Grace.

We sit together in the neurologist’s cluttered little office. Winter sunlight struggles through mangled blinds, pooling on the tall, teetering stacks of books and papers that cover every surface. It feels like we’re at the bottom of a canyon.

“Did you know?” She says.  Halting words, each an effort.

Eight months of injuries, doctors and tests have culminated in a final, devastating verdict. She is dying; slowly cocooned by the creeping death that is ALS.

I will myself to meet her eyes, knowing I’ll see my fear reflected in her face. Helplessness. Hopelessness. I imagine them swallowing us whole.

“I suspected.”

She struggles to sit upright in the wheelchair. Her face, once bright, is now hollow; her curly red hair, now limp and grey. I help her to sit up, then tuck the blanket around her legs and feet. She’s always cold now.

“I think we all thought it” she says, “we were just afraid to say it out loud, make it real, you know? It was my worst fear.”
“I know.” I close my eyes as the room seems to spin in a single, quiet revolution.
“I hate this,” she says, “if I was a dog they would put me to sleep. I wish there was a pill I could take…” her words trail off.
“I know.”
“Can I please have a hug? I really need a hug.” Carefully wrapping my arms around her, I hold on. We are too numb for tears.

Six months before, she’d developed weakness in the index finger of her left hand. Doctors put it down to arthritis, but within three months, it had spread to her arms, legs, and back. One day she tells me that it feels like she’s forgotten how to walk. She later suffers several catastrophic falls that leave her cut and bruised and terrified to walk, even with a walker. Now, she can’t even defecate without help. Muscle atrophy has left her unable to speak clearly, and swallowing is so difficult that she often chokes on food, making mealtimes terrifying. Her future is crushingly predictable: eventually the muscles around her lungs will fail and she will no longer be able to breathe. The cruel reality of ALS means that throughout her physical ordeal, her mind and senses will be unaffected. She will always be completely aware of what is happening to her body, able to feel everything, from the constant cold in her immobile limbs, to the aches of being unable to change her position.

My mother is an amazing human being. She experienced an often terrifying childhood in war-time England, survived Scarlet fever, endured the grief of losing two children to late-term miscarriages, suffered spousal abuse, was divorced Mumsie.  Always with a twinkle in her eye.twice, and yet despite so many tough experiences-perhaps because of them-she truly appreciates the good in her life. She doesn’t think of herself as a victim; she is a fighter, proud of who she is and all that she has overcome and accomplished; travelling the world, raising her children, starting new careers.

She is a gutsy, compassionate and wonderfully funny lady. …

Now, all she wants to do is die.

ALS has stolen her mobility, her hope and worst of all, her dignity. Her doctors expect her to fight, but never once ask her what she wants, focussing instead on extending her life: prescribing breathing machines to push air into her lungs and feeding tubes to push food into her stomach. They don’t seem prepared to deal with a patient who didn’t want those things. My mother doesn’t want those things. She simply wants to die, at a time of her choosing, at home, with her family around her.

If I can do nothing else to help her, I will try and give her the dignified exit she has asked for. She deserves nothing less.

In my search for options, I learn that because assisted suicide is illegal in Ontario, the only other options for terminally ill patients who want help to die are barbaric at best: refuse food and water and essentially starve yourself to death and/or refuse a breathing machine until your blood oxygen level drops so low that you suffocate.

In the end, my mother makes the only choice available to her. She chooses to refuse.

In the days that follow, despite everything she has lost, the reality of having made her own choices, in having had that final and crucial say in how her life would end, in regaining some of the control that this horrible disease had taken from her, she has
reclaimed her dignity.

On the last day she was able to communicate, my husband and I are at her hospital bedside trying to be upbeat, hoping she won’t realise that we are hovering; helplessness and despair radiating off us in waves.
“What did she say?” My husband asks. Mum’s speech has been reduced to grunts, eye rolls and weak movements from her valiant right hand.
After a moment, I realise that she is saying “Bugger off!”
In disbelief, I meet her gaze and see her eyes twinkling with unexpected humour and in spite of it all, I begin to laugh. I understand, you see.  I understand that we have to stop hovering, to stop treating her like she is already dead. Despite the horror and the helplessness, she wants us to remember that she fully intends to die as she has lived: on her own terms.  With dignity.

