8 Questions

My friend Melanie, who is crazy pregnant and is due to give birth to The Sprig like, any minute now, tagged me in one of them online memes, and who am I to not go along with the pregnant lady? That’s like, bad luck or something.  It’s 8 questions, and I can manage that. Between unpacking and working my arse off, I can manage that. In fact, I welcome it because seriously, sometimes I need assignments to get me motivated enough to write. So, here we go:

1. Is there anything you’ve ever eaten that was so delicious that you think of it and go kind of misty-eyed to this very day?

Okay, I’ve said this before and I will say it again. My absolute favourite meal in the whole wide world is this chicken meal my mom makes. It’s broiled chicken, with egg noodles and and rice as a side dish with GRAVY SMOTHERING EVERYTHING. I can’t seem to duplicate this meal in my own kitchen, despite being given step by step coaching from Mom. I don’t know if I lack the well seasoned grilling rack, or what, but my chicken always comes out bland – mom’s is crispy and flavourful. My mom also makes fantastic gravy, which I like to think I am pretty good at too, as it was my job to “stir the gravy” many Sunday nights. This meal is homey and delicious and warm and if I was on death row, this would be the meal I request. Mmm… my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

2. Are you a city person or country person? Half and half? Why?

I’ve lived in both. I love the country but it takes me a month to decompress and slow down and enjoy where I am, which generally means that after a one week vacation I want nothing more than to go the hell home to my suburban city living. I like the conveniences of corner stores, multiple shopping options, and events and entertainment at my beck and call. But I yearn for a slower life, like say, on a small island. So I guess the answer to this one is half and half. New Westminster is a little of both, really. Without livestock.

3. You know how, before you actually have kids, you have all these parenting principles (”I’m going to home-school/make all the clothes/never buy junk food/bury the tv in the back yard”), and then when you actually have to raise a kid/kids, you end up kind of abandoning said principles? Do you have any of those? Do you feel guilty? Liberated? Indifferent?

I try hard to stick to a few things – like I have a hate on for licensed merchandise. Dora / Pooh / Caillou / Backyardigans / Toy Story … they can all stick it. I also try hard to recognize “treats” as “treats”, and so juice is a treat, as is cake and gummies. Currently, Kale thinks single M&M’s are “special treats” and we use those for when he uses the potty. I do still think I want to home-school, but I think it’s not in our cards financially and I’m fairly comfortable with the school Kale is catchment-ed into to now that we’ve moved. I wanted to cloth diaper and I am proud to say we still are. There were a lot of things I had in mind before Kale was born, and they just weren’t practical once reality set in, or perhaps I hadn’t really done my research and have since found a better option, but there were two hard and fast rules pre-Kale: 1) be flexible and adaptive and 2) whatever gets you through the night. Parenting has been like one long survival test, with fleeting moments of awesome and milliseconds of horribleness. We have survived.

4. What’s the loveliest place you’ve ever traveled? Could be wildly exotic or comfortingly local.

I’m really untravelled. I’ve been more or less everywhere in BC, I’ve been to Canmore, Calgary, Drumheller, Airdrie, and High River in Alberta. I’ve been to Seattle, Point Roberts, Leavenworth, and Moses Lake, Washington. The end. My favourite place I have ever been to so far was probably my brother and sister in law’s property in Telkwa, BC. I drove there by myself (14 hours – whee!) in one long day and I spent a week there. It was fantastic.

5. Laundry tips? Please?

Ditch the fabric softener and don’t buy into the marketing that says you need super high powered detergent. Are your clothes really that filthy? I doubt it. I use the plainest, most old fashioned laundry soap I can find. It’s usually washing soda and borax. Our clothes always feel clean and smell like FABRIC and not perfume.

6. Do you have a life plan, or do you just sort of truck along?

I did have one. I was supposed to meet the man of my dreams at 22, be married by 23 and have our first child, a boy, at 24. Our second child, a girl, would follow at 26. In reality, at 22 I was in college. At 24 I was scraping by and spent a lot of time at dive bars wishing I was able to play a musical instrument and wanting to be a rockstar. At 26 I stopped dreaming about “the perfect life” and decided I just needed a life that made me happy. Then I met Ross. This Wednesday, we celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary (whoa). Right now, I truck along. I try to have some long term goals (not retire broke and make sure Kale can take whatever he wants at a post secondary institute) and some short term goals (go to Hawaii in the spring and buy more skirts) and otherwise roll with whatever life throws us. I like living in the moment and I like living in that moment in a positive way. Also, bad and good things come in threes.

