The ground under my feet shifted on December 23rd.  Not literally, of course, but something moved and my soul moved with it.

As you know, Mim (my amazing daughter) got married on that day.  When Mim arrived at the church, her father (Stanley) and I made our way downstairs to the staging area.  When we reached the bottom of the stairs and saw her…….time stopped.

Where did this gorgeous creature even come from?  I looked at Stanley and saw my awe reflected on his face.  He said, “She looks like Princess Ariel!”.  And she did!  I said, “I can’t believe we made that!”

And there was that moment.  Thoughts that had been waltzing around my brain for a couple of years suddenly coalesced into a brilliant moment of clarity.  My family circle had holes that needed to be filled.

I looked at Stanley again and my heart hurt.  We’ve been so awkward since we separated but all the negative feelings have long since fallen away.  Stanley found Mildred and I found The Viking and we’ve all created wonderful lives for ourselves.  And there I stood, looking at our daughter, falling in love with Stanley all over again.

Skreeeetch!!  Not like that!

Stanley and I are connected.  We each hold a small piece of the other’s heart.  There is kindness and respect and a deep love that will last until we die.  We just weren’t meant to love like married people love.  Instead, we were meant to love like only the very best of friends can love.

The question then becomes ‘How do we go from awkward and weird to Hygge* Friends?’  My last encounter** with Mildred was sort of tricky.  What we need is copious amounts of booze to rub off the rough edges and lubricate the Hygge.  OR!  Moderate amounts of Akvavit because that shit is like a truth serum.

So, on December 30th at 2:00pm, the Julefrokost began.  There were six of us – Junior and his girlfriend, Stanley and Mildred and The Viking and me.  It was sad that Mim and Kevin couldn’t come – they were both very sick and making the 4-hour drive in freezing weather was beyond their capabilities.  We missed them both terribly, but the party went on as scheduled.

The Viking, Junior and I were the only seasoned Julefrokost-ers at the table so you would think we would break the Newbies in gently.  You’d be wrong, though.  It was Trial by Fire, Baby!!

We started off with Pickled Herring on rye bread topped with onions and boiled egg.  Take one bite and shout SKÅL!!, a shot of Akvavit with a chaser of beer.  I must confess, that first shot of Akvavit is a killer.  My right eye slams shut and my left starts to water.  My mouth contorts into an alligator smile.  My throat burns and I can’t breathe for about 15 seconds.  Then my entire body shudders and an involuntary moan wheezes out of my nose.  I was so busy trying to survive my own first shot that I have no idea how Stanley and Mildred did.  Apparently, they were fine because no one was on the floor when I finally stopped gasping.

Mildred & Stanley

As the courses progressed, we all became increasingly tanked.  I kept spilling things (it’s what I’m good at) but Mildred was fast on her feet fetching the paper towels.  I blame the Akvavit because Stanley started gesturing with his shot glass to emphasize his verbal points and we all thought he was Skål-ing so we shouted and drank.  I was even trying to just sip my shots but it didn’t matter.  I’m just happy I didn’t have a repeat of two Julefrokosts ago. Don’t ask.

Stanley demanded Honorary inclusion in The Viking Club, and after a short visual conversation between The Viking, at the other end of the table, and myself, we granted his wish.  He & Mildred were embracing the Julefrokost better than anyone I know and so deserve it.

The conversation went from “How’s the weather on the hill?” to “We want to go to Europe.” to “We should go to Europe together!!” to “Gawd!! I love you guys!”

The Viking and Mildred bonded and Stanley and I sashayed down Memory Lane.  We marveled at Mim’s Wedding and reminisced over vacations past.  It was beautiful!

The next morning, though, I was a wee bit nervous.  I hoped I didn’t need to ‘Apologize For Anything I May Have Done While I Was Drunk’.  I thought Stanley and Mildred enjoyed themselves, but in the sober light of day will they ever come back?  So, I handled it the way any rational human being would – I called my son.  I pumped him for information so hard he finally had to tell me to ‘RELAX!!  It went great!’  When Mildred accepted my friend request on Face Book I was thrilled!

Princess Mim called two days later and demanded to know if this will be a new family tradition?  The Viking and I certainly hope it will.  There will be plenty of other occasions together so we may as well do it as good friends. Junior was very happy to see both his parents sitting at the same table, enjoying each other’s company and Mim was sad to have missed it.  We’ll just have to do it again.

Besides, if Kathy & I are friends we can be Back-Up Labor Coaches in the delivery room (Mim’s not pregnant yet but I can dream, can’t I?).  You know….in case Kevin passes out or something.  One on each side.  Stereo encouragement!  I’m sure Mim will appreciate it.

In the meantime, the holes in my family circle are filling up.  How blessed can one woman be?


*A Danish word for spending time with loved ones, being cozy and calm.

**Click that link to read “Is That You, Mildred?”

A Shower and a Wedding

Mim’s getting married on the 23rd of this month which means only one thing – I am one step closer to a grandchild that I will spoil rotten.

I suppose it means more than  just one thing to Mim, like love and joy and a flashy ring finger, but for me, it’s all about the babies.

Of course, I share her excitement and want to make her day wonderful.  When it was time to buy shoes and jewelry, I was more than happy to make a day of it.  She had already purchased her Gown which left only the little things.

