Showing posts from September, 2011

A toast... to toast

by Andrea Mulder-Slater I have a smattering of memories from my days of doing hard time in high school. For the most part, secondary school was pretty forgettable and when it was finally over, I was beyond glad. Case in point - "the toast incident". Grab a tissue - maybe even a box... ------ I was nearly sixteen years old. The “in” crowd at school had just accepted me and my best friend into their clique. Mine was a simple and relatively painless initiation. One of the coolest boys in school - his name was Keith - snuck up behind me, picked me up, flipped me upside down and shook me until all the tictacs I had stashed in my pockets, fell onto the floor. My friend however, wasn’t so lucky. She had worn loose fitting harem pants that day (a grave mistake in any decade) when a boy named Wade decided to give them a yank – just for fun.    Halloween was just around the corner and – because we were now ultra cool - we were invited to partake in a

Hamsters always ride shotgun

by Andrea Mulder-Slater If you were a Canadian kid with access to a television in the 1970s, then you might remember a show called Hammy the Hamster (Tales of the Riverbank*).  This was a delightful, if not creepy, television program featuring Hammy – a surprisingly dexterous hamster who lived in an old boot, G.P.   – an inventive guinea pig who lived in a house with a   water wheel, and a host of other characters including a turtle, a rabbit and a rat – the names of which I can’t remember at this point in my life. During each episode, Hammy and G.P. went on mini-adventures – building things, visiting places and solving problems. Trust me, these weren’t your average run of the mill rodents. They could drive boats, ride around in cars, move underwater in a diving bell, and operate power tools or hot air balloons – effortlessly, all before breakfast. Understand… I was an only child, living in the country. Needless to say, I loved this crap. So hooked w

The pigs fly at midnight

by Andrea Mulder-Slater I was thinking about pigs this afternoon. Wait, let me rephrase that. I was thinking about the time we (Geoff, Jan and the toddler) were driving, down a dark country road, when from out of nowhere, pigs appeared. Big, fat pigs. One was at the side of the road, munching on some grass. Another was wandering happily across the lane. And another - was standing right in the middle of the road, looking somewhat stunned, his back end slightly scratched. We tried to use our sleuthy minds to piece together the mystery. Then we saw the pickup truck stopped further up the way -  driver standing in a ditch, talking on his cell phone, while he watched yet another pig poke off into the darkness. "It'll take more than a bucket of berries to coax those buggers back into that truck." said my husband. I guess I've always liked pigs - to the point where I actually stopped eating them for a while. I'm back on pork but I still feel a little guilty whe

Full Moon Baby

by Andrea Mulder-Slater When I was 8 months pregnant, my husband and I were given the hospital tour. “The maternity ward,” said the nurse in a singsong voice, “is a wonderful place to be.”  She showed us the birthing areas, the shower room and the nurses’ station, complete with flowers and chocolate bon-bons on the counter top. “It’s never very busy here,” she continued, “so you are pretty much guaranteed a private room and that way, mom, baby and daddy can stay together and be comfortable.” Reality is such a bitch. I went into labour on Monday afternoon. My daughter was born on Wednesday night. I don’t fancy doing anything that feels good for longer than one, maybe two hours – tops, so needless to say, being in labour for 48 hours was not on my bucket list. By the time it was over, everyone involved was elated, and exhausted. My parents – now proud grandparents - drove home to their beds while Geoff, the newborn and I were taken to our room – a

A cockroach can live a week without his head...

by Andrea Mulder-Slater Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with bugs - and not in a good way. I refuse to camp, hike, bike -- or for that matter go outside, so as to avoid the creepy crawly little bastards. I suppose what I'm saying is, don't read this if you're squeamish about antannae, abdomens, thoraxes or mandibles. Consider yourself warned. ------- I have a thing about bugs. The thing is, I don't like them. No, actually I despise them. A lot. I come by this honestly. My father was the kind of man who meticulously sealed any and all cracks in our houses with a caulking gun (or 10 or 20). So fastidious was he, that there was no way any vermin (not tiny bug nor giant rat) could infiltrate our compounds. Me, I do my best. Once, when we were "under construction", I (after spotting an earwig) unleashed enough spray foam around a window frame that my bedroom wall started to buckle. Bugs know I hate them. They do. I know this