Madness, This Way Lies

Let’s all just agree that Pintrest ruins lives, that said, I think I figured out how it started. I’ve never understood the attraction of looking at all the projects that take hours upon hours of time only to look nothing like the photo.


Start smiling Amanda! The baby on Pintrest LOVED sitting naked in a cold, wet gourd. Image courtesy of

I swore that I would never be that mom who stays up until 2 am, piping icing names onto cupcakes and losing it over misspelling Adelaide because why in the world would someone use five As and a Y in that name?

And I was doing pretty well on that front, until this morning when I found myself running around looking for blue sparkly pants and yellow socks. Because it’s Mini-Tex’s first Halloween. An event I didn’t take too seriously until I showed up a the third Mom and Baby class having forgotten that it was costume day. Ok the last class wasn’t so bad, I actually remembered – Mini Tex was supposed to be a cowboy however in my haste to get out the door I forgot his hat, so he ended up just being a boy again.

After seeing all the babies dressed up as adorable apples, cute chickens and lovable unicorns, I got jealous and decided to buy Mini-Tex an actual costume rather than just throwing riding headwear on him. However it was October 28th and so the shelves were bare. Hence why my son is going as a fish/bird/dinosaur. That’s what moms who wait until the last minute get- an unidentifiable mix of the animal kingdom. Just in case you were wondering, the costume was 90% off and there were two others left, in the event that you too wish to dress your infant as a fish/bird/dinosaur.

No problem, I assured myself, I’ll simply accesorize the heck out of it. This idea would have worked better if Tex and I lived in the big city where I purchased said costume. Instead we’re an hour and a half away and grateful that there’s a Walmart. So away I went this morning to find sparkly pants at the local Walmart.

Either all of the Moms who bought the cute costumes that have a definitive theme bought up the sparkly, blue baby pants, or Walmart doesn’t carry them. Regardless, I had to think of something else, so I decided on red pants. Mini-Tex actually already has red pants at home, but they have a penguin on the bum, and I didn’t need to add to the whole lizard/fish/bird confusion. So I bought new red pants with a plain bottom.

But Mini-Tex’s costume doesn’t have sleeves, it has these capped things that might be wings, or fins, or foreshortened arms so that babies can get a head start on feeling empathy for creatures without full length limbs. Regardless, Mini-Tex would need to wear a shirt underneath the costume and not just because there might be a foot of snow here on all Hallow’s Eve. I decided that a yellow shirt would work best. Only there were no yellow shirts in Mini-Tex’s size. There was, however, a yellow Minion themed shirt two sizes too big. My husband loves “Despicable Me” so this would work for Mini-Tex’s costume and be a beloved article of clothing after. Boom! Done.

Then I had a moment of doubt. It was in this moment when I bought a round trip ticket to the crazy train AND drank the crazy cocktail. What if the shade of yellow didn’t match the costume exactly? How would people know that Mini-Tex was a bird/dinosaur/fish? They might think he was a manatee/dog/banana. So I grabbed another shirt the reflective yellow of construction worker jackets. This is the moment where the crazy balloons were released into the sky signalling that the show had started.

Unwashed, the Unwashed who readily lets her child eat off the floor, who sits idly while another baby sucks on Mini-Tex’s pacifier and then hands it back to her son once the other baby is finished, without wiping it, was gone. Instead she had been replaced by the Mom who is painstakingly trying to insert another A into Adelaide at 2:13 AM. This meant that the costume needed socks because the cutest fish/bird/amphibeans have yellow feet. So Mini-Tex’s blue socks with the paw prints simply would not do.

The only problem was that the yellow socks had Minions on them. Neither fins, nor feet, nor claws have faces on them, so Minion socks will not work for fish/bird/dragons. So I went searching for dye because the store HAD to have white socks which could be coloured to match. Even though our town has a Walmart and we are grateful to have a Walmart, it’s not a big Walmart, meaning it doesn’t carry fabric dye. So I weighed my options; colouring the socks with markers would result in uneven shading, fabric paint would make them too stiff. I wandered up and down the aisles hoping in vain that the fabric dye had been shelved in a strange place and I spotted my savior- concentrated icing colouring! Edible dye in hand, I was off to find white socks.

