My Week 201: Me and Jeffrey, My Author Interview

So on Wednesday, I was sitting with a group of people from work, and they were recounting that some people at the secret agency had actually gone to high school or university together, and that was how they knew each other. One of the guys said, “That’s right—there was me, Frank, Jim, and Jeffrey.” And I was like, “Oh, who’s Jeffrey?” because there was no one at the secret agency named that. My colleague replied, “He doesn’t work with us anymore. You’d like Jeffrey—you two are a lot alike.” And my first thought was “A lot alike? Did Jeffrey just change his favourite bathroom stall from number five to number four?” and my second thought, which came IMMEDIATELY on the heels of the first was “Would Jeffrey give voice to that first thought?” Because if Jeffrey was really like me, the answer to the first question would be ”Obviously” and  the answer to the second question would be “Absolutely not” , so based on the second answer, I didn’t say anything—I just smiled and said, “Yeah?” By the time it occurred to me to ask why, the conversation had moved on, and it would have been awkward to drag it back.

Jeffrey? Jeffrey!

But if you know anything about me at all, I spent the rest of the day literally obsessing over IN WHAT WAY EXACTLY I was like the mysterious and elusive Jeffrey. But first, I should explain about the bathroom stalls because I know you are DYING to hear this. If you remember from My Week 177: My Favourite Bathroom Stall and Other Questions, number five was pretty close to my heart, and other parts of my anatomy that shall remain nameless. Lately, however, I’ve noticed that the toilet paper in number five runs out not long after lunch while the other stalls have their full complement. Which led me to the inevitable conclusion that number five was also the favourite bathroom stall of a whole lot of other people. And I don’t want to use the same bathroom stall as everyone else because I like to imagine that when I sit down, I’m sitting on a pristine seat, and that’s impossible to do when you know that it’s being overused compared to the other stalls. Hence my decision to change to number four. So 1) if Jeffrey can write a whole paragraph about his favourite bathroom stall, then he’s my f*cking doppelganger.

Other Ways Jeffrey and I Might Be Alike:

2) Is Jeffrey the King of Worst Case Scenarios?

Continuing on the bathroom theme for a second, we were working offsite when the inciting conversation happened. And if you think I have an issue with sharing 5 stalls with about 30 women, imagine how I feel about sharing a public washroom of ten stalls with around 500 of them. Luckily, there was a trailer on site with portable toilets. The last time we were there, the trailers were the fancy “wedding bathrooms”, all kitted out with wood trim, soft music, and scented hand soap, so I was quite excited to foray out into the parking lot. I was in for a nasty shock though, when I went in and it was just a single, rather bland stall, but there WAS a lot of toilet paper. Anyway, as I was sitting there, I realized that the whole trailer was on a slant, with the front leaning a bit more forward than it should, and that the only window and door were on that wall, and if the trailer fell over, they would be flat on the ground. I had a horrible vision then of the whole thing toppling and I started looking for a roof hatch and whatnot so that I could plan my escape from a sewage-y demise. And I wished that Jeffrey was there with me—not actually IN the bathroom, but available for advice. I’m sure between the two of us, we could have come up with a terrific plan.

3) Is Jeffrey afraid of demons?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how I learned that I’m not the only one to do certain things. This was the one idiosyncrasy that I forgot about, even though I had made note of it in my phone. Like many people, apparently, I can’t dangle any part of my body off the edge of my bed because I’m secretly worried that a demon, or a ghost, or a serial killer might be hiding under it, and will grab said body part and tear it off. Or lick it, like the urban myth where the woman thinks it’s her dog but it’s not. When I was about 13 years old, I read Stephen King’s novel Salem’s Lot, and became so terrified of vampires that I hung my late great-grandmother’s cross on my headboard. Every night, I would leap into bed from the middle of the room, as one does, avoiding whatever might be under the bed (later it was the clown with the wind-up nose from Poltergeist that I was worried about), and then touch the cross to ward off the vampires. I no longer have a cross nor do I leap across the room, but my limbs will always stay within the confines of the covers.

4) Is Jeffrey’s Favourite Colour Purple?

Because mine is. The other day, a very nice man stopped me on the street to compliment me by telling me that he loved how my hair and my handbag matched. I don’t know a lot about Jeffrey—well, nothing really—but if he’s a man with purple hair and a lavender Kate Spade bag then Ken is going to have to step up his game.

5) Is Jeffrey slightly OCD?

