It’s a Vase, It’s an Oven, It’s a Mausoleum Where We Keep Your Great Uncle Arnie

Welcome my Unwashed Public, to another indistinguishable Monday; here we have an image taken while I was on vacation. I’m not entirely sure what this object is but clearly it wasn’t that important because I cut off the top. Sometimes while wandering around museums with my family I would take pictures of pieces that the guides would point to even if I hadn’t heard what it was. Otherwise I would have come home with a bunch of images that I thought were important like four pictures of a man’s moustache or a photos of part of someone’s hand. Mind you I came home with those same photos anyway but that wasn’t intentional.img006

My guess is this was taken in Europe. Or possibly on the Titanic. A place with old things at any rate. Europe is probably the better guess because I’ve never been on the Titanic. Although apparently that boat had grand staircases so it’s entirely possible that it had ornate vase-oven-mausoleums aboard to keep the flowered dead baked goods fresh too.

 

The Crackhouse Chronicles

With the news of Rob Ford’s second favourite vice next to food coming to light, crack is very in vogue here in the North right now. As such I’ve decided to trade the comforts of beer and late night greasy food that are the hallmarks of the Student Ghetto for the other end of town where only thing more plentiful than the grow ops are the muggings.

It seemed like the most appropriate way to pledge my allegiance to Toronto’s shady mayor. Not only that but I’m house and dog sitting.

My friend who crouches in the woods at night with bears has chosen to fly to the Caribbean to crouch on the beach with her mother. I’d say I’m jealous but that would be a bald face lie. Much like how mothers have to forget the pain of childbirth before considering another baby, I have to forget the pain of air travel and jet lag before thinking of going any further than around the corner.

Virtually identical to creating new life no? (Photo Credit: Randymayfield.com)

Virtually identical to creating new life no? (Photo Credit: Randymayfield.com)

Yes I just compared the agony of pushing a human being into existence to flying and a couple days of grumpy exhaustion. Moms of the world are free to hunt down my address and stone me. I’ll make it even easier on you by giving directions to the place I’m staying at; go across town, drive until you feel like you should lock your car doors, then turn left. At the local penitentiary turn right. There should be loiterers and shady looking individuals on most corners. I don’t suggest stopping for directions. Keep going until you see a partially dilapidated strip mall. The convenience store in there sells delectable sticky buns. Tragically they are unavailable after dusk what with the store being a hangout for the resident gang. The street is your second left after that.

My friend’s house is the one across from the grow op with the wooden board for a window and two doors down from Terrence the neighbourhood drug dealer. He gives excellent and reliable directions but word on the street is he over charges for a dime. Also Terrence spends the odd night in jail so often he isn’t at home.

You can find me there for the next week.

From Snakes On A Plane to Zombies On A Train; Travel With The Great Unwashed

My day started out normally, as most days involving Zombie Apocalypses do. I got up at five AM and had my oatmeal. Filling my metal SIGG water bottle in case of hungry cougars or bobcats, I set out on my walk to the train station. When I got there the train was late. Finally the locomotive pulled up to the platform, having already picked up passengers from other cities.

 

Stepping carefully up the tall metal steps, I boarded the train with my book and my French exercises tucked neatly into my purse. Walking down the aisle I searched for someone who looked both quiet and petite like me because there’s nothing worse than having to share an arm rest or horror of horrors, a  part of your seat with someone larger than you.

 

I settled down next to a young woman wearing tights that were dyed to look like acid washed jeans. Unfortunately she was watching a live-action, whodunit movie. The constant flipping of scenes and light coming from her tablet was distracting, it was difficult to read my book let alone concentrate on learning another language. Quickly as the train started to move I hopped into the next empty seat I saw.

 

You know that feeling when something isn’t quite right? Maybe it was the heavy manner that my new neighbor breathed in. Maybe it was the blood shot eyes and the mouth that hung slightly open. But it was probably the fact that he looked like he enjoyed kidney and small intestine salad for breakfast which caused me to suspect he was a zombie.

 

Remembering the metal SIGG water bottle I had packed in case of cougars, I reached into my purse. SIGG water bottles are excellent. BPA free and good for the environment, they also function as weapons in the event of an attack.

