My mother-in-law: A short story by LG

Posted on

I’m going to start by stating that I hit the jackpot when it comes to my mother-in-law. She’s pretty much the nicest, kindest most thoughtful person you could possibly meet. She helps us out so much with the dogs and is just so incredibly thoughtful. Thoughtful occasionally bordering on hilarity – like in December when she went to Costco and bought us 48 rolls of toilet paper, ‘just because’.

Along with all kinds of wonderful, she is also a little… slow on the uptake, let’s say. Now, my husband claims she is a very different person since she had a brain aneurysm about 15 years ago (surgery, coma, rehabilitation – the whole 9 yards) but I never her knew her before. I think like many aging parents, there is so much in her head, occasionally thought processes aren’t as clear as they once were.

Am I being harsh? I hope not. Anywho… now a little more back story.

I get up early – like really early. My most productive time of the day is from 5 or 6am until 11am. No phone calls, the dogs are mellow and few emails mean I’m taking care of business left and right. After walking the dogs and lunch, maybe 1 – 2pm-ish, I’m pretty burnt out, as I usually fall asleep around 11pm, so I like to take an hour and just chill. If I fall asleep -awesome!

I come from a family of nappers. My father napped every afternoon (self-employed) as did his father (politician, funny but true), so that and combined with my work habits and sleep patterns, I really don’t beat myself up about this hour of afternoon luxury.

It seems like just about everyday someone calls during my moments of down time. It’s usually either my mom or my mother-in-law. I swear that they have some sort of ESP when it comes to the worst time to call.

So… now the story. To set the scene, I’m a little groggy as I had just fallen asleep… and the phone rings.

LG – Hello?

MIL – Oh hi Liz, I’m not bothering you am I? (see, like I said, seriously nice. If she knew I was indeed napping she would have felt terrible for days and might try to make up for it by buying us tomatoes or something).

LG – Nope, just working away. (at napping, damnit!)

MIL – (laughing) Oh, okay good. I’m just wondering, can you get right to I-75 off the bridge now? (The bridge to the US had a major change a few years ago, FYI)

LG – Yep, coming off the bridge you have two options, just take the option for I-75.

MIL – You don’t have to go around anymore to go north?

LG – (ummm… you never had to go around to go north, only south… through a sketchy neighbourhood – Hotel Yorba anyone?) Ummm, nope.

MIL – So you can get right on I-75 north from the bridge?

LG – (ummm… well known fact if you live where we live… you take the bridge to easily go south on I-75, and the tunnel to easily go north on I-75… it saves merging 4 times through downtown Detroit…) Yep.

MIL – Oh, that’s good because I’m going to Ann Arbor.

LG – (ummm… Ann Arbor is nowhere near I-75 north or south) Oh, well then you’d want to take 1-94 west.

MIL – I-94?

LG – Yep, like you’re going to the airport, but just keep going. It takes you right near Ann Arbor.

MIL – Ohhh.

LG – It’s easy to get to right off the bridge.

MIL – Oh, that’s good.

LG – Whatcha going to Ann Arbor for?

MIL – Me and Elsie are going there for lunch. (I look at the clock… it’s 2:30pm…)

LG – Today?

MIL – Oh no, maybe in a week or two. I might be going to London next week.

LG – (Oh, I understand the immediate need for directions then… ) Oh, what’s in Ann Arbor?

MIL – There’s a great fish and chip restaurant in the south, I forget what it’s called, but in Michigan it’s called The Chop House.

LG – (Well, that makes perfect sense… a fish and chip place that sounds like a steak house). Well it must be pretty good to make that trip (Ann Arbor is about 1.5 hours away, plus any time delayed at the border).

MIL – It really is. Plus I’m thinking about it now because I’m hungry because I’m on a diet.

LG – (Ah… it all makes sense now!) That sounds good. Howabout next time I’m over I pull up Ann Arbour on a map so you know where to go.

MIL – Great, thanks! Okay, well, I’ll talk to you later then, have a great day.

LG – Thanks, you too.

Yep… just another day in the life. Honestly I appreciate the entertainment, however poorly timed!

