Sunday, March 11, 2007

So very very tired

Man, I'm bushed...but why? I think I've picked up whatever knocked K the elder out a few weeks ago. I can barely function, I'm just that tired. My skin is pale but my cheeks are bright pink and I have a fever...just weird.

We were supposed to go to the cabane a sucre (maple sugar shack) yesterday but the threat of freezing rain kept the cityfolk in the city and us country bumpkins were firmly entrenched indoors, snacking and drinking lots & lots of good, strong coffee. We'll probably con, um, I mean "convince" the city slickers into going soon, hopefully on one of those sunny spring days that remind you how wonderful the woods are. This will be the first time in years that I'll be going to the sugar shack sans hangover so I can't wait to go. MC & I figured out that the past 2 or 3 years' trips have been spent nursing major hangovers and fatigue from the nights before. For some strange reason, it's usually a Fred show on the Friday and then sugar shacking on the Saturday so we've toddled home late and drunk, only to have to wake up, drive an hour or so and stuff our gobs with syrup and carbs. Yes, our mothers are proud of us - thank you for asking.

When we were living in the Laurentian mountains, we used to go to the BEST cabane ever! Cabane à sucre Millette knows how to really give you the full Quebecois experience - their servers wear the ceinture flechee, the food is home cooked (and delicious) and then you can walk through the snowy maple forest, watching the sap drip through the long tubes on its way to the sugar shack. For those of you who have never had maple syrup, it's synonymous with Canada. I had hoped to send some to Melissa for our swap but I was worried that their customs agency would stop the parcel at the border... Next time, I'll risk it - maple syrup candy is just that good! Back to maple syrup - Basically, you tap into sugar maple trees, collect the sap in metal buckets (the traditional way) or use the newer tube method and then boil it down to a concentrated syrup. The best part was when the syrup maker would take a little fresh, hot syrup and pour it onto fresh, clean snow. A wooden spoon rolled through the resulting taffy would put a smile on the most unhappy child. We have photos of the boys when they were little, walking through the forest after eating their fill of les pettes des soeurs, crepes, feves au lard, les oreilles de Chris' (Yup, the food names are pretty... uh... 'unusual') and pools and pools of fresh maple syrup, followed by la tire sur la neige. Sticky - the boys just look sticky (and cute). It was home to a bath and trying to calm them down after our yearly excursions to the Cabane

Pat looks like he's trying to either wipe off some syrup from his jacket or find a spot to lick off... never know with these kids of mine. K the younger is stoned on sugar. Pure maple madness to feed that to a four year old and hope that he'll sleep at night. They're grubby, they're cute and they're full of sugar - what's not to love?

Going through our old photos, I found some warm fuzzies from a while ago (and realized that letting the kids 'own' the photo collection wasn't such a good idea- check out the scratches on all of these shots!) - every year, the kids would wear costumes for Easter at ski school. I made Pat this tiger suit and he wore it a lot...even when it wasn't an officially sanctioned dress up day. I'd catch him in his room, curled up in his armchair reading - everything looked normal except he'd be wearing the tiger suit.Don't get me started about the dragon cape and helmet....

I loved skiing with the boys when they were little turtles. Pat was probably three in this shot

Doesn't he look cute? That Austrian/ Maser suit lasted through 2 tough little boys, skiing 6 days a week all winter long. The boys were always toasty warm even on the coldest of days - I'm sure that a few other kids got good wear out that little suit after we gave it to the charity shop. You definitely get what you pay for...
Just so that you don't scream "Britney" at me for Pat's lack of proper headgear - here's proof that they always wore helmets!

Just in case you were thinking of nominating me for mum of the year, I made my share of gaffes, too. Like the time I let Pat wrap himself in the banner of balloons from his birthday - strings, wrapped tightly around a 4 year old? Not such a good idea...

I believe that the quote was, "look, I'm grapes! I'm grapes!"

No matter what, these 2 boys have brought me much joy throughout my parenting experience. I made Pat a photo album of his childhood for Christmas this year and it was so wonderful to travel back in time to make copies of all of these silly photos. I spent so many years just trying to keep up with everything that was going on around me that I had forgotten so many fun memories. Be forewarned - the photo albums will be making appearances here from time to time...

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