Tag: sisters (page 1 of 7)

Adventures in family history: Getting started

Dear Readers,

Despite secretly suspecting we’d be spending most of our time here in Whistler seeing sights, shopping, and lolling about telling stories to amuse ourselves—in short, doing anything but the work we intended to do—we actually made some real progress in sorting, identifying, scanning, and labelling our family photos today.

We know, we like to live life on the edge.

Whatever. It’s what we came here to do, and we’re feeling pretty proud.

We started by collecting box upon box of loose photos, photo albums and a dubious-looking family tree from our downstairs locker.

A shopping trolley just lying about came in handy for carting the first load upstairs. And that, friends, is why we now have a trolley parked in the foyer of our apartment. We promise, we’re not turning into bag ladies. Yet.


Deep in the bowels of the mountain, we found a treasure trove of family memorabilia in Wendy’s storage locker. Plus a grocery trolley. Score!

We spread our day’s work on the table.


And this is only the very beginning…

Getting busy scanning photos and inspecting negatives.


Wendy sorts through photo…after photo…after photo.


Rachel, our intrepid and long-suffering photo scanning pro, hard at work.

Bucky felt lonely and unwanted, so we gave him an important job: Chief Apple Inspector. It made him feel needed, plus allowed him to have a healthy snack when no one was looking.


Bucky takes off his hat indoors. Such a polite little fellow he is.

Our work is nowhere near done. Tomorrow we rise at dawn to enter the fray once more. Tally ho the fox!

(Not really, we just think it makes us sound hardcore.)


Karen, Wendy, Rachel, and Bucky (Chief Apple Inspector)

Awesome Advice Central is the cat’s meow!

Dear Awesome Advice Central,

I’m a loving sister, you need to know that first and foremost. I adore my younger sister, and think she’s the bee’s knees, Grade A #1, Top of the Heap, Queen of All She Surveys. Et cetera.

The fact that I love her makes what I’m about to tell you seem almost impossible to believe: I want to kill her cat.

I need your help: how do I do this?  And more important, because I don’t want to cause young S’tarrli’te any emotional stress, how do I ensure she never finds out Mr. Fluffles died at my hand?

Got it?

Perhaps you want to know why I need Mr. Fluffles dead.  It’s simple, really. 


The Evil Mr. Fluffles.

He has ruined my life. He and I have never really gotten along all that well. He regularly bites my ankles, dive-bombs me when I walk past the kitchen cabinet where he nests, and hisses at me with such ferocity that I actually lock my bedroom door at night, to ensure he doesn’t maul me in my sleep.

However, the last straw was drawn yesterday, when I arrived home in a particularly happy, gay mood. I’d recently become engaged to my darling Algernon Himmel Pants (I call him Algie P for short) the day before and I was admiring my new ring in the afternoon light. 

I’d shown it to S’tarrli’te and the rest of the family and decided, after we’d imbibed two bottles of champagne to celebrate my good luck in snagging Algie P, that I should go have a soothing bath to calm my nerves. After all, it’s not every day a girl gets engaged to the man of her dreams! 

Mr Fluffles loves going into the bath—his favourite spot is the sink, where he enjoys rolling around, twisting and turning like a fish in water. He looks almost…cute when he does this, so I didn’t really mind having his company when I bathed. 



Down the hatch, Mr. Fluffles!

Worried that I’d drop or lose the ring in the bath, I removed it and placed it safely inside the cabinet over the sink.  While reclining in the suds and just as I was attempting to shave my legs, I saw Mr Fluffles (or Mr Soon-To-Be-Snuffed, as I now refer to him) open the cabinet with his evil feline paws, pull my beloved 24-carat ring towards him, lean over, and SWALLOW it!

Hearing my amazing and undignified protest, he turned his cadaverous head in my direction and smiled at me.  Yes, sisters of advice, he actually smiled.

I struggled and slipped in my efforts to remove myself from the tub. I reached for that wretched cat, but he darted out of my grasp. I sprawled on the bathroom floor, screaming to mother and father to “get the hell in here, pronto!”

By the time I’d righted myself and they’d arrived, Mr Fluffles was long gone. He skedaddled out of the house, and stayed away for 2 whole days before returning. 

In that time, the ring had undoubtedly been, how shall I put this, ejected from his body, and hasn’t been seen since. 

S’tarrli’te is useless. She refuses to recompense me for my loss. Mother and Father snort and get all giggly each time I demand to know what they’re going to do to help me. I don’t dare tell Algie P about this, as he told me to be careful with the ring, for which he’d paid big bucks. 



“So what’re you going to do, give me an enema?”

Now I figure I might as well forget about marrying Algie P, as he’ll likely dump me once he realises I haven’t really sent the ring out for cleaning.

As much as I’m annoyed with my sister, I can’t kill her without serious consequences, and I certainly can’t harm my parents. That leaves the dreaded, malicious Mr Fluffles. 

He’s ruined my life.  Help me ruin his as well. 