 

 

Pink is the new blue.

Today I watched Emma Watson’s speech to the U.N. and it made my cry. She put a voice to an issue that I have been trying to articulate for years: gender equality must apply to both women AND men. If you haven’t seen the speech, watch it here:

I have two young boys. One doesn’t really like sports, and prefers board games or creating new worlds in his stories and drawings. He has a mind like a steel trap, a good sense of humour and is one of the most interesting people I know. The other will throw a punch if he needs to, but mostly loves music and to dance (and is very good at it). He will melt at the sight of anything cute. He can enter a room and immediately size up the emotional state of everyone around him. He likes the colour pink because “lots of good things are pink like raspberries and cotton candy”. Both of my boys have been raised to like what they like, not what society tells them, but I discovered recently that my youngest doesn’t tell his friends that he goes to dance class. You know why. Sadly you know why because society has conditioned us to see dance as a “girl” thing and sports as a “boy” thing, just as pink and blue are so determined.
I am not a feminist. I’m not, not a feminist either. I don’t think women should have equal rights, I think everyone should have equal rights. I have seen the rise of “Girl Power” in my generation. Girls in our society are raised with a pervasive expectation that there is nothing that they cannot aspire to achieve. If you want to be a welder? Go for it. A CEO? You can do that. I was certainly raised that way. The education system caters to girls, with learning systems designed for the way that they learn most effectively. Mandates to teach math and science to girls are flourishing, but what about your son? What if he has a hard time sitting at a desk in a classroom all day? What if he wants to be a nurse? A dancer? What if he doesn’t want to play hockey or football? Education systems that help boys optimize their learning are lacking in our society. Nurturing roles for boys are generally frowned on and, shockingly, it is often their own peers who do the judging and from a very young age.

I’ll confess, I’m pretty old fashioned. I like it when my husband buys me flowers, when he pulls my chair out for me at a restaurant. Do I think he thinks I’m somehow less of a human being because I’m a woman and so he pulls my chair out for me or holds a door open for me? Absolutely not. Would I pull his chair out for him at a restaurant? I wouldn’t. That’s not to say that I think it is a man’s job. What I’m saying is that up to now, women have been seeking equality at the expense of men. Our roles in society have changed as trail-blazing women have gone before us to fight for women’s rights. But along the way, society has not changed its view of a man’s role. The problem is, that role has slowly been disappearing and men are left lost in a society where they have no role anymore. There is a whole generation of “lost boys” out there. My mother used to say “they need a war to find their place” but that’s wrong. They need to be accepted, just like women, for WHO rather than WHAT they are.
Society needs to allow boys to be sensitive, intelligent, nurturing as well as strong and protective (after all there is the issue of biological imperatives handed down through 100,000+ years of human evolution).
Women have risen up to fight for equality, but now we need to reach out and help to correct the void left by that shift. We mothers need to raise boys who are allowed to be who they are just as we encourage our girls to be. Strong, compassionate, intelligent human beings.
My boys are growing up with parents who share the responsibility of parenting equally. They see Daddy wash dishes and vacuum, they see Mummy do repairs and take out garbage and vice versa. They see us both support them and encourage their strengths. My only hope for my boys is that we give them strength and wisdom enough to stand up to what society says they should be and remember the lessons we have tried to teach them: that they can be anything they want to be.
We cannot all be the same, so why make us be? Gender equality is about equality not just for women, but for men as well. It isn’t about what you are, it’s about who you are. Society needs people to fall into specific roles: protector, nurturer, teacher, healer etc. it is time that we begin to see that these roles just need humans. Women, men, gay, straight or pink with blue polka dots…
To quote Emma Watson “if not me, then who? If not now, then when?”

