Tuesday, January 31, 2012

terrific tuesday: a few links

supremely terrific :)
Tuesday is a blur - college all day (though this afternoon's class has been cancelled with extras thrown in for Thursday's class).
So what's wonderful this week?

  • I was interviewed waaaay back in January (wait, it's still january, just) by the amazing Amber of strocel.com. I managed to out mr ebb's vasectomy and explain why I was 'done' with having babies. Listen to my reasons as the lone voice of enough is enough in an interview with two other mums here.
  • This week's Family Place newsletter is ready ahead of time (f@#king amazing). Not only this but I heard through the grapevine, that it has impressed some officials within the provincial childcare community. Feedback is always good :)
  • The unusual spurt of efficiency continues! I'm packed and ready to go for set up at Port Moody City Hall tomorrow, where my 'carp' will be on display. There's a sneak peek here from the other blog.
  • I have A Very Good Reason to visit Caffe Divano this week. I don't really need to say any more on this; I really don't need an excuse either.
  • My winning music CDs from CBC Tempo arrived yesterday, woot! I am now five classical CDs richer, all thanks to answering a tweet from the amazing Jnez (thank you - I've never won anything like this before). Oh the power of social media :)
Wishing you an equally (or more so) wonderful week too xoxo

terrific tuesday: the little things

yesterday's friday forte today: parenting break

It's the little things in life which make the wheels run smoothly and paste a smile across the face.
Like this beautiful latte-art leaf on the Wee Guy's kid hot chocolate at Caffe Divano.

Monday, January 30, 2012

midlife monday: afloat in a boat

on the water, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
Apparently, and in North America at least, being midlife is now the norm. According to this author, mid lifers are now one third of the population and control seventy percent of its finances.
The author also goes on to say that notions and prescriptions for what it is to be middle aged are now also flying out of the window. What was the norm for a previous generation of midlifers is not such an automatic assumption for the current spread. It ain't your mother's (or father's) middle age you're heading into.
Luckily I'm on the younger side of the current boom demographic; I can even wiggle into Gen X if I suck in my tummy. I can watch how my older peers navigate their way into a middle age and take notes. Many of them are in the same stage of motherhood, and those are the ones I watch most avidly.
So, I might be all at sea in this new phase of my life but, holding tightly on to my paddle, I'm hardly adrift.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

tech bite: bamboo paper

My first doodle with the Bamboo Paper app from Wacom, installed with the Bamboo Dock on my laptop.
This could be fun.
The software needs input from a pen and tablet, but I wonder if it will work with my super new Dell touch screen too?
note: remember to order more hours in the day

Saturday, January 28, 2012

yesterday's friday forte today: parenting break

A pro D day, and a break from routine to be a mum for the whole day. Sounds wacky? but with college assignments, volunteer work, more assignments and housework i've been feeling lately that the parenting has been pushed to the sidelines. Crazy, since I can't just stop being a mum.
So the wee guy and I ran a couple of errands (including a trip to the doc's; turns out wee guy does have bronchitis as I suspected) then trekked in to the big smoke to spend the day at the art gallery wandering among the Emily Carr pieces.

Me: what does this painting remind you of?
Wee guy: it puts me in mind of (sic) starry night by vincent van gogh
Etc etc etc

I love my job :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

spt: think thunk thank thursday

Just back from the ThinkThursday Meetup in Port Moody (expertly organised by Kelly and Desiree from 360 Financial). Had a lovely evening putting faces to names or twitter handles, and caught up with some old friends (if I may be so bold as to describe you this way).

Networking I guess, but not too scary. Don't know how my elevator pitch held up but I did manage to tag myself as both writer and mixed media artist!
Definitely getting too big for my boots ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

wordless wednesday: anniversary

officially ....., originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

unilaterally deaf for four years

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

a mystery it should stay

We solved a mystery during the christmas holidays. No, not the all time mystery of ages or any such pressing human question, but a sweetly important one to us as a family nonetheless.

The LEGO mignifier.
It ranks as highly as finding out what a "mio" was when the Wee Guy started to talk, or trying to fathom what on earth he was meaning by telling us each morning that he had his eyeballs in. 

Now, our Wee Guy didn't start talking until The Very Last Minute (as defined by his doctor drawing me aside and saying, "If he hasn't started talking in the next few months we need to start some diagnostics.") when he could make sentences instead of those ridiculous one-word utterances that the average kid comes out with at first. Then he started reading (yes, there were a couple years between talking and reading) and increased his vocabulary through the written word ... which leads to some very strange pronunciations. 

Like mio, which it turned out was his name for the cat (miaow!).
Then there was the mysterious inventor Zander Grahamble who invented the telephone.
And laterly, mignifier, which he resolutely refuses to pronounce as mini figure.

