Dear Roundys

Dear Roundys,

As a generic brand you are good, but you are still a generic brand, jack of all trades, master at none but the low price.

I have no problem with that.  You fill your niche in the market place well and many of your items have graced our shelves. But recently an item of yours has come into my home that I have a real issue with. It is a box of kitchen matches.

It’s not that I mind that every seventh match breaks in half. And I can deal with the fact that the striker on the side of the box wore out at an alarming rate, forcing me to use the bits on the corners in short quick bursts. No, it’s the coloring of the packaging that I have an issue with.

This box of kitchen matches looks very similar from the top, and from the bottom.

Why is this an issue you ask? We heat our house with wood.  Therefore, every morning this winter found me crouched in front of the wood stove rekindling the fire. Chilly, bleary eyed, attempting to function before my morning tea at an admittedly sub par level I would lay my fire, reach for the matches, slide open the box and – matches all over the floor. You see when the top looks frighteningly similar to the bottom, it’s very easy to open upside down. And when you open that box upside down, the nice sliding “drawer” turns into a nice sliding “dump.” And the quick lighting of the fire turns into pick up sticks – again.

It has occurred to me that the reason my matches had such a high breakage rate was due to their rough handling. This I believe to be good news as with a bit of color change in your printing both problems will be resolved.

Other than the issues above, your matches preformed beautiful and I would be happy to purchase them again, after the box receives the much needed overhaul.

Thank you for your time and your consideration of this serious problem,

A Freezing and Frustrated Fire-starter




That’s My Girl!

See this girl:Ivy with an Easter Egg

This morning, after she left for school, I found she had left this sweet, little package for me:

"to mom these bunny ears are for you Ivy"

“to mom these bunny ears are for you Ivy”

The ears of her chocolate bunny, left for her mother to enjoy!

Isn’t she the best, kindest and most thoughtful daughter ever?!?

Or… last years genius talk of it being bad luck not to let your mom eat your bunny ears really sunk in and she’s worried about finding next year’s basket.Ivy with bunny Snowberry

Either way, I washed down my lunch with a set of bunny ears. I’m going with best daughter ever on this one!

(Read all about my “Evil or Genius?” plot from last year and then try it on your own kids- it seems to be working!)


Black Jelly Beans

Today John observed that the only people who like black jelly beans are those who are so old they were alive before they invented good flavors for candy.

This seems to have the potential to be highly insulting to those of you who may like black jelly beans (you know, like my Dad), so I’m just going to leave that one as John’s observation.

My own observation concerns our cat, gypsy. Gypsy found herself a black jelly bean and loved it. She threw it on the floor and batted it, and chased it and carried it around. Me, being me, took her picture, looked down, checked the photo and made my own observation.

The only cats who like black jelly beans are those who have been taken over by an evil cat spirit.

I’m not sure how John’s theory is going to pan out, but I’ve got photographic evidence for mine.Gypsy with black jelly bean

The next morning  as I was coming up from the basement a gooey, fuzzy, squishy, black gob stuck to the bottom of my foot and refused to budge. The horror of my fears of what it might have been was equal to the sense of relief I felt at discovering that the offending goo was “only” a black jelly bean.

Being younger than some, and lacking my own evil cat demon, I do believe it was the only time I have been truly happy to have discovered a black jelly bean.




The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble

Ivy: “Why did the girl turn into a horse?”

Me: “Oh, it’s an old, old, story and all kinds of magic things happen in old stories.”

Ivy: “Yeah, I think that can happen at Disney World.”

Would I recommend it? Despite (or because of?) Ivy’s odd connection between Native American folk lore and Disney World (where she has never been) this has been one of her chosen library books many times. The pictures are beautiful, the story captivates the kids and it’s got a pile of awards including the Caldecott Medal. I have a vague memory of John thinking it was a boring story but all of us girls would recommend it.

And yes I realize I just wrote a whole page on mini-book reviews not having spoilers but that totally doesn’t count when talking about children’s books! Why? Because I’m the Mom and I said so. That’s why!

Rescued From Draftland: So Sweet…

I dug into my folder of drafts tonight.

I looked way back through pages of half written stories and ideas that never went anywhere. I bypassed one terrible poem and found my way to end of the files. And there I discovered the first abandoned draft of my blog, this fully written post from June of 2010.

 I wrote this at the time when Clara’s food issues were causing havoc with her body and we hadn’t yet figured out what was going on. There was lots of puking, lots of pooping,  and lots of screaming. I knew there was something wrong with Clara but we had yet to convince a doctor that I was anything more than a crazy mom. Ivy was three and unsympathetic to her little sisters high needs. Our entire house smelled of spoiled milk from all the spit up (“Spit up” doesn’t do it justice, it was projectile vomit and it was everywhere!). It was not the best of times. I was using this blog as a way to highlight the positive things in life and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why this didn’t make the cut. 

But here it is, in it’s unaltered form (though it’s hard to suppress the urge to re-write it) complete with a picture of little Ivy!

It’s been a long week! To begin with, check out the If You think YOU had a bad day post then keep that picture in your mind, and if you can imagine a sound to go with it that will help set the stage as well. Needless to say, Clara has had a rough week, which means that I have had a rough week, which means Ivy has had a rough week, which you guessed it means John’s week was rough too. Don’t forget to add rain and cold to the mix as well!

But lets talk about Ivy and I. Monday and Tuesday, Clara yelled, I took care of her, Ivy got less attention, Ivy was very good. Wednesday came along, Clara yelled, I took care of her, Ivy got less attention, Ivy wasn’t so good. Thursday came along, Clara yelled a bit less, I took care of her, while making a huge effort to spend more time with Ivy. The result Ivy and I are only sort of on speaking terms tonight.

Today we, did chores together, play-doh, felt board, books, cleaned together. Finally after the sun came out this afternoon she went out to play by herself. She brought me in some flowers and I asked to take a picture of them because while she was out there it looked like she wrestled with the sidewalk chalk. I got this picture.

So sweet…
…or not.

This is Ivy’s shut down mode. It is her passive refusal to do absolutely anything, where she closes her eyes and turns into a limp noodle. Oh sure, she looks all sweet and innocent, but I think that is some sort of latent survival instinct kicking in. Without the innocent look, I’d be down to just one screaming child!