Parenting 101 or “You’ll have a lot to tell Oprah…”

Greetings, Bunnies.

Fall is falling here in the Northern Hemisphere and leaves and temperatures won’t be far behind. The little bunnies all went back to school, I’ve begun preparing for hibernation (or failing that, Armageddon), baking and making casseroles and knitting a gigantic afghan and reorganizing my kitchen cupboards. It’s like some sort of frantic and bizarre nesting disorder which I’m certain will only get worse as the holidays approach.

In the meantime school has reunited us with other parents that we haven’t seen over the summer, with teachers and with school staff. I’ve accidentally wished several people a “happy new year” this week…that’s how much this all feels like a fresh start. Summertime is awesome. It’s a time for freedom. Rules tend to be relaxed, there’s no homework, more candy is eaten, more video games played, chores are not mandated the way they are when school’s on. But I have to admit, it’s nice to get back into a routine and as we’ve tightened up the reins, reestablishing routines and chores and restrictions, it’s made me think about boredom, boundaries, and the word ‘no’.

One of my favourite films of all time is Sleepless in Seattle. Quit your wincing, yes, I saw you. I remember buying my mother the VHS copy and many nights sitting down together with a bottle of wine to revel in the story of love meant to be. We watched it so many times, we could recite much of the dialog verbatim. Many scenes still stick with me, but the one I love the most is an exchange between Sam and his son Jonah. For those of you who haven’t seen the film, Sam’s wife has died and as painful as it still is, time has passed and he’s finally beginning to carve out a life without her. He has found a new girlfriend and is, with much of his own trepidation, planning a weekend getaway with her. Jonah hates the new girlfriend and is furious with his dad for going. No matter how much Jonah fights for his dad to stay, Sam won’t give in. Jonah gets mad and yells “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” to which his dad replies “Good! You’ll have a lot to tell Oprah!” For me, the scene perfectly captured some of the frustrations of parenting. Jonah likely has no clue who Oprah is, nor why she is even remotely relevant to the argument and I know my kids certainly don’t, but it was Sam’s way of telling Jonah that shit happens and sometimes you have to just get over it because you’re not going to change it.

Parenting, done right, should not be easy. Sure, it will be joyous and bring pride and love into your life beyond the scope of description. But easy? No. I am the proud parent of two clever and very strong-willed boys and I’ve had more battles of wills, especially with my eldest than I can count. Many times over the years, I’ve wondered, occasionally out loud, if I need a lawyer, U.N. Peacekeeper or a hostage negotiator…and yes, I’ve often told them to save the histrionics for Oprah.

Over the years that I’ve been a parent, I’ve read loads of parenting books, studied other parents, my own included, and dissected my own parenting, especially when it all goes pear-shaped and I’ve been run over by a steamroller of kidlogic so convoluted I could weep.

We look at our own childhoods and wonder what we can bring into our children’s lives to make them better. What values were instilled in us that we want our kids to have? I remember being bored. I remember being told no. I remember knowing I was loved. The boredom made me creative and self-sufficient. The word no gave me boundaries and helped me learn about the world and how it works. The love came from the people who listened to me chatter on about my day and took the time to celebrate the good and correct the bad while still showing me that they would always be on my side. Simple, no?

So here’s Mama Bunny’s two cents worth….maybe three…

I think kids are over programmed. An unbelievable number of my children’s friends complain that they have too many activities and they just wish that they could slow down. And why not? Instead of the mad rush from one activity or another, why not sit with your child and play a game? Draw a picture? Stare into space and talk. Get to know your bunny before they grow up and you don’t know who they are.
Or (gasp) let them be bored! They’ll find something to do. We did. Just make sure they have enough to get started and then let them go to it. Yes, they may push their boundaries. Yes, you may end up with overflowing sinks from science experiments in the bathroom. I believe it will all be worth it. (Shoot, it had better be).