He's very stubborn and resilient to correction.
But secretly we like it, especially mignifier.

Monday, January 23, 2012

midlife monday: got out and played

On Saturday I had a ski lesson.On Sunday I took a painting class.

Everybody should get out and play once in a while (or more often).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Super Hamster

this is from my son's blog, which he writes and publishes himself!

I came up with a New Comic idea!It is called Super Hamster!
The main character Is Super Hamster,which Is a Hamster Secret Agent.
His Enemy Is the Evil Clock.
Real Hamster

Super Hamster

Saturday, January 21, 2012

design for life

design for life:
business card template "i make stuff"

Apart from the wire crochet power station (a few more lines were added yesterday evening), there's not a lot of 3D creativity going on at the bench currently (and my fingers are itching to be back in business).
There is, however, a lot of homework going on; mouseclicks, typing, cut and paste, etc..

In case you didn't already know, I'm at college part-time, taking a professional writing diploma, and these business card designs are sort-of homework. I do have business cards, but they're for my other ID as a jewelry maker. They feature pretty pics of my work, give my web address, and are designed for people to pick up from my table at craft fairs.

I also have utterly gorgeous MOO cards on sumptuous touchy-feely cardstock, featuring my best flickr product shots with my URL, etc on the reverse. But nothing for my 2D exploits as wannabe writer.

In fact, it's the writer-bit that's had me blocked for quite a while. I'm not sure what kind of writing career I want yet, so I'm very unwilling to settle into a niche so early. It's also feels incredibly pseud-ish to even call myself a writer at this point.

But after a quick query on twitter, I was encouraged to declare myself as a writer (thank you, twitterverse).
So I have done so. What do you think?

tech details: business cards designed in MS Publisher
PS: design #1 was the winner after a quick Q on twitter :)

design #1

design #2

design #3

Friday, January 20, 2012

friday forte: in the eye

eye, eye, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

I'm sitting in an unheated house, typing away at the keyboard and staring at the purple celtic blood circulating under my translucent skin. For some odd reason, i'm still trying to cost my family nothing, same as when I arrived, unemployed as a trailing spouse, in Canada over 10 years ago. My reasoning goes, since i'm not earning anything, then I should keep my running costs to a minimum.
of course, this is utterly ridiculous on so many fronts but the working at home with no heating during the day ideology still persists.
Other things have changed, and my thin translucent celtic skin is one of them. It's looking frighteningly haggard right now, a relic of chronic colds over christmas, I think. It's quite strange to feel no older than an undergrad (first time round) and then catch sight of frump in the mirror. But this is me - a new haircut helps, and I don't wander round with a mirror all the time. Life goes on and it's actually pretty damn good these days.
Luckily, the lines are from smiling. Excuse me while I run off to make some more.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

self portrait thursday: sometimes I just say ...


... sometimes I just say, sod it, and go snowboarding.
This makes me extremely happy.

Try it sometime :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

midlife monday: i haven't the slightest interest in monty hall

i will not miss ...
jumbled bicycle still life (with garage detritus)

Last week, dear sweet mr ebb tried to present a mathematical probability problem to me ...

If you're interested, it's the so-called Monty Hall probability puzzle, which most people, including me, (and believe it or not, gasp, PhDs - oh wait, i am one - and Nobel physicists ZOMG!) get wrong. There is a good sound basis of mathematical modelling behind the result but it's still counter-intuitive to the majority until you actually see the proof on paper (where it does make more sense).

Evidently, most people get quite heated about being wrong.
This includes me.
I like maths, am not that great on probability, and hate to be proved wrong.

But what irritated me the most was mr ebb's persistence over a couple of days, and his timing. Apparently, the best time to bamboozle your wife is when she's trying to finish some mundane act of housework so she can get on with something more pleasant (or homework). Every single time I heard "Imagine you're on a game show, and there is a prize hidden behind one of three doors ..." I was either scurrying from kitchen to garage with garbage or similar, or trying not to lose my train of domestic thought. I really wasn't listening. I truly did not give a f*ck about doors, cuddly toys, goats or game shows and (i think) made this pretty obvious.

Eventually I relented, in the middle of some trivial domestic pursuit involving food waste.
I regret this.
I really did not need to know the answer (or be proved wrong).

It really irritated me that a. he was idly wittering on about an inconsequential game show problem while I was trying desperately to finish the household chores so I could complete my homework before midnight, and b.he has time to sit and read such drivel. Oh, and c. that he apparently has leisure time. Moving on through d. if he has so much time on his hands, then why can't he use it more constructively to, for example, sort out the bike storage in the garage, or pitch in to help the Wee Guy clean his room, or wire up the stereo, or mend something? - skipping e. and f. to finish with g. I hate it when I'm wrong and he's right.

