June 27, 2014

Four Year BLOG-iversary.

HOLY CRAP-A-DOODLE. I missed my fourth Blog-iversary.

It was on June 21st.

There's just too dang much going on around here: two books, three films, three teenagers in my face...life is rushing past me! I barely have time to live it, let alone record it in drawings.

Never mind. You can still wish me a Happy Blog-iversary if'n you want to.

Or...you could draw me a card!! If you do, I will post it below. And it will make me very, very happy. Prolly won't happen, but you never know.

PS I love drawing for you. What was your favourite post this year?

June 18, 2014

Menopause FUQ.

WARNING: This post is bold. In fact, my husband is pretty much convinced that I'm destroying my blogging career with it. Do I care? Not really. Both my daughters and my own mother burst out laughing viewing these drawings. But anyways, if you’re at all squeamish or easily offended by anthropomorphic lady bits you should stop reading now and click away from this blog post. I’m taking no prisoners.


Yeah, I said it out loud. Seriously, nobody* wants to talk openly about this fact of female life. I grew up, got married and had three children, and was all the while blissfully unaware of anything to do with menopause. I only learned how to spell it properly when I got my first attack of the sweaty-undertits. No one wants to talk and no one wants to listen.
*A group comprised of most people.

Just for fun, I Googled some of the female-exclusive reproductive words to compare interest levels (I included a Google search of "sex" just for laughs.):

9.1 billion mentions of "menopause" on the Internet seems like a lot. But is it? I mean, it has a tad more presence than "menstruation", which kinda surprised me, but is still nowhere near the search results for "pregnancy", or "sex", which is totally off the charts.

I’ll say it again:

MENO - wait for it ......pause.”

I feel like sharing. Here’s a list of things no one told me about menopause - think of it as a PSA falling kerplunk! into the category of answers to Frequently Unanswered Questions, or FUQ:

1.  First off - Tweezers will be your new best friend. You'll want a magnifying mirror to see the nasty black bristles you've been oblivious to for the past six months since your eyes have been going bye-bye.

2.  When you look in the mirror, you'll sometimes see a man staring back at you. This is especially true if your teen-aged daughters steal borrow your tweezers. Weirdly, make-up tends to enhance the masculine effect. It’s kind of a drag.

3.  You will need three different bra sizes in one month. Randomly undulating breasts are fun! Try to enjoy it.

You're looking at my star qualities aren't you.

4.  My Hot Flashes are probably contributing to Global Warming. I'm sorry about that. If only there was a Think Tank clever enough to dream up a way to harness this sustainable energy resource...

5.  Night sweats can totally happen during the day. (Note the sweaty- undertits.)

6.  Things that you used to be able to set your clock by, suddenly go haywire. And just when you think you're in the clear because it's been months and months since you've had to tear off a strip, your period will come raging back into your knickers like an old acquaintance that you never liked very much cornering you at a cocktail party.

Wear white at your own risk and above all, avoid swimming in shark infested waters.

7.  Oh the mood swings! Oscillating between crying jags and vicious snarls is exhausting. Too bad those hot flashes are keeping you awake at night.

See what I did there?


Still here? Well alrighty then, don't say I didn't warn you.

8.  Vaginal dryness happens to OTHER women. Nobody wants to admit they have it because our plump, juicy vagina is tied directly to our core sexuality. But one day you'll be innocently going about your business when suddenly there'll be a scratching sensation. The closest thing I can liken it to is having sand in your bathing suit and you'll wonder how on earth it got there.

Life is a beach, and then you get sandy shorts. THANKS A LOT, MENOPAUSE.

Sex can be ouchy! You might be well and truly turned on but it still feels dry and it hurts. Some days it feels like if your vagina had a face it might look like this.

But don't freak out - it doesn't have a face.

Actually, I looked "vaginal dryness" up on a reputable site, and guess what?! The vagina is not necessarily dry; it could just be that the tissues are all thin and shriveled due to a decrease in estrogen and progesterone. So yaaaaaay.

Also known as "Reasons to die young".

9.  You will lose your memory. You will even lose the memory of your memory.

10.  What was the question again? I'm sorry I can't hear you above the wailing wind whistling through my empty cranial cavity.

11.  Somehow, through this tornado of bleck and uncertainty, The Huz still finds me hawt. Hurrah! I will keep him.

Yay! Someone loves me, vadryna and all!
On the bright side, I've only got another five to ten years of this menopausal crap. I wonder what's supposed to happen after that...?