She came to the house expecting me to be ready….but I wasn’t.  I was 15 minutes away from being ready and it was entirely The Viking’s fault.  I didn’t want to waste time explaining at that moment and put us even further behind, so I waited until we were in the car and on our way to meet the Maid of Honor.

Me:  It wasn’t my fault I was late.

Mim:  It’s okay, Mom.  It’s no big deal.

Me:  But I hate being late.  The Viking decided to poop just before I needed to be in the shower.

Mim:  I hate that!!  Argh!

Me:  Me, too!!  And he claims that he didn’t plan on pooping at that time, but I think it’s an entire male gender conspiracy.  They know.

Mim:  Oh, they know.  When poop smell meets water vapor it becomes a solid!

Me:  Exactly!  The poop particles are in the air and as soon as I turn the shower on it turns the dust poop back into solid/liquid form and I’m essentially showering in poop.

Mim:  YES!  That’s just so gross!  How can you possibly feel clean when you’ve had to shower in poop?!

Me:  I’ve tried to explain this to The Viking and he just goes “Pfft!”

Mim:  Haha!  That’s also the sound of farts!  Coincidence?  I think not.

Me:  Hahaha!!  The Viking has never had to take a poop shower.   Because I’m a nice person!

Mim:  I yell when it happens at home.  I totally understand why you had to wait for the dust poop to get sucked up through the fan.  It’s a good thing you have such a good fan or you would have had to wait for a lot longer.

Me:  And that’s why you’re my best friend.  You understand how Science works.

The day turned out to be wonderful and we found beautiful things for her.  I don’t often get to spend time with Mim; she lives about 5 hours from me – a fact that I point out every time I talk to her.  I’ve even tried to bribe her but, apparently, she loves living where she does and the thought of coming back to the city isn’t very appealing.  So, I make due with the time we have.

In the meantime, I’ll need to have a conversation with The Viking about solids, liquids, and air particles.  Because there is no way we can have a freshly baked Grandchild exposed to that kind of thing.  Since our little house doesn’t have room for a special Poop Room, we might need to consider the facilities at the gas station on the corner.

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Life Lesson – Friday Fictioneers

Wow!  It’s been a while.  Running a business, running a household and offsprings and just plain running takes up a lot of time.  If I were better at budgeting my time I probably wouldn’t have to run so much but then I wouldn’t be me if everything was orderly and under control.

So, without further ado – because I’m still not caught up – here’s my poor offering to the group.


“Pick one, Son.”

“I like the blue one, Papa.”

Chuckling.  “I like the way you think, but it’s too big for you.  Last thing you want is to be is intimidated.”

Disappointed.  “The green one?”

“There you go!  That’s the perfect size.  So, you walk up beside it and stop when you are almost past it.  Then lift your leg and let her rip.  Like this.”

Water splashing against the orange column.

“Now you try.  Oh, too far.  Back up.  That’s perfect!  Fire away!”


“The green one is the perfect size, right?”

Proudly.  “Yes, Papa.  My first man-dog pee!”


As always, the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields hosts Friday Fictioneers.  The photo prompt for this week has been provided by Sarah Ann Hall.

Many thanks ladies.

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Is That You, Mildred?

So I was at the grocery store yesterday – just picking up a few things for dinner.  It was nearly that time already but I had other things on my mind all day and suddenly I thought “Shit!  What am I going to make for dinner?!  It’s blisteringly hot outside so I’m not cooking inside.  Bar-B-Que it is!”

And everything went really well, almost right to the end.  Because as I was waiting for the scale to verify the weight of my bags I looked up and…..time stopped for a moment.

Is that Stanley’s* new wife?  Can I even call her the ‘new’ wife because it’s been a while since he married her.  I consider myself the ‘old’ wife so I suppose that would make her ‘new’ wife.

That kind of makes us sound like cars, doesn’t it?  I’m the old trade-in and she’s the shiny new one that smells awesome inside.  EWW…!!  That didn’t come out right.  Not that she doesn’t smell good inside…..but how would I even know that?  Geez!  Let’s just pretend I never said that, okay?

So……I look up from the scale and I see her, but I’m not 100% certain it’s her….I’m in more like the 85 percentile of positivity.  It looks like her but it’s been a while since I’ve seen her so maybe I’m wrong.  This store is a little out of her neighborhood and while I don’t mind her shopping at my grocery store, I would like to know if it is, indeed, Mildred* or not, because shopping like a Meerkat is going to get weird.

Let’s put that aside for now though, because there are bigger issues here than whether she is Mildred or she isn’t.  Namely, did she see me?  We didn’t quite make eye contact before I dropped my head and stared at the screen in front of me.  I diligently started scanning my items while my mind kicked into overdrive.

How am I supposed to behave?  What’s the protocol?  Do I wave?  Should I do the Floppy Wave and keep it loose and friendly?  A rigid, proper wave – my fingers straight and squeezed together, and make Wash On, Wash Off movements?  Maybe a Queenly Wave – my hand cupped, palm towards me with kind of scooping motions?  Or maybe she didn’t see me at all and the guy at the cashier behind her will think I’m hitting on him and I’ll have a situation in the parking lot?