On reflection, which is what a good marriage is all about, my reaction is as much about me being pissed off at the seemingly never-ending nature of work right now, as it is about mr ebb's devotion to household maintenance. I really resent the fact that he seems to have headspace and time for the luxuries, whereas I don't. Working from home means the to-do list is never done and always present, but if I don't turn my back on it and start building in some downtime soon I shall probably explode (at mr ebb again most likely).

So, my dear sweet husband, next time you want to educate me with a pointless (unless we get on a game show) mathematical trivia question, try doing it while I'm admiring the new bike storage or on that date night you magically get around to organising. I promise to gaze adoringly at you while you explain my error.

dear Posterous


Please stop sending my mobile uploads out twice.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Critter Adoption Post: Searching

Critter Adoption Post: Searching:

In once of those beautiful almost-coincidences Valerie Gilbert's art card settled under Vicki Allesia's haunting picture of a dog awaiting rescue from the local shelter.

It's quite a timely reminder that about this time every year, the novelty of a new puppy or household pet is wearing off once the daily responsibility of exercise, feeding and cleaning sets in, and everyone's back at work.
Please - don't gift pets. Think carefully before you buy - that cute puppy or kitten will grow quite a bit and not look so cute within a few months.
Are you really ready for the lifelong commitment that owning a pet means?

Any doubts, don't do it, please.

Friday, January 13, 2012

friday forte: multi-tasking

Take one small after-school boy, add in one batch of html homework, and throw in the family pet ... voila! one webpage for SuperHamster, one completed homework assignment, one hour of child entertainment, and improved fluency in html.

Not bad for these crazy, over-scheduled days :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

self portrait thursday: a bit hazy out, come back tomorrow


(If you don't recognise, it's from Bored of the Rings by Harvard Lampoon - the only Tolkein i've ever got through).

If I could just click into a rhythm, life would be smooth and sweet.
If I could just stop waking each morning at 4 or 5am, and thus sleep for a whole night, life would make sense.

Until then, there's chocolate (or chocolate-covered marzipan, to be more precise).


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

the daily griz: don't u dare (take my picture)


Monday, January 09, 2012

midlife monday: a month of eats

al fresco kitchen prep is the best
Before Christmas, an online contact expressed surprise I could say that, if organised, I only needed to visit the supermarket once a month, and wondered how. In the interests of full disclosure, it's only if I'm extremely organised that I can manage this but it's not impossible.

As I've mentioned previously, I now meal plan for a whole month. Before you send me hate mail, let me explain that I only provide family meals Monday to Friday; mr ebb takes over at the weekend (so he doesn't forget how to cook or loses his way in the kitchen). So, if I do one big shop for all the dry goods and freezables at the beginning of the month, then all I have to do is visit the greengrocer for fresh stuff. It frees up my time and has cut down on grocery bills. I also avoid that horrible 6pm what-on-earth-will-we-eat-tonight sinking feeling.

So while the blogosphere was conjuring up their year in review posts, I was thinking forwards to what my boys would be eating till the end of January.
And here it is!

Week One:
  • Monday = nachos with salsa and guacamole
  • Tuesday = meal out since I have a late class at college (IKEA!)
  • Wednesday = Panko Chicken Breasts (from the amazing Planning With Kids blog) plus coleslaw and dipping carrots with hummus
  • Thursday = chick pea and aubergine slow cook stew
  • Friday = lemony tuna pasta (if i can find the damn recipe)

Week Two:
  • Monday = lentil pie (similar to this recipe from Rose Elliot)
  • Tuesday = chicken soup with bread, cheeses, and salads
  • Wednesday = ravioli and sauce (from costco - open the jar/pack; heat and serve cheatery)
  • Thursday = slow cooker baked potatoes with cream cheese fillings, etc.
  • Friday = baked fish with tomato ratatouille (sauce prepared earlier in bulk then frozen)

Week Three:
  • Monday = lentil and spinach casserole, with fresh pasta noodles
  • Tuesday = caramelised red pepper flan with goat cheese
  • Wednesday = pan-fried lamb chops in cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar
  • Thursday = slow cooker baked beans
  • Friday = salmon pasta bake (tinned salmon, cooked pasta, cheese sauce - baked)

Week Four:
  • Monday = macaroni cheese (or spaghetti and cheese bake, if I'm in a rush)
  • Tuesday = spaghetti bolognese (homemade, from freezer; again from the amazing Planning With Kids blog)
  • Wednesday = artichoke and anchovy pizza (bread dough from the bread machine)
  • Thursday = slow cooker pork casserole
  • Friday = out!
There are no desserts - I usually have cookies for ice cream, or yogurt with homemade granola, and there is always plenty of fruit.
You don't mention vegetables? - usually it's whatever I take a fancy to in the greengrocer's, or coleslaw as a standby. We also have edamame and mixed frozen veg. I cook extra beans or veg under a joint in the slow cooker then freeze the surplus.

