Sunday, December 28, 2008
We brought our tree home on the evening of the 3rd. Our old Christmas tradition involved us walking up to the Lion's tree lot at Oak and 25th, hoisting the tree on our shoulders and walking it the twenty-two odd blocks home. We'd sing carols along the way, to the amusement of the people that we passed. This being Vancouver, we usually did this in the rain. Luckily for us, a tree lot has taken up residence at 12th and Main, making for a much shorter walk home.
The first present under the tree was for Nate. It came in the mail from our friends Lori, Paul and Sosi, who moved from Vancouver to Charlottetown PE last year. From the moment it arrived, Nate could not wait to open it. He'd start the day by saying:
"Can I open my present today dad?"
As the days passed and it got closer and closer to Christmas, the pile under the tree grew larger and larger, and Nate's morning greeting to me evolved into:
"Hey dad! It's Christmas today! Can I open my present?"
My attempts to explain to him that Christmas was still some time away didn't seem to be making any impact and the morning greeting soon became:
"I'm going to open my presents today because it's Christmas!"
More a statement than a question.
When Christmas morning finally came, I thought that he'd be so wound up that his head would pop off or something! Imagine my surprise when I wasn't greeted by the usual morning declaration of his intent to free his presents from their gift-wrap prisons. Instead he was quite subdued and seemed in no hurry to open his presents at all.
After unwrapping his first gift, a Hot wheels monster truck, he announced that he was going to play with it right there and then. Never mind that other gifts under the tree. We actually had to talk him into putting it aside and continue with the unwrapping of gifts. Even then, he would stop after he'd unwrapped a gift, and pick out a gift for either Patty or myself and bring it over to us to unwrap.
Perhaps all that waiting finally wore him out. In any case, I think it all worked out for the best. We had a very relaxing morning unwrapping gifts and got to spend the rest of our Christmas in the company of a few good friends.
I can only imagine what next Christmas will be like.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Poor old Snoopy, when I took him out for his evening walk, he could hardly get through the stuff. In fact I think he peed on the sidewalk, or where the sidewalk would have been if we could see it.
Everything is covered under a nice thick rolling blanket of white. It really is quite beautiful. In the ten winters I've spent here in Vancouver, I've never seen anything quite like it. And there is still more to come. The forecast is calling for more snow on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I may finally get a white Christmas, and I didn't even need to move to Nova Scotia!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The plan was to take it off the market on the 15th of the month, so that we didn't have to deal with people traipsing through the place over the holiday period. It would be an understatement if I said I was looking forward to the 15th.
Well, it's now the 17th, and wouldn't you know it, we're still on the market. As luck would have it, the people who came to see our home on the 14th called and requested to come and see it again yesterday morning. They made an offer yesterday afternoon, if you could call it that. Their realtor called our realtor to follow up later in the day and the conversation went something like this:
Their realtor: Did you get my email?
Our realtor: I did, weren't you sending us an offer?
Their realtor: You didn't get my email?
Our realtor: No, I got it. I thought you were sending us an offer.
Their realtor: Oh.
No, we were not impressed. What does this all mean? Who knows? Except that maybe this is going to drag on for more than I would have liked, and we'll probably have strangers traipsing through here right up to the holidays.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday morning, and there was still snow on the ground. Not as much as I would have liked, but still enough to get Nate all excited. He wanted to go outside and play, and he wanted to make a snowman. As we left home, he suddenly said to me: "Hey! We need to go back home to get some treats for the snowman!". He'd remembered that we had used dog treats to make the eyes, nose and mouth of his snowman last winter!
As we were about to leave for home, he stopped me and said: "I want to bring a snowball home for my mama.". So he packed a snowball and carried it home for 5 blocks, all the while talking to it, and telling me how it was thirsty and we needed to get the snowball a drink of water when we got home. At one point, I pulled out his water bottle from my bag to give Nate a sip of water, and he promptly stuck the snowball to the spout after he had had a drink. It made people walking past laugh.
We were just a block from home when he dropped his snowball as he went to push the button for the pedestrian crossing. I'm not sure I have ever seen him look so sad as he stood over his fallen snowball, now covered in grit and sidewalk dirt. As I started to tell him we could make another, he burst into tears and sobbed as we hurried across the street. It took some convincing, but he finally accepted another snowball I made as passable, and carefully carried it the rest of the way home.
He was all smiles when he presented it to Patty.
"I got you a snowball mama!"
And that, is why we now have a snowball in our freezer.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Beth (to Wanda):
Medium soy mocha to go please.
Wanda (to Beth):
Medium soy mocha to go. I'm sorry, but your name escapes me.
Beth (to Wanda):
Beth. It's OK, I can never remember any of your names.
Justin (to Beth):
But you remember my name don't you?
Beth (to Justin):
Of course I remember your name. You have the same name as my brother, I could never forget your name. You're the only other Moses I know.
Justin (to Beth):
What? What did you say?
Beth (to Justin, somewhat flustered):
Nothing, I didn't say anything bad. I just said you're the only other Moses I know.