June 6, 2014

Quality FAMILY Time.

Four years ago, our Zombie Dishwasher finally gave up the ghost.

Since The Huz was doing most of the cooking, a fair chunk of the dish washing was done by ...yours truly.

But before you burst into tears of pity, let me tell you it hasn't been all bad. Sure, there are times when every single dish, glass, pot, cutlery and Tupperware in the kitchen has been used throughout the day, and every single able-bodied person mysteriously disappears after dinner. We're talking about the horrendous aftermath of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snackies, complete with crusted-on cement masquerading as cereal and the horrors of three day old tuna-sandwich plastic containers arising from the depths of an Eight Grader's school bag.

It's enough to give you the dry heaves (if you're lucky).

Rather than face it alone, I nag. I nag expertly. After a 30+ year career in animation production, making sure we get that commercial through the pipeline on time, under budget and with blow-the-client-away quality, I'm capable of world class nagging - I am a nagspert! Of course, animators are somewhat easier to herd than teenagers.

But eventually, during the first year of my unrelenting nagging to "COME AND HELP WITH THE DISHES", something very interesting began to happen. Dish washing time turned into one-on-one time. As I stood scrubbing and rinsing, my normally reticent teenagers would spill the beans about their day, their friends, their crushes and disappointments. The fresh linen in their hands methodically drying crockery still warm from the sink had a relaxing effect on them. I think it helped that I would stand facing the window, so there was no judgmental eye to cast aspersions. Whichever of my kids happened to be helping would soon begin leaking secrets and we began to know our children as people.

Washing dishes had become a safe place.

But that's not all. The Huz set up some speakers and a turntable in the kitchen and there was music. More than one teenager would join in with the clearing, and stacking and drying as I stood washing. We danced to the Beatles, The Jackson 5 and Elton John! We sang along to Grease and Rocky Horror! Old vinyl records were pulled out and played, the history of music was discussed, memories and stories emerged and our children began to know their parents as people.

Washing dishes had become fun.

There's more. The teenagers invited their friends and boyfriends over, who would stay for dinner and help with the dishes afterwards. Jokes, laughter and philosophical conversation flowed as the dirty dishes passed one by one through my soapy hands to wind up clean and dry in the cupboards.

And some days, most extraordinarily, The Huz and I will put our feet up and relax on the sofa while the kids do the dishes without us.

This story has been ripening in my head for four years. I've just come from the kitchen, singing a slew of Bee Gees songs with the seventeen-year-old girl. The sink is clean, the counter wiped and every dish has been scrubbed, dried and put away....tidied after a fashion.

I know that life isn't perfect; there are still days when no one comes to help and I just don't feel like nagging or washing dishes. On those days they get left in a pile until the next morning, and I'm okay with that.

I will never be tempted to trade my quality family time for a dishwasher. There are still memories waiting to be made washing dishes, and I know that soon enough, it will be just me and The Huz.

Do you have any fun stories about doing housework with your family?

June 3, 2014

Exercise & Bras.

I've been making a few incremental changes in my life lately. Most of them are small things, like quitting drinking, spending time with loved ones, and brushing my teeth before bed. But they also include exercise. I am smart.

So today I'm going to talk to you about exercise and bras (my favourite fashion item). Have a look at the animated GIF here:

When I go running I wear a regular bra with a sports bra on top. Even so, I noticed that when I run around the park my bra straps fall down. I have to interrupt my rhythm to push them back up but they just fall down again. This is so frikkin' annoying it makes me want to give up! The health benefits of exercise are surely outweighed by the stress of having to return those dumb bra straps to my shoulders over and over. Right?

Anyways I was thinking, maybe I could do some kind of exercise that builds up my shoulder muscles. The muscle bulges would keep my bra straps from falling down again.

OK geniuses, what kind of exercise do I need to do to achieve this goal?

Sometimes I do a mini-workout first thing in the morning. It can be tempting to roll out of bed and do jumping jacks in my pyjamas before I'm completely awake.

It never occurred to me that my un-tethered gazongas might render me unconscious with their wild swinging.

Jumping-jack TKO.

It was a big mistake and I won't be doing that again.

Next time I'll just put my bra on, on top of my jammies.

Exercise is good for you!