Why we parents feel the need to fill every.single.solitary.minute of every day with programmed activity is a mystery to me. I’m as guilty of it as anyone. It’s like collecting merit badges. I listen to parents on the playground comparing the activities their kids are in and I catch myself feeling like I’m a bad parent because my eldest refuses to be interested in any extracurricular activities at all and I’ve only ever forced him to take swimming. Am I failing him somehow? I don’t think so anymore. He is the most interesting kid I know. We sit and draw together, play games together and I know every detail of what is going on in his life. We talk about anything and everything. When he complains he’s bored, I say “let’s think of something to do” or “come give me a hand with what I’m doing” and inevitably, it’s awesome. Will loads of activities make my child more well rounded? Get him into Harvard? I’ll never know. I’m pretty happy with my kids being “bored”.

I also believe that like Jonah in Sleepless in Seattle, children need to hear the word ‘no’. They need to hear it nicely, firmly, but liberally and often enough that they don’t think the world will be delivered to them on a silver platter. But it is hard. You need a will of iron to withstand a 45 minute shriek-fest when you won’t give in to demands from a 2 year old. It’s seems easier to give in, but then, as my Mumsie was fond of saying..you’ve made a rod for your own back.
You have the power to shape your bunnies into awesome, strong, resourceful, loving people and your greatest tool is the word ‘no’ and the teeth-gritting strength to back it up. You need to show them that there is integrity behind the word because you are the one that they slowly -and occasionally terrifyingly- morph into as they grow up. (Don’t tell me you will never be like your parents. We all get there eventually, no matter how much we try no to. I open my mouth and I hear my mother and wonder how the heck did she get in there? Easy. My parents taught me how to be a parent by example. Granted, sometimes it was ‘what not to do’ but that’s an entirely different blog). Ultimately, you have to be the one who says ‘no’ to them because they learn far more from you and far more from the ‘no’ than from the yes.

I get a lot of pushback from my kids and damn, it’s hard to say no, because when you do, all heck lets loose. It’s like that one little word is the code to open Pandora’s box and (yes, yes, mixing my metaphors) it feels like there’s no way to get that genie back into the bottle without giving in. But we can’t give in all the time, and ‘no’often gets me “you’re the worst parent EVER!” Well, at least I’m the best at something.

But here’s where ‘no’ works for you. ‘No’ gives them the boundaries that they need. No matter what some books will tell you about societal constructs, (yes, I’m looking at you “The Four Agreements”) we live and work in a society that has rules. Like it or not, we generally need to work with these rules. But it’s easier when we are busy and tired to say ‘yes’, right? Yup. Until everything starts to come unravelled and you have a child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket because for once you said ‘no’. Every one is looking at you, it’s embarrassing…it’s too easy to give in. Here’s where ‘no’ needs backup.
‘No’ should come with two other things: an explanation and a consequence that you enforce, even if it causes you grief. One of my favourite and most revered parenting tales came from a friend who was one day shopping with her two girls. They were misbehaving and were told no and why. The consequence would be leaving the supermarket. When they didn’t stop, she wheeled her cart to one of the staff, and with her girls listening, explained that they were leaving because her children wouldn’t behave and would he mind putting her groceries back. She left the store, her girls mortified. I’m not sure I would have had the guts, but those girls never repeated their performance of that day because they knew their Mum would back up her ‘no’ with a consequence.

No is inevitably followed by “why?” And that’s where you have the chance to be the awesome parent you are. Tell them how the world works. Tell them that they have to work for what they want. Tell them about self control. Failing that, tell them “because I said so”.

Then explain to them that sometimes they just have to take no and live with it. And if they don’t like it, well, they’ll always have something to tell Oprah.

Grannieland.

When my Mum died I worried about how it would affect my kids. We are a close-knit family and my boys, especially my eldest bunny, were really close to their Grannie.

Grief was hard enough for the grown-ups. How would it affect a 9 and 6 year old?

