Summer Vacay As A Wee Lass

Today I’m gonna try participating in Emily and Ashley’s linkup blogathon. Basically every week they’ll provide a childhood related blogging prompt. Usually I’m not a fan of people suggesting what I write about, but I am a fan of all things adolescent so I’m pretty game for this. This week’s prompt is Summer Vacations.

I’m going to focus my energy on the elementary school era. School was my arch nemesis when I was a youngin. I would do anything to get out of going and seeing the same dumb people every day and playing on the same dumb playground. Staying home was just so comforting and cozy, so the idea of summer vacation–when I could be home all day for 3 straight months–was the best thing ever in my book.

I didn’t even really do anything that memorable with my time off. We lived on a cul-de-sac and happened to have lots of young neighbors my own age. It was nice because my neighbors were all so different, so I played a lot of different games depending on who I hung out with.

Right next door to my house were my friends William and Emily. They had two older sisters too, but I didn’t really play with them and they weren’t interested in “playing” anyway. William and Emily had an awesome wooden swing set in their yard as well as a huge tree perfect for climbing. Whenever we all got in the tree (usually William, Emily, Me, and my little brother) we would pretend to be jungle animals. I always wanted to be a baby snow leopard (NOT a jungle animal just for the record) that was “zero years old.” Because I was a tall kid, I was obsessed with being small. It was creepy.

Okay, who WOULDN'T want to be a baby snow leopard?

Okay, who WOULDN’T want to be a baby snow leopard?

One time a neighborhood girl across the cul-de-sac from my house was selling lemonade with her family. She was pretty young so I never really talked to her, unless of course, there was lemonade available. I remember her mom offering me a cup that I probably drank in one gulp. I’m pretty sure I asked for 3 more cups. They started to get annoyed, but to be honest, no one was gonna drive down a cul-de-sac so they probably wouldn’t have sold anything anyway. They were lucky to have me around.

The neighbors diagonally in back of us (our backyards met) had a little girl named Ellen. Ellen was my brother’s age and she had a lot of sweet toys. Her mom eventually had twins so that was another thing to entertain us as well. I did a lot of living and learning over at Ellen’s house. One time I told her that giants were coming to take our parents away and she started crying. Oops. You live, you learn. Another time we were playing dress-up in Ellen’s backyard and her mom was video taping it. It was pretty fun until I ripped a fake sword out of my brother’s hand and he started crying. Oops! You live, you learn. Because that sad moment was captured on video, I can relive it whenever I want. Ouch.

The neighbors to the very back of us were Sarah and Laura. They had a younger brother (maybe two younger brothers?) but we didn’t play with them. Sarah and Laura were slightly older and went to a different school than most of us did. I think they went to the Christian school. Fancy. They were awesome though because they liked to play and they were really dramatic. One time I took all of my Pretty Pretty Princess jewelry and stuck each piece carefully in the branches and bark of a tree. I brought them over and they were so mystified and impressed with my work. We played with the tree jewelry as if we were magic fairies coming across these beautiful gems. That was like the one and only time I was creative. Otherwise I was a baby snow leopard.

There were nights when I caught fireflies with those girls and even went to their Christian Summer Camp (it was pretty cool, not gonna lie). Ellen would come over and swim in our pool that we had to fill up with the hose. Sometimes we would beg to go to the public pool. William and Emily would play hide and seek with us until the sun went down. We would ding-dong-ditch our own houses, play with each other’s pets, and draw amazing pictures on the sidewalk only to have them washed away overnight.

My summer vacations were simple, but they were full of adventures.remember-the-time

canada, Food, living in canada, Vacation

That One Time I Went Camping

I did a very Canadian thing on the weekend. I went camping. If there’s one thing that I learned, it’s that Canadians are into camping. Paul and I went to buy a tent at Wal*Mart and they were all sold out. SOLD OUT OF TENTS. Wal*Mart isn’t allowed to be sold out of anything.

We went to an actual camping store and bought a two-man tent. And when I say a two man tent, I mean that both men have to be extremely small to fit comfortably inside the tent. There wasn’t too much walking (or sitting) room available. But it was cute. Good thing I don’t mind being really close to Paul.

If camping consisted of sitting in those chairs all day, I would be an awesome camper.