Maybe I should just take a deep breath and plunge into the morass of awkward Divorc-i-ness.  I’m not harboring any bad feelings but I have no idea what the other side feels.  Maybe there is an incommunicado policy in place that I’m not aware of.  Did Stanley tell her that I wanted to give him away at their Wedding?  I thought it was a brilliant idea – the old wife officially giving him to the new wife.  That would have started things off on the right foot, in my opinion, but Stanley threatened death and dismemberment.

Even if I do decide to take the plunge, what do I say for an opening salvo?  Do I holler across 6 cashiers and say…..what?

“How’s that husband working out for you?”

Or “Hey Mildred!!  Lookin’ good!”

Or should I be more formal “Felicitations Mildred!”

By the time I finished paying for my stuff, I had decided to just screw up my courage and make an oblique approach and maybe accidentally bump into her cart.  I could pretend that I just saw her at this moment and not 5 minutes ago when I ducked down like a 3rd Grader.

There was a tiny whoosh of relief when I couldn’t see her.  And then I wondered if she was doing the same thing that I was doing because she had no damned idea how to behave in these circumstances either.  Maybe she hissed at her cashier to hurry the fuck up, then ran out of the store like the hounds of hell were at her heels.  Maybe she even squealed tires trying to get out of the parking lot before I made my way out of the store.  Probably not because she’s an adult, but I still wonder if she felt awkward too?

I’m going to blame this entirely on Stanley.  First, because I haven’t done that for years and second, because he should have let me give him away at his damned Wedding.  This wouldn’t even be an issue if we had started this off on the right foot to begin with.

In the meantime, I need a plan in case we bump into each other again.  I need a suave and elegant opener and then hope to hell I did my hair that morning.


*I’ve changed his name to protect his identity and privacy.  Because I’m just that kind of person.

*I’ve changed her name to protect her identity and privacy.  Because I’m just that kind of person.  What?!  I like the name Mildred and it goes quite nicely with Stanley.  Mildred and Stanley – see?  It rolls right off the tongue.

A Baby In Each Arm

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, the photo provided by Danny Bowman.


They stood side by side, the older woman’s arm around the younger. 

“Between those two humps, your great, great grandmother buried 2 children – it was cholera.  Three days later she gave birth to twins in the back of the wagon.  They had to stop when the babies came, then they travelled through the night to catch the other wagons.  She walked the whole time, a baby in each arm.”    


“Yes.  You come from a long line of strong women.  A broken heart might hurt like hell but it won’t kill you.” 


A long, comforting hug.   “I promise.” 

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The Completely Viking Wedding

So.  I’m no longer living in sin.  I’ve been legalized.  Gone is my hippie rebellion against the norms of tradition.  My naked, mutinous ring finger is naked no longer.

Almost three weeks ago at 11:00 in the morning I rejoined the Wife-Force.  I was a little belligerent about the whole thing if I’m honest.  I’m not going to obey The Viking!  I’m not going to let him boss me around!  He’s not the head of the household!  And I’ll decide when and how much I’ll honor him depending on his behavior at any given moment and not because some official tells me I have too!  Because I was happy as a sinner!

And because I was busy ranting against Wife-dom in my head, I forgot my bouquet at home.  We were half way to the ceremony when I said “Ahhhh fuck!!  I forgot my bouquet!”  And now I’m going to be late for my own wedding.  I muttered all the way back home about the stupid trappings of an obsolete institution that has kept women in subjugation for centuries.

When we finally arrived at the park, an itty, bitty, teeny, tiny woman marched to the car like a miniature Stalin.  I hadn’t met our Commissioner of Wedded Bliss before this moment and, quite frankly, I didn’t know they made them so small.  The top of her head barely reached my chin!

She took one look at me and started chanting soothing words and platitudes.  “You made it.  That’s great.  Take a deep breath.  Let it out.  Take another breath.  Let it out.  This is your special day so enjoy it.  Concentrate on your love.  Your soon-to-be husband is a wonderful man and he’s waiting for you.”

I thought, “Don’t tell me how wonderful his is!  I’ll do the deciding around here!”

But he was waiting for me and he is wonderful.  He was smiling and his face said “Take it easy.  It’s going to be fine.”

My face said “I’m not going to be a great wife, you know.”

His face said “I already know that.”

My face said “Thank Gawd!” and “Can I have a Lemon Gin and Tonic now?”

His face said “Soon, but not right now because it would break a couple of laws and might anger our miniscule Commissioner of Wedded Bliss.”

We held the ceremony under the trees beside the Bow River in Bowness Park.  It was a pretty place and convenient and we didn’t need to make reservations or pay an exorbitant fee.

We had only just begun the ceremony though when a helicopter came buzzing in low from the east.  Someone said “It’s the Paparazzi!!”  Our Commissioner of Wedded Bliss looked annoyed because this was a solemn occasion and no place for jokes!

I further annoyed her because I couldn’t figure out where she wanted us to stand.  In my defence, she kept moving.  She would stop and stand still so The Viking and I positioned ourselves in front of her, facing each other, and then she would move somewhere else.  Every time she scurried I would lose her behind the drape of my jacket.   It was like a Marital Musical Chairs game except there weren’t any chairs and there wasn’t any music.  This wasn’t supposed to be so difficult.  Stand still for fucksakes!

