Showing posts from October, 2011

Clogs float, don't they?

by Andrea Mulder-Slater As kids, my cousin Glenna and I had a knack for getting into trouble. We often spent summers together and though while apart, we were both fairly levelheaded people; together we magically morphed into a couple of numb-skulls. Case in point… the clog incident. We had a certain amount of freedom at Glenna’s house. We could walk to the corner store, to friend’s houses and to the Wendys restaurant. All were within minutes of home. But, we were forbidden to go near any of the nearby waterways and we were never, ever permitted to wander close any bridges. We were no more than 10 years old when we set out on our adventure. It was a spur of the moment scheme that was unquestionably ill planned. We had no money, no snacks and I was wearing slip-on-clogs… Abba (yes, that Abba) clogs. It was the early 80s. Cool looked different back then. There was a footbridge that Glenna knew about. It wasn’t big, but the drop

Yeah, that's a puzzler all right

by Andrea Mulder-Slater My daughter is an inquisitive child.  From the time she was born, her hands were moving – grabbing hold of anything and everything within her reach. When she learned how to walk, baby proofing became a full time job. At times, our dog's life depended on how diligent we were. (I still remember seeing her chubby hands clutching mounds of  Bodie hair). We recently stayed in a holiday rental home in Florida where the owners had provided guests with oodles of books, board games and puzzles to help pass the time on rainy days.  My then 2-year-old was busy playing in the living room with her toys while we were in the nearby kitchen unpacking a load of groceries. The milk wasn’t yet in the fridge when it occurred to me that the girl  was being awfully quiet.  With good reason... Within a matter of minutes, she had attacked nearly all of the puzzles and games and mixed the pieces up sufficiently enough that there was no hope of

A cluster of flies on a sunny afternoon

by Andrea Mulder-Slater We've had many nightly rituals at our house. In recent years, they have included everything from baths, books and nursing to snacks, pjs and dance-a-thons (don't judge). Lately though, with all this warm fall weather, our evening ceremonies have expanded to include hunting. Some folks around here hunt deer - others fire off at ducks. We prefer prey of a smaller sort. And within our walls, we don't use guns - we use bug whackers (and vacuum cleaners). Things will become perfectly clear once you read below...  ---------- Houseflies have become a hot topic of conversation at our house lately. It all began a number of days ago when, after spending the morning away, we arrived home to find a sold out housefly convention taking place in our living room. The place we are living (a rental while we build new) is a recently constructed log home with large south facing glass. It is here where the flies congregate. I’m not certain but

Ticky Tacky

by Andrea Mulder-Slater When I was a little girl, my parents used to sing a song which has forever stayed in my brain. Little Boxes , written by Melvina Reynolds in 1962 (and later made popular by Pete Seeger), is an anti-conformist ditty which makes reference to suburban housing as little boxes made out of "ticky tacky" all looking just the same. I can trace my desire to "go against the flow" directly back to the lyrics. Geoff has been singing this tune to our girl from the time she was born and now that she's nearly three years old, she is regularly reciting the words. It's not uncommon to walk around the corner to hear her singing, "There's a green one and a pink one, and a blue one and a yellow one..." My dad would be so proud. The other day, the kiddo spotted a colorful card in a British craft magazine. "Can we make that mommy?" she asked. "Of course," I answered. We cut, we glued, we colored and when we

Never bite a skunk's trunk

by Andrea Mulder-Slater When I was a kid, it was not uncommon to see wildlife wandering around the country roads. When this happened, we just turned around and walked away slowly, giving the animal a chance to find its way back into the woods. But on one particular morning, my friends and I were mesmerized while - when waiting for the bus - a skunk appeared, with an empty soup can stuck on his head. Someones parents called "animal control" and within minutes people came out to "help" the skunk as us kids watched the action, now from the safety of the school bus. " It was just a tranquilizer gun ," said our parents. And we believed them, until we became older and wiser, at which time we mused... why didn't they wait until the damn bus pulled away?! This potentially scarring childhood memory (we were in kindergarten - what were the adults thinking?), along with a recent roadkill sighting and the strong smell of Tim Horton's

Don't stick that junk in your mouth...

by Andrea Mulder-Slater As a youngster, nothing was more exciting than watching Harry the hardware store man divvy up flat headed nails. Moving with the grace of a newborn calf and the speed of an earthworm, Harry, who was approximately 125 years old, would spend his days counting, sorting and color coding his nails. " Yeah it's a good day, no rain coming soon. " he would say whenever anyone entered his happy hardware emporium. Of course, he also said that when someone asked him where to find the sand paper. Harry was a smart man, known to all the neighborhood children as, "that crazy guy who cleans his glasses with paint thinner". Harry was our hero, mostly because he was the only grown-up we knew who enjoyed Silly Putty as much as we did. Hanging on a peg, between the electrical plates and the washers, were always three packages of the wonder goo. It didn't matter what day you went into the hardware store or how many times you bough