On Friday, I told Ken about Jeffrey and that I was really concerned that my colleague meant I was like Jeffrey because we were both weird, so I asked him, “In what ways do you think I’m weird?” He thought and thought for so long that I said, “Are you in your nothing box right now?” and he said, “No! I’m still thinking about what you asked me, but I can’t come up with anything.”

Me: I don’t f*cking believe you.
Ken: Maybe Jeffrey swears a lot.
Me: If he’s like me, then clearly he does. Seriously. You can’t think of a single thing I do that’s weird?
Ken: No, sorry.
Me: Come on, Ken! I can think of 5 things off the top of my head RIGHT NOW that are weird about you.

2 hours later…

Me: I forgot to tell you—I had a terrible dream last night.
Ken: What happened?
Me: I’d created a display of glassware on the ledge in the stairwell, and you’d taken it apart. You moved the pieces all over the house, and I had to find them and try to remember how I’d arranged them so that I could put the display back together. It was awful—I woke up in tears.
Ken: Ah. There is it. And was everything arranged in groupings of threes and fives?
Me: Obviously. I’m not an animal, KEN.
Ken: Weirdo.

So you can see my dilemma. I really want to know why Jeffrey and I are alike, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be for reasons that are just a tad off-kilter. We’re all back to work next week, so I’m determined to ask my colleague to elaborate. I’ll keep you posted.

(As an addendum, I have to say that even if Jeffrey showed up in a purple suit and had a bouquet of violets, he’d still have nothing on Ken, who just read this and said, “You should totally get a hidden camera and then you could find out for sure which bathroom stall is the least used.” Now there’s a man who understands me.)

My Author Interview

Last week, a blogger pal of mine put a call out to anyone who was interested in an author interview. Gareth of GJ  Stevens blog and I corresponded, and he’s just posted the interview that we did. Gareth is a writer of many genres, and has a fantastic series on his blog called “In The End” that he’s just on the verge of publishing into a novel series. His blog also has excellent advice for anyone who is interested in doing their own publishing. You can see the interview he and I did by clicking the link above. If you’ve ever wondered what I actually look and sound like, he’s included a link to the cable show that I appeared on to promote my last novel Smile. It’s fun to watch—I sound just like Jeffrey.

In other news, I just finished my new novel, The Dome. I’ve sent some mark-up copies to a couple of people for feedback, then it’s off to the publisher, who liked the sample chapters, so fingers crossed that they like the rest. Wish me luck!

Black and White Challenge Week 4

My Week 200: Where It All Began

This week is my 200th blog post, at least in its new form. I know a lot of you have been following me for a while, but I don’t know how many of you have been here from the beginning. In fact, I think the only people who read the first couple of weeks were related to me. So to celebrate, here, in all its glory, is the very first week. Bear in mind that this was almost 4 years ago. I don’t know if I’m funnier now than I was then, or vice versa but I hope you enjoy it anyway!

October 4, 2014

So I’ve decided to change things up a little bit because I’m not currently a mentor and don’t have a particular protégée that I can practice my educational mentorship on, so I’m turning this blog into a reflection up* the things that happen to me either in real-life or sometimes in my head, which are often even weirder. I can’t rename this blog because a) I am not that technologically proficient and I just spent 15 minutes trying to reset my email for this stupid site and I still don’t think it worked and b) educationalmentorship is kind of an ironic title in a lot of ways.

So here’s some of my week.

Wednesday, also known as the day I realize I really can’t tell stories orally that well.

So I was sitting around with a couple of colleagues and we were talking about how people use the comment tool on almost anything now to slag people for very minimal reasons and say some pretty nasty things because they think the internet makes them anonymous even when their names and pictures are RIGHT NEXT TO THE COMMENT. I launched into what I thought was a very clever tale about how I’m a member of a buy and sell group on Facebook, and how recently a local candidate for town council was totally taken to task when someone posted a warning about break-ins in the area, and he commented that part of his election platform was to help prevent crime. (On a side note, he was very vague and I don’t know how he’s going to prevent crime unless he means he’s going to prowl the streets of our town at night like some badass ninja vigilante). Anyway, I described the nasty backlash he got “for trying to exploit the situation to win the election” and I ended with something like “it was too bad, really.” Then I realized that my colleagues are looking at me a little blankly, almost expectantly, liked there should be more to the story, and then I also realized that my story had no real thesis, which everyone knows a good story should have, and that I’d missed the most important element to the story, the plot twist, which was that the poor guy is only 19 years old and it’s his first foray in the political arena and he probably didn’t realize that people on buy and sell sites can be very fickle. I should just give up on trying to contribute to conversations altogether, and focus on writing things down, which is, of course, my thesis, and the conclusion to this story. Tada.