Melbourne Zombie Shuffle

Zombies get lonely, so they often travel with friends. I probably should buy another water bottle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A handful of years ago a Mom and her son were hiking in Algonquin Park when a wildcat decided that the nine year old boy would make a delicious appetizer before his venison main course. As the animal’s jaws bit into her son’s head, the mother attempted to bash the cat’s head in with her half full SIGG water bottle. Freshly concussed, the predator took off, leaving the boy who needed ten stitches and a funky hat to cover the thread train tracks before starting school the next week.

 

This is why I always carry a full metal container of water with me. Reaching down into my purse I weighed the possibility that my seat-mate was a zombie against the likelihood of my bludgeoning an innocent passenger when he stood up to use the bathroom.

 

While I was ninety-eight percent certain this man was moments away from feasting on my brains, I remembered an incident of mistaken identity from earlier in the week.

 

~Four days prior~

 

The Great Unwashed hears rustling while walking up the steps to the house – “AHHHHHHHHHH!!! There’s a wolverine under our porch!”

Wolverine in Skansen

The wolverine. It’s hobbies are; looking fuzzy and tearing off faces.(Photo credit: existential hero)

The Great Unwashed runs up the stairs faster than the speed of sound and slams the door repeating her message at top volume.

 

Roscoe emerges from the office – “What’s this about Hugh Jackman?”

 

The Great Unwashed in a flustered manner- “Not Wolverine, a wolverine. If Hugh Jackman was under our porch I would already have crawled under there and offered to have his babies.”

Hugh Jackman at the X-Men Origins: Wolverine p...

I wish this man hid under my stairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moral of the story: We have unconscionably large squirrels.

 

Loosening my grip around the neck of my water bottle on the train, I sat up in my seat, still feeling very wary of the man next to me but not quite ready to beat him over the head with a blunt object.

 

Better Than A Cross Country Unicycle Ride

So earlier this week I was struck by a brilliant idea- I could work in Hawaii. Maui in particular is short 500 people in my industry every year. There were a number of obstacles in this plan, the first being Roscoe. Here is how I presented the idea to him.

The Great Unwashed– “I want to work in Hawaii.”

Roscoe– “Can we please have this conversation another time? Or can you at least carry your end of the couch while you are doing it?”

Pipecleaner Art Masterwork, Age 3

While pipecleaners make festive centerpieces they’ve rarely been cited for their abilities to transport anything larger than a googly eye. (Photo credit: cobalt123)

Roscoe and I have an agreement that me and my bendy, pipecleaner arms will pretend to help him move big pieces of furniture and Roscoe will act as though I’m actually helping.

The Great Unwashed obligingly pretends to pick up half the couch- “I want to work in Hawaii, they need people in my field there.”

Roscoe grunting from the exertion of carrying a couch alone- “That’s great?”

The Great Unwashed– “No it is! You could work there too. People lose bits all the time in Hawaii, sharks are always biting surfers’ arms and legs off. You’d have lots of work. Also I hear some fish even bite. You’d be overrun with sewing bits back on, honest.”

Roscoe– “I question your knowledge of ichthyology.”

The Great Unwashed– “I question your knowledge of cosmetology. So there. The point is we need to move to Hawaii.”

After the couch was placed in it’s new spot I went online to find more persuasive information about employment and carnivorous fish.

What I discovered was that in order to work in Hawaii I would have to get my degree accredited, write an exam, fly myself out to Hawaii to attend an interview on my dime and then go through the process of applying for an international work Visa.

After doing all of that to the tune of approximately five grand I might, might get hired to work and be paid two thirds of what I receive here.

“Nutbars!” I cried upon this revelation “Super peanut-y O’Henrys! King Size Snickers!

There is only one possible solution to this costly problem.

I’m going to write to Hawaii and recommend that they install a zipline from Canada, thereby cutting the travel costs down to zero and making the process far, far cheaper. Although it still would be a pain. Now there would be some start up expenses with the installation of the zipline but I think it would be minimal compared to the number of people who would benefit from its use. And it would certainly cut down on the labour shortages.

Letters From Exile: Biting Screeching Jet Lag

I’m writing this from exile. Roscoe told me not to come home until I am nice. Yesterday I traveled for sixteen hours. Ten of those hours were spent on a plane. My family’s nickname for me is “Bitey Scratchy” because I’ve been known to behave like a feral cat when I’m jet lagged.