M’oonnbe’am Honeyblossom

Dear M’O…m’Oo….Ms. Honeyblossom,

We believe we have an alternate suggestion, which would involve no bloodshed, either human or feline.

Because honestly, every time we spell out one of our deliciously fiendish plans to send someone to the Great Litter Box in the Sky, we get hundreds, nay, thousands of blistering emails threatening us with charges of animal cruelty. Some people really have no sense of humour.

All right, down to brass tacks.

We’re sure it hasn’t escaped your notice that you and your sister are in possession of rather…odd names. Names that must have caused you a certain amount of emotional trauma during your formative years, and which might serve as impediments to your progress as you enter the adult world? Come on, didn’t the other children laugh and call you names? Didn’t your teachers snicker when they read the roll call?

Let’s face it: how many CEOs do you know named M’o’o….moo’…whatever your name is?

And surely your parents must have had some say in this matter, correct?

So we’d suggest, in lieu of killing poor Mr. Fluffles, you sue your parents for pain and suffering, and use the money to buy yourself a nice new ring to show Algae Pee or whatever his name is.

As for the cat, we’re quite certain he suffered the agonies of the damned during the expulsion of the ring. He’s suffered enough, in our opinion. Not that it’ll stop him from ingesting other articles of jewellery—cats are notoriously dim about such things. So from now on, keep a better eye on the bright’n’shinies, all right?

Now, please go away. It’s nap time chez Awesome Advice.

Awesome Advice Central


How to throw the Best Baby Shower Ever: Games guests love!

Dear Readers,

If you were paying attention yesterday, you’ll know we spent this past weekend in Toronto with Rachel and Kirsten, attending Kirsten’s baby shower. We promised pictures, and pictures you shall have!

Kirsten’s delightful mother-in-law, Margaret, hosted the shower, and she did a spectacular job of it—from sweet decorations to copious amounts of delectable treats, to some evil yet completely engrossing games. It was all planned to perfection, and it really was a wonderful afternoon.

Oh, and Kirsten got an astonishing number of gifts for the soon-to-be addition to the family. And when we say “astonishing number,” we mean “we don’t know where she’ll put it all.” We tried to keep count, but were forced to give up. Just trust us: this baby will want for nothing.


Baby bootees…


…and tiny sleepers!


Books! and toys!







Anyway, just in case you’re thinking of planning a baby shower, here are just a few of the wildly entertaining games Margaret devised. The woman is an evil genius.

Game 1: Crying Babies

Each guest had to take a turn looking after a life-sized (and very life-like) baby doll.

Sounds easy, right? Except that these demon spawn from hell sweet little babies have a secret superpower: they are programmed to cry from time to time. Not just “wah, wah,” either. Realistic, piercing baby wails of distress. The kind that’s pretty much impossible to ignore.

And when “your” baby cries, it’s up to you to find a way to soothe it: you can rock it, feed it, burp it, change it…eventually, if you’re lucky, the squalling will end.


Look! She finally shut up!


“She’s being a little angel for me!”


“Here you go, kid. It’ll cure what ails ya.”








You have to know that Karen’s baby instantly started shrieking at the top of her little lungs, and refused to be soothed by anything.

When it was Rachel’s turn to hold her, she was as good as gold. We hate Rachel.

And as soon as she was passed to Wendy, she started screaming again. Wendy’s solution: bottoms up, baby! Hey, it worked.

Game 2: Name that Poopy Diaper!

Six newborn diapers are laid out, each containing a sticky brown substance. The goal: guests can sniff, touch, and/or taste the substance, and must attempt to identify all 6.

Yeah, that’s what we thought.

In fact, the “poop” consists of 6 popular chocolate bars, melted and artistically placed for maximum gross-out effect.

Because we are pros, we approached this one scientifically.


Wendy sniffs one for the team.


Shh! Scientists at work.

We sniffed. We touched. We tasted.

We laughed…a lot.

We conferred.


“I cannot believe we’re actually doing this.”


“Getta load of this one!”

And while we thought we’d copied agreed with one another’s answers, somehow Karen came out a point ahead.

There was much moaning and gnashing of teeth. Because certain people are very poor losers.

Game 3: How Big is that Belly?


Sorry about that, Chief.

Each guest had to estimate the girth of the guest of honour….and we each had to commit to our guess by cutting a piece of string that would exactly match the actual measurement.

We’re not sure how this happened, but both of us wound up guessing almost twice the correct answer. Bad mother and auntie.

Okay, enough jollity and merriment for now…but we’re pretty sure that if you were to discreetly borrow any of these ideas, no one would mind.

Just make sure you invite us!


Karen and Wendy

Wendy catches up with Karen

Dear Karen,

You were a busy little Bucky over the Christmas period, while I was lazing away in Whistler, eating and drinking too much and trying to work out how to injure myself in as interesting a manner as possible.  At least I didn’t go as far as Angela Merkel.  That’s a big ouchie.

