Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


2 Comments

One For My Sisters

Sorry, to my precious readers, but I’m afraid that this entry is not really intended for you.  It’s for Maichie and Eyesore, my two older sisters.  We’ve had a difficult month and I thought we could all use a dose of some good memories.  We did have them, and we are continuing to make them, no matter how challenging things may seem today.  Here are my top ten:

  • Sitting in the Big Room as a family on Saturday nights to watch The Love Boat and Fantasy Island (even better, when they had the two hour cross-over episodes) – if that dates me, I don’t care.  Everyone had their spots – Maichle in the leather rocker, Eyesore on the other leather chair, Mummy on the gold couch, Dad on the leather sofa and Rascal in front of the fireplace or next to his favourite person – we all know who that was.  The only one who didn’t have a spot was the baby of the family – me.  I drifted from ottoman to ottoman, or wherever i could squeeze in.  Sometimes, if it was a really good night, Dad would make popcorn for us on the stove.
  • Swimming in the pool on the few hot nights that we had in Sydney.  The pool felt warmer than during the day, and it was so fun swimming with just the flood lights on.  Plus, I didn’t have to worry about bees or wasps chasing me into the pool.
  • Going to movies with you both was a highlight and always made me feel like “a big girl”.  I remember lining up with you both to see Star Wars at the Vogue having no clue what it was.  Then, being totally freaked out by the Sandmonsters and Darth Vader.  We all slept in Maichie’s room that night.  You two lying in the normal sleeping position, me across the top of the bed because I was too scared to sleep on the floor.  I remember Mom forcing you to take me to Charlotte’s Web, but I knew that I was really doing you the favour.  Best movie EVER!
  • Speaking of Charlotte’s Web, I loved reading that book aloud to myself day and night and all of you telling me to SHUT UP over and over again.  Thanks to the verbal abuse from my older sisters, night after night, I finally did learn to read using my inside voice.
  • Remember when we went to Miami and Disney World for the first time?  It was my first time on a beach and I couldn’t quite get the hang of sandcastles, but you guys tried your best.  I’ll never forget, at Disney, the old woman coming out of the parade and hitting Dad on the head with her rolling pin.  It didn’t knock any sense into him, but it sure was funny.  I remember Goofy coming up behind Mom and covering her eyes with his hands – only he and I knew what was happening.  Mom yelling – “Larry, would you cut it out!” then Goofy revealed that it was really a top dog playing a trick on her.  Goofy took a picture with me and I’ll never forget that moment, especially since Mickey and Minnie dissed me earlier in the day.  I remember you guys went on Dumbo together and were soaring!  I was on the ride with Mummy and every time I’d try to make Dumbo go higher, she’d push the lever down so we were closer to the ground.  She pretended it was so that I wouldn’t be afraid, but I knew the truth.
  • I remember FINALLY getting to go to school like you two.  It was one of my best memories.  Argyle was the only time that the three of us were in the same school together because I was so far behind you both.  You both protected me at school – Michele fighting off the bullies and Donna telling me who I could speak to and who I had to avoid because they were one of the “bad kids”.  You even taught me to play hopscotch.
  • Sitting outside, under the umbrella and having our barbecues.  Remember how a nice day in Sydney was the nicest day ever – no humidity – just warm and sunny…
  • The odd time, getting to play games together as a family.  Monopoly and Pay Day – it wasn’t often – Dad didn’t have the patience and Mom didn’t like to lose (she still doesn’t).  They were still fun memories.  Later board games were replaced by cards.  Gin, black jack, bloody knuckles – whatever we felt like at the time.
  • I remember your high school graduations – you both got to wear such beautiful white dresses.  I was a little disappointed that you didn’t have the mortarboard, but I got to wear that.  Bobbie came to both graduations, and she was bursting with pride.  I was too – but happy/sad – as proud as I was, I knew how badly I was going to miss both of you in the fall when you went away to school.  I learned a valuable life lesson when I went away to school a few years later – it’s always easier leaving that being left behind.
  • Best of all, I remember the days when the power would go out.  Maybe nobody liked it as much as I did, but we all got to be together with no distractions.  We didn’t have to go to school.  We got to sit near the fire…toast marshmallows…our enterprising mother cooking our dinners in the fondue pot…taking naps together because there just wasn’t a lot to do…but it was just nice…

These are just a few of my highlights…I welcome yours.

To my other older sister – Babs – thank you so much for today.  It was the best day that I’ve had since my father died.  Thank you for making the mani-pedi appointments, taking me shopping and picking the dinner location.  I’m so happy that I got to hang out with you and it was so nice not having to decide anything more stressful than what shoes to buy.


Leave a comment

A Special Birthday Deserves a Second Blog

P1020442

Maichie, it’s a special birthday – don’t worry – I’m not going to mention how special, but I thought you deserved another blog to celebrate the occasion.  Here are ten more things that I’m grateful to you for:

  1. When I was little, and our grandmother never sent me a birthday card, you sent one so that I wouldn’t be disappointed, and because I was always a little gullible, I thought that the two of you had the same handwriting,  Thanks for that – it was very thoughtful.
  2. I was deathly afraid of Frankenstein when I was a kid.  Up until the time I was 13, I used to think that he was coming over the hills of Cape Breton right to our house to find me.  I spent many a night sleeping on your floor – thank you for not making me feel like a baby.
  3. You are a master when it comes to killing bugs.  No matter how big, or juicy – nothing frightens you.  While I squeal and cry little a girl, you calmly pick up the offending creature with one-ply Kleenex and tell me that I’m an idiot.  Point well taken.  You were especially handy on a bus in Scotland, killing one fly after another with your bare hands while I covered my eyes and wished that I was somewhere else.
  4. When I had the flu a few years ago and was so cold that I couldn’t stop shaking, you covered me with extra blankets and heated up chicken soup for me.
  5. We’ve been through some challenges together Maichie – and sometimes, at the very worst of times, it’s nice to look at someone who knows what your going through and crack up because if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry.
  6. You try every year to get our mother to stop interrogating me about the gifts we buy her.  I always slip and she gets it out of me, and you always say that you are never telling me anything again.  The next year, we go through the same thing again.  Thanks for having faith in me, however undeserved it is.
  7. You are great to shop with – need an honest opinion – ask Maichie.  You’ve saved me from wearing colours that wash me out and for that, I’m grateful.  Plus, you tell me if something looks awful on me.
  8. You always try to take care of me from telling me the weather for the day (no matter how many times I tell you that I check it) to calling me if it’s slippery out and always checking if I need anything.  It’s like having another mother without the guilt trips (just kidding Mommy).
  9. You always try to be kind to the underdog – it shows a sensitivity to people and is a really nice trait.
  10. I know that if I ever needed it, you would give me the shirt off of your back.  If I’m ever in that position, just make sure it’s a tasteful black shirt with a minimum of bling.

Happy Birthday Maichie – I hope that you have a wonderful day and that this year brings you everything on your wish list and then some.

Love your baby sister


Leave a comment

Happy Birthday to My Big Sister Eeyore

Eeyore and Tigger

While you are all celebrating a magical Christmas with your family, my family will be taking part in a birthday celebration for my big sister Eeyore (aka Gigi).  Similar to Maichie’s post, to commemorate the day that you came into a Jill-less world, I’m sharing the top ten things that I love most about you:

  1. You changed my diapers when I was little when no one else would – enough said.
  2. You, like Maichie, were my protector.  When Shawn MacIntyre  bullied me (yes, I’m calling you out online – I can hold a grudge) including running over my feet with his bike, you lay in wait.  When I was playing with my friend, Paul, and you were overseeing, Shawn came by again with the dastardly bike, as always, threatening me and trying to lift my skirt.  You knocked him off of his bike and Paul jumped on his back and that twerp never bothered me again.  Nobody had better protectors than I did with my two older sisters.
  3. You tutored me endlessly in math.  You always learned things so effortlessly.  You were patient with me even when I was a little, shall we say, challenging?  You preserved (and so did my math teacher), and I finished grade 9 with a B (80s in Nova Scotia).
  4. You always did things with me, from the time that I was little to now.  When we were in our teens (while I was in my early teens) we would walk to either GA’s Dairy to get magazines or rent stacks of horror movies from the local video store.  When you moved to Toronto and I came to visit, you took me to everything from museums, to the Eaton Centre to the Princess Bride.  Now, you always offer to take me to Wal-Mart or Costco and it’s also appreciated.
  5. You have infinite patience with everything from baking intricate recipes to being our family’s tech support.  You know a little something about everything from recommending books, to downloading great music to my iPod to getting a Kobo set up.
  6. You have been through the wringer and you are still good and kind and thoughtful.  You don’t give yourself enough credit and are rarely given the credit you deserve for resetting your life and making things better for yourself and your family.  You have sacrificed a lot and you deserve so much credit.
  7. No one tries harder than you do and you don’t realize how talented you are – you are artistic and have a way of doing things your own way when it comes to painting.  You made a beautiful “Tiffany” themed party for your daughter’s 21st birthday and I don’t know how you thought of everything.  You can do anything that you put your mind to and do it well.  Start patting yourself on the back a little – you deserve it.
  8. You get excited over the little things and you aren’t jaded.  That’s a gift Eeyore.
  9. You never pretend to be something that you aren’t – also a gift.  There is no pretence with you.
  10. You are a wonderful mother who always puts her kids (and dog) first.  You are unselfish with them and love them unconditionally.  It’s a rarity these days to see someone who doesn’t expect her children to be anything other than their best and you will spend endless hours on helping them get there.

Eeyore, you don’t hear enough how much you are cared for and admired and loved.  Today, on your birthday and even on days when I don’t seem to think it, I am grateful to be…

Your Little Sister xoxo


Leave a comment

A Dose of Holiday Gratitude

036

My “reflective” photo

The holidays make people reflect about what they are grateful for and Dr. Oz and Deepak Chopra, my homeboys, buds, brothers from other mothers, etc. recommend you state what tickles you to remind yourself of all of the good in the world.  I do this quite often in my blog, while others, I’m not naming names (Shoe) keep a journal.  I’d like to give you a dose of what I feel grateful for at this moment in time:

  • I found this Sesame Street video on my cousin’s Facebook page.  If you can’t feel grateful for the Yippers, well, I don’t know what you can be grateful for
  • There was a huge snow storm in Toronto, and unlike previous years, we didn’t have to call out the army to dig us out #torontostrong
  • I was grateful that although I cancelled plans on a friend who lives just too far away, I ended up getting a dinner invitation to my mother’s – timing is everything
  • I’m grateful that I got to see my Mommy AND she was finally able to sew a button on my winter coat for me – it’s been hanging over my head for months
  • I’m grateful that I got to see my niece AND I found out that she too can sew a button – it’s always good to have a back up
  • I’m grateful that I got to see my oldest sister today AND I know that she can sew a button.  It’s all about connections
  • I’m grateful that I got to speak to my middle sister AND I suspect that she can sew a button.  I need to know that I’m surrounded by domestic goddesses since I’ll never be one
  • I’m grateful that I got a seat on the subway, and my coat was so thick, it didn’t matter if it was warm or not
  • I’m grateful that I got another gift off of my list – wasn’t that a Hall and Oates’ song?  “Because your gift, your gift is on my list” – oh it’s “Your Kiss is On My List” – silly me
  • I’m grateful that I had the time to blog today
  • I’m grateful that today, one person got exactly what I was saying
  • I’m grateful that I got to see “The Mindy Project” last night and that it was basically picked up for a full season
  • I’m grateful that in 6 business days, I’ll have two weeks off!!!!
  • I’m grateful that I got to shop my mother’s pantry because it saved me a trip to the store.  I’m also grateful that I have a mother who is generous enough to let me shop the pantry, although, if she would let me organize each shelf alphabetically by product, it would make me so happy.  She won’t – weird – because she’s type A too
  • I’m grateful that I’ve committed to getting my Christmas cards written over the weekend – I’d be even more grateful if I had someone to write them for me – everyone always calls me to translate my chicken scratch.  I’m also grateful that I buy my cards on Boxing Day so that I never need to worry about having enough for the holidays

That’s about all that I’m grateful for – but not so bad, since it covers off only one day.  Until next time, I remain

Gratefully yours,

Jill