GROUSE GRIND

This is something REAL Canadians – and a few mad expats do!
Happy reading!
Let me know, have you ever done it? Or something equally steep in your country?

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PREDICAMENT of a MOTHER

Just a skip, hop and roll down from our rock you find yourself in a beautiful park. Playground, spray fountains, picnic tables, grass field, public washrooms- everything you need for a perfect, relaxed play time. Even a river runs through it!

Everything is fine in Happy Land – until this guy shows up!2013-05-08 14.46.42

He parks his truck in the middle of the parking lot and sounds his horn to make sure everybody knows the ice-cream van has arrived!
Pardon, he doesn’t sound his horn, he plays a wonderful, melodious, innocent children’s tune. Like the ones you can listen to at Disney.
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Oh you evil ice cream seller! You put us mothers in an awful predicament: On the one hand, we love our children and want to spoil and protect them. On the other hand, we love our children and want to spoil them BUT don’t want to spend $5.00 on an ordinary ice lolly!
Do you see my dilemma here? On which grounds do I refuse to buy an ice lolly for my son(s)?

What do you think of these ones?
I forgot my money – That’s always a handy one
Next time, it’s nearly dinner time – Try it, not bad if the child is smaller
We have the same ones at home – This is quite logical for us grown – ups. Definitely not for your child if he is hot, bothers and craves an ice lolly now!
Look over there, do you see the beautiful birds? Nice try, Whom are you fooling though?
They are too expensive! The truth is, this answer makes us look cheap in the eyes of our kids. They might even think “Mom doesn’t love me, she doesn’t buy me ice cream.”

Last year I made the big mistake of purchasing five ice creams from him at a grand total of $25.00! I even had to borrow cash from my neighbour in order to pay him! Good grief!
I did it once, I will never do it again!

Whenever we see or hear him today, I all of a sudden become blind and deaf. Thanks to the greedy ice cream man I turned into one cold – hearted, tight assed mother!

To this day I am still complaining about this ridiculous rip-off. My boys have smartened up since then. Is their anything more annoying than listening to your whining mother? I don’t think so! Nowadays my boys know better, they eat ice cream from our home freezer!

SELF IMPOSED WRITERS CHALLENGE

Just for the heck of it! For the next 22 days I will force myself to blast out daily tidbits, updates, comments, opinionated jibber jabber or whatever you want to call it from the top of our hill here in the Greater Vancouver area on the West Coast of Canada.

My coaching buddy Gail reminded me of the 21 day rule to establish a new routine: In order to create a new habit in our life we have to do this one thing for at least 21 days in a row. If you miss one day, you have to start all over again! For good measure I added one extra day – to make sure I really got it!

I love writing! Unfortunately, I am not regular enough – if you know what I mean. This personal challenge will force me to get the creative juices flowing day in and day out.  Nothing like a good challenge.to prove a scientific(?) point!

This challenge doesn’t serve anybody but myself and may turn into torture for my highly apprecited, much loved followers to find yet another extraordinary post in their inbox! Oh well, just ignore me if you want. I will be back the next day anyway, and the next and next…

What standard of entertainment can you expect during the next 22 days?

It can be anything,; anything from the sophisticated wit coming out of a kids’ mouth:

Pull your mouth apart and say "puck"    C. Waschko

Pull your mouth apart and say “puck” C. Waschko

to a classy game of chess! Let me surprise you!

The boys are on it!      C.Waschko

The boys are on it! C.Waschko

My only rules are: Anything goes, no repetition and I HAVE to post EVERY day!

For the good of my family I should have signed up for the “A different meal per day challenge. How to create nutritious, delicious meals for feed and fill up three growing teenagers, a half teen, a husband and his wife!”

This is way too scary! Chances are, I might skip a day cooking due to writing and have to start all over again- with all new recipes. Ghee, what a great provider I am – I never said I am a great cook!  By all means, if you feel sorry or are worried about the well being of my family, please share your quick and easy recipes with me!

So, that’s it for now! It is still a gorgeous day out here – I am about to start the BBQ to feed the hungry ones! See ya’ tomorrow!

 

 

LEFT IN THE DARK – during power failure

Living on top of a hill has its advantages; we can’t get flooded, in case of an earthquake nothing can crumble on top of us and – if so inclined – you can use the terrain to get,-and stay in shape. (It took me five months of solid commitment to run or cycle up our incline. Now I can do it with a smile on my face).

The downside of living high? Our Municipality decided we don’t need streetlights or road markings. If you translate this into day to day living it means you will find yourself in a ditch if you get side tracked by deer, coyote or be(e)ar.