Happy birthday to my sister!

Posted on Updated on

Today is my sister’s 50th birthday!

Here’s a few thoughts.

I can’t believe you’re 50!

Growing up, I couldn’t help but look up to you. You always protected me from the boys. I remember the first time I ever swore (I honestly didn’t know what it meant, I heard it from a lady on a train!), we were getting into the green truck, and you went in the house to tell mom (I hope you two were laughing about it – I was 6 after all!).

I remember a boyfriend bringing you flowers, and I was blown away. I thought you were so cool. Once a guy stayed over in the little bedroom (you were a bit older then!) and I remember his feet stinking up all of upstairs.

You moved to London and St. Thomas when I was about 8, and you were 18. Looking back I can’t believe how independent you were at such a young age. You really never looked back from that, living with us again when you were about 24 for a year. I loved being in your room watching Dynasty and Moonlighting. You taught me about make-up, (I swear I still have tweezers that I ‘borrowed’ from you when I was 14!) and some things about boys that I still wish I didn’t know!

I loved when you’d take me to the beach, and we’d buy fresh black cherries on the side of the road. I remember your orange Capri and your blue Escort – with a sunroof – you were just the coolest! The first time I ever drove a stick was on North Talbot and Cameron Side Road in the VW bug – I was only 15!

When you moved into the city, I loved to visit you – I won’t say in this post how old I was when you’d make me alcoholic beverages, but I remember Tia Maria and milk! I felt so grown up hanging around you and your apartment.

When you were promoted at your old job, what adventures we had then! Remember our driver in Jamaica ‘Geoffrey’ who had pull over and ‘wash his face’ every half hour! The food baskets (the bright little red balls are not berries, but caviar, ewww!), the complimentary champagne you received where ever we stayed – and the crab in our room! I was so lucky to have the chance to see so much of that country because of you. The rafting trip down the Rio Grande was awesome. I’ve never stayed in a place as nice as San Souci in Ocho Rios – I’ll never forget that!

Then there was Ireland. We are so lucky to have that week together! The endless cheese sandwiches, vegetable soups, pubs, pints, stressful driving, castles. The German! Is that Tom Foley’s Pub?! The Guinness in the airport during our flight delay! The painful refueling in Newfoundland! I remember being so annoyed with your constant picture taking, but now I’m so grateful – some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. What a trip! I still have the marked map that we followed that week.

A year later we went to England with mom. Again, an experience I will always remember and treasure! I’m so glad we did that all together. Once in a lifetime kind of thing. So nice being at Madeline’s and touring the city and country. Bath was the best. The day in Paris was so cool.

Remember the night before my wedding in Vegas at Harrah’s? Kim kept calling you by the wrong name! I’m so glad you came to Vegas and were there for my wedding.

You’ve married, had Myles, divorced and are now with Jim. Your life has improved exponentially, and I’m sometimes envious (in a good way!) of your weekly adventures to the wineries, markets, and fun events.

I’m so proud that you took that little idea we had at Mexican Village and have built a successful business. You’ve beaten the odds. Amazing really.

You’ve always be one of the kindest, most generous, hard working person I’ve ever known. If anyone asks me about you, I always say, “She’s the nicest person you’ll ever meet.” Through all these times you’ve had personal struggles, things going on that neither I, nor anyone can help you with, but I hope you know that I love you and will always be here for you in any way I can.

We should really make a better effort of seeing each other more and doing more together. I only have one sister!

I have a million little memories big and small of the time we’ve had together, and it’s shaped who I am. So cheers to another 50 years!

Happy birthday! Love,


001 - Copy(Let’s go to the UK again!)

Future and past

Posted on Updated on

Here is a pic of my mom and my niece on their recent trip to Florida… Mackenzee looks like I did when I was 13, and seeing as I look like my mom when she was my age… I guess this is what's to come.. 😉


Read and post comments | Send to a friend


Posted on

The week-end has seemed to have escaped me. Where did it go? Let's review:

Friday: Billy had the boys over and I hung about, not really wanting to sleep at my mom's, (no heat upstairs), so I ended up in our room with the TV on… Billy had fun.