Justin (to Beth):
But that isn't my name.
Beth (to Justin):
Your name isn't Moses?
Wanda (to Beth):
Justin (to Beth):
Beth (to no one in particular):
Justin (to Beth):
Beth (to Justin):
But I've always known you as Moses, from the first day we met! Your name isn't Moses?!
And so it was revealed to me, that for the last 2 years or so, Beth was under the impression that my name was Moses.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Nate seemed pretty excited that he could get in and out of bed by himself now. He christened the 'new' bed by pulling off all his toys, pillow and blankies. Then he climbed on and proceeded to jump on the mattress, yelling 'I can bounce!'.
Needless to say I was a little nervous when it came time for his nap. But there was no bouncing. He just climbed on and lay down and said goodnight. I'm not sure how long he napped for, I had to leave for work. I wonder if he woke up and let himself out of his room?
I half expected to come home this evening and find him downstairs watching TV or eating a granola bar!
But I was only met at the door by Snoopy.
I guess we really didn't need to worry.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Recently he has taken to telling me that he is my best friend.
"Dad, I'm your best friend" or "I'm your best friend dad!".
Occasionally he will even tell me "Dad, you're my best friend".
I'd like to think that the latter is what he truly means, rather than the first two variants. Those kind of make it sound somewhat ominous, like I have no other friends or I really don't have a choice in the matter. It's all really very sweet though and makes me laugh every time he says it. Sometimes it makes other people who are within earshot laugh too, which is always fun.
I think it's special that he thinks of me and Patty in this way. He tells her this too, but I haven't heard him say it to anyone else. He probably won't admit to it when he is in his teens, but that's OK cause I have this blog to remember it! I of course tell him that he is my best friend. After all I do spend quite a bit of time with him, and we usually have lots of fun during those times. I say usually because it's not all fun and games. We do annoy each other every now and again.
On those occasions when he frustrates me to the point where I have to step back and just let it go, he'll usually come up to me and say "Dad, are you sad?". On one occasion a few weeks ago, he even said "I'm sorry, I make you mad". How can you stay mad at that? Plus, I do make him mad too so we're even in that department.
At the end of the day though, I guess I'm still his best friend. Or is he my best friend?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
A passerby held on to Snoopy while I picked up the bird. I haven't had much experience with birds. My parents-in-law have a cockatiel, and most of my interactions with it have consisted of it trying to eat my gold chain or earring. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I didn't expect it to be so light. It was so small and delicate, and it barely weighed anything. I could hardly tell I had anything in my hand.
It seemed incomprehensible that this was a living thing. And yet I could clearly feel it's heart beating against my hand. It still felt strong, and yet the poor thing could not move, and was breathing rather raggedly. Every now and then it would open it's eyes and look up at me.
It was a beautiful morning, the perfect fall day. The sun was out, the air was cool, and the light was just amazing. I sat down on the front stoop of a building, bird in one hand and Snoopy's leash in the other. I didn't quite know what to do.
I didn't think there was much that could be done for the bird. Part of me just wanted to put it out of it's misery, but I wasn't sure if I had it in me to do it. I thought of letting Snoopy have it. He'd been sitting very calmly next to me the whole time, he was obviously interested in it, but he was listening to me and being very well behaved. I wasn't sure if I wanted to see Snoopy kill a helpless little bird, and what if he didn't finish the job?
A small part of me just thought I was making a big deal out of nothing. After all it was just a little sparrow. It wasn't really anything special right? But I had picked it up, and I had it cradled in my hand, and I could feel it's heart beating. It was a living thing, it was hurt and I couldn't just leave it to die by itself right?
So there I sat in the sunshine, holding this poor bird, talking to it and stroking it. I don't know how long I sat there, but it seemed like a long time. Finally, someone walking by stopped and said as much as he hated it, he thought I would have to let nature takes it's course. I didn't want to just abandon it, but I knew I couldn't just sit there forever holding it either. So I placed it under some bushes, and walked home with Snoopy.
I can't tell you how many times I've had to stop myself from running over there to see if it's still there.
Let nature take it's course. It got me thinking about myself. If nature took it's course and no one intervened, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made it much past 5. For one thing I was half blind as a kid. I kept falling down the stairs at home and it wasn't until I was 5 that they figured out I needed glasses! If we let nature take it's course I'm pretty sure half of us wouldn't be alive today. How come we hardly ever let nature take it's course when it comes to us?
I am not proud of what I did today, but I'm not sure if there was anything more I could have done. Then again, if I was lying hopelessly broken under a tree, I suppose I would want whoever found me to put me out of my misery. Given the way people are in those situations though, I suppose I would have better luck if a bear found me instead.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I am alternatively excited, scared, worried, frustrated, and depressed. Occassionally I feel all those things at the same time. If I've looked stunned lately, it's probably because I was at the time.
This whole business of selling our condo and buying a house has been emotionally draining, and we still have no sale or a house! We've gone from being super excited about one house, to not wanting anything to do with it once we found out how much work it needed.
