to drop-off and meditate for a month. I’m happy for him. It brings him peace and acts as a muse for his music. He’ll be in one of my favourite spots. I envy the thought of his surroundings, but not sleeping on the floor.

Strange thing occurred to me today. Valentine’s Day is conveniently sandwiched between the Superbowl and Daytona.


Can someone explain to me the point of throwing sneakers over an electrical line. Three pair swing in the wind at the bottom of my subdivision. There must be at least $150 good hard-earned dollars on display there. Who does this, and why? I also wonder how many tries it takes.

KD said the cops do it for Halloween. They take the scarecrows down and throw the sneakers up there.  WTF? He’s six so his hypothesis is likely accurate in his innocent mind. Besides he got agitated when I challenged him on it. So the explanation can hang around until we find a better one.

One day last fall when Mandy was in the midst of her nervous breakdown due to the changes in our living arrangements, JB came to me and said, “Mommy, I just ate a raisin off the floor and it didn’t taste very good.” Now, I’m not the best housekeeper, but raisins on the floor, that would rarely happen. I looked in the living room and noticed Mandy’s latest nervous reaction spread across the floor. So much for being on time for work that morning with extra teeth brushing, handwashings and clean up. KD loves to tell this story whenever he and JB are with friends. It really upsets JB and always makes him run crying that it “wasn’t funny.”

Maybe not, but this is:  One morning we were all in the bathroom getting ready and JB was jumping around, which is fine and normal for a four year old, but somehow the toilet, with the seat up…I live with boys remember…sucked him backward with a splash. He was soaked, a turtle struggling to free himself from the porcelain monster. Another late day for me. This memory always makes me laugh when KD tells the tale and its now grown to include the fact that he had just finished using the toilet.

I can sympathize with JB on the raisin story and scald KD for telling it, but the toilet one always gets me…JB needs to learn to laugh at himself. I’ve finally gotten KD to the point where he sees the funny in everyday mishaps. I think JB, even though he is the king of comedy, will be a harder nut to crack. How many times can I empathize that it wasn’t funny with a straight face?

Today was a vacation day for me. JB’s preschool had a skating party and he and I spent an hour and a half dancing on ice. He’ll be ready for hockey next year for sure. He asked to go through the drive thru at McDonald’s so I gladly obliged. We had a one o’clock date at KD’s school to help out in his classroom. He was so pleased to have us there. I stapled some Scholastic book orders together and read with a couple of the kids. It was enjoyable to see them participate and I picked up a few pointers on how to make them listen. I also noticed the teacher repeating herself again and again, so I guess it’s not just me that doesn’t get heard the first six times.

I saved three chicken nuggets for KD from lunch, but JB ate one and fed another to Mandy. KD sobbed. We had McDonald’s for dinner. Mother of the Year…I know.