Furthermore, our power supplier wanted to save a few bucks and put our power lines above, instead of into the ground. Up here, this causes a problem during stormy weather.

Photo by C. Waschko

Can you see the lines? Photo by C. Waschko

We had one of these days yesterday: At 5.15pm some of the tree branches hit  a power line and just like this, time stood still!

Our boys were in shock when all of a sudden their juice was cut off during their mind craft game. When they realized it wasn’t their mother and one of her tricks to get them outside, they came up with their own, fun alternatives:

C.Waschko

Hockey fun during black-out!
C.Waschko

photo C.Waschko

Mindcraft guys C.Waschko

We had no idea when the power would be back on. Faced with either a one or 10 hour black-out, I wrecked my brain what to do with our half cooked dinner in the oven.

C.Waschko

C.Waschko

The boys refused to eat raw chicken and planned our meal instead:”Let’s have take-away.”

The plan itself was a good one until I wanted to hop into the car: my four wheeler was parked inside our garage. Obviously, our switch didn’t work. Could I have opened it manually? I don’t know. We have something dangling from the garage ceiling, but I ain’t pulling this one!

We had to wait for Dominic and his car. When I told my ever so clever husband about my cooking dilema, he only looked at me with raised eyebrows: “Why can’t you cook dinner? We have a gas stove!” I told you, he is a clever one. Instead of Dominos Pizza it was pan fried chicken with macaroni for us.

Good Gracious me! By force of habit I filled up our garborator with our left overs, like I always do. Again, Dominic watched me: “What did you do this for?. How will you turn it on?” Yukkies, don’t you just hate a smart ass? But again, he was right!

Luckily, I stopped myself in time before I loaded up our dishwasher with dirty, greasy plates- Who needs a machine if you can do it yourself?

The German housewife C.Waschko

The German housewife
C.Waschko

“Quickly boys, finish your homework before it gets too dark. Grab your candles on the way up.”  Last night, we could have been Mormones for all I know.

Candles for us!  C.Waschko

Candles for us! C.Waschko

Instead of our usual evening noises (freezer, TV, music, fridge) we heard laughter and animated chatter. Honestly, I forgot how much our Korean son can talk. I wonder what he will tell me when he discovers I used his chopsticks to light the candles….

All in all, the evening progressed smoothly. The only downside of not being powered up? I missed special agent Jack Bauer. Yes, believe it or not, after months of watching “24” we are still on it.

Instead of dwelling on our missed evening entertainment I checked on the state of our ice cream in the freezer!  Why let a good thing melt away if I can eat it instead?  Sadly, vanilla ice cream is no real substitute for a man (aka, Jack Bauer) but for today it had to do the trick.

With my wonderful banana split in my bowl I starred into our pitch black, quiet neighbourhood – Oh Jack, I miss you so – and scooped myself a second helping!

10.05pm: When was the last time I went to bed this early? I have no idea when the power came back on; It was on when we woke up. But there is one thing I know for sure: magic happened during the black out:

Dominic decided to visit the Fountain of Youth during the night. In the morning he metamorphosed into a cute, soft skinned, blond haired, 10 year old school boy!

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MUSIC WILL SET YOU FREE, TEN SOULJERS

Nothing comes between me and special agent Jack Bauer. Period!

To my own embarrassment I need to confess: my daily habit of watching this decade old tv series, 24 borders on slight addiction! You want my time in the evening? Come up with something grand or extra-ordinary.

Watching a Live Band in a Casino could be this special something!

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If the band happens to be the ‘TEN SOULJERS,  the self proclaimed “Best Cover Band in all of Vancouver” – we may have a deal!

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Front man, Marty, happens to live down the road from us!  Until Saturday he was a neighbour, a father and one of our new friends to us. Dominic and I were curious to watch if he could make the successful transition from ‘father of two children’ to ‘rock star in the lime light.’ We were curious to find out if Marty was singing the truth about the band or if he was tooting out hot air!

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Thank God we are in Canada: Stepping into a casino takes as much time as getting ready to go grocery shopping – i.e. no time at all. Comfort, t-shirts and denim reign! The casino is a happy place for all young (over 21) and young at heart.

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The band enters the stage,  the light is flickering…. and they are off! From the first second onewards, from the first trumpet sound, the first guitar cords, the second the two ladies opened their mouth to sing, I was theirs! They had my fullest attention. My hands wanted to clap, my legs begged ‘let’s dance’.2013-03-23 21.42.59 I was so mesmerized that I missed my spot on the dance floor. Within minutes of the band performing, it was packed down there. I missed the boat; but you know how it is, where there is a will there is a way! Just wiggle  enough and you will find a spot among the couple and solo dance acts. I swear to you, we had three grannies dancing next to us – groovy moves, hip swinging, clapping… the lot.

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What would you call ten musicians playing in perfect harmony together? A medley for the senses? A buffet for eyes and ears?  Please tell me, becauseI have no clue.

The band has a three men brass section (saxophone, trombone and trumpet) which blew me away, literally!

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Front man Marty, flanked by his two front women, is fantastic. Let him blow his own horn as much as he wants, they are a super talented band indeed!  The two ladies are in a league of their own. Quite frankly speaking, they are better than fantastic! They can do what I can’t: They can sing!  Why did I say that? Of course they can sing, they are in a band. What I love about them is the fact that in our modern, computerized, techno, fake music industry real talent still exists!

A band who knows how to fill the dance floor – and knows how to keep it filled – deserves praise.  A band who can make us women feel like a Dancing Queen deserves a medal. A band who can make our neighbour Steve perform the Moonwalk all the way across the dance floos and back, gets our stamp of approval  A band who makes Dominic jump, shout and stomp his feet is a winner.

A band, that makes me resist the urge to use the bathroom in fear of missing something is truly talented. – A band that makes granny ‘move like Jagger’ is a super band!  And the  band who makes me forget about Jack for the evening deserves a blog post.

I said it at the beginning, let me say it again: I don’t stand Jack up for just anything or anybody. In case of watching the Ten Souljers, I admit, it was a risk worth taking! Marty made his transition effortless, we will add “singer in a top band’ to his portfolio and their music set me free, for this one night!

Please check them out: if you don’t take my word for it!

There is only one thing Jack has on the Souljers,

I have no problem watching three episodes back to back. All you will hear from me is a sigh of relief or anticipation – otherwise I will be still during the whole 120 minutes! The same can’t be said about the band. They are so good, so energetic and so contageous that it is impossible to sit still. I need to get up and dance, to shout out loud and sing along – with high heels on, this is something I can’t do longer than 45 minutes (one episode) straight!

When we left, during the second act, the grannies were still on course to boogie the night away… just in case you wanted to know!

An EXTRA-ORDINARY BLOGGER AWARD for this EXTRA-ORDINARY BLOG

Hurrah, I received an award!

With honour I accept the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, handed to me by the hardworking, handsome and athlectic handy-repair man Mr.jackchaser. If you like to read something (slightly) naughty during your waking hours, this man is for you. I still wonder how he found me, the clean cut housewife (and author!) from Vancouver.

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In order to accept this wonderful award, I have to follow certain rules. Here they are, I MUST

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

I will keep it short and sweet, here are seven things you should know about Christina- or better, here are seven items I don’t mind reveiling about myself:

– I don’t know WHY I want to reach the bestsellers list on either Amazon.com or The New York Times. The more I know about it, the less appealing it is! Hint: most authors buy their own way into the list!

– Everybody can write a book- that’s the easy bit! But not everybody can promote his own work! Let me tell you, it is fun to create a new job description for yourself. In my case I added  “Speaker.”

– As much as I love our new home, Canada, and as much as I love to support it – economically – I prefer doing our shopping in the US. It’s way cheaper!

– Rain can’t bring me down – if you don’t like the rain, don’t move to B.C.

– I am falling victim to the great advertising scam!. In particular: Age Defying and Youthful look! I start buying more and more of these creams!

– For some it’s the Happy Place, for others it’s just a room; I refer to the klitchen and cooking. Am I a bad mother because I don’t really care about cooking? Don’t worry, somehow I manage to feed my family with good stuff. Not with creative recipes, but with basic ingredients!

– Personally, it is still a mystery to me why children prefer playing on the Xbox than reading books!

And here they are, the seven nominees for the Inspiring Blogger Award:

1. Lesley Carter, for showing us that it’s possible to live the dream

2. This wonderful recipe blog for the inspiration!

3. Olivia, because I totally agree that a glass of bubbles can solve just about any problem.

4. Reading this brings back wonderful memories of our life in London:

5.This quasi redhead has some funny stories about diets and life in general!

6.Barry from Australia, aka Baz-The Landy,  for doing something I would never do: Climbing mountains higher than Mt. Kilimanjaro

7.  This one is a mom’s blog– do I need to say more?

If you have a moment check out any one of these wonderful, inspirational bloggers. They are all special and WOW in their own way! Happy reading!