Friday, February 29, 2008

What are the Odds?

See the little paper above? Let me tell you its story....

Sunday happens to regularly be the busiest day of the week for me. And usually the most exhausting as well. This past Sunday was no different, so when Monday morning rolled around, I was NOT ready to start another week. But unlike their mother, my kids were ready to roar (literally) a whole half hour earlier than our regular time to get up.

The alarm still hadn't gone off, and here my kids were already banging on my bedroom door as they pushed and shoved to determine who would actually get to turn the doorknob and thus most efficiently disturb my last few moments of peace. I think PC won the contest (and a few bonks from his sister) so they both came in fussing/yelling/non-stop chattering '... Mommy... is it morning time yet, Mommy?... Mommy, can we get out of bed now?... Mommy... can we eat breakfast?... can we have macaroni and cheese, Mommy?... Mo-'. You get the idea. Did I mention I was not ready to start another week? Make that another day.

Anyway, I sent the kids out of our room (this caused the volume levels to increase exponentially) and I slowly dragged myself out of bed and went through the motions of getting everything started. Sir's lunch, dress kids, feed kids, get dressed, feed Emma, wash kids up, eat, clear table. The whole time I was thinking about the to-do list that I've been putting off for so long and which has only been getting longer in the meantime. So, I decided I'd buckle down and drag myself through one of these projects and just hope that in the process I'd finally wake up and be more fit to handle the day.

Except, when I'd listed the most important items, they all seemed to be top priority and I couldn't decide which one to start with. So, I jotted each job down on a little piece of paper, and dumped them into a bucket. There were twelve jobs - then because I remembered Sir's last words as he kissed me goodbye that morning "Try and take it easy today ok?" I thought I should at least give 'taking it easy' half a chance and added "DO NOTHING TODAY" on it's own little paper to the bucket. I shook the bucket up to ensure that all the papers got properly mixed up, and then called Dolly to come pick a paper. She grabbed two and I told her to put one back. Then I unfolded the little paper to find she'd selected "DO NOTHING TODAY". I just laughed (probably much to Dolly's confusion since I definitely wasn't in a laughing mood up to that point). It just seemed so unreal, but it did really change the mood of the day. And so we did just about nothing!

We grabbed the sidewalk chalk and drew roads and houses and stores and swimming pools on the patio. Then while the kids drove cars on their newly drawn roads, I took a few loads of stuff that had been piling up in the kitchen out to the shed. Then I dragged out the trampoline, and let the kids bounce away for a bit while I went inside to pack a picnic lunch.

When the lunch was ready, I called the kids inside, and we packed Emma up, grabbed our jackets, the diaper bag and the picnic basket and loaded up the double stroller. First we hiked up to the corner store where we bought some 'pink juice' (Gatorade), a bag of Cheetos, and some chocolate bars and then we headed out to explore and see if we could find a picnic spot.

It was a mostly sunny day, and I just wanted to find a warm spot to spread the picnic blanket before it was time to head home and take our much needed naps. So, we started wandering back toward home and had gone about two blocks from the corner store when we came upon a little side path leading off from the sidewalk. We followed it a little ways, and to our amazement found the most absolutely perfect picnic spot!
Needless to say, I fell in love with this little secluded park-like area almost instantly. It was surrounded by the fenced backyards of a number of houses, so it seemed very private. The main street was within seeing distance, but it was far enough away that you didn't notice the heavy traffic at all. There was even a little forest, and some big rocks.

Dolly got to unpack our lunch (much to her excitement) and we enjoyed our macaroni and cheese and junk food in the warm sunshine with a clear blue sky overhead. The kids thought it was great too, because I didn't make them stay put and finish their lunch before they could run off and play. Instead I let them come and go as they pleased. They would run off (as long as they could still see me it was OK) and then when they remembered, they would run back for a few more bites of lunch.

Finally lunch was over, and we got everything packed up again and back into the stroller. Then we decided to wander a little and do a bit of exploring as we headed in the general direction of home. Much to my surprise and excitement, our hidden little park had a little exit path that came out into our very own neighborhood alley less than two blocks away from our house!

Anyway, now that it's really really late and past my bedtime by a few hours, I think I'll wrap this up and get some sleep. Tomorrow will be a busy day, but I didn't want to put off our Monday adventure for too long. That's how my neglected posts sadly join the archives of unfinished and barely stared posts that will either never be posted or if they ever are will be so old that they're of little or no interest anymore.

"Hi, Mommy! Can you take a picture of me?"


  1. Joy, I loved this post! I use google reader to tell me when you have updated, and I feel almost every time I read your blog that I want to "star" the post as being a favorite. Some day I would love to go on a picnic with you guys, give me a call!

  2. Joy, what a fun sounding day. We all need to take the time and smell the flowers occasionally.

    grandma c

  3. You have to have a "do nothing" day. I call it therapy. Then the next day you are raring to go and get twice as much done as you normally would have.

  4. That sounds like such a fun day!! I'm so glad you could take a day and just relax with the kids. Maybe you should do it once a week! :)

  5. That sounds like such a fun day! So much more relaxing then trying to deal with busy kids and do something productive on the housework end of things.

  6. the odds are 7.6%

  7. Actually, I believe that comes to 7.7%

  8. I'm not using metric, sir

  9. This seems just like old times.
    You make a mistake, I gently correct you, and you reply with a totally out-of-context excuse.
    Imperial dlojic, I presume?

  10. You two go take a picnic! I'll stay and have fun with Joy and the kids :-)

  11. I'm sure we'd strongly disagree on many of the key points needed for a successful picnic... such as the correct way to cut the fancy sandwiches.. or even if fancy sandwiches make appropriate picnic victuals.

  12. Oh, and I forgot to mention... I'm lethal at 20 paces.

  13. The correct way to prepare and cut the fancy sandwiches:

    2 medium size cucumbers
    1 tub whipped cream cheese spread
    shaker of dill weed
    1-2 packets of dry Italian dressing mix
    1 pkg rye or wheat cocktail bread

    Wash cucumbers well. Using a fork, scrape down the cucumbers lengthwise leaving "stripes" all the way around. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices or thinner. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese and dressing mix; combine well.

    Using a butter knife, spread the mixture onto the individual slices of small cocktail bread (cocktail bread might be found in your deli section rather than the bread aisle, it's just a small and dense miniature version of bread).

    Don't cake the slices with the mixture, just a thin layer concentrated in the middle of the slice.

    Next, lay one slice of cucumber (per slice of bread) in the middle of the bread. Once done, shake a small amount of the dill weed onto the cucumber slice. Remember that dill is strong and a little goes a long way. Just one or two taps of your finger on the shaker should do it per slice.

    The ruffling of the cucumber slices with the fork and the dill garnish really dress up this open faced appetizer. I always get raves about this at parties and requests for it at potlucks.

    Just remember to cover them tightly because the bread will dry and the cucumbers will get wilted if left out too long. It's a good idea to do some preparation work the night before, but leave the slicing of the cucumbers and the assembly of the sandwiches for the last minute.

  14. Take one diagonally cut half in each hand and walk 20 metric paces...