And then two young ladies floated by on the river in a raft and Brad pointed at Junior and yelled “Single man here!!”  Then one of the ladies in the raft shouted back “Single girl here!”  The Commissioner sighed heavily and gave Brad the Stink Eye.

Rafters at the Wedding

When it was time to make our vows to each other……. “OH MY GAWD I’VE LOST MY VOWS!!!”  I started patting myself up and down and turning in tight circles, there was a pressure in my head and my vision started to blur.  The Viking was standing there, his vows in hand, more than a little alarmed.  Just before I passed out, someone calmly touched my arm and handed me my vows.  The Commissioner of Wedded Bliss was chanting “Take a deep breath.  Take your time.  Take a deep breath.  Take your time.”

We finally made it through the vows.  I lost my shit twice but everyone just stood there and waited for me.  That’s the thing about having only my closest loved ones at my wedding – they already know me and expect their patience to be tried.

There were other comments and more laughter and the Commissioner’s make-up began to settle in scowl lines around her eyes.  She had a few more things to say about marriage but, to be honest, I wasn’t really listening because I was married.  Again.  Holy. Fuck.

Me, The Viking, Annette and Erik

And everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  Mission accomplished and no one had to go to the hospital.

Once she had completed her duty, The Commissioner of Wedded Bliss sprinted to her car, shouting over her shoulder that she would file the paperwork.  This was, in all probability, the least solemn and dignified ceremony she had ever attended.

And then it was time for pictures.  Ugh!!  A gaggle of young women in spandex and baseball caps came through like Olympic Speed Walkers and Brad wanted to get them in the pictures.  More rafters floated by, unintentionally photobombing us.  The Paparazzi made several passes overhead, forcing the photographer to shout her instructions.

We climbed among the rocks, sat on a bench, hugged, kissed, smiled and smiled some more.  All the while I couldn’t help thinking “Where in the hell is my Lemon Gin and Tonic?!”

The Viking kept saying “Be careful, Babe!  You’re going to fall!” every time I had to move to a different rock.  Junior and Erik had their hands out, ready to catch me at the slightest wobble.  All I could think about at that point was the Sponge Paper Towel commercial with the Sponge Guys surrounding the kid with a huge jug of orange juice.  And that made me laugh (maybe a bit hysterically) which made me wobble even more.


However, I didn’t fall, didn’t break a leg/arm/finger nail and we all made it back to the house for a big Danish Feast.  My part in this thing was finished, but it didn’t stop me from trying to interfere.  The Viking kept sighing deeply and shoving me out the door to sip my drink in the shade.

Erik & The Viking served up the most delicious Danish Feast ever and Annette created a beautiful table to serve it on.  We were surrounded by people we love and were feeling like the most blessed couple on the planet.  And then the Completely Viking Wedding came to a crashing, shouting, screaming halt.



The Feast Table

Because Brad turned our Wedding into Fight Club.  It took us days to come to grips with all the carnage.  We had been under the strictest orders from Mim to be especially kind to Brad because they had had a fairly severe fight the week before.  So we did our best to ignore his bullishness throughout the day.  It was all for naught though, because he couldn’t have killed the Wedding faster if he’d brought a machine gun.

I’m in knots about it.  I’m ashamed that my new sister, Annette, was treated so disrespectfully.  I’m embarrassed that Junior’s friend was witness to the whole debacle and even our neighbors heard the shouting and screaming.  I’m furious that our Wedding was ruined.  And I hate the taint on what should have been the happiest day of our lives.  I’m particularly enraged at the position Brad put Mim in.  She was as embarrassed and ashamed as the rest of us but he weaselled his way out of any accountability; trading on her love for him in order to forgive what he did to us.

We’ll be asked to get over it, to refrain from bringing it up so he doesn’t feel like it’s hanging over his head for the rest of his life.  The memories we have will be less important than his feelings no doubt, and we’ll try to do it because we love Mim.  Maybe had he come with a sincere apology it would have been easier but that’s not what we received.  We received a belligerent, narcissistic declaration that negated any responsibility on his part.  He breezed into our home, said “That conversation shouldn’t have happened last night!” and then breezed out again.

Out of the ashes though were a few salvageable memories.  The love and laughter we shared with everyone else was lovely and we’ll cherish the fact that they were here with us on our Wedding Day.  Junior’s friend turned out to be a great girl and we consider ourselves lucky to have met her.  I hope she’ll come back sometime so we can show her what we’re really like.

So, there were some redeeming moments that we will try to focus on instead of the shitty way the day ended.


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The Viking Invasion


Erik and Annette arrived in Edmonton smiling but exhausted while The Viking and I were almost jumping up and down with excitement.  Almost.  Because it’s unbecoming for Double D boobs to start flapping around in crowds – someone, other than myself, could get hurt and The Viking’s little jiggles would offer little distraction from my epic display.  So we waited impatiently without jumping.

Then, through the sliding doors, behind a fussy little guy with a mountain of luggage, I caught a glimpse of Erik.  “THERE THEY ARE!!!”  The Viking pushed me out of the way so he could verify the sighting – like they were Yeti’s and I couldn’t be trusted with visuals.