We have found another house, one that we are trying hard not to get attached to. But how do you not get emotionally involved when you're buying a house? What would be the point if you weren't? But we are running out of time, and it seems less and less likely that we will be able to sell our condo and secure this house before the deadline set by the sellers. So this morning we talked about the possibility of having to take our condo off the market and wait till the new year to sell it. It's been at the back of our minds for some time now probably, but it was the first we actually talked about it. Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic, but maybe it's better that way and I won't set myself up for a bigger fall.
Amidst all this, there is the the everyday things that still need to get done. I'm still trying to figure out where everything is in our place following the cleanup. We are living in this space, but trying to make it look like no one is living in this space. And we've still got a bunch of boxes in the living room of our neighbour Jean. She's been super this past little while, letting us store our stuff there, watching Snoopy while our place was being showed, and even letting us crash there.
It's all been a little chaotic, and I guess that's worn off on me a little. I feel like I'm swimming underwater most days. Swimming underwater in slow motion. I hope I get to come up for air soon. Maybe I need new drugs?
Thursday, October 30, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Bree took Nate to the pumpkin patch. He came home with very muddy clothes, muddy boots and a couple of pumpkins. I don't know why, but just looking at those muddy boots makes me happy!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Anyways, a big thank you to all our friends who came over on short notice to help us pack and cart stuff out of here. And to friends who let us store our stuff at their homes.
So now our home looks amazing! Except it doesn't look like I live here anymore. That and I have no idea where anything is anymore.
So now we wait to see if all that work pays off in dollars. It's probably not the best time to be a seller in Vancouver, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
These photos were taken on a Thursday evening at work. The hands belong to my colleague Robert Csar, and these are some examples of his work. I feel I must apologise to Robert for the title of this post. I am a weak man and have little self-control.
- The new American Express ad running on TV features Jim Henson and his muppets and it makes me want to cry everytime I see it.
- The number of new people sleeping on the street in my neighbourhood. On one morning walk with Snoop, I counted three new people I haven't seen before. Since then I've seen a few more new faces.
- The death of Paul Newman. I grew up with his movies, and lately I've been watching Cars with Nate over and over again. It sounds silly, but sometimes I just take for granted that some people will be around forever. I think it's so I don't have to deal with the passing of time, and my own mortality.
- A person suffering from mental illness came into my workplace one evening and spent a few minutes walking around the store yelling to no one in particular, then walked out and continued down the street yelling. It made me sad then and it makes me sad just thinking about it now.
- The ghosts of Afghanistan. Someone had planted a small tree in the dog park we go to. From afar, it looks like a small Christmas tree decorated with white streamers. On closer inspection, the white streamers turned out to be paper tags bearing the inscription ghosts of Afghanistan. I took some time to explain to Nate what was happening in Afghanistan. I'm not sure he understood, and to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I did myself. Sobering stuff. My brother will be leaving for Afghanistan next month. I haven't seen him in four and a half years, and part of me worries I might never see him again.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Of course once we got there, he quickly forgot he didn't want to go in the first place. As we pulled up to Kristi's this morning, he said to me "dad, are you going to come and play with me at Kristi's house?". Well, with an invite like that, how could I possible say no?
So this morning I got to hang out with Nate, Aiden and Vivienne, and play with toy cars and planes and watch them bounce around on the mini trampoline. Everyone shared or took turns, and at one point when they each had a toy car, Nate made sure I had one too. "I go get a car for you dad!", and he did.
After the initial struggle to get him to Kristi's, it was nice to see him enjoying himself there and being part of a larger group. And when it was time for me to go, he ran over to give me a hug and a kiss. Invisible I am not.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
For awhile it seemed like it was still the middle of summer. The sun was out, we were picking ripe tomatoes off the vine, and Snoopy and Mika were stretched out on the deck. And this is what we came home with, a bowl of lovely tomatoes and some basil to go with them.
I decided to make a little tomato salad for dinner with our little bounty. So a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some of the fresh basil, and voila! Summer in a bowl.
Thank you Jean. They tasted heavenly!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/ linking to your results.
- on what he did at daycare - "I went to the park and I saw bugs and ants on leaves and ants on tree!"
- on seeing a dog crossing the road - "That's a poodle! Over there, that brown one! That's a poodle!"
- on having a friend over for dinner - "I know Noah! He's my friend!"
- on leaving the parkade under our building - "Shhh! The cars are sleeping. Quiet, don't wake the cars, they're sleeping."
Thursday, September 18, 2008
This morning, we were running a little late and when we got there they were getting ready to go for their morning walk. I was pulling my shoes on and getting ready to go when he came and snuggled with me and said 'I love you dad.', quite out of the blue. What a nice surprise. But he wasn't done yet.
As Snoopy and I made our way from the house, the kids all emerged and started heading off on their walk. I heard Nate yell 'Goodbye dad!' and then 'Wait, I want to get you a hug!' So I run back over, and he runs up to me and hugs me. As he heads back to the group he says 'I get you a kiss' and comes back and plants one on my mouth. Then he's off again. yelling 'See you later!' as he rejoins the group.
Today, I was not invisible.