To those of you who have never had the joy of taking in a wild animal, feral cats are nice sometimes, specifically when you are giving them things that they want like food, the rest of the time their hobbies consist of leaving puncture wounds in exposed skin and hissing.

Once when my father was away on a business trip I brought a feral cat into my parent’s house. It seemed like an excellent idea at the time. The cat was crotchety and disagreeable, I was crotchety and disagreeable. We were terrific roommates. And then my parents returned. And I left. The feral cat didn’t.

For the most part Oliver* is a good cat now. She only bites when she’s annoyed which is often but she lets out a low warning growl beforehand. And really she doesn’t bite very hard. Not that it matters, after the first couple of times the whole family got rabies shots.

Anyway, following spending an entire day in transit I behave like Oliver. To add insult to teeth imprinted injury, jet lag also seems to affect my thought patterns. I’ve spent the past two days wandering about pretending to be Andre Leon Talley**.

This is unnerving for two reasons. The first is that no matter how convincingly I stagger around screeching “There’s a FAMINE of beauty. A famine!” or talk about wearing my hand made underpants in Karl Lagerfeld’s vacation house, in no way do I resemble the 6’7 two hundred and fifty pound fashionista.

Andre Leon Talley

Try as I might no one has ever mistaken me for this man.  (Photo credit: Museum at FIT)

The second is that my parents have never heard of Andre Leon Talley so they become just a little more concerned with each successive impression. I overheard them talking about Bellevue in the living room and I don’t think they were discussing Diana’s old apartment in Kensington Village. Roscoe who has seen this behaviour in action told me that I’m to stay with my parents until I am normal(ish) again.

So effectively I’ve been exiled. It sounds worse than it really is ; they feed me well here although I do find my parent’s habit of wearing dog catcher’s body padding unnerving.

*Oliver is a girl cat. We like to do that here, give our girl pets boy’s names. There’s just not enough confusion in this world and one should always keep one’s vet on their toes. It’s not enough to simply throw your newly acquired feral cat into the room with an animal care professional and close the door, it’s really best to complicate things by saying “Oh our cat George had kittens last week.”

** Andre Leon Talley is one of the contributing editors to Vogue magazine. I adore watching and listening to him, the only thing larger than his body is his personality. He once filled an entire ballroom with one joke. When I grow up I am going to be Mr. Leon Talley. Or maybe not, because that might make Roscoe Anna Wintour, or would it make him Grace Coddington? Regardless, I don’t think Roscoe would like either of those options.

In The Event Of An Emergency Send Spun Sugar and Large Inflatable Reptiles

When I was a child I was ticked off, absolutely enraged by the fact that there is no new TV in the summer.

And then I stopped watching television so it became a moot point. Recently however, I discovered why there are only poorly made, low budget, reality shows to be found on television during the warm months- no one’s home.

Now my blog was doing pretty well. I have approximately a squillion and a half family members give or take five, who check my blog fairly frequently and a handful of followers who aren’t related to me that also like my work. Then July came, and everyone and their brother went away and the stats for the Great Unwashed tanked harder than Arrested Development’s Nielson ratings. So now the only people reading the Great Unwashed with any sort of regularity are my Mom and Roscoe’s Mom.

Actually Roscoe’s Mom reads it more often than my mother but that’s because Roscoe is a boy which means he doesn’t call his mother to say “Mom! I just watched the news and my inflatable crocodile is underneath the shelf next to the door in the basement if you need it.”

Just an FYI there was a MASSIVE flood in Toronto. My parents live near said giant throbbing metropolis. (That sounds vaguely dirty but is really meant to express my feelings about the city. I think I just made things worse.) Anyway so in the event of a flood I wanted them to know where the pool toys were.

Because that’s what you need in a flood. Pool toys. On a different note, the Red Cross wouldn’t hire me.

Red Cross- A country has just endured a horrible life changing crisis. What do you send?

The Great Unwashed- Cotton candy! I like to eat it when I’m sad about things like my parent’s cats being sick.

English: Pink Cotton candy. Deutsch: Rosa Zuck...

These people are prepared for anything from a child’s birthday party to a earthquake.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Getting back to the original point of this post – The Great Unwashed is now going into reruns. Not really, but I am re-posting the part one of two Liebster award posts because part two will go up on Saturday. Or Sunday. There’s an issue with me changing time zones on one of those two days and although I’m good at many things, figuring out times in other countries is not one of them. Roscoe even made me up a table so I can figure out what time it is in Ontario while I’m away. Supposedly this will prevent me from calling him at odd hours.