7. Would friends of the teenage you recognize the current you? Would you still get along?

They would probably look at me and something in their minds would tell them they know me somehow, but they couldn’t place me. Sure, there are people on Facebook who have looked me up from high school and we chat and say hello and stay connected. But I’m not that person anymore. So when we head home to the island, most of the old teenage friends that still live in the area will often recognize me and the braver more forward ones will ask “do I know you from somewhere?” and I say “yes, [insert name here], we went to high school together.” I’m good with names. I was a forgettable person then. That person was immature, and not confident in herself, and like most typical middle class small town teenaged girls, didn’t know who she was.

I don’t think I would get along with the teenaged me. I was a know it all to make up for my lack of confidence in myself.

8. Any novels to recommend for an almost-seven-year-old girl? What were your favourites? Which are you looking forward to sharing with your own kid(s)?

I can’t wait for Kale to read Fantastic Mr. Fox, Where The Wild Things Are, and the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. I love reading, and so I hope that just by us reading to Kale, us reading for fun, and books being in our house, he’ll enjoy reading for fun. I grew up in a house that encouraged reading and encouraged using the library, and I’m grateful for that because you’ll never be bored if you have some good books around you. As a girl, I enjoyed the Donna Parker series, Nancy Drew series, the Sweet Valley High (I always thought myself as an “Elizabeth” sort of character), and most everything Judy Blume wrote. I remember one of my all time favourite books was Tiger Eyes.

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I don’t normally tag people because I don’t want people to feel obligated to keep this chain going. However, I’m curious about what some of my regular commenters would say to these questions, so if you’re game, please participate and then add a comment when your post is up!

9 years ago

3 Comments

  1. #1. I have to reach really really far back to think of a food that really turns me misty but I think it might be my dad’s homemade rice pudding. A handful of rice, raisins, milk, nutmeg a “whala” or my dad’s homemade pancakes on Pancake Tuesday. The total best. Never could reproduce either.

    #2. Country, absolutely. City is a nice treat to visit but it makes me tense. Been country too long.

    #3. Can’t remember that far back. Just knew I wanted kids and if I do say so myself you both tu

    #4 Anywhere you have good friends and happy times. I like Reno but not for the reasons you might think. We went to one specific Casino and they knew us and spoke to us by name. They made me really feel like a somebody and very special. I know it was their job, but I didn’t feel like it was that way.

    #5. My tip is… Don’t leave them in the dryer, (my biggest mistake),cause then you have to iron! Better still hang laundry outside. Can’t beat the fresh air smell.

    #6. Me, I truck along. My philosophy is that things happen for a reason and there is a plan for me. I can’t do a lot to change it and that has worked out well for me.

    #7. The teenage me was very tentative, always wanting to please, never one of the “in” crowd but had some very terrific friends, through facebook I have reconnected with some. I was always up to try most anything, fearless. I am much older and wiser now lol. I don’t think we would get along but I do wish I still had some of my teenage zip. Still I was sensible and think I still am and responsible and respectful to others. I probably gave my parents gray hair in those teenage years, but I always felt I was always loved and treasured. And had a wonderful life growing up.

    #8. This a tough one cause I am going back 35-40 years, I read lots as a kid and Heidi was one I remember, Nancy Drew, and my relatives sent the “girl book” series from the UK. I still have them today. Loved stories about horses and dogs and animals not the animated ones but real ones that were super dogs etc. I think those classics would still work today. For little ones there were the “Bean” series or Little train that could” You get my drift. Reading is so important and I enjoy it today. I did share a lot of them with my kids and made a point of reading at bedtime almost every night. It’s a good wind down from the day and some time with the best things in your life.

    So there you go. My life in a nutshell.

  2. #3 didn’t complete the sentence when I posted it. Should finish by saying “you both turned out really well”.

  3. Your answers are great! And seriously, I could have written the same thing about laundry and it didn’t even cross my mind. I live in the driest place in the country (at least I think so) and I don’t bother putting anything in the dryer – haven’t for years. I have a suspicion that you only need crap in your dryer when you use the fancy/smelly/high chemical laundry detergent.

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