We spent the night in a hotel near the airport then drove back to Calgary.  The following day would begin the ‘Victoria or Bust’ Vacation/Honeymoon Tour.  My legs were shaved, exfoliated and smeared with the best lotion available in the hopes that British Columbia sunshine would give them even the faintest of tans.  My legs are tan-resistant, always glowing in the dark like they belong to a damned Vampire.  Oddly, my feet tan just fine.  I’m pretty sure I know why though.

“Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my boobs, my legs shall fear no sunburn: for the great boobies protect them from UV rays.  Bugs will bite and thorns will scratch but no burn will afflict mine legs.  Surely their whiteness shall beam for all the days of my life.”

Um…… where was I?  Oh yes – travelling.  It didn’t take us more than an hour and a half to completely corrupt Annette with Canadian food – Tim Hortons to be exact.  A breakfast sandwich, a large double/double coffee and Tim Bits ruined her for life.  And we didn’t do it just once either; we shoved that shit down her throat for a week before The Viking and Erik decided we had to stop with the Tim Bits.  The breakfast sandwiches were still okay in their opinion but Annette and I would be starved of the doughnutty deliciousness until further notice.  It was only on the final leg back to Calgary that the Doughnut Police finally decided we could have Tim Bits again.

“What. The fuck. Is that?!” Annette and I wanted to know when they showed up with coffee and a teeny, tiny, miniscule little box of Tim Bits – like they were for Ken and Barbie or something.  The Viking was beaming like he was offering us gold bars while Erik nodded his participation in the offering.

The Viking:  We thought that since this was the last day of our road trip we would treat you with Tim Bits.

Me:  Did you do the math on this?

The Viking:  The math?

Me:  Yes.  The math.  There are 4 people in the vehicle and 20 Tim Bits.  That means we only get 5 each!

The Viking:  That’s enough, isn’t it?

Me:  Oh, it most definitely isn’t enough!  It might be months before I get Tim Bits again and you’re rationing us?  What is this?  War time or something?  What if I put you on a licorice diet?  Only allowed you 5 pieces of licorice once a day?

The Viking:  That’s not the same thing at all!

Me:  Yes it is!  Erik and Annette brought you 83 pounds of candy from Denmark and that might have to last you for 2 years.  It’s totally the same.

The Viking wouldn’t cave but Erik decided to watch his man-ly figure and generously donated his share of the Bits.  Annette and I split them between us because The Viking didn’t deserve any more.  I then proceeded to give him the stink eye all the way home.

We graced Vancouver Island with our presence for 3 days then we headed to Pentiction where we would tour Wineries and lay on the beach.  That was our intention, but it didn’t actually work out that way.  We hit one Winery, only stayed at the beach for an hour and a half before it clouded over, took a ride on an old historic train and got drunk a lot instead.

We did play Mini-Golf but Erik was like some sort of Pool Shark except with golf balls.  Sure, he was humble while we were playing but when he announced that he beat all of us by a minimum of 6 strokes he couldn’t hide the Victory Grin.

I asked, “Is anyone else suspicious that the guy who kept score is also the one that won the game?”  The last laugh was ours the next morning though when Erik developed painful Golfer’s Wrist; we had to find a splint to immobilize it.  What cost the price of Victory?

After Mini Golf we went to a Chinese Buffet and the true difference between how the Danes treat Buffets and how Canadians (at least this Canadian) treat Buffets were glaring.  Annette, The Viking and Erik carefully perused the food and picked out Fishy Stuff.  I perused the food and picked out the stuff I liked and put it on my plate.  Back at the table, my plate was full while their plates held only a few things.  They all finished their first course and returned to the Buffet for their next.

I sat nibbling on my chicken balls, watching the progress of my companions.  It took a moment for what I was seeing to sink into my brain.  The Viking was first, Annette was second and Erik was bringing up the rear.  Their movements were perfectly synchronized!  They all took one step to the right in precise unison.  They all put something on their plate (the hand movements were immaculately synced) and took another flawless step to the right.  They repeated this amazing show the whole way around the Buffet!!  This performance would have captured them a Gold Medal if it was an Olympic Event (we should make this an Olympic Event).  No swim team could have matched the precision.  They returned to the table, in-step, with a military precision Korean soldiers would envy.

“Um….I don’t know if you know this but that was an incredible display of The Buffet Shuffle.”  I said.  “I was completely entertained.  Well done!”

Apparently they had never heard of The Buffet Shuffle so I had to explain the intricate steps and movements involved.  I’ve been to a lot of Buffets in my life – my father is a huge fan – but I’ve never seen the Shuffle done so well.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get my phone out and record it until it was too late.  Equally unfortunate was the fact that when I went up to get another dumpling the only person I had to Shuffle with was a very tall, very skinny guy and he was more interested in the Ginger Beef than Shuffling.  I did try though, but had to stop when he caught me trying to match his movements.

We gazed at mountains and glaciers, tramped through a forest, Erik watched whales and the rest of us communed with nature at The Butchart Gardens.  We toasted bikers, toured a Miniature Land and browsed 317 gift shops.  We saw the Hope Slide, the Enchanted Forest, Fisherman’s Wharf and a Water Fall that used to be free but now isn’t.  Erik and The Viking drank Beer with Clamato Juice and Ceasars with abandon and then had the trots.  They didn’t believe me when I told them it was the Clamato Juice so they had the trots for much longer than they needed too.  Annette and I polished off two bottles of Lemon Gin and didn’t get the trots at all.