Saturday Billy took his mom out to shop for cars and she ended up ordering a new Ford Edge. Sweet. I'm trying to think of excuses to borrow it. So far I haven't come up with any.

I finished painting the office on Saturday, and it looks nice, it's a little darker than what we have, and *greener*. A little too green I think to do the entire house in… I think it would like nice in the bathrooms, we'll see I guess. I estimate to paint am 11 X 12 room from beginning to the end takes me 14 hours. There are only 2 touch ups, and then a few spots I need to fix with primer when the tape pulled the paint off. Super. So all in all worth it, and I'm planning my next room this week…

Last night our camping friends ventured our way and took us out to dinner in Essex. Who knew that Essex has a nice restaurant? DiVino was awesome and we had great food, conversation, wine and dinner, oh and they treated! How cool is that? They came back to our house after with their daughter and we had a few drinks and laughs. It was a great night.

Did I mention that it's frickin' freezin' outside? According to MSN, right now it is 10*F. That's cold. The wind chill makes it feel like -8*F. Brr. I haven't been outside yet today, (Billy did a coffee run, good man) but I have to go to (crinch) church later for Jake's confirmation, then over to MomG's for dinner.

Right now in Green Bay the actual temperature is -6*F and the wind chill makes it feel like -27*F. That's going to be one damned cold football game today! Brr!

Life is great, really!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


Posted on

It's Friday, and the week flew by.

Yesterday I painted the ceiling, doors and trim of our office. So far, so good. We're trying a colour in here first to see if we like it enough to continue it throughout our house. There is one, possibly 2 more colours we'd like to try, we'll see how this colour works out. It goes on tomorrow while Billy is taking his mom out to test drive some Fords… I hope she buys the Edge and gives it to me, (just kidding, really I have a practically brand new Fusion… but those Edges are pretty sweet….)

Today I cleaned the house, which worked out great because:

1) I would have wanted to paint otherwise, and it's better if the trim and ceiling sit for an extra day before I tape everything up…

2) Billy is having the guys over tonight.

3) I think our camping friends are coming over tomorrow, as we're all going out to dinner for JB's birthday, can't wait, should be fun!

So, good to have a clean house.

Tonight I'm having dinner with Billy, Davey and BW. I'm going to have a couple of drinks then meander over to my mom's house and stay the night. I may try to sneak home later as we have the TV in our bedroom now to A) keep me entertained and B) block out the noisy boys. We'll see, did I mention that my mom has not turned her heat on upstairs yet? Did I mention that is supposed to be 12*F tonight? Yeah, I might sneak home…

It should be a great week-end!


Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Not what I expected

Posted on Updated on

Yesterday morning, I was looking forward to a nice quiet day at home. Since Billy was working in Leamington, he agreed to stop in Kingsville to pick up the few groceries that we needed, of course he spent over $120…. anyway… I had a few things to do around the house and was planning on settling in on the couch to read my book, (which I'm enjoying BTW).

MomG called and started by saying what a nice day it was. Nice, yes, if you like 30*F, but it was sunny and not particularly windy. "What a great day to go to the Point!" she said… Hmm, well I can't turn her down after all she does for us, and I suppose going for a nice walk and getting the pooch and myself some much needed exercise can't hurt.

She picked us up and we're off! I have hat, scarf, mittens, water, leash, collar, and camera.

Well let me tell you, it was cold! The wind was blowing from the west, but once we were on the path, the trees really blocked the wind, and it was perfect.

It snowed 2 inches the night before and we had the place to ourselves. Halia was in Heaven!

Here are some pics, there are more on my flickr site.





Read and post comments | Send to a friend


Posted on

I noticed that I haven't posted anything for 3 days. How unlike me! Oh, where to begin…

1) I feel better, thank god

2) I've read 5 books already this year, that's what I might have been doing

3) I had a little visit with a resident of 'Crazy Town' on the week-end

4) The surprise birthday party went really well on Saturday night. It was a good time, and required an hour phone conversation a day later to recap the highlights

5) I can't believe that Indy lost. Poor Payton!