There were no white socks. Obviously the organized mothers whose babies were dressed as strawberries had bought them all up. There were knee high socks eight sizes too big, but those would go all the way up Mini-Tex’s legs, obscuring the red pant legs giving him just a big red butt so that people would think he was a fish-monkey or a baboon-osaur.

As I stood there trying to figure out when I would have time to dye the socks between now and Monday afternoon, a little voice quietly asked “Are you making this too difficult?” God in heaven, I wish that voice had spoken sooner. I love that voice. It’s the voice that says, “Leave the laundry, no one cares” and “Your tub isn’t that dirty; go read a book”.

So I replaced the knee highs and returned the food colouring back where it belonged and walked out of the store. When I got home, my husband, ever the wonderful man exclaimed “Mini-Tex, look at this wonderful primary coloured outfit your Mom got you! You’ll be like a box of crayons!”

So he’ll be a fish/dinosaur/bird/writing utensil. Now everyone give me candy and tell me how adorable my baby is.


Tex decided to add a hat at the last moment. So now our son is a fish/bird/dinosaur-cowboy. Or maybe just a fish/bird-cowboy. Tha hat obscures the giant fin/plate on top of the costume so he looks less prehistoric. (Photo Credit – Yours Truly)

SHOCKER! A Questionable Bag Found on Tex at the Airport! Details Below

It’s recently come to light that the self proclaimed family man and straight edge cowboy was in possession of a bag of herbs at an airport. Witnesses say that he arrived for a flight in a calm almost tranquil state, a fact that was later explained by the hefty bag of green stuff that he removed from his suitcase before heading through security. A bystander reported that he removed the bag nonchalantly from his luggage and took a photo, as though it wasn’t a violation- where does he think this is? Amsterdam?”


“Teee–eex, You don’t have to put on the red light”

A confidant of Tex’s was flabbergasted by the news; “I bet that weird hippie wife of his is behind it- you never know what they’re up to”.


Well my Unwashed public, it totally was me, You see, it was MY bag that Tex was using at the airport. And it was only by chance that he opened up the from pocket when he arrived, before venturing through security, at which point he found this.


Honey, I swear I’ll bail you out.

He then texted me asking whether he had wronged me and next time could we find a way of expressing my anger that didn’t end in cavity searches for him.

For the record, it’s ACTUALLY  oregano. A couple of months beforehand we had stayed at friends house and I had brought ingredients to make a dish with us, most of the edibles got consumed, but some apparently got packed up and squirrelled away in bizarre spots. My husband calmly walked back to the car and safely stowed my spices in the console, then went to meet his flight. But it could have been a headliner of a family story.

Travesty Tuesdays- The Wobbly Bits That Are Usually Covered With Leaves Edition

Somehow this batch of postcards came out awkward. More awkward than usual. It wasn’t even my fault for once, I was merely recounting what my great aunt and my mother said to me.2016-08-05 12.24.31

To Birdie*

If you get a magnifying glass, you’ll see that the Golden Boy is actually naked. This was a point that my Great Aunt repeated to me many times during my visit when I was sixteen years old and the Golden Boy was taken down for cleaning and put on display in the local shopping area. I’m not sure whether she thought his nudity would offend my teenage sensibilities or if I seemed so naïve that the Golden Boy would be the height of my visit – “Hot Damn ! Gonna see me some nude statue action!” Regardless either reason further damages my teenage street cred considerably and cements the idea that I was reigning Lord and Emperor of the Nerds given that my sixty year old great aunt felt it necessary to say “This statue is R-rated; don’t be alarmed.”2016-08-05 12.26.29

To Andy and Sandy**

Before boom boxes, young men wandered around with sheep on their shoulders as a way to show how “hip” they were and to attract females. Whether it was the smell of the sheep or the men themselves, this wasn’t an effective courting tactic. They quickly switched to juggling gophers which of course went out of fashion the next year when ferrets became all the rage. Another problem with the sheep on the shoulder system was that the lambs would get stuck on repeat, or at least it seemed that way what with their refusal to produce more than “Bah, Bah, Black Sheep”2016-08-05 12.27.32

To Steve and Sandy**

Welcome! Greetings from the land who invented blisters. We were a pretty miserable bunch until the Band-Aid came along. Don’t believe what the old folks tell you- no amount of intricately carved dolls or ornately decorated wagons can take away the pain of a heel that rubs. We debated making the Band-Aid inventor our king but then Nike came along so we just used our old footwear to bean our enemies. This is why Holland is such a peaceful country- all of our tormentors are thoroughly concussed.