We set up our campsite and then we decided to go swimming in Englishman River. When I pictured Englishman river, I thought it would be a gentle, welcoming body of water–like an Englishman I guess. Well, I’m sure it was gentle and welcoming, but it was frigid as well. Like, if it was one degree colder, it would’ve been frozen. Paul swam in it like some kind of Canadian weirdo. I went up to my knees. And the minute that I announced, “I’m only going up to my knees” I slipped on a rock and my whole body went under. Very funny, God.

After that excitement, we went back to our site and had hotdogs and smores. Whenever I think about smores, I have to quote The Sandlot. “First, you take the graham…” Such a perfect scene.

Once we finished stuffing our faces, we played cards. Hearts in particular. For all you Hearts aficionados, there were four of us playing. Paul’s younger cousins were with us. They were decked out with all the finest camping equipment that we didn’t have. They brought the cards and the chairs. So without them, it would’ve been pretty boring. Shout out to Chantal because she told me that she reads my blog and thinks I’m super funny. Can you blame her? Look, you’re famous now! Shout out to Tristan because he was really good at wielding a hatchet and told me I was good at pumping up air mattresses. Even though I got lazy and stopped before it was finished.

Later on we went on a walk to see the waterfall. The actual name of the place we went was called Englishman River Falls. I should have known there would be a waterfall involved, but I have trouble putting two and two together. Actually, I have trouble putting any combination of numbers together.

We found the waterfall. I was taken aback. It was so grand and waterfall-y. Anyone would’ve surely died if they jumped off the top. Pictures cannot do it justice. But here’s some anyway:

The very tip top of the waterfall.

At night we told ghost stories and talked about scary movies. And I ended up eating an entire chocolate bar for no apparent reason. After that, I had the worst sleep of my life. But it was worth it because I had such a great time.

And apparently we’re doing all of it again next weekend….


Preppy: A Lifestyle Part 1

When thinking about the word “prep” a number of things can come to mind. Nice clothes, country clubs memberships. yachts, ski vacations, madris and seersucker, ivy league schools, etc. But it’s so much more than that! Take it from me, someone who has fooled hundreds of my pupils into thinking I’m pretty preppy by taking shortcuts, pretending I have good taste, and acting exclusive. Can one act exclusive? I guess it’s just a nice way of saying that instead of acting like I hated everyone, I just acted like I was above them. Was I snotty? Yes. Am I still? Don’t answer that.

Here to relieve you of all your questions about preppy-ism, I have “The Official Preppy Handbook” as a guide. I obtained the 1980 edition, so maybe some things have changed since then, but I’m pretty sure being preppy is all about tradition. So this is as vintage as I could get. I’m almost certain there’s an earlier version that Ralph Lauren keeps in the back of his closet and prays to every night.

Invest in Ralph for true prep attire.

Let’s start with The Rights of Birthright: The Family. Everything starts here. For most of us it never actually starts because our families are poor and retarded. None of our parents went to great schools, and their parents went to even worse schools. Something interesting about preppy families is that everyone has their official familial title. For example, I would be Aunt Lily if my brother had a child. Or if we were talking about my mom’s sister’s child, I would refer to her as Cousin Buffy (I don’t have a cousin Buffy. That would be ultra-creep). My mom always did this. She would call people Cousin so-and-so, or Uncle this-and-that. Can’t you just call them by their name? Speaking of names, if you want to guarantee that your child is a preppy, name them a name that you would only call a pet. Biffy, Kitty, Teeny, Duke, Muffy, Barbie, Bitsy, Bunny, Corky, Rocky, Chip, Kip, Trip, Skip. Basically, any name that shouldn’t be a name.

Of Mahogany and Macrame. If You had the following items in your house growing up, you were probably raised to be a preppy: Upholstered pieces covered with flowered chintz, many small and worn oriental rugs, prints of dogs, ducks, horses, boats or birds, antiques bought at an auction, museum documented eighteenth century wallpaper, lots of old table lamps, mahogany and brass, pastel sketches of the children, portraits of ancestors, fireplace equipment, ship models and nautical memorabilia, Georgian paneling, dishes of beach glass.