Did I really just encourage my students to smoke pot?? No. I. Did. Not. It was a total accident that can be explained in this very convoluted way. I was talking to my grade 12s about Titus Andronicus, Act 1, and two characters, brothers, who are trying to become emperor. In what I thought was an attempt to make things relevant, I said that Rome deserved a strong leader, and that just like Rome, so did Canada. I pointed out that the one brother was a lot like our Liberal candidate for  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in that he was relying on the goodwill of the people to get elected, just like Bassianus in the play, and that our current Prime Minister Stephen Harper was very much a Saturninus figure because he was relying on the fact that he was the “elder statesman”. Then one of the kids commented, “Justin Trudeau’s only platform is to legalize marijuana”, and I said, “See what I mean? He’s like the fun candidate, and Stephen Harper is the guy who won’t even admit to smoking marijuana and he’s a pretty grim guy in his sweater vests and all. He should really live a little.” And suddenly everyone was laughing, kind of hysterically, and I had this horrible epiphany that I might have just implied that marijuana and “living a little” should go hand in hand, which is totally not what I meant to do with a large group of 17 year olds. So I tried to clarify that I didn’t mean to say it like that, but the kids just kept laughing, and I kept digging myself into a deeper hole, until finally I just said, “Don’t do drugs. I don’t recommend them”, which sounded in retrospect not a great thing to say either. But it seemed to calm them down, and we moved on with the lesson. Will  I spend the next few days worrying about whether I get a call from an irate parent who is either upset about the marijuana thing or doesn’t like that I called Stephen Harper “grim”? Absolutely.


This morning I was in the staff bathroom at the school where we have International Languages on Saturday mornings drying my hands with the hand dryer because a) I had just washed them and b) I was freezing and the heat was awesome when I noticed a can of Febreze air freshener on top of the paper towel dispenser labelled “Alaskan Spring”. So I sprayed it because I’ve always wondered what spring in Alaska smelled like (does it really smell kind of like stale Old Spice cologne? Has anyone been to Alaska? If so, can you clarify this?) when it occurred to me that maybe other people had used it BEFORE they washed THEIR hands, and then I got all germaphobic-y and had to rewash my hands all over again. Yep. The thesis of this story is that you should always spray room freshener in a public bathroom BEFORE you’ve washed your hands, then you’re good to go. Or that Alaska smells like someone’s grandfather.

*Yes, I know that there’s a typo in the introduction. It’s there for a reason. Or maybe two reasons that are inextricably linked. While I was typing this blog, Ken came in and wanted to talk to me about something, I don’t know what (because I was typing, you see?). Ken is always going on about how people can’t really multi-task and then he was like, “Can’t you listen to me and type at the same time?” And then I made the typo, which just proves that a) no, I can’t multi-task KEN and b) it’s ironic that he’s always telling me that I can’t multi-task, then he insists that I do it.

*July 22nd, 2018

Happy Birthday to my amazing daughter K, who just turned 20. Yes, I am now the mother of a grown-up adult type person. To celebrate, we took her and her girlfriend, the lovely V, to Niagara Falls, where I am currently writing this bit on my phone. Last night we played Glow in the Dark mini-golf and I paid $35 for a hamburger, which pretty much sums up the Niagara Falls experience if you’re ever thinking of coming here. But the kids are having fun and that’s the main thing.

Black and White Challenge Week 3: Happy Birthday, K!

My Week 198: Soccer Vs. Rugby

Right now, all around the world, there’s a hum, a buzz, an undercurrent if you will. And what is the cause of this intense excitement, you might well ask. It’s World Cup Soccer. Yes, the so-called “beautiful game.” And while I like soccer to a certain extent, and have a history with it (which I’ll get to in a minute), I have to admit that watching professional international soccer can be about as exciting as watching a guy getting a haircut, if the guy getting the haircut kept falling out of the chair and crying because the air from the blowdryer was hurting his hair. But here are some of the problems with professional soccer:

1) Soccer Has An Identity Crisis

Person 1: Oh, boy! I’m going to a soccer game!
Person 2: Who’s playing?
Person 1: The Toronto Football Club against the New York Football Club.
Person 2: I thought you said you were going to a soccer game.
Person 1: Right!