The night Mum died, I came home from the hospital and broke the news to the boys as gently as I could. My youngest, who reacts strongly to the emotions of the people around him, curled up in my lap and cried with me. My older bunny though, he did not shed a single tear. I watched him and worried. Surely this was not good? I told him it was okay to cry, but still he didn’t. Was holding his feelings in? Walling them off, as I had done in the months leading up to my Mum’s death? Was he trying to be tough? Would his feelings come out in other ways? I wondered: was there a ‘right’ way to grieve?

A few minutes passed and then he turned to me and said “Mummy, where is Granny now?”
We have a policy of always telling our kids the truth. They know that there is no question I won’t answer. Obviously we manage our explanations based on how old the kids are, but overall, as best we can, they always get the truth. This time it was hard, but I did the best I could. “I don’t know, love. She always said she would be looking down on us. I’d like to think that’s what she’s doing now, but I don’t know.”
Not the best answer, but I hoped it would help.
But he shook his head. “No, Mummy, that’s not what I mean. I mean where is she actually? Is she at the hospital? What will they do with her?”
I realised that he wanted to know about her body. For a split second I balked. Surely…surely this was morbid territory for a nine year old. As I tried to figure out how to explain it to him, it occurred to me that perhaps he was trying to process the loss of his beloved Grannie, just as we were. He simply needed to go about it in his own way, by asking questions that would help him understand.
So I took a deep breath and explained as gently as I could that yes, Grannie was still at the hospital and that they would keep her in the morgue and that the next day, she would be cremated. I explained that she wasn’t ‘in’ her body anymore. He thought about that for a while. Then he simply said “Okay.”

In the days that followed, I watched him like a hawk, looking for any sign that he was having difficulty. He had still not shed a tear, but he had asked many, many more questions.
“Where do people go when they die?”
“Why do people get buried?”
“What happens when someone is cremated?”
“Did Grannie want to be cremated?”
“What did Grannie look like when she died?”

The questions were sometimes hard to answer, but we answered them anyway.

People seem to expect tears when someone grieves. But my eldest bunny, with his sharp and curious mind didn’t need the tears. He needed clarity in order to process what had happened. So that’s what we gave him. We talked about Grannie. We laughed at all the crazy antics she would get up to. We told stories of all our favourite things about her. On her birthday, we made her favourite cake. It wasn’t always easy, but we discovered that by helping him to heal, we all began to heal.

Several days after Mum’s death, I spoke with a children’s grief counsellor from the Temmy Latner Palliative Care team at Mount Sinai hospital. I told her all about my older Bunny’s reaction and she confirmed what I had figured out: his reaction was actually just fine. Everyone needs to grieve in his or her own way, and children most of all. There should be no expectation or timeline. If you need to cry that’s okay, but if you don’t, that’s okay too. Giving him answers to all his questions was exactly what he needed in order to deal with the death of his Grannie.

But what about the younger bunny? He had cried the night that his Grannie died, but I knew it was due more to the fact that I was crying than his own grief. After that night, he hadn’t said much about it. I wondered if he understood what had happened. Was he too young? Did it simply not have the impact on him that it did on the rest of us?

I soon discovered that he too had his own special way of dealing with his sadness.

Several months after Mum’s death, the little bunny and I were walking to school. It was a gorgeous spring day, full of buds about to pop and warm breezes. The whole world seemed to hum with things growing.

As we walked along, my little boy happily stopped to look at bugs and flowers, gently touching the new leaves on the hedges. He skipped over cracks in the sidewalk and chattered away about everything and nothing at all. I marvelled at him. His big heart and gentle ways were living proof that as bad as it can be sometimes, life goes on.

