Verdict? Anyone?

A Triumph of Technological Wizardry

For ages now I’ve been thinking that it would be nice to customize this blog.  Make it my own.

Well after months of forethought and planning I managed to gather my children and coerce them into posing for an ’emptying nest’ picture.  With varying degrees of co-operation.  The exhibitionist of the group was just happy to have a camera pointing at her and she skipped and waved on cue.  The boys, as you can tell, were slightly less enthusiastic, but they walked where they were told and for that I am extremely grateful.

Picking a new theme was a challenge, primarily because I couldn’t work out how to change the header image, but google came through for me and together we worked it out.

Here’s the result – and I would love to hear what you think of the new look.

A Crash Course in Defensive Driving

I wish my children would learn how to drive!

As an exemplary driver myself I’ve tried to set a good example.  I’ve tried to explain that even though their father laughs at me for driving like an old lady it’s actually called defensive driving and is probably the reason why I’ve never had a ticket (shall we count the tickets their father has had?  Oh, right … that would be too big a number for the human brain to comprehend).

The first lesson came earlier in the spring when Sunny Jim got driven into, as he turned left, by an oncoming vehicle running the now red light.  It wasn’t his fault, except that he should be smart enough to assume that everyone else on the road is going to be driving like a clueless moron (an assertion I stick to, and I’m not often disappointed).

Crashed car

Happily, this is not Sunny Jim’s car, but it’s an excellent  example of what happens when you trust anyone else on the road to behave like an even remotely intelligent/competent human being.

During the course of the summer, SJ bought himself a new car and Roxy got that car. As it’s now in the shop being fixed Roxy is driving my car, I’m driving hubby’s truck and hubby is driving one of the company trucks (it’s not a simple system but it seems to work).  All good so far, except that yesterday, while driving my car, Roxy rear-ended someone.

It really was the merest bump; no-one was hurt and you have to look very hard to find even a scratch on my bumber.  BUT seriously?  Does anyone else see the irony of the fact that she only crashed my car because I had lent it to her while the other crashed car was in the bodyshop?

I think there’s a lot to be said for raising the minimum driving age to 32 … except that I’d still be Mummy Chauffeur, so maybe that’s not such a great idea.

Bittersweet

I haven’t blogged for a while for a multitude of reasons, the primary one being that I’m extremely easily distracted.  Yes, despite the fact that I’m as passionate about this blog as I am about any other hobbies/interests I might have, I find that entire weeks can go by without a word and without a qualm.  So after skipping all kinds of adventures, from Sunny Jim graduating, Hoss breaking his arm and Roxy coming home from  Vancouver for the summer, here’s what’s on my mind right now…

… the trouble with teenagers is that they think it’s perfectly acceptable to have their own lives.  I have a houseful of young people all expecting food to be readily available and laundry to be felicitously completed, but the amount of quality time they have to spare for their mother is negligible (ah yes, I remember the good old days when I was the one in charge of quality time).

So I planned a family trip to the farm and told everyone to be available on pain of death.  We used the farm as a recreational property when the children were younger and it’s where many of their fondest memories were created.  It was a place where we would meet up with the extended family and they would get to play with their cousins; until hubby planted trees there, and it became a place to go and work.  The appeal faded rapidly.

Well this weekend was to be work-free and I have looked with anticipation towards some relaxing family fun.

They say nothing stays the same and in some cases, it turns out, that can be a good thing.

I steeled myself on the morning of departure for three or four hours of shouting at everyone to pack, then having to repack for them because they failed to take anything even remotely practical.

I prepared myself for their complete failure to comprehend that sitting comatose in front of the television is infuriatingly unhelpful when we’re trying to get away.

I braced myself for the sudden flurry of activity when it’s time to leave and they realize that: they didn’t have any breakfast and they’re starving; they forgot to pack videos for the drive; they didn’t charge their cellphones and can’t go anywhere with a potentially depleting battery; and so on.

Well, glory be!  At the time of departure they all plodded out with their packed bags and got into the car without even a grumble.  There was no arguing over who would have to sit in the middle because Roxy had very cleverly decided to bring her boyfriend, necessitating a second vehicle.  They all arrived with any necessary entertainments for the trip and didn’t even complain when they had to wait half an hour for food.

I’m happy to report that the weekend was a little slice of heaven.  The weather was fantastic and  it was all family harmony the whole time we were away. There was no whining or arguing; there were no calamities or disasters and I didn’t once want to throttle anyone!  Good times.

Grandma and Grandpa joined us, but unfortunately most of the extended family couldn’t come because, due to Roxy’s scheduling restrictions at her dinner theatre job, our ‘weekend’ was actually a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  But the children’s cousin did come out and he was a great addition to the group, as was Roxy’s boyfriend.

And that’s all good you might think, but it does drive home how rare those moments together are now, and how they are only going to become increasingly infrequent.

We’re home now and Roxy is already at work, and SJ has gone to visit a friend.  It’s a good thing I took lots of photos to remind me that I did successfully corral them and keep them gathered for a few short days.