This sport doesn’t even know what it is. Is it football? Because that’s what everyone outside of North America calls it. But here in North America, the soccer teams are called “football clubs” as in, you PLAY soccer FOR a football club, which is super-confusing. Apparently, the word “soccer” comes from 1800s English slang for “association football”. So if the English invented the term, why don’t THEY use it? Personally, I think it was just the Brits taking revenge on the Americans for saying Zee instead of Zed. As was the invention of American football in a tavern somewhere long ago:

1800s American Dude: So what is this football of which you speak?
1800s English Dude: Ah yes, “football”. You will need full body armour like ye knights of olde, an oval ball made from the skin of a pig slaughtered under the full moon, the mathematical skills of Pythagoras in order to understand the rules, and the ability to dance a merry jig in the “end zone”.
1800s American Dude: Cool. We’re on it.
1800s English Dude: *pounds back flagon of ale and snickers*

2) Soccer Is Very Time-Consuming

Now, don’t get me wrong—I’m not a soccer-hater. I just find that “major league” soccer has turned into a game where the object is to play keep-away with a ball for 90 minutes (plus penalty time for all the guys who were writhing in agony because someone brushed against them), and you end up with a score of “nobody to f*ck-all”. It’s incredibly time-wasting. In fact, I know people who PVR soccer games, then just play them on fast forward. This is a great idea when you think about it, because then everyone is running really fast, the ball is being passed like crazy, and the whole game takes less than twenty minutes . That’s a game I can get behind. Oh wait—I’m already behind THAT game. It’s called Rugby Sevens, which is an even faster-paced version of the already phenomenal game of rugby.

3) Soccer Is So Dramatic!

The main reason I like rugby is because of the tackling. The legal kind, not the sucky, sneaky, slide-y soccer kind which doesn’t really hurt but which prompts some pretty outrageous responses . I’m sorry, but if you go down on the field crying and holding your leg and rolling around like you’re dying, you should NOT get to run back on said field 30 seconds later. You SHOULD get an Oscar. Although I recognize that faking injuries happens in rugby too, most of the time if a rugby player goes down on the field screaming and crying, he’s going straight to the hospital and might never play again. But I’ve actually seen soccer games where play is delayed while a player is carried off on a stretcher, only to have him leap up on the sidelines and run back in moments later.


“All I said was ‘Good Morning’…”

By now, if you’re a true devotee of the game, you’re probably grumbling and saying to yourself, “What the hell does a middle-aged, secret agency worker know about soccer, anyway? Well, quite a bit, as it turns out, having coached it for several years. Let me tell you, there’s a big difference in the enjoyment level of any game when you have a stake in it, even if you’re staking your enjoyment on the capacity of 4 and 5 year olds to figure out how to pass a ball without tripping. Here’s how that particular phase of my life occurred: When K was 4, she wanted to play soccer. We took her to the local park for registration, and the convenor announced that there was no coach for the Super-Mini-PeeWee team, and if some parents didn’t step up and volunteer, they would have to cancel that age level. All the other parents hung their heads or started finding amazing things in the clouds, and there was K with her little face all excited, so Ken and I offered to coach the team. I hadn’t played soccer since I was a kid myself, and we had to get all the rule books and manuals and cram so that we were ready. Which, as it turns out, if you’ve ever watched 4 year-olds play soccer, was completely unnecessary. If you show a group of 4 year-olds a soccer ball, they will chase it in a large clump like a swarm of bees chasing Winnie the Pooh with his honey jar. And they will do it until they drop, despite your best efforts to come up with plays, or teach them to pass, or coerce them to stay in their position with promises of ice cream after the game. (We always bought them ice cream anyway. They were four years old—they were trying their best, dammit.)

Another thing about four year-olds, and if you know any, you’ll agree with this wholeheartedly, is that they have the attention spans of gerbils. For example, this was our team cheer:

Me: Are you ready?!
Team: Yes!
Me: 1, 2, —wait, where are you all going? No, don’t run on the field yet! You don’t know your positions! We haven’t even finished our cheer!

And if I had a dollar for every time one of my players stopped dead, bent down, picked a dandelion and ran over to give it to me, I could have bought a new whistle. But they WERE adorable little people, so I’d just tuck the dandelion behind my ear, smile and say, “Awesome! Now get back out there and kick that ball!” And if it wasn’t dandelions, it was “Look at this cool bug, Coach!” or “Can I have a Freezie yet?”

