May 25, 2009
a ribbon of parties

I'm all stuffed up today. I had a lot of marking to do this weekend, but when I got tired last night at 7:30, I decided to put it off until this morning. Gah. I am not suited to waking up at 5, no matter what the motivation. I've been sniffly and sneezy all day, which I hope will be cured when I go to bed early tonight. My biggest problem is that I already go to bed at nine; if I want to push my bedtime back, eventually I'm going to have to start taking my pj's to work.

The reason I was so tired was because I planned too much this weekend, which isn't at all typical of me except on days that start with S. During the week I'm as slack as a sack; it's only on weekends that I try to transform into a superachieving hero. This was the first weekend of the Brickworks, so we planned to start the vegetable garden on Saturday with all of our new seedlings. But after the glorious return to the market, a quick trip to the Distillery District, and a few stops on Queen West, we were all burnt out. Instead of planting, we spent Saturday afternoon recovering...which is sort of ironic, when you consider that this set us up for a Sunday of extrabusyness.

It was a good morning, though. There is actual food at the market, which is a wondrous change from a long winter of dwindling root vegetable supplies and various preserves. In addition to a bunch of seedlings, we got lettuce, buns and wild leeks for a glorious burger barbeque. Blake made friends with every dog he saw, and he was overjoyed to see the Cloud 9 soap lady again (we've been counting the baths until he gets to buy his favourite soap.) She was so impressed with his enthusiasm that she gave him a free bath bomb with his honey ginger soap; a lovely transaction and I was proud of him. I didn't really mean for him to spend his treat money on soap when I would have bought it for him, but they were both so pleased with themselves that I thought it churlish to interfere.

Also notable: Blake discovered that he likes empanadas. This was supposed to be a depth of field shot, but while I was taking it he went after the empanada like a land shark.


There was also a book table, which greatly simplified my birthday party shopping for the weekend. (Hey, I'm a nerd. I give nerd gifts so as to propagate my species.) As much as it could be simplified, I mean: our first party was for a girl I didn't know, and when asked, Blake told me she wanted a donkey toy. What? No further sense could be extracted from Blake. Imagine my surprise when the book table included cute wooden animal toys. We got our donkey, Blake got a new kids' cookbook with illustrations by Jay Stephens, and our birthday girls got beautifully illustrated books on seeds. Blake took his book to a table to read, meanwhile, Mason & I spent many happy minutes seriously considering which seedlings to buy. We left loaded up, just as the place started to get uncomfortably crowded.

We stopped by the Distillery so that Mason could give a bartender friend of his some of the beer we'd bought in Watertown. As the Distillery was in the middle of a craft fair, this turned into a longer visit than we'd expected. Blake made friends with a crafter who admired his knit Tick; he then thought it was hilarious to run away and go talk to her while Mason & I fanned out and tried not to panic. I suppose since her business card is pinned on his bulletin board, this counts as his first pick-up.

gets card

After this, the day got progressively less fun by degrees. We went to Fresh Collective for a new shrug; while I sorted through the various offerings, Blake (emboldened by his romantic success) dived under the sewing table in the back and flirted shamelessly while Mason tried to keep him from making a mess. Next was a disappointing trip to Rotate This for the new Apostle of Hustle & Years albums, which meant a detour to Soundscapes (buying music has become more complicated since we decided we preferred vinyl.) And then one more stop for yarn to fix the sweater Blake ripped last week, and we were on our way home. Once there, we discovered that the shed key was missing, meaning our plants would be staying in flats for at least a night.

I think we gave up then. Dinner was lovely, but tired. I decided to plant in the morning, before the first of the two parties. It didn't seem likely, but it was worth a shot.

Imagine my surprise when I was up at 7:30 the next morning, and ready to plant by 8. We got all the seedlings in the ground and started a few of the seed packets (there are still about a half dozen packs to be planted). Blake helped as best he could (i.e. when he remembered what he was doing) and my dad was there to drill holes in my stump. I've got this stump in my front yard, and this year I got the crazy idea that I would make it into a rock garden. The only thing was, the wood wasn't co-operating. I had envisioned a rough, pocketed surface, but my dad kept bringing in power tools that weren't very precise, and he kept forgetting that I didn't want the whole centre removed. Tempers frayed. I can't remember whose idea it was to bring rocks from the back and pile them on the stump, but it was brilliant. I added compost and my sad, dried out little rock garden plants. Voila! Instant rock garden. I just wish I'd thought of it before all the chipping and sawing and yelling.


I cleaned up and changed myself and Blake, and we were on our way to party #1. It was a small party, just a half dozen kids and that many adults. I'm pretty shy, so I hadn't expected to talk to anyone but Mason, but I surprised myself by being really outgoing and having a blast. Blake also had a blast, running around, playing with his new car toy (a bingo prize) and telling secrets.

Blake: "Daddy moved out because Mommy was mad at him all the time."
Me: "Hey! You don't have to tell everyone that. Just say that he moved out because he hated birthday parties."


Everything moved along quickly and soon it was time to go to party #2. We thanked our hosts profusely and walked back through to the park on the way home. Our second party was in the city, so after grabbing the second present, we were off to see Gamers, Former Gamers and Gamers v2.0. Sometimes I wish I didn't only see this crowd at birthday parties, but I suppose I should be grateful that I see anyone at all, stuck in the suburbs as I am.


Eaten: two hotdogs, two burgers, three allergy pills, three Diet Cokes, two pieces of birthday cake, various chips and snacks. Will my stomach ever recover? Maybe…but today I have a craving for pink streamers and pointy hats that mere food won't satisfy.

(As always, click through the pictures for more.)

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