Anyway, I wanted to comment on some of your letters, starting with the “eat the entire apple, Wendy, it’s good for you!” post:


(Photo: Roger Karlsson, via Flickr)

No.  No, Karen, it’s not.  Eating the core of an apple is like eating row upon row of long, sharpened fingernails, interspersed with little brown hard-shelled bugs.  It’s not delicious, nutritious or any other kind of -icious you care to toss my way.  I eat the peel, which makes me a rebel in some circles already.  Don’t try to persuade me about the core.  Tell ya what, I’ll save mine up and post them to you.  I’m sure they’d make a dandy pie or stew.

The four top posts of 2013 belong to you and your clever brain.  Congratulations!  I knew I was teamed up with the right person when I decided to allow myself to be forced into blogging with you!  You’re so clever, so smart and have such a way with words, I’ve always enjoyed reading your letters, even when you’re on a rant about your fellow passengers in a cross-Canada journey by car in 1977.  Someone who can find genuine humour in their scalding anger, as you did, is someone I want to hang out with.


Baby shower bears: the next big thing

Baby shower bears are adorable and must become a world-wide phenomenon.

We can do this as a team:  you do the rollmops, or whatever you call them, the spinning, the dyeing, knitting and felting, while I get down to the serious business of finding cute adorable names for each bear.

I think we should start with Oswald and Peregrine.  Very royal, noble names.

Now I’d like to discuss my star sign:  you haven’t paid me enough money;  I need more.  Also, while I do drink martinis, I’m not sure I’m ready to date a bartender at this point in my life.  You might want to modify my horoscope for the year.  Just saying.


Attention, offspring: Wendy requires balloon animals. Get on that. (Image: Paula Rey, via Flickr)

Finally, New Year’s Resolutions:  my husband is going to take up yoga, my children will learn how to make balloon animals to entertain me while I’m bedridden (my ankle, remember?) and my kittens shall remain as perfect as they already are.

Resolutions are easy when they’re done the Karen Way.

There!  I’m all caught up now.

Happy New Year,

Getting owned by Words with Friends: A cautionary tale

Dear Wendy,

Okay, I get why you’re addicted to Candy Crush, but I’ll tell you straight up why I’ve been avoiding that game: it contains pictures of candy.

This is a picture i took for the Candy article.

Like this, actually. Mmm…Jelly beans.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, I know, they’re just animations…but every time that picture shows up, the reptilian part of my brain screams, “Jelly beans! Go find me some jelly beans! EAT ALL THE JELLY BEANS!!”

So I feel abstinence is the wiser course for me.

No, these days my game of choice is Words with Friends. Or at least it was, until last week.

You and I were engaged in one of our Epic Battles to the Death—the score was tight, and we were closing in on the final moves of the game. In baseball terms, I believe this would be something like “bottom of the ninth, two runners on, batter at the plate.” Mitchell will no doubt correct me if I’m wrong.

Playing Words with Friends

Yeah, this is us. If you leave out the Atlantic Ocean, that is. (Photo credit: mrsdkrebs)

I’d just played my penultimate move, and my last few letters had dropped into place.

Aw, hell, an X. What am I gonna do with that?

Oh, but wait! there was also an E, an A, an M, an I, an N, and a blank tile. And—miracle of miracles, wonder of wonders—there was a D already on the board, enough space for all 7 of my letters, and a Double Word Score just sitting there waiting for me. 

Seriously, how often does this happen? Approximately never.

All I had to do was wait for you to play your turn. And then, I cackled to myself, rubbing my hands together like a Bond villain in that heady moment just before James slides into his cunning trap, victory would be mine!

The next morning, when I opened my iPhone, you’d played your turn. I’m sure it was a fine word, but all my attention was fixed on my impending Stunning Victory.

I played my letters. My score doubled, then doubled again.

“Oho,” I thought. “Wendy’ll be totally impressed by this one!”

I hit “send.”

And Words with Friends did what it always does: it said, “You win! Rematch?” And it cleared the board, sweeping away my beautiful perfect word, and my incredible winning score, and now you’d never even see it!

Which is when, I believe, I messaged you on Facebook:

alt="IMAGE-screen-shot-message-facebook" alt="IMAGE-screen-shot-facebook-message-Wendy"

Well, fine. When you put it that way, it does seem kind of…petty. Beneath me, perhaps.

And all your comments since then—you know, the ones about how “oh, sure, this was a good word, but it’s no ‘examined’ on a double word score,'” and “Words with Friends just sent me a notice that they’ve declared you Player of the Day, and your crown is in the mail”—I totally forgive you.

Because you’re my sister, and it’s your bounden duty to mock me. That’s cool.

I’m totally over it, anyway. I understand, Words with Friends wasn’t being deliberately mean. It was just doing what it always does: declaring a winner (me, by the way), then clearing away the old game to make way for the new.

I just wish it hadn’t done it so fast. Because “EXAMINED” on a double word score was a damn fine way to end a game. And now, I shall say no more. My lips are sealed on the subject.

You’ll just mock me, anyway.



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