Then I noticed the little black bundle of fur in the road. It looked like an unlucky squirrel had been hit and killed by a passing car. As we approached the squashed little body, I tried to shield my little bunny from seeing it. We’d had enough of death, and this poor little creature had met such a painful end. Despite my attempts to distract him, he saw it and went quiet. A few yards further down the sidewalk he said “What do you think happened to him, Mummy?”
“I think he was hit by a car, love. I didn’t want you to see it. I thought it would make you sad.”
He turned his sweet little smile up to me and he said “It is sad, Mummy, but it’s okay. The squirrel is with Grannie now, in Grannieland. There are trees there for him to climb in and he has friends there. And Grannie, of course.”
And there it was. I understood that he had dealt with his grief by creating his own version of heaven.
I leaned down and gave him a hug and a kiss. And as we walked along on that spring morning, I marvelled at how these two little boys had managed in two completely different ways, to understand and cope with tragedy, just by being themselves.

“Get a job” or The Ballad of the Stay At Home Mum.

A good summer evening to you, Bunnies. I’ve been thinking, and that never tends to bode well for those around me. It’s time for a long overdue rant about something near and dear to my heart. No, not battling school administration or wrangling with the kids about healthy food choices when I crave Doritos like crack.

I have been a stay at home Mum for almost eleven years. Yes. Eleven. October 31st 2003 was my last day “at work” (read: sitting in an office).

I could tell you it was a hard decision to stay at home, but that would be a lie. It was easy. I am a “do-the-job-110%-or-die-trying” kind of bunny and there was no way I was going to make baby bunnies and then allow someone else to enjoy them so I could go back to work.
For me it was an easy decision, but I know it isn’t easy for everyone. We are not about judging mama and papa bunnies here. Everyone has to make their own decisions about what they want for their children, themselves and their lifestyle and career needs. We (that would be Daddy Bunny and I) decided to go with one income and while the decision for me to stay at home might have been an easy one for us to make, I will be the first to step up and say it hasn’t always been an easy road. Sure I missed the intellectual challenges that come with work. As a stay at home Mum, the winters are long and often crushingly lonely. It’s certainly not sitting on the couch filing my nails and eating sweets and watching soaps. Filling 18+ hour days with activities that don’t include hours of Baby Einstein DVDs, coping with temper tantrums (sometimes my own), singing endless songs, and becoming an unparalleled expert on all things Thomas the Tank Engine doesn’t quite compare to the satisfaction of a job that challenges you, that you do well and get paid for. As a family, we live in cosy, but yes, small apartment. We can rarely afford to go on vacations that don’t involve family putting us up. We live with what we need and not always what we want. In other words, we’ve made sacrifices. But I don’t regret my choice. The payoffs are totally worth it. I have been able to watch my boys grow up into the fine young men that they are today, with great values, wit and intelligence and a wonderful sense of themselves and the world. I am proud of the job I’ve done.
What I do regret is that until recently, I’ve not had a faster comeback for all of those ignorant people who have had the gall to judge me for staying at home to raise my children, and worse, get my kids involved in their criticism of our life choices.

It all began at a party. Innocently enough perhaps. I was mingling with friends and with several people I didn’t know. One of them came up to the group and after being introduced, he said “so, Michelle, what do you do?” I told him I was a stay at home Mum. He looked at me completely blankly. Then, clearly deciding that my lack of “career” meant I couldn’t possibly have anything worthwhile to add to a conversation, said “Oh, that’s nice” and then turned his back to talk to the person next to me. Luckily for him, she was in finance…or real estate…or anything else. Okay, buddy you were clearly a jerk and I didn’t want to waste my time talking to you anyway, but seriously?
Over the years, this kind of thing repeated itself every now and again in several different permutations and combinations. People would ask when I was going back to work and when I said I didn’t plan to until the kids were older, they’d look at me as if I had three heads. Or they’d assume I did nothing all day and just lacked ambition. Or worse they’d get that condescending look on their faces that said “oh, poor you”. I’ve had people actually come right out and say “but how do you manage financially?” Uhhhhh…..none of your business, perhaps?

Living in Toronto, I was often the only stay at home mum in a sea of nannies at the preschool groups I went to with my children. And while I have met many wonderful nannies, the ones I met at these groups always stuck together and only socialized with other nannies. In the end I stopped going.
Without consciously realising it, I began to feel that I was something of a second class citizen. Someone to be looked down upon. A woman in the big city who is well educated but not wealthy, who lives in an apartment, does not drive a car, stays at home and raises children-gasp! I began to hate telling people that I was a stay at home Mum because I knew and dreaded the reaction I’d get.