If you had any of these items, your family was the opposite of preppy: vinyl protectors, wall-to-wall rugs, abstract art, Louis-the-anything furniture, flocked wallpaper, indirect, spot or track lighting, chrome and glass, macrame, Hummel figurines, dirt, Masonite paneling, dishes of candy. I’m so sorry if this was your life. I’m crying a single tear for you as I type.

If you want to make your house preppy and you don’t have the money or good taste, just remember that nothing should look like you tried hard, yet everything should flow. Always go with a beach or cottage theme (those are safest and easiest) or Shabby Chic. Throw some Town & Country magazines around and call it a day. You’re welcome.

Keepers of the Flame: Status Quo Institutions. If your parents didn’t force you into any sport or activity, count your blessings. Being lazy is the best, am I right?! But for prep standards, it’s the mark of the devil. Preppy activities include: piano lessons (or any classical instrument), ballet, horse riding, French lessons, tennis (think country club sports), golf, sailing, etc. Summer camp can also be considered a preppy activity. I went to an all-girls camp, which basically means that it wasn’t any fun. I joined swim team (semi-preppy?) and sang in choir. I had people fooled into thinking I liked doing things.

Couldn’t you picture them on a rowing team?

Regulating the Cash Flow: Well-to-Do’s and Don’ts.

1. Your money is handled by a trustee until you reach your twenties. That always seems like an appropriate age to give your children all of their money. The age where they make even worse decisions than when they were in high school. It’s imperative that you make your trustee think that you’re a capable human being. Agree to everything he says and make sure he pays if he takes you out to lunch so he knows that you can handle your money well. These are all tricks of the trade, my friends.

2. Give to charities that will list your name as a sponsor.

3. Spend money on important things, but use thrift for insignificant items. It’s a fine balance.

4. Be slightly careless with your money. “Forget how much cash you have with you, for instance–it helps give the impression that you don’t think too much about money.”

5. Never carry cash. “Borrow or charge.” Borrow? Wouldn’t borrowing make you seem super poor? I wouldn’t suggest borrowing. Being in debt of others is uncomfortable, and frankly, gross.

6. Never replace anything until you’ve exhausted all possibility of  repair, restoration, or rehabilitation.

7. Pick up small tabs. People will remember your generosity, but not the amount. Allow them to pick up the lavish dinners and what not.

8. Don’t say wealthy. Say rich.

A Preppy Value System:








Public Spiritedness

So spirited!

Exercise, Vacation

Blackhawk Pool

One of my greatest childhood memories took place in our subdivision’s public pool. I spent my elementary years in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I don’t remember much of it besides my house, my neighbor’s yards, the library, my school, and of course, Blackhawk Pool.

The fact that I could find a picture of Blackhawk pool online makes me sick.

Blackhawk was a pretty typical neighborhood. The houses weren’t too big, but they weren’t small either. You could get a lot for your money during the 90’s in rural Indiana. I remember spending lot of my summers at the pool. I think it was a good go-to activity for most parents. Take your kids to the pool–they have fun, you get a tan!

I remembered getting there early. Like, at 9am. Who goes to the pool at 9am besides my mom? No one. Literally every time we’re on vacation my mom wakes up, has breakfast and goes to the pool or the beach. It’s nice because I always have a spot reserved!

Because my brother and I spent so much time in the pool, we became pretty great swimmers. Well, I did at least. I loved swimming in the deep end, diving for rings or sticks or whatever the hell kids dive for. I also loved jumping off the high dive. I remember it being SO tall. There was a while when I just did little jumps, but once I learned to dive, there was no going back. I didn’t have time for jumps any more. It hurt my head when I hit the water diving off the board. Like I was diving into a pool of bricks. But any pain is worth it if you think you look cool in 4th grade.

All the Sandlot kids admiring my diving skills.

During the day, around lunch time there would be half an hour of adult swim which I loathed. UGHHHGH adults can swim any time! But I guess they just wanted time when kids weren’t jumping on their shoulders and swimming in between their legs. The only thing that adults do during adult swim is walk up and down the lanes like totally lame-os. Possibly the only good thing about adult swim was the snack bar. Since kids weren’t allowed in the pool at this time, we flocked to the food stand. I remember my brother and I always got Airheads or Whatchamacallits. A Whatchamacallit was a chocolate bar that was kind of crunchy and chewy. Airheads were…man, I don’t even know. Kind of like taffy, but a thinner consistency. We were pretty easy to please when it came to snacks. Unless it was fruit. Sick.

So yum.

The best part of Blackhawk pool was the radio. They had the radio on all the time. The station played the top songs of 1997…at least those were the ones that I remember the most. Whenever I hear one of these “Blackhawk pool songs” I’m instantly taken back. I remember exactly where I was. Some examples are:

Sunny Came Home-Shawn Colvin

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone-Paula Cole

If It Makes You Happy-Cheryl Crow

Building a Mystery- Sarah McLachlan


Who Will Save Your Soul-Jewel

All For You- Sister Hazel

Bitch-Meredith Brooks

Breakfast at Tiffany’s- Deep Blue Something

Semi-Charmed Life- Third Eye Blind

Ahhh classics! I don’t ever want to revisit Blackhawk pool because I know it won’t be the same. The high dive will be small, the music won’t be the same, and I’ll be allowed to swim during adult swim.

Do you have any summer pool memories?

Favorites, Music, School

Unpopular Opinion Challenge

So instead of writing about how weird Canada is, today I’ve decided to freshen it up and talk about things that I hate that other people don’t, and vice versa.

1. A selection of television programs you do not care for: Big Bang Theory and Glee. What is so appealing about watching unattractive men talk about science? And like that girl on the show would EVER date any of them. Unrealistic. The only one who is semi-funny is the Jewish guy. Glee just makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Everyone on that show is so pretentious. And their “remakes” of songs sound exactly like the original. Is it supposed to be funny? And I hate how they cater to every stereotype. Talk about unrealistic.

2. A selection of musical artists you do not care for: I don’t really like James Taylor’s music. I don’t mind him as a person, I guess. His voice kind of gives me the creeps. And as for a real unpopular opinion, I don’t really like Dave Matthews. Sorry, everyone that went to my high school. Oh, and Prince 😉

3. A selection of celebrities you couldn’t care less about: Thinking about this makes my brain hurt.

4. A hobby you don’t understand: Running. I used to run every day. And now, looking back on it, I have to question my sanity. I also find it weird when people are super crafty. It’s like, how does their brain think of all these projects? Aliens.

5. A habit you find disgusting: Swearing. I hate when people throw those words around in everyday conversation. It makes them seem uneducated and tacky.

6. Something in your school that you really liked doing that everyone else hated: Orientation. There’s something about setting up my locker and finding my classes that I always enjoyed. Also, on the day of orientation, you would see how everyone changed over the summer. And by changed, I mean how tan they got.

7. Your favorite household chore: First of all, I hate the word chore. Its so Little House on the Prairie. My favorite duty would probably be making the bed. That counts, right?

8. PC or MAC: PC all the way. Mac are weird for the sake of being different. Its like, really? You had to put the exit buttons on the other side of the screen? What purpose does that serve?

9. A sport you don’t like for whatever reason: Soccer. I don’t get it. And everyone is so competitive. Maybe it’s from being in England for so long. And everyone calling it futbol. That just makes it 10 times worse.

10. A sport you really like for whatever reason: I like tennis. I like watching it and playing it. I’m terrible. But there is something about it that never gets old. And I like to swim. But watching swimming is only the most boring.

11. Television programs you love but have gotten teased for liking: The Real Housewives. I know that I am not alone. Can’t get enough of those crack whores. And I also love Extreme Home Makeover even though Ty seems drunk the whole time and its pretty much the same family week after week. I also love any freak show that’s on TLC.

12. Musical artists that you love but have been teased for liking: Enya. I actually have all of her songs on my ipod–THEY SOOTHE ME, OKAY?

13. A habit you have that people bug you about: Biting my nails. Sorry, they’re just so delicious.

14. Something you hated doing in school that everyone else seemed to love: Rollerskating in gym. Me + rollerskates =most awkward thing on the planet.

15. A household chore that makes you want to shoot your own face off: I think we can all agree that dishes are the most sick nasty thing ever. If I could eat off of paper plates every day, I would.

16. A celebrity crush that other people don’t understand: I love me some Alan Rickman. And I legitimately had a crush on Lumiere from Beauty and The Beast, if that counts.