Tag Archives: metablogging

Pull the Starter Cord on this Old Mower, We’re Gonna Cut Some Grass!

A Christmas duck wreath for you

For the past two months I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I started in November when people started posting every day for National Blog Posting Month ™. There was a swell of people I’ve known for years, some who never stopped blogging and some who completely abandoned it, moving back. They made compelling arguments for a return to telling our own stories on our own platforms using as many characters as we wanted to use and without the constant storm of NO THAT’S NOT RIGHT and I THINK IT’S THIS WAY and YOURE VIRAL MEMEBOT TRASH hurled back whenever* anyone expresses an opinion.

*not always

I want a blog to be a space, a field, a clearing. A sandbox, a basketball court, a dream.

I was going to blog every day in November but then November actually happened and man what a buzz kill November can be! Nope. December ushered in obligations, pestilence, etc. Now it’s January and I have a new laptop computer (the old laptop computer was not exactly preventing me from blogging but having a new keyboard that goes clicky clicky click is an incentive of sorts) and I…I might…I might try this. A project.

I wonder if it’s a teenage thing? If my blogging history (not including The Livejournal Years which we won’t get into) is 16 then the three years of blog hiatus are ages 13-16 and it makes sense I was all WHATEVER MOM to myself and now I’m coming back to reexamine the value of this place.

I was going to rename the space too but The Comeback still makes sense.


Since 2014 I’ve kept a yearly list of books I’ve read. At first I wrote little paragraphs about each of them, too, but now it’s just a list and if I feel like it, a couple of lines explaining the gist of the book. My book intake has steadily increased over the years, from 58 in 2014 to 68 in 2017. My goal for 2018 was 75 books but I only read 64. We went to the library on Saturday and I joked to the kids that I had to grab nine graphic novels in order to meet my goal. They laughed and offered to go get me some Archie comics. (Not to diss: some of my favourite books last year were graphic novels. (Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?by Roz Chast was one of the first books I finished – and LOVED – in 2018.)(Honestly though Archie is not my bag.)

We were at the Metrotown branch of the Burnaby Public (the branch with two floors,) so I had lots of excellent books to choose from. The last book I finished in 2018 was The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs. The author lived with cancer and managed to write an eloquent, funny, heartbreaking book about it before dying in January 2017.

I finished the book on December 30th and went to sleep and woke up to another day, the last day of the year. It was clear and cold outside and I walked to the train to go to work, smiling because Nina Riggs existed, because she left the world better than she found it.

Happy 2019, friends. We’re still here. We still have time. Let’s sit up straight and get to it.

First up: dinner! YEAH, WE GOT THIS, TEAM.

Seven — And Counting

It became clear to me when I looked over the past few days’ posts that I can’t count properly or use consistent spelling (numerals or words? PICK ONE) and should be shut out of the Internet entirely. Post 4 was titled with a 3. Post 6 was titled with a 7. This post, which is number 7, is titled Seven. Onward!


From age six to seven, Arlo has seemed mentally scatterbrained, like a squirrel chasing many different sorts of nut. He’s been pulled in many simultaneous directions; to anger, hysteria, meanness, sweetness. Sometimes all in an hour. In this way, six has not been very different from four or five, as ages go.

In the last month, though, I’ve noticed a change. He is focused now, but not on anything I can see. He seems perpetually like he’s coming down with a cold; unsmiling, staring off into space. I have been asking him if he’s OK, if everything is all right, apparently too much because he’s got a new habit of prefacing his statements with “everything is fine…”

Don’t panic. MOM.

There is a series of books about child development, year by year, by Drs. Ames and Ilg of the Gesell Institute. Each book has its own compelling title, like “Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy,” and contains plenty of comforting statements like “three year olds are the devil…they just are…don’t sweat it” (not an actual quotation) or “the average four year old wants to karate chop the universe six times per hour” (ditto).

I love these books so. I recommend them to people all the time. I read Your Two Year Old, Three Year Old, Four Year old and Five Year Old but recently realized that I skipped Six and now am approaching Seven, the title of which is “Your Seven-Year-Old: Life in a Minor Key.”

All I needed to see was the title and this:

“Your Seven-Year-Old is devoted to the delightful but often anxious and withdrawn child of Seven. Although any seven-year-old will have moments of exuberance, security, and happiness, in general this is an age of introspection. As it begins, parents and teachers may welcome the quiet after the tussles and tangles of Six. But once the child of Seven starts to withdraw it’s almost as though he doesn’t know where or when to stop.”

and I got it, bing, like a small, sharp rock to the forehead. It’s not that Arlo feels physically out of sorts, it’s that his emotional sands are shifting.

We went for a walk through the neighbourhood today, just the two of us, hand in hand, not talking about much. I developed a habit of talking a lot to my children when they were babies because it’s good for them (and they were my only company for a while) — and now I have to learn to shut up. I have no problem doing this with adults, letting there be silences and spaces in the conversation, but it’s hard to do with my kids. I want to know so much about them. I used to be their only theatre. The original TV.

I need to work on it, to let those spaces in the conversation go, let them expand like lungs full of breath. I’m trying. Be cool. Everything is fine.

I Promised Patio Lanterns

Can you see them, all stretched across the front of this page? Blue, orange, purple, red, blowing slightly in the OH GOD IT’S NOVEMBER WHO HAS PATIO LANTERNS OUT ON THEIR BLOG IN NOVEMBER.

Patio Lanterns. Kim Mitchell Styleee.


Last week I was sitting around thinking about myself, as I do, and I thought, “It might be fun to blog again for November. November is traditional pulling-out-all-the-stops-and-hair month as concerns blogging and writing and I could do it. Just one month.”

The next day, totally unpredictably, my laptop computer died. Of course I took this as a sign that I should definitely blog every day in November, despite not having blogged since February, and I would just write up the blog posts in my (handy dandy) notebook with my pen and then type them up into Saint Aardvark’s computer, which I was borrowing, later in the evening and walla! Blogging! Again!

After day two of using SA’s computer, which is like an old VW Bug being held together — barely — with tape and spit and good wishes, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not be typing anything on that machine at the end of the day because a) the trackpad is slow and wonky b) the lid just kind of..lies down periodically (backwards) and c) come on. Really? I have enough time to draft a post BY HAND in the morning and then rewrite it in the evening? Have I met me?

Have I met me? Wow. Good question.

Not only all of that, above, there, but SA’s computer is located in the living room portion of our open plan living room dining room kitchen area, and the living room is traditionally the Zone of the Children, so when I sat down in their Zone to do some important Tweeting, it was kind of like walking into a monkey cage at the zoo and bringing your statistics homework for something to read.

“Whatcha doing?” asked Fresco, now 4.5 years old, perched on my shoulder, I am not even kidding, “Can I see? Can I type? Can I play SuperTux?” (that’s Open Source version of Supermario and it’s pretty cool but NO you can’t play it all the time whenever this computer is awake.)

The next day or something, we decided to buy a new laptop so we went to Future Shop because they had the best prices and selection, and picked this one out. It’s pretty nice.  If we stay on the car spectrum, it’s a hatchback Kia. But it has working wipers and stereo and it’s clean and doesn’t need much gas.

With a pine-scented air freshener dangling from the rear-view mirror.

I am going to try out blogging again for a month and see what happens. As it turns out, it’s hard to choose a new name and title for a blog when you’re at the end of the blogging timeline … all the clever stuff has been done and the stuff you think is clever is not, on reflection, and you just want to get something up dammit because it’s November 1st, so I guess what I’m saying is: forgive the title, it might change, or it might not, all is fluid, kind of like the cold November Rain.