Recently, I was talking with someone that I usually see only once or twice a year. She has, without fail, every time we’ve met since my kids were born, asked me why I haven’t gone back to work yet. This time she went with “You need to go back to work”. She then turned to my seven year old son and said “tell your Mum she needs to get a job”. Wait, what? Run that by me one.more.time. I need to get a job (she hated her own, mind you) and not only that, but you think it’s okay to tell my son (who, in case you missed it, is one of the reasons I’m not working in the first place) to tell me to get a job. I was so gobsmacked, I couldn’t even respond.
Then, not two days later, a family member came up with the same line, almost verbatim, to me and once again, my poor youngest son, who surely by now must have been starting to wonder what on earth was going on. This time, I’d had enough and finally stood up for myself. I told her “I HAVE a job. I have a job and I love my job. I don’t want another job”. No, I don’t get paid. Yes, I work 18 hour days for tiny tyrants but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Do you put your kids in day care? Time share your job and your child care? Work part time? Have a nanny? Don’t have children at all? I don’t judge you, it’s all good if it works for you. But I am a stay at home Mum. Don’t tell me to get a job. I have a job that on most days I love and on better days I’m really, really good at. I’m raising a future generation of what I hope will turn out to be good and decent people.
I think that’s a pretty important job.

“Hello Victoria…or can I call you Vicky?”

Well bunnies, the gang and I got up close and personal with all the best parts of the Victoria Day weekend this year. Or as we tricky Canadians call it, ” The May 2-4″. Don’t be fooled though, it was not on the 24 th of May this year and while it might have involved a 2-4 of beer (or 2) for some, these bunnies kept it saner. After all, as I pointed out after watching Kiefer Sutherland in the latest iteration of 24 in gloriously terrifying HD…we are, none of us, getting any younger!
But I digress….us bunnies? We had ourselves the best long weekend. When it rained, we popped us some corn and snuggled down and watched corny movies (pun most definitely intended!). When the sun came out we did some gardening. Today we saw a magician fold a banana in half and then make it disappear, ate some cotton candy, met some old friends, watched a man juggle machetes from the top of a 10 foot tall unicycle and a bunch of kids juggle and hula hoop fire. We watched some friendly ducks and even a man washing a ferret in Lake Ontario! I saw another man with a St. Bernard dog and just as I told the kids it should have a little cask around its neck, the dog turned and I realised it DID have a little cask around its neck! What a brilliant piece of kismet…this bunny was thrilled to bits and couldn’t stop laughing at the ridiculousness of it all! Capped it off with a lobster roll and a pint of cider on the harbourfront. All with my three favourite people in the whole wide world. Couldn’t be more grateful for our simple bunny life. We may not have diamond sun bursts or marble halls (thank you Anne of Green
Gables) but what we have, we love a lot. We love, we laugh and we dance like no one’s watching. For this bunny, there’s nothing better than that.
Sleep well, bunnies!

Dreaming of summer: Takeya iced tea maker.

 

imageBefore the rain started coming down, we had seen some lovely sunny, spring days and they started me dreaming of lovely, warm summer afternoons, with a large glass of lemon iced tea. Last summer I invested in the Takeya iced tea maker (www.takeyausa.com) and I have not been disappointed! It’s so gorgeously simple: fill the inner mesh chamber with tea bags, fill the jug with hot water and sliced lemon and then attach the mesh chamber to the lid and put the whole lot into the jug. Leave it for a short time and then remove the tea bags. Add sugar or honey if you prefer. It is clean, easy and fast! I highly recommend it. It’s rather on the pricey side, but definitely worth it! If the rain keeps up, I’ll have to make a jug and keep dreaming of summer!

Update:  Use green tea, peach syrup and lemon juice -all to your taste- and you can make peach green tea lemonade!