But of course the hardest part was when they would randomly start to cry, because they were little and easily forgot the point of what they were doing:

Me: Why are you crying? What happened?
Little Boy: I-I-I had-had the ball-ball, and that guy took it away from me. I NEVER get to keep the balllll! It’s not fair!
Me: Never mind, sweetie. Here, take this one. It’s ORANGE.

And then it would be MY fault that there was more than one ball on the field, but it didn’t really matter because we never actually kept score, being as there never WAS a score. In fact, if someone miraculously happened to get the ball in the net, it was a bit of a disaster, with no one being quite sure how it got in there, and the goalie crying. But as K got older, Ken and I graduated to older and older teams, until eventually we were coaching 13 year-olds who understood how the game was played, and cared about the score. And even then, it was fun, and exciting too, to see the same little girl who was plucking grass just a few years before now manoeuvering the ball to rival Beckham.

And maybe that’s the whole point. I love a game when I’m actively involved and I’m working with a group of kids who are super-enthusiastic despite their varying skill levels, but I just find sitting and watching grown men falling down and pretending to be hurt for millions of dollars a little obnoxious, which is why I prefer rugby. And what the hell do you know about rugby anyway, mydangblog? Well, once again, I coached rugby for many years, both Girls’ Varsity and Senior Boys. It was one of the true joys of my life, and it’s the one thing I absolutely miss about being a classroom teacher, aside from actually being in the classroom, which I also loved. Here are my two favourite rugby memories:

1) Holding a tackle bag during practice and having one of my huge new props come running at me, hit me hard, and knock me ass over teakettle. I lay on the ground, in pain but laughing hysterically as she rushed over almost in tears.

“Oh my god, Coach! I’m so sorry!” she said.

“No worries,” I answered. “Just do THAT on the field.”

2) At the end of my last season with the Senior Boys’, we lost the quarter final game. My captain started to cry. Not because we’d lost, but because he was graduating, and the team had been like family to him. Then more boys started crying, then I started crying because I was so proud of them for being such wonderful human beings. And they call soccer the beautiful game.

Of course, there were awkward or stressful moments, like having a referee look around totally perplexed then ask me, “So where’s the coach?” because I was the only female Senior Boys’ coach at the time, or having to take my hooker (don’t laugh—it’s a legitimate position) to the med tent to get her chin stitched up after a terrible collision in a tournament that left her with a fractured jaw. And then having to call her mother and explain what was going on.  And there were funny random moments too, like having to request that the boys use the porta-a-potties, NOT the trees, or reminding players that ALL piercings, visible or otherwise, had to be removed before a game.

So, yes, I’ve done both soccer and rugby; I’ve stood on many a pitch in the pouring rain, sleet, hail, bitter winds, and gorgeous spring days alike. I’ve wiped tears, handed out lollipops, carried equipment bags, bandaged raked shins, and done concussion protocol checks.  And I f*cking miss it. So we come full circle, around to where I started. I still don’t like major league soccer, but when I wake up on a Saturday morning and hear the screams of excited laughter and cheering from kids at the soccer park a block away, I smile. And then I put on TSN and watch rugby.

Black and White Challenge.


(Happy Anniversary, Ken–you’re the best husband a girl could ask for!)

My Week 197: The Joys of Gardening, Plants I Hate

“What the f*ck is up with raspberries?!” I asked Ken in the car yesterday. Ken looked simultaneously taken aback by the question yet somehow not very surprised at the way it was put to him.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Isn’t the whole point of fruit, of virtually EVERYTHING alive on this planet, to procreate and spread in the most efficient way possible? Like cherries, for example. Birds and tree-rats eat them, then they poop out the pits somewhere else where a new cherry tree can form.”

“I’m missing the point,” Ken answered. “Why are you so mad at raspberries?”

“Because they’re f*cking stupid! AND passive-aggressive. The berries are on top, all beautiful and beckoning, and then you get in there and it’s like being attacked by a school of piranhas. No wonder they’re almost extinct.”

“Yeah, I don’t think that’s true,” said Ken.

“Well, they should be! They’re stupid. That’s their slogan: Raspberries—The Stupid Fruit.”