Most importantly, we had HYGGE.  In abundance!  We just spent time together and laughed and talked and were a family.  It was one of the best times of my life.  You know how sometimes you spend time with people but after a few days you want to shoot them in the face?  Well, this wasn’t one of those things.  It was bliss instead.

We arrived home to two very love-y cats who refused to let any of us out of their sight for two days.  That was fine because we had only a day and a half to prepare for my Wedding.  Thank goodness Annette is a brilliant Hair Stylist.  Also thankfully, she is a calm and serene island in the middle of my Stress Mess.

…..Stay tuned for My Completely Viking Wedding.

Boom, Baby!

It’s harder to get married than I thought.  It should have been easier given that I’ve been on that particular Merry-Go-Round before.  Maybe it wasn’t as complicated back then.  Or maybe expectations were lower at 19 than they are at 53.  Or maybe it’s because I only had 10 days to pull it off this time.  Or, most likely, life has kicked my ass a few times and now I’m a neurotic, stressed out, menopausal woman with a Perfection Complex.

As I was maniacally making notes and lists and finding out what was available and what wasn’t available, The Viking walked past and made an explosion sound that puffed his cheeks out.  I whipped my head around and said, “What is that supposed to mean?!  Is that the sound of all my hopes and dreams exploding in my face?!  Because I don’t need the sound effects!”

For a moment his face was slack with confusion but then he started to laugh.  “Relax, babe.  It will be just fine.  I can help you as soon as I’m done in the garage.”

It didn’t work, but I appreciated the attempt to soothe my fraying nerves.  Mim and I brainstormed over a wedding cake and came up with this:

Unfortunately, Crave Cupcakes had the temerity to accept other orders before mine. Boom, Baby!

Everything else was coming together though.  I had dishes, tablecloth, napkins, napkin rings, serving platters, flowers ordered, food order put in at the Danish store and a Commissioner of Marriage – Judy.  She explained what I needed to know and what the most important thing I needed since I had been married before – the Judgement of my Divorce.

I found it almost immediately, surprising myself with my organization and filing skills.  It said ‘Judgement of Divorce’ on it and there were several official stamps and dates.  Two days before Erik & Annette (The Viking’s brother and beautiful Partner) arrived, The Viking and I went to the Registry to get our Marriage License.

We waited patiently in line then handed over our Identification and my Judgement of Divorce.

“Sorry.  I need a Certificate of Divorce, not the Judgement.” The little girl behind the counter said firmly.

I said, “What?!  The Commissioner said ‘Judgement of Divorce’.”

“You need a Certificate of Divorce.”  She said slowly and more audibly.

“Are you saying I’m not Divorced?”

“Oh, you’re divorced for sure.”

“So why can’t I have a marriage license?”

“Because you need a C..E..R..T..I..F..I..C..A..T..E of Divorce.”

“What is a C..E..R..T..I..F..I..C..A..T..E of Divorce going to tell you that the actual Judgement doesn’t?”

“Nothing.  But the law requires it.”  Well, there’s no arguing with that, is there?  I hate Smarty-Pants young people who pull facts and rules out when it’s most inconvenient.

“So where do I go to get this damned Certificate?!”

“Downtown at the Court of Queens Bench.”  Boom, Baby!

“DOWNTOWN?!”  I hate Downtown!  It requires waiting for buses and then walking whole blocks and then waiting in lines, and then waiting for buses and walking whole blocks again.

Smarty-Pants nodded cheerfully and handed me my fucking useless Judgement of Divorce.  The Viking had remained quiet throughout the whole ordeal but chose this moment to share his wisdom.

“So, you’ll just have to go downtown and get the Certificate.”

I had the brilliant idea of calling Stanley because he was already re-married so he must have had a Certificate and he was a whole lot closer than fucking Downtown.  Except some asshole Home Invader broke into his and his wife’s house and stole THE FUCKING CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE!!  Who does that?!  Sure, they took a lot of other stuff that was much more valuable, both monetary and sentimental, but a Certificate of Divorce?!  I have a lot of sympathy for the horribleness of someone invading their house and privacy and safety and I don’t mean to be glib about their losses and emotional devastation but……I NEEDED THAT DOCUMENT!!  You asshole!  Boom, Baby!

So I went Downtown.  And I got my damned Certificate.  And we took it to Smarty-Pants at the Registry and got our Marriage License.

Pop Quiz:  Did you know that if the smallest, tiniest, puniest thing, like a wrinkle or a stain, happens to that License, it’s null and void?  Yes, it’s true.  Had I known that, I would have insisted we take separate vehicles so The Viking could be in sole custody of the License where I would have no access to it.  The drive home was like transporting Nitroglycerin.  It lay across my lap and my hands were placed firmly on the dash.

But then I had an itch on the end of my nose.  I tried to ignore it but it just kept getting worse and worse and finally I carefully took one hand from the dash, extended a finger and started moving it toward the itch.

The Viking:  What are you doing?!