Even still I have no doubt that I’m going to shock him awake at 3 AM while I’m away. He’ll bolt right up in bed hearing his phone ring thinking that he has to dash back to the hospital to prevent someone from bleeding out and it will just be me, calling to tell him about a lizard I saw.

I’m an excellent wife.

On with the reruns. Also I promise, promise part two will actually go up Saturday.

Or Sunday.

Blasted time zones.

Neil Patrick Harris Declined My Offer To Host This Award Post

Posted on June 12, 2013

However the show must go on, and this is an awards show. For me. Just me. Here at The Great Unwashed we are super self involved but we are also about family. Big family. That last sentence may have been foreshadowing. Or it would be if Roscoe would let me have my way. On with the show.

Dear Faithful readers,

The day has finally arrived. I was nominated for an award. Not a big award. More like WordPress’ version of a participation award but gosh darn it, it’s an award. And I’m chuffed.  Now there are multiple steps to follow for this award, so many that I’ve decided to break it into two blog posts.

First you need to acknowledge and thank the person who nominated you. So thank you Erica Funi of  Finding The Funi, I do so appreciate being nominated, I was so thrilled that I called my Mom, who already knew because she went on my site and saw, but didn’t call me because that’s the kind of mother she is. Actually she may have texted me in her excitement, I’ll have to check my phone to see if there is a cryptic “k” from the day that you nominated me. This is my mother’s electronic way of communicating with the world- one indecipherable letter at a time. Sometimes she’ll put a “u” or an “i” in there just to mix it up.

Getting back to the award. Erica is a wonderful writer. She also has a nice smile. And I have it on good authority that she does not smell. Erica, I don’t think I could have written a more winning recommendation if I tried. Thanks again for nominating me, I did my best to answer your questions which was of course the second step in the process.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People asking about my pet peeves.  No that’s not true, like most people, I love to be questioned about the things that are bothering me. Most recently my biggest pet peeve is Roscoe’s refusal to take a second wife. I’ve gotten into the show “Big Love” of late and the concept of polygamy is really growing on me. I just love the idea of someone else cleaning and grocery shopping and vacuuming. Roscoe claims that I don’t fully understand the idea of multiple spouses.

Car-mel or Car-a-mel?

 

Are they both edible? Yes? Then why are we having this conversation and not eating sweets?

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I can tell you who it wouldn’t be – my imaginary sister wife. I left her alllll of the laundry. The pile is taller than me, which isn’t saying much, but it’s also taller than Roscoe. I’m going to consider that an accomplishment. We’re out of laundry detergent but I’m sure my imaginary sister wife can take care of that.

What is the last website you visited?

Hold The Condiments. Occasionally I feel it necessary to send windy, rambling messages to other bloggers. Before that I wrote a fan letter to the Byronic Man.

Wait did I answer the question? No matter, moving on.

Toilet paper. Over or under?

Once again, I think you’ve missed the forest for the trees, or in this case the forest for the products of the pulp and paper industry. As long as you have TP, you’re good. Unless of course you have a house full of riotous teenagers and it’s Halloween, in which case you’re probably going to be out of toilet paper shortly. Also you’ll owe your neighbours a cake. I’d hide the eggs before you start baking too.

What was the first concert you went to?

I feel like you don’t want me to answer Raffi.   I’ll go with someone much cooler instead- Hanson.

What is your favorite quote?

MMBop.

Is that not a quote?

MMMBopThey’re definitely cooler.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you take your coffee?

In litres, preferably in the morning.

Or in gallons for all my Southern reader friends.

What are you having (or did you have) for dinner tonight?

A sandwich, I was supposed to be making wheatberry salad, but then I started watching “Big Love”, and answering a never ending series of questions.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I feel like this is more than eleven questions, or possibly I’m answering more than eleven questions, or maybe it just feels longer because I keep asking questions.

Let’s say my ability to count.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Polygamy, but I haven’t actually done that, I just imagine other women cleaning my house and then making me litres of coffee. So let’s go with eating all of Roscoe’s special yogurt out of the fridge.

Stay tuned for part two of the Liebster award posts. There’s going to be a bar fight.