Right now, you might be wondering exactly what prompted my anti-raspberry rant. Then again, if you’ve ever tried to pick raspberries, you probably know. Yes, that morning I had gone out with a bowl and a very optimistic attitude, forgetting as I do every year that raspberries are the devil’s spawn. Sure, they taste delicious, but isn’t that just part of their evil charm? It’s like when you see a cat, and it looks so adorable and squishy, and it bats its eyes at you and rolls over, then you try to rub its tummy and it grabs your hand and bites you. Raspberries are essentially the cats of the fruit world. And the worst part is, I didn’t even plant them—they just appeared, thousands of them, from god knows where. But I thought, I might as well take advantage of the situation. Unfortunately,  I came back into the house with a small bowl of berries and huge gashes on my arms and legs. At one point, I was so caught up in the thorns that I couldn’t move without ripping my T-shirt and pajama bottoms (yeah, PAJAMAS. Don’t judge me—it was only 10 am and it was Saturday). I’m sure the neighbours were a little concerned when I started screaming, “Let me go, you m*therf*cker!!” Although as a side-note, the police never arrived and now I’m seriously doubting the competency of our Neighbourhood Watch.

I was attacked just taking this picture.

But my ire isn’t reserved solely for the dreaded raspberry bush. I also hate a few other stupid plants:

1) Black Walnut Trees

These are the scourge of the forest. Nothing will grow under their “drip line”, which sounds really disgusting but that’s what tree people call it. And their nuts are SAVAGE. They drop down at the slightest hint of a breeze, and it’s like they’re TRYING to kill you. We have one in our front yard that’s over 80 feet high, and I swear there’s an evil sprite that lives in it, whose only job is to throw walnuts at people. Remember the episode of the Twilight Zone where William Shatner is a passenger on an airplane and he sees a gremlin ripping the wing apart but no one will believe him? I believe him, because that thing lives in my walnut tree now. And it’s in league with the squirrels, who keep burying the nuts all over my yard, causing new black walnut trees to spring up in random places like the middle of a flower bed, beside the pond, or up through the floorboards of the porch. You can’t even ignore them, because they grow so damned fast—one minute it’s 4 inches high; two days later, you need a chainsaw to cut it down. They’re perfect for annoying other people though. Yesterday, my mom told me that my brother’s neighbours had built this monstrosity of a garage overlooking his backyard. She wanted to know what he could plant that would grow quickly and block it out. “A Black Walnut Tree”, I said. The best revenge is slimy, green, and will give you a concussion.

2) Tall Flox

This flower is the bane of my existence, as invasive as daylilies but with worse foliage. Trying to get rid of them is almost impossible—you pull out one, and ten more pop up in its place. You exhaust yourself digging them all out and you think you finally got rid of them, but the next year, they’re all back again. The only one I like has pink and white candy striped petals, and it’s the only one that WON’T GROW.

3) Dandelions

If their flowers were pink and white striped, I would have no complaint. I just don’t like yellow.

4) Orchids

Someone gave me an orchid once. It was a gift, I suppose. After a week, the flowers fell off. Three years later, and I still have three leaves and a stick. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has an orchid with flowers on it. At work, there are several people who also have plant pots full of leaves and sticks. Two weeks ago, it was a co-worker’s birthday and she was given an orchid. We all stood around ooh-ing and aw-ing: “In a couple of weeks, that’s going to be a very lovely stick!” People say, “Don’t water your orchid–give it one ice cube a week.” Frankly, I think that’s a waste of good ice. And why are the roots always growing out of the pot? They’re like tentacles reaching out to strangle you, but they can’t because they’re too weak from the cold.

4 years later–not even a stick anymore.

Now, don’t get me wrong—I love my garden and ALMOST everything in it. I have some beautiful hostas, which are so hardy that you can apparently plant them upside down and they’ll still grow. Actually, I find that a little disturbing, like the way your hair and fingernails continue to grow after death, but they’re pretty. And I have peonies, and bergamot, and roses, and hollyhocks that suddenly just appeared in the perfect spot in a flowerbed as if I’d put them there deliberately. I made jam last weekend with the cherries from our own tree (certified organic, which also means that I had to break open EVERY SINGLE CHERRY to make sure there were no worms in them). Later this summer, I’ll make jelly with quince from a bush that sprang from an old pear tree because I am THAT f*cking earthy.

Cherries: The Friendly Fruit.

So Happy Canada Day everyone, even if you aren’t Canadian. I’m going to celebrate by putting on a hazmat suit and picking more raspberries, because Canadians are nothing if not determined, and I have a cheesecake to make.

The Mystery Guest