Me:  I have an itch!

The Viking:  Put your hand back on the dash!  Right now!

Me:  But it itches!

The Viking:  It won’t kill you so, put. the. hand. back. on. the. dash!

I had to wait in the car when we got back home so he could retrieve the License from my lap and whisk it away to our safe.

And that was the end of planning time.  It took quite a while for me to just accept that I did my best and it would have to do.  We had the most important things in place and I would have one day after our Honeymoon to get ready for the actual Wedding Day.

Oh!  I probably didn’t tell you…..we are taking our Honeymoon before the Wedding because we were taking Erik and Annette to Victoria for 10 days.  All the last minute shit required for the Wedding would have to be accomplished in one day when we got back home.

On July 15th we were waiting at the Edmonton International Airport to meet our guests.  I was at the mercy of the Gawds.  Boom, Baby!

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Completely Viking Wedding.


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Just Tie the Knot, Already!

Well, I’m nothing if not adept at biting off more than I can chew so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that I’ve done it again.  This time I had help though.  In the form of a Viking.

We were contentedly watching a movie last week when he suddenly said….

“How much longer do we need to be together before we get married?”

I laughed nervously; the subject of marriage always makes me a bit flinch-y.

Except, last weekend we celebrated our 10th year together.  10 YEARS!  Some people might consider that a fairly lengthy engagement but, to be honest, I’m quite happy with the status quo.  I don’t need a legal document to prove my love and a Common-Law status is legally almost as good as marriage anyway.   You don’t spend 2 decades trying to make a marriage work, fail and then jump right back into the frying pan without at least a little apprehension.

The Viking:  I’m not joking.  How much longer do you need?

Me:  Umm…..well I didn’t really have a specific date in mind – like 2021 or anything.

The Viking:  It’s been 10 years already!

Me:  I know.  I just thought we had decided not to jump in this year.

The Viking:  I know you’ve been married before and weren’t willing to make that decision too soon but it’s about time, isn’t it?

Me:  I didn’t realize you were in a hurry.

The Viking:  Well, I’ve never been married and I would like to get married before I die.  To you!  Erik and Annette* will be here and this is the only time we can get married when I could have a family member stand up for me.

Well, geez!  If he’s going to put it that way…..

And he’s right – as usual.  I thought we would get married in Denmark in a few years when we had a little more money, but it would be cheaper to do it here rather than flying my kids all the way to Denmark.

And maybe I should start dealing with my aversion to marriage and anything that even sounds like marriage.  The Viking and I have been living and working together for years and years quite happily, so you wouldn’t think that a piece of paper would make any difference.  It’s a piece of paper not a liver transplant!  Right?

But deep in the back of my head is a voice saying, “Sometimes that piece of legal paper makes a world of difference.” Some people take it as permission to be controlling and over-bearing and jealous; I’ve seen movies!  And what if there’s a skeleton in a closet that I haven’t located yet?  What if he’s trying on my clothes when I go to the grocery store (not that there’s anything wrong with that if I know about it before I marry it!)?  What if he has an entire family concealed in a neighbouring town (even I can see that this is not very likely, but still….)?  What if he’s in the Witness Protection Program and mob thugs are going to show up here one day?  What if…..

FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD……shut up already!  If The Viking were truly like that and managed to fool me for 10 years(!) he deserves a medal of achievement. Besides, he doesn’t have the patience for it.  He probably won’t change at all.  And don’t you remember you called him an arse-ling just last week and he didn’t lose his shit at all!  In fact, he actually smiled!  So, maybe marrying him will turn out to be the best thing ever.

Or not.  Gawd!  My right eye is twitching.  Is my eye trying to tell me something?  Perhaps it knows something that my brain hasn’t picked up yet.  It would be just like me to have a ‘twitchy eye’ instead of a ‘gut feeling’.  On the other hand, you have to see something before your brain can do anything about it, so maybe my twitchy eye is ahead of the curve.

And now that I’m thinking about it, why in the hell would he want to marry me in the first place?  I’m a mess!  A 53 YEAR OLD Mess!  It’s exhausting just thinking about all of my faults and weirdiness.

You know, he would really be better off with someone less……..

The Viking:  HELLOOO?! 

Me:  What?

The Viking:  I’ve been watching your face.  Are you getting close to using words yet?

Me:  Oh!  Of course I want to marry you!  What woman wouldn’t?  Are you sure you want to go down this road?  You’ll be stuck with me for the rest of your life because once I’m committed that’s it!   

The Viking:  I know.  I wouldn’t have asked you to marry me if I wasn’t prepared to spend the rest of my life with you.

Me:  What if I don’t meet expectations?

The Viking:  You already don’t meet expectations.  Nothing new there.  I kind of like that about you.

Me:  Really?    

The Viking:  Why do you think I want to marry you?  

Me:  You have a concussion?  Brain Cancer?  You hear dead people?  A VooDoo Doctor is making you do it?  Blackmail?  An evil curse?  Selective Alzheimers?  

The Viking:  Oh, for fucksakes!  Are you going to marry me or what?!

Me:  Okay, fine!  On one condition.

The Viking:  Should I even ask?

Me:  When I’m in a wheel chair, you will make it the fastest, most powerful wheel chair ever!

The Viking:  You might not end up in a wheel chair.

Me:   70% chance.

The Viking:  If you do, I will.

Me:  And you’ll love me forever?

The Viking:  I already do.  More than you can even imagine.

And then all hell broke loose!  I had 10 days to pull this off.  I need an Official to do the ceremony, our rings, dishes, flowers, a wedding outfit, a tablecloth, cloth napkins and rings, wine glasses, drink glasses, serving platters, photographer, my Judgement of Divorce (who knows where the hell I stashed that damned thing?!), a marriage license, some place to have the ceremony and a pedicure/manicure.  Then there are the Wedding Vows to write.

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We aren’t equipped to have a wedding, even an incredibly small one.  We only had 7 dinner plates and one of them had an ugly chip in it.  No matching wine glasses.  If I’m harnessing myself to The Viking for the rest of my life there had better be some matching wine glasses!!

Today, I have exactly 5 days left to find a photographer, get the marriage license and find a nice spot in Bowness Park.  Thanks to my Mim, we’ve accomplished a damned miracle getting the other stuff.

Even better, I am actually looking forward to My Teeny Weeny Viking Wedding.

I’m still stressed but there is a small chance that I might be ready for Saturday morning when we pick up Erik and Annette at the airport.

Sweet Bejesus!!  I forgot about a cake!  May this be the only thing I’ve forgotten.  Sigh.  Deep breaths.  It will be fine.  It’s a wedding, not a Heart Transplant.

*The Viking’s brother and his lovely wife, Annette.

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I Can’t Just Wing It!

April 2017

The Viking’s brother and his lovely partner Annette are coming for a visit from Denmark in July.  For three weeks.  And I’m not concerned at all.  Because I’m an adult and have two and a half months to prepare.  As a matter of fact, when I told The Viking that I was a little stressed, he said “You have two and a half months to prepare, for fucksakes!”

I shouldn’t be worried at all.  There should be absolutely zero stress involved.  I’ve been the Hostess with the Mostess before; it’s not like I’m a rookie.  I’ve had the Boss and his wife over for dinner.  It was nothing! Friends? Easy-peasy!  The kids?  No problem!  You know where the linens are, help yourself.  If the chicken was a little over-cooked, who cares, right?

This time it’s different.  This time it’s The Viking’s Brother, Erik!  And Annette!  They had the most amazing bed linens and meals that were perfect and hot buns and cheese and cold cuts in the morning and a beautiful home and everything was perfect!  Most importantly, no one was losing their fucking minds trying to be perfect.

I can’t just wing this!  I can’t procrastinate until 3 days before they arrive and then panic.


So guess what I did?

That’s right.  I procrastinated my way to 16 days before their arrival.  And now I’m LIKE THIS!

I need to be fresh and relaxed so they will feel fresh and relaxed.  I can’t meet them at the airport in a full-blown hot flash, reeking of Windex and Bleach.

I should hire people.  Professional people.  Waiters and Chefs and Housekeepers and couriers and a Butler.  I wonder if Ramsay is busy?  No, scratch that!  I can’t have him telling people to fuck off and calling them donkey’s asses while I’m trying to be perfect.  Jamie Oliver then.  Yikes! What if he serves Squid Ink Pasta!  I’ve written an entire blog about my feelings involving Squid Ink Pasta!  If only Julia Child were alive and available.

A mature, experienced woman would start by creating lists to be completed in chronological order as the date of arrival approaches.  But I didn’t do that.  Sure, I scoured the internet until I found amazing linens but that is the extent of my preparations.  I still have so much to do!

  • Paint the family room
  • Hang family room pictures
  • Shampoo carpets
  • Re-Side the house
  • Re-Sod the front yard
  • Build professional flower beds and plant flowers
  • Re-plant flowers because the first ones died
  • Get a Pedi-cure and my nails done
  • Cut The Viking’s hair
  • Get MY hair done
  • Buy a designer water pitcher with matching glasses for the guest room
  • Transform the Office Cubby Thingy in the spare room into a Martha Fucking Stewart creation
  • Re-hang curtain rods in spare room because I fucked up the ones in there already
  • Get a complete make over
  • Make more Poo-Pourri – we only have one bathroom after all
  • Hang The Viking’s Battle Axe and Shield on a wall so he’s not tempted to use it on me
  • Lose 30 pounds
  • Hire a Look Alike so I can hide in a closet and have panic attacks
  • Get the car detailed
  • Buy a hand gun and shoot myself in the head

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There is a bat-shit crazy squirrel in my head playing every disastrous scenario possible.  What if they have allergies to my laundry detergent? What if I can’t think of anything to say?  What if I say the wrong thing? What if they notice my stress and hate being here?  What if they decide to go home early because I’m a mess?

Maybe I should get some Weed.  If I get stoned will I be like this…..

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or like this?

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Probably this, because it’s me we’re talking about.  And this is also the reason we don’t have a big fountain in the house – I don’t need to be wasted to fall into it.

Maybe I’ll just try essential oils first.  Apparently lavender, rose, vetiver (whatever the fuck that is), ylang ylang, bergamot, chamomile and frankincense (I thought that was only for Jesus) are good for alleviating anxiety.

I can always go for the devil’s weed later if necessary.