Yes, sometimes we do have sausage, chips and tinned beans (I'm not a saint).

I'll try to scribble down more of the recipes. The vegetarian dinners come from Rose Elliot's excellent The Bean Book, a volume that's been in my kitchen library ever since I left home.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

At City Hall in January 2012

At City Hall in January 2012:

The whole co-operative is on show at City Hall this month! It's a great opportunity to see the breadth of work represented by the society.
Next time you're paying a parking fine, business licence or visiting the library, why not take the stairs to the mezzanine level up to the council office for a look.

As always, items are for sale through the gift shop. Please phone to arrange a viewing.

Friday, January 06, 2012

friday forte: generation gap


There is gap of four generations in this photograph.
How so, I hear you ask?
Let me explain.
You see, that's my son on the left, dancing around chasing his reflections in the bevelled mirrors of the dressing table my great grandfather made as a wedding present for my great grandmother. And there's the generation gap. None of these people ever met; even my great grandfather is a mystery to me, and wife died before I was ten years old. We're still connected, even if it's just through furniture (I also have her rocking chair). These mirrors must have seen a lot.
The dressing table was given to me when I moved into my first house. It came directly from my great grandmother's house, from her's to mine, and I've always felt honoured by the connection. Though she never met them, she's been introduced to my husband and then our son in these mirrors.
I often wonder what she would make of my life, my family and my angst. I've been told she was immensely practical and down-to-earth, but did she dream or wonder if life might be different? Genetically of course, there is something of her in me. What of her do I reflect? Would she be understanding of my current dilemmas? Would she be sympathetic or brush it off? Would she, the mother of three children and fulltime stay-at-home mum (because that's where women were pre-war), be envious of my opportunities, or simply incredulous? In a different time and environment, what would she have done? She definitely had staying power, dying at the ripe old age of 93 so I think she might have made waves given the right tools.
I don't know, and will never know what she would have thought. All I do know is the life I have right now. A lot has changed for mothers, but in some ways a lot hasn't. I'm making decisions which weren't available to her, under circumstances which are probably very similar. For example, i've chosen to take a college diploma but it's still based around the occasionally complex issue of childcare. I'm trying to achieve some kind of personal satisfaction and balance, but in the context of enhancing family life. Although working (for pay) is my goal, I am, like her, constrained by being the best mother I can be to my child. Lots of differences yet no difference at all. What would she think, or did her busy life preclude time for philosophising?
Women, mothers or childless, are often very quick to point out the relative luxuries of my situation and, in doing so, stopper their ears to really listening to what is actually behind that very human of conditions, the search for a better way. Maybe they themselves are too busy to really think deeply about what's going on, or is it just plain old female jealousy and one-upmanship? Are the majority of women even capable of offering constructive, non-judgmental support to one of their own? Maybe my own flesh and blood would also summarily dismiss my quest. Or maybe, maybe it's really the bit of her in me that makes me restless?

self portrait thursday: pieces of me

Back at college this week after a festive period blighted with colds and lack of energy, I feel like I need another holiday to recover. Yesterday's course, Writing for Magazines, looks fascinating but is also a reminder that from here on in, the workload piles up. It's very difficult to maintain perspective when there are so many deadlines but a clear idea of forward motion is what I need for 2012. I know from experience that it's very easy to get pulled in all directions, each project ending up with a piece of me rather than the whole, er, whole.
Note to self - keep connected with self.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

wordless wednesday: forced

forced inhabitance, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Monday, January 02, 2012

midlife monday: off to a running start ...

... not.

With a run of several knock-out migraines, two (or more) colds and then another cold followed by a sinus infection requiring antibiosis, I'm forced to take it slow heading into 2012. Not quite the flying start I had hope for and extremely frustrating.

In addition, the thumb and index finger joints on my right hand are aching, and rather worryingly, the thumb joint on my left is also. Potentially not good news - I'm too young for joint problems and there are many more creative projects I'd like to get done before I hang up my crochet hook/pliers/torch/paintbrush.

I really need to keep it low key until my physical catches up with my mental state, if I can keep it in check. My mind is racing ahead, getting quite frustrated with my lack of progress and the thought of yet another year of 'not achieving anything' (my little voice's words, not mine).  

Until I can run, I'm keeping my spirits up with marzipan chocolates.
How are you seeing in the new year?
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!