Showing posts from 2012

A Tink Christmas

Hi there! I'm not quite sure where the past week went, but I think it had something to do with rest and relaxation. So no thoughtful; New Year's post this year. Instead, I'll share the annual love extravaganza that is Christmas amongst the Andersens. Which in a way will serve as its own thoughtful New Year's post, because at the end of the day, this is what life is about. Love. And a lot of laughter.

Liam contemplated the meaning of Christmas. Or tried to wait patiently for dinner and presents. Either works.

Morgan borrowed Scott's hat. Hip hop looks good on her.

We moved dinner down to the building's Party Room— there was no room at the inn (a.k.a. my mother's apartment) for 11 people to eat and still have elbow room. During dinner, Morgan attacked David. She is particularly fond of squishing his face.

 Back upstairs the kids burned off energy

and then we all sang carols, both English and Danish. This frequently got derailed as the participants lost it

Anything …

Glædelig Jul!

May yours be magical.

(pronunciation guide)

City Hush, redux

Toronto's had no snow yet, at least not any that stayed on the ground. None forecast for Christmas, either. So to celebrate the winter solstice, I've pulled this out of my archives and made it my desktop image. Maybe it'll give Mother Nature a nudge, remind her what snow is.


I've meant to do a post for the past three days and have finally realized it just ain't gonna happen. Too much to do between work, The Book and getting ready for the big day (as my sister says: five more days!). So it'll be about photos instead. 

One of me neighbours on the street next to my building has decorated their shrubbery. Every timeI look out my window, I see dancing stars of light and smile. I love this season.

Real RA: Opening a Pop/Soda Can

RA hands can make a lot of things difficult, some of them big, some of them small. Sometimes it's about the jar, sometimes it isn't. And sometimes, it's about something as simple as a can of pop.

Over time, you develop tricks and workarounds to do what you need to do. Today, I share mine for opening those recalcitrant cans – all you need is a fork. Sure, your health would be better without the fizzy wonder liquid, but every now and again, you gotta give in...

Note: forgot to mention why a small fork doesn't work and only had the one can. The tines need to be long enough to brace against the edge of the hole in the can while keeping the tab steady and straight. If you use a small fork, the tab bends instead of opening.

The Tinks are 7!

I have no idea how this happened, but somehow, my wee babies - OK, my sister's wee babies - are now 7 years old. A couple of weeks ago, we all got together to celebrate.

We started at my mother's and as usual, the minute David sat down, he had a pile of Tinks on his lap

After the greeting rituals, we repaired to our local Irish pub for nosh and presents. Liam had a big sandwich

Morgan and Janne/TinkMama communed

The kids both got a Hexbug - a fantastic toy that's fun for all ages. Liam's was an orange larva

Morgan discovered that if she held the middle legs of her superfast purple ant, it whirred around madly. Total glee

After lunch, we went back to my mother's again and the kids piled on top of Scott.

Michele discovered that the kids seems to have outgrown the criss cross game.

And Liam got attacked by Morgan's snake.

It was a good day.

Seven. Wow.

Setting Sun, Crane and Glass


RA and the Holidays: Dialing Down the Stress

It's been a loooong week and somehow, the blog got neglected. Next week will be better (I hope).

One of my distractions was a post for HealthCentral about how to keep from getting too overwhelmed this season:

"The holidays are here, the time that tradition kicks in more firmly than any other time of year. That means doing everything the way you did last year and the year before that and so on. You have expectations of yourself, expectations to perform at a certain level. You always bake seven different kinds of cookies, because that's what your mother did when you grew up. The silver has to be polished and the house decorated inside and out. You can't not show up to the holiday parties, especially not the ones with a potluck, because people depend on you. There's a mountain of cards to be written and a mountain of work to be done before the end of December. Presents have to be bought and wrapped beautifully, just like you always have.

And when you have rheu…

Foggy Morning

Last week I had an early morning appointment and got up at an entirely unreasonable time. It'd been a foggy night and by the time I got out of the shower, it was still early enough that the sun didn't have enough power to burn off the fog yet. Not surprising that close to it getting up. I don't have that much power immediately upon rising, either. 

And it was beautiful. I didn't have a lot of time to get ready, so I had to choose between putting on makeup and popping outside with my camera. Given the title of this post, you can probably guess what I chose.

I am so not a girl.

Herewith the best of the bunch:


Seven or eight years ago, I stopped being able to read regular books. My neck and shoulders couldn't handle holding the book or the looking down part. Before that, and for as long as I can remember, I carried a book with me wherever I've gone. Reading was my first love. I didn't so much read as inhale books and it started when I was a child. Every month, my mother would take me to the library in the next town over and I’d fill two large bags with books. The librarians loved me because my lending habits worked so well for their stats they were able to get extra money in the budget. Before I stopped being able to read regular books, I'd devour 3-5 books a week and suspect it may have worked equally well for the libraries I've used as an adult.
I remember hours, even days of disappearing into a book. I remember finding every opportunity, even if it was just 5 minutes, to dive back into the adventure and then somehow persuading myself to read just for another 2 minutes,…

In Which Writing is Like Living with RA

2 1/2 years. 67,000 words. 268 pages.
The Book is done. At approximately 12:37 PM, Saturday, November 17, 2012, I closed down the finalized manuscript. And then I said out loud to no one in particular - Lucy was ignoring me - "I am done."
Well, not entirely done, but it’s now in the hands of my copy editor for a final ripping apart. I'm kind of excited to see how well my instinctive approach to grammar stands up.
And it's weird. It is really, really weird to be done. For so long, it has been about finishing one chapter or one section and then picking up another, being done, but never Done. And now that I am, there is this odd, restless silence, both in my head, my heart and my apartment (I keep expecting confetti and marching bands, but so far it hasn't happened except through lovely digital pictures and cards with confetti from friends).
Wait… what’s that? Ah. There they are

That’s better.
Anyway, so there I was, flailing about for something to think about, plan and…

A Study in Santa

I almost didn't yesterday. There were things I had to do, documents to review, Lists to vanquish.

And then, at the last minute, I found myself running out the door without quite realizing I'd made the decision to scuttlw work. Because it's where I've been for 15 of the last 16 years on a special Sunday just around now. It's the start of my Christmas.

It's the Santa Claus Parade.

I knew I was getting closer when I found exhausted band detritus littering the streets

and the crowds made it official. I was in the right place. By the way - thanks to the Toronto Police for excellent crowd control that meant I - and other short people, like children) - could see the parade

There was even an errant elf

I missed most of the floats, but the bands were excellent. This one was especially stirring - there's something about flags waving in the wind with the sun streaming through them that lifts your heart.

I got up close and personal

Mrs. Claus' float signalled the almost-…