These poor, innocent friends of my parents are bound to be so bewildered by this card that I felt it necessary to both sign my name AND include the following sentence “ For an explanation see”2016-08-05 12.28.11

To Mrs. Jackson,

My mother ruined whales for me forever while we were coming home from Hawaii three summers ago. During a stopover at an airport , there was a GIANT whale tail made out of recycled ropes from ships as a part of an airport wide exhibit featuring art made from reclaimed objects. Despite it being 4 am my time or some other such nonsense, I was completely engrossed in the show and apparently so was my Mom. She stood motionless in front of the rope whale tail construction. I moved to stand next to her so we could share in our appreciation. “Doesn’t it look like a penis to you? My mother’s question shocked me out of my train of thought which had been about the grandeur of these mammals and how well the artist had executed their vision. “Pardon” I said, somewhat dumbfounded. “See it’s a penis” Mom tried to point out the various parts. I still didn’t see it. “Can’t you see the penis?” My mother asked loudly again in the middle of a busy airport. This was how whales were ruined for me. Suffice to say I’m never taking my mom to the zoo.



**Names have been changed to protect the identities of my church family who were probably already bewildered to discover my postcard in their mailbox.


Travesty Tuesdays : Manatees With Goatees

2016-08-05 12.28.51Birdie *,

Wyatt the manatee thinks that his chin strap is both edgy and classic. Tragically, his friends don’t have the heart to tell him that any facial hair doesn’t work on endangered floating mammals and that as much as Wyatt would like it to, the chin strap doesn’t mask his recent weight gain. Instead his girlfriend just keeps suggesting that they go for swims together. Oh manatees, it could be worse, it could be a soul patch.

I’ve sent out so many postcards, I don’t actually remember who I sent this next one to. Or it’s possible that it’s hiding under the couch unsent. When one sends out over two hundred pieces of mail annually, this sort of event happens where six months to a year later, you find the lost piece of correspondence all sealed up and stamped. And part of you is like ‘We should just send it- no matter that it’s August and this is clearly a Christmas card” and the other part needs to open it up first to see what sort of madness is inside because when one writes a hundred thousand words a year, some of them come out squirrelly, and you don’t always remember what you’ve written.

2016-08-05 11.41.23

You’d never know it but these two manatees are at a dance. It was a poorly attended event what with the fact that manatees are notorious for being shut-ins. The two lads pictured here are secretly thinking that their parents’ watery basement would be more comfortable although they’re daring one another to swim up and around the girl manatee with algae on her tail. Oh awkward manatees, I wish I could tell them that things get better after high school, but they won’t, these two will always be manatees.

20160824_143656To Birdie*, (sent a couple weeks after the first postcard)

Oh no. He’s gone and done it. Wyatt decided to up the ante. He grew a soul patch. His friends had just gathered the courage to tell him that his chin strap was ridiculous and now he’s gone and grown a miniature soup strainer. Which, considering that the whole ocean is effectively soup, means that Wyatt perpetually has something in his facial hair. What are Wyatt’s friends to do? A chinstrap is one thing, but a soul patch? His girlfriend broke up with him because she thought he was a sloppy eater, always swimming about with bits of algae stuck on his face. Poor Wyatt, if only he had known to shave.

#manateefacialhairintervention #whoswithme

Let’s be part of the solution friends.

*I’m not sure what this poor woman did in her previous life to deserve this many ridiculous postcards of manatees with goatees but I can tell you that she’s repenting now. The least I can do is change her name on my website.


I’m Like A Political Bisexual- It’s Not About The Party, It’s About The Person. Does That Make Me Bipartisan?

In Canada, we have attack ads. Essentially one party goes on television and is all “Did you hear about So And So in the other party? They eat puppies, barbeque kittens and are probably paying a pimply teenager to fricasee your hamster for dinner as you watch this. How do you feel about your tax dollars being spent that way?”

The other day I went to my mailbox expecting a package, but found an attack ad pamphlet from a Mr. Randy Hoback. Seeing as this is a wildly inappropriate way to both communicate with people and to talk about your opponents, I decided to reply back to the politician in kind.

Dear Mr. Hoback,

I decided to overcome the voter apathy of my generation to write and inform you that I received your pamphlet. Tragically I did not read it. There were a number of reasons. Firstly, the only correspondence I keep from politicians are those from men who I deem to be “bang-a-langin hotties”; you sir with your closed mouth smiles,


I swear it’s like the photographers consistently forget to remind this man to “say cheese”. (Photo Credit

unfortunately are not my type. By contrast, I still have the delightful Christmas card that our toothy, grinning Prime Minister sent to my grandparents almost a decade ago. I could lap that man up like ice cream.


I keep this card next to my collection of pin ups of Jonathon Taylor Thomas.(Photo Credit:

Secondly, I vote and back politicians based on the tightness of their six packs. Mr. Hoback, if you are truly interested in my support, my mailbox is always open to your shirtless, pinup style photograph application. Conversely, you could take to appearing topless on Facebook and in the news à la Justin Trudeau style. That too would capture my attention and potentially my support.

Sincerely yours,

A registered and frequent voter

(Now isn’t that something to cry over)

For the record, sometimes I write things to tick people off. It’s one of the joys of being a writer, it balances out the tragically underpaid aspect of our lives. The “lap that man up like ice cream” was one of those lines. I pictured Randy getting all blustery about receiving a letter like that. I felt it was his comeuppance for filling our neighbourhood’s mailboxes with a giant newsletter which conveyed absolutely no information but did manage to trash the other political parties.

Not that anyone is interested and even I don’t care, but I’m not a Liberal, I do however think Trudeau is exceptionally good looking and everyone needs a reason to be excited to open the paper in the morning. Also, Tex said the above letter was too mean to send, so I tried writing another one.

To the unfortunate and underpaid lackey of Mr. Hoback reading this message on his behalf,

Firstly, my apologies that Baskin Robbins wasn’t hiring. Secondly, please tell your boss that I take umbrage both with his spamming of mailboxes with useless information and his flagrant abuse of our resources. That paper could have been better used printing ice cream menus.

P.S. Thanks for saving me the postage on this letter.

I was all set to tuck this piece of prose into the pre stamped slip Mr. Hoback had sent when my husband asked what I was doing. Then Tex made an even more disgusted face at this next draft because now I was insulting the poor underpaid youth in Mr. Hoback’s employ, along with the tree felling, mailbox abusing politician. So I wrote another one which was serious and therefore didn’t warrant being put up here. But it was basically the written equivalent of “get off my lawn” and sent it instead. It grinds my gears when I open my mailbox to correspondence which are not cards telling me how wonderful I am.

Travesty Tuesdays – Haunted Hair

2016-08-05 11.40.13To Randy*

This was the hotel my family stayed in when we visited Italy. The dresser in the room that my sister and I slept in was haunted. That’s right, the dresser, not the room. I slept as far from it as possible and didn’t store my clothes in it just in case. One never knows what will happen when you wear haunted clothes. That’s how people end up stalking about in graveyards as their favourite hangout and writing bizarre notes to Haley Joel Osment saying “I totally get you bro”. Best to avoid those types of occurrences if you can.

-The Great Unwashed

2016-08-05 11.42.02

This is the site where my mother tried to set a world record for “Most kilometers ever walked by a six year old and an eight year old”. Every morning of our trip to our nation’s fine capitol, my sister and I woke up in Quebec (Yes! Quebec! My mother made us walk across an entire province before lunch!) and then we dutifully followed my parents over the bridge into Ottawa to visit 6,010 museums. My mother claims it was for educational purposes but I believe that my sister and I ticked her off so badly that she decided to plan a trip as a form of child abuse. If I’d worn a fitbit on my tiny wrist then, it would have said “Congratulations, you walked 80,000 steps today!”

20160824_133149To my boss

A big frizzy haired “hello” from the eighties, where the colours are neon, the pants are parachutes and all the women look like Transformer robots with their shoulder pads.  All of the people in this photo are now sitting in the window of a high end Italian boutique because they all have skin the tone and texture of a leather handbag. If we take nothing else from this decade it should be- wear sunscreen. Enjoy your summer (under and umbrella)


*Names have been changed to protect my church family because they didn’t realize that”loving your neighbour as you love yourself” invited in all the crazies like me.