While I’m In Trouble I Might As Well Wear The Hot Pink Tights My Husband Hates

The following conversation occurred multiple times this week.

 

Roscoe “You know it’s Father’s Day this weekend?”

 

The Great Unwashed indignantly “Yes.” Even though I had completely forgotten but sometimes I like to be the reasonable one who is always right for a change.

 

Roscoe “Don’t forget to call or do something for your Dad.”

 

The Great Unwashed “I already have something planned.” I didn’t but Roscoe has a habit of picking out the perfect gift months in advance then wrapping it up beautifully on the anniversary/birthday/holiday in question and I wanted him to think that for once I had too.

 

Roscoe “Don’t forget that your Dad is leaving Friday so you need to do it before then.”

 

The Great Unwashed in an aggravated tone “I know!”

 

So this conversation happened a couple of times this week. As I hadn’t actually mentioned my made up gift once, Roscoe came to the correct conclusion that I didn’t have anything. This led to more reminders, which led to more white lies on my part.

 

Hence I might have been really embarrassed and in just a hint of trouble for forgetting yet another occasion last night when my Dad called to tell me he was about to leave the country for two weeks and wanted to say he loved me and would miss me on Father’s Day. However luckily I had gone to bed at eight so the call went straight to voicemail. Roscoe left for the States early this morning so he didn’t hear my cursing when I listened to the message from my dad. I have exactly four hours to sort out something a gift before Roscoe returns.

 

My Ideas For A Father’s Day Card And Gift So far

 

Dad,

 

I love you so much that my deep affection is so entwined with my being that I forget that it exists and therefore forget to acknowledge it.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Dad,

 

Once upon a time you forgot me at a Garden Store. This year I forgot Father’s Day- shall we call it even?

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Dad,

 

I’m a bad daughter, you should probably trade me in for a new one.  I’d go for a less disorganized model.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Dad,

 

England, Ireland  or wherever you are going celebrates Father’s Day in September. In keeping with the customs of the country you are visiting we’ll celebrate then.

 

This may be a complete lie. Also I’m sorry that I can’t remember the country you’re travelling to.

 

 

Although it appears that the child is the one having the most fun, what you cannot see is the joyful smile of the forty year old man who spent three hours in the hot sun assembling this fantastic gift. Photo Courtesy of gcnexus.com

Although it appears that the child is the one having the most fun, what you cannot see is the joyful smile of the forty year old man who spent three hours in the hot sun assembling this fantastic gift.
Photo Courtesy of gcnexus.com

Dear Dad,

 

Once we bought you a giant trampoline for Father’s Day. You never once used it. It was a pretty selfish gift. I decided to do one better this Father’s Day and not buy anything for either you or myself. You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Dad,

 

My only talent as a daughter lies in my creative writing ability. I hope you enjoyed this belated Father’s Day post. I love you. Always

 

 

 

 

 

Roscoe has returned from the States with a shiny new stethoscope. While he was gone I thought of two ideas for a Father’s Day gift- golf clubs and a new fishing reel.

 

It’s unfortunate that my father doesn’t golf or fish.

 

The wall.

I’m going to put on my new hot pink tights that Roscoe hates, text my Dad a link to this post and then own up to the fact that I didn’t have anything planned.

 

Hopefully my tights will be so loud that Roscoe won’t be able to hear the sound of me forgetting yet another holiday.

 

An Uncommon Link

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Official ...

You should always tell these people the truth. Except for when your truth takes a half an hour to explain, or your voice sounds like a hysterical chipmunk when you get upset or flustered. Then you should probably condense the truth, or just say “vacation”. Also flop sweating in front of Homeland Security is unacceptable regardless of the purpose of your visit . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s always important to tell the truth. Except for when you shouldn’t, like when you’re standing at the customs booth wanting to get into a country and the stern customs agent asks “What is the purpose of your visit ma’am?”

Under no circumstance should you be truthful then. You absolutely should not tell the customs agent that you’re going to San Antonio to be a travel nanny for your great aunt’s daughter’s son because the Homeland security employee won’t understand, and even worse he might not let you into the country. Admittedly, it isn’t the customs agent’s fault. At first glance your great aunt’s daughter’s son doesn’t sound like an important person to visit. It sounds suspiciously like “I’m a petit, blonde drug mule hell bent on your country’s destruction.” Because great aunts couldn’t possibly be that important. And great aunt’s daughters couldn’t possibly be that important either, but the thing is, for me they are.

