Almost Normal

Well things are almost back to normal around here. As normal as here ever gets.
The kids have been writing their final exams for the first semester of school. It was the twins’ first set of high school exams. Tensions have been high. They’ve been studying, studying and worrying. Add to that the fact that the second day of exams was cancelled due to weather conditions.

We’ve been worrying as well, certain kids just seem to take to the task of studying more easily than others. Then there’s the common response when a chore is requested of them, “I’m studying.” There’s a lot of pent up energy that seems to release itself most naturally in brothers pummeling one another. There was a trip to the emergency room. No bones were broken, this time. And, oh yeah the kids are getting really good at competitive online Tetris. That falls under the category of, “I need a break from studying.” There have also been two cinnamon challenges – I cannot tell a lie – I laughed until I cried.
My kids need to get back to their routine and I need them to not be around the house quite so much.

My cleaning lady has been away for the last month and oddly enough the kids’ near constant presence at home does not add to the general state of cleanliness and neatness. Are you surprised?

I’ve had to do ironing. Yes, I know that complaint sounds spoiled but I just want to state that ironing is my very most hated chore. Years ago when I did my Ulpan on a kibbutz in Israel I worked in the communal laundry. I managed to work my way up from underwear folder to ironing lady. Don’t laugh, it actually was an accomplishment. They’re very protective of the work and I think that they’re quite certain that all volunteers are babbling idiots. Why else would we come from so far to fold their underwear? They may be right.
Anyway, I ended up ironing for five hours a day, six days a week. I ironed everything from bedsheets (and yes I did learn the best way to fold a fitted bed sheet) to army uniforms. Which, are a son of a gun to iron. At the end of those months I decided that I had fulfilled my life’s quota of ironing.

After my husband and I were married he asked me if I could just please iron the front of his shirt where the buttons and button holes were. I smiled sweetly and shook my head sadly at him. “I’m so sorry, but I have done all of my life’s ironing when I was 21.” Then I logically added, “If the worst thing that someone can say about you is that you’re wrinkled well, then good for you!” Thus ended our only discussion of me ironing.

Now, my cleaning lady LOVES to iron. She would iron everything if I let her. I beg her not to. A very dangerous precedent is being established here. One month is a very long time to go without ironing when you’re used to it. My family wisely said nothing to me about it. None the less the pressure of the wrinkled shirts was getting to me. I bit the bullet grabbed the ironing board, iron and the massive pile of wrinkles. My husband walked in as I was down to the last couple of shirts. I was hot and grumpy and he looked at me with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. My GOD!! I remember that look, I last saw it on our honeymoon! In a rare display of self control I restrained myself and did not launch the iron at his head.

The cleaning lady is back, I have relinquished the iron once again. One more day of exams followed by the weekend which is followed by a P.A. day. The end is in sight, I have to squint to see it, but it’s there.

We’ll be back to normal next week. I’m so excited I can almost smile.

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Weather Vain

When we were in Toronto over the holidays we took some time to try and find my husband a new winter jacket.

I could not help but notice the return of the puffy coat. For a while the layered look was in. All of our jackets were made up of multiple layers that could be removed or added as the weather dictated. When the layers are removed you have a jacket that is kind of baggy and when the layers are all zipped in you have a jacket that is kind of bulky while being very heavy and cumbersome.

The puffy coat definitely makes you look puffy but it’s an intentional puffy. The down also makes the jackets light as well as very warm. My husband does not like the puffiness. Personally I couldn’t care less. When it’s -35 all I want is warmth. Warmth that isn’t so heavy that I can barely move. Do you know what -35 feels like? It’s a cold that causes a headache just from breathing. You step outside and your nose immediately feels stuffed because those teeny tiny little hairs in your nose that you normally aren’t even aware of immediately get covered with frost and freeze. It’s so cold that the snow even sounds different than normal, it seems to squeak in protest.

Really, when it’s that cold out it doesn’t matter if we all look like Michelin men warmth is all that matters.

Boots, however are another story.

Black Humour, Black Ice

Well we went to the big city for a couple of days.
As always we ran around like crazy.

We went to visit my parents. It’s a funny thing, going home once home is no longer home. I remember getting used to that odd feeling when I first moved out and made my new home with my husband. Over the years it has changed from a feeling of no longer belonging to doubt that I had ever belonged there.

I could write many posts about my parents and they would be funny, very funny. Funny in a black humour kind of way. But the more I think about it the more I’m sure that black humour in this particular instance is quite similar to black ice. It’s just so much more dangerous and if I go there I just might end up with my head wrapped around a tree.

There actually was a lot of black ice on the road home, it seemed symbolic. Thankfully we made it back safe and sound without incident.

A Happy New Year to everyone out there. I think 2012 has a lovely sound to it.