6) Dear Payton Manning,

See what happens when you don't try your hardest in the last week of regular play? I warned you! Maybe if you had a good game (and not looked so happy about the backup quarterback playing instead of you…) against Tennessee two weeks ago, you wouldn't be in that 'losing' frame of mind, and you would have beat San Diego on Sunday! Not to mention if you beat Tennessee, then Cleveland would be in the play-offs…. Are you consoling yourself knowing you won last year? Because your little brother is in the quarter finals? (That's what my husband thought…) I think you'd rather be playing on Sunday… So next year, play your hardest every game!

7) 2 kids slept over on Friday night. Myles and his friend. MacNZ went home at 1am (wasn't feeling well) and Jake ended up staying in Essex at a friend's house. I picked them up at the dance at 10, and although MacNZ warned me that there is a lot of traffic, there was a cop directing traffic! Over 200 kids attend this dance every month! Crazy!

8) I hope to make wonton soup this week

9) It's 9:17am, and I'm hungry

10) That's all folks!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


Posted on

I'm feeling better, and looking forward to the week-end.

The kids (at least 2 of them) are sleeping over tonight. Actually we're getting off pretty easy because I'm picking them up from a dance at 10pm. Makes my evening easier…

Tomorrow night we are going to a surprise birthday party, which should be great, BUT, of course someone I try to avoid will be there. The problem is, you never know which version of her you're going to get! Sometimes normal, sometimes gushy, sometimes uber bitch faced…. you just never know. It keeps me on my toes I guess… there will be lots of people there to keep her away from me…

I'm grateful for feeling better today and to my husband who takes great care of me when I'm sick.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Some holiday photos

Posted on Updated on

Here are some holiday pics for your viewing pleasure…

This was Halia's holiday picture. I discovered from BW that I (we) are not the only childless couple that sends out holiday cards featuring a picture of our pooch. Good to know that we are not alone!

Billy posing with MacNZ's pillow. I like his other face better!

Myles, Kaitlyn, Jim and Terry on Christmas morning, oh and Rat too. 

This is Rat the amazing drooling cat, (Gus lookalike) admiring the Christmas insanity. Rat hasn't a tail (t'was a very bad car accident) please don't tell him, he may get a complex about it. After his surgery my mom changed the spelling of his name to $$$Rhatt$$$ (the dollar signs are silent).

Me and Madisyn on Christmas morning. One is certainly cuter than the other.


Here lies Halia chewing on a bone amongst her Christmas booty. Spoiled dog!

Billy and BoBo. We all had our pictures taken with BoBo. I bet you can guess what the bottam of this picture depicts… typical male! 

Billy and Barry admiring the fancy dancing by Kiks, Jim or Beth.

Kiki celebrating her boxing victory with Jim looking on in (perhaps envious?) in the background.

Beth reveling in her boxing triumph. We kicked ass.


Fun, fun, fun.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Of and about New Years

Posted on Updated on

Yesterday afternoon I was still recovering in bed and when Billy came in to check on me, I told him that I hated 2008. It ain't great.

I had a hang-over to beat all hang-overs, and I thought is was going to be a hang-forever because I felt mc'shitty until about 8pm. Yes, 8pm.

I must say that this New Years was absolutely fantastic. The night flew by! The dinner was exceptional, (if I do say so myself), the friends, the laughs, the games, the drinks, the snacks, the hot tub, (it was really windy and snowy…) everything. Best of all, Billy and I had a great time, and he totally helped out with food and cleaning up whilst I entertained… (watching me DDR is entertaining…)


This is why you don't Dance Dance with a cocktail:


I also would like to thank my friends that came over. I hope that you had as good of a time as we did.

Lastly, (well nearly) I love our house. It is so perfect for what we do. We're able to all be in the same room, some boxing, or playing tennis while others are snacking and conversing. It works so well for us, and it makes me happy.

Now re: resolutions, I don't really have any that warrant reviewing. Be a good person, possibly attempt to earn some money, (l love having no pressure to do so…) be a better wife, daughter, friend, dog mom: read more, and spend less time watching TV… etc, etc, etc.

All the best to y'all.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend