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!


Today is my last day of my self – imposed writers challenge. During the last 24 days I reported on all sorts of going ons from our new life on top of the rock in B.C., Canada.
With this final entry I will get back to writing in “normal” intervals. I proved to myself I can write nonstop, every day, for 25 days straight! I am disciplined enough to put something on paper before midnight strikes. Mission accomplished!

I will leave you with this fine piece of well researched literature. It will compare basic school operations in The Netherlands vs Canada.

The Netherlands

At the beginning of each school year your kid gets his photo taken. Home address, phone numbers and emails of each student are collected. With the permission of the parents each kid in every class gets this list to take home. For us parents this list feels like a sigh of relief:
We know of all the other kids our children are hanging out with.
If our son has a crush on Heidi, all we need to do is pull out our info sheet, check out her picture and comment on the good taste of our son – or remain silent.
Another advantage is, if our kid “goes missing”, all we need to do is telephone the list from A to Z until we find him. All in all, this whole procedure runs like a well oiled machine, it’s organized.
The Dutch don’t have any secrets, nobody is ashamed to admit their dodgy, humble home address.
Wy? Where we lived we didn’t have dodgy.


it’s the beginning of the year and — nothing happens.
We as parents are lucky enough to know that our kid is back with Liam (there are three of them, so which one?), his teacher is Mrs. Scott and his class is next to Joshes. ( here again, I know five Joshes by now, which one is he?). Our Elementary school at the bottom of our rock operates on the “Need to know basis”. You want to know, you need to find out by yourself!
I literally have to walk around the playground with my pen in hand and ask individual parent for their phone number. Regardless of their connection to my children or not!

If you don’t put the effort in, something like the following can happen:
I allowed Cruz to go home with his mate Liam and his mom. At 3.15pm I remembered I don’t remember Liam’s home address or his moms name- and she is the one who took Cruz home!

I called the school. Thank God the secretaries were still around to take my call. I described mom, boy and ask for their phone number! School secretary identified mother and son but refused to give me their address or phone number. Not because she doesn’t like me- it’s school policy not to give private info out!
Secretary promised to call mom in question and I had to wait to be contacted!
Word of warning: Remember your childs not whereabouts before the secretaries leave. Otherwise you can kiss your kid good-bye!:imagesCADMIM71


Required volunteer drivers leave their name on a SIGN IN SHEET. All we had to do is mention the amount of seatbelts available and we were off.


BEFORE you even attempt to put your name down as volunteer, you need to call ICBC (the holy, Canadian wide insurance corporation) The school needs to know what kind of car you are driving, If you are the owner of that vehicle and if any claims have been filed against you!
Then each child brings home a disclaimer from school. We need to sign it, and then we are off.

Different rules for different countries – shall I tell you about the cheques we had to sign during our first full school year in B.C. Better not, this is a whole different topic altogether!


untitledFred and GingerfredandgingergI never had so many magic moments with complete strangers as I have here in Canada.

Moments initiated by random, funny, friendly comments. Most of the time these sound bites lead to more ‘serious’, still non – committal chit – chat with no hidden agenda. My encounters with strangers ranges from an encouraging “Want a ride?” (while I am running up the hill) to long drawn conversations; like the one I had the other day with a photographer in Fort Langley. The latest one in my collection of wonderful moments happened at Starbucks today!

The gentleman in front of me, a casually dressed, handsome, mid 50’s guy placed his order. I didn’t hear what he ordered exactly but I remember his answer when Starbucks girl asked him: “What is your name again?” Instead of the common Peter, Michael or Dylan response, he told her “Fred Astaire.” Ha,ha, I thought that was funny. What was even funnier, Starbucks girl (in her late teens) wrote the name on his cup!

Hearing the dancers name brought flashbacks of happy childhood memories: Saturday afternoons spent in front of the tv, watching dance classics like “Shall we Dance”; Fred Astaire tap dancing across the silver screen with partner Ginger Rogers.
Right there and then, in the queue of Starbucks, I did a little dance routine, spread my arms out wide and yelled “And I am Ginger!”

Fred in front of me turned around, laughing. Ghee, he was happy to see his old dance partner again. Nevertheless, he needed to get it off his chest:”I remember you much taller.” Which I retaliated with “Yes, with my dance heels on. Today I am with the bike, I am wearing Converse.”

Dominic was laughing and so were all the other mid 40’s present in the line up. The Starbucks employees still didn’t get it! Sadly, they never heard about the most famous dance duo in movie history(or is that team Travolta/ Newton-John?). It all depends on how old you are.

The cashier got so confused that he handed Fred’s change into my outstretched hand. He figured (rightly) Fred and Ginger belong together.

The moral of the story? If you are a middle – aged man (or woman) stay away from the young ones! They wouldn’t even know the songs you whistle to – or you movies you used to watch. And how much fun can that be?

See ya ‘tomorrow. We are off to the Rhodeo in Cloverdale.