Aunty Betty. I can’t actually do justice in talking about Aunty Betty and the kind of person she is so I’m going to tell a story instead.

Once, when I was eight, my sister Diana, Granddad, Mom and I all piled into Granddad’s van and drove for three years. That’s an exaggeration but only slight, because for an eight and six year old, the drive from Ontario to Manitoba might as well have been three years long.

So we drove, and then we drove some more, and then we stopped to play koosh ball with mom. After that we got back into the car and drove for another month. And finally, finally we pulled up to what seemed to be a very nondescript house. It looked like any other house in that subdivision; medium sized, well maintained with a picturesque garden. But it wasn’t any other house on the block, although Diana and I didn’t know that yet.

So Granddad’s van pulled into the driveway and out tumbled Diana and I like clowns from a small car, so eager were we to be free of our seatbelts. And we knocked on the door and it opened, and out came Aunty Betty and her husband.

Some people hae auditory hallucinations of their cell phone ringing, after listening to a funny story I can hear Aunty Betty’s laugh ringing through my ears. My Great Aunt’s laugh is the sound of appreciation coming from her very core, she throws her head back and it’s powerful. The sound is glorious and I know that Diana loves it too because why else would she have plied our dear Great Aunt with so many blueberry coolers at Granddad’s seventieth fete?

And then Aunty Betty spoke. Her words overflowed with kindness, you longed to hear her address you as “Luvie” and most often your keen listening was rewarded. She showed children the same level of respect as grownups. Truth be told she shows everyone that same amount of respect. But I’ll touch on where I learned the value of offering basic human rights in another story. And best of all was what she talked about; vegetarians, music, Autism, mod, everything under the sun that Diana and I had never heard of but wanted to learn more about.

After that we sat down to dinner and met Carter’s Mommy, but she wasn’t Carter’s Mommy then. She wasn’t anyone’s mommy then, so she went by Jessica*. Diana and I would probably have spent the entire meal just fascinated with Jessica, listening to her melodious voice and her laugh which sounded a lot like Aunty Betty’s if it hadn’t been for George**.

George was Aunty Betty’s oldest son and as soon as he sat down at the dinner table my and Diana’s eyes were glued on him and stayed there the entire meal.

Erica nose piercings

George had a normal nose ring. I imagine Diana and my little heads would have exploded from shock if he showed up with a septum piercing.(Photo credit: nebarnix)

A nose ring. A. Nose. Ring. A nose ring! Without looking at the other sister’s face we read each other other’s minds as our eyes tried to digest the concept of this small piece of metal. He seemed so friendly but then he had gone and shoved a silver circle through one of his perfectly good nostrils! Piercing your ears before fourteen was verboten in our house, so our young brains could not have fathomed something so foreign or strange as a nose ring.

After the meal Jessica brought out her guitar and together she and George sang so Diana and I could dance our hearts out. The four of us stayed in Aunty Betty’s home with her family for a week before heading back to Ontario.

On our last night there my eight year old heart was broken. How could I leave a place where everyone was kind and there were so many people to sing and talk with? I cried for so long that my mother eventually carried me from the bed where Diana was trying to sleep into the living room where the adults were talking. Comforted by the flow of familiar voices over me I nodded off.

I probably wouldn’t have been so tearful had I known that we would return again and again to visit Aunty Betty and her mother, my Great Grandma Kay. Or that they in turn would fly to my province to visit me. And that I would spend a whole week of my adolescence traipsing about after Aunty Betty while she talked to me about the world.

Unfortunately those things are hard to explain and nearly impossible to convey in less than sixty seconds to border guards. Even more difficult to comprehend is that in my list of favourite places in the whole world that the Kanaapali beach in Maui falls behind sitting in my Great Aunt’s kitchen. So returning home from the states my arms noodle-y from carrying Carter back and forth from the pool, I replied with a succinct “Visiting family” in response being asked the purpose of my visit.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of both Jessica and her son Carter. It’s bad enough that I insist on sending oversized t shirts with monsters on them in the mail that Carter then wears around like a tiny muumuu.

**George is the only member of my family who hasn’t had my blog forced upon him like pasta at an Italian picnic so I don’t feel right putting his real name up on my site.