TMI: Terrible Mental Image #6

It’s been almost a year since I posted a TMI.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term TMI, it is the suddenly manifestation of a mental picture painted “with broad, sweeping strokes” when your brain (whether it dwells in the gutter or not) spontaneously fills in the blanks after someone says something that may be completely innocent.

The Scene:

Wednesday morning, chatting with another parent in the school yard before the bell rang.

What I said:

“I work in an office, so I can wear short skirts now that I’m not standing on a street corner waiting to work.”

What I meant:

I can wear a skirt, even though it’s getting chilly outside, because I drive to work rather than standing outside and waiting for a bus to get me to work.

I know I call my high-heeled boots “Hooker Boots” and my sassy green boots were the muse for my blog, but you didn’t seriously think I worked the streets, did you? Happy Weekend!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

Refraction (noun)

“the bending of a ray or wave of light, heat, or sound as it passes obliquely from one medium to another of different density, in which its speed is different, or through layers of different density in the same medium.”


“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it.
Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.” –Zhuangzi

To see more Refraction Photos, click here.

Memories of Mrs. F.

September 1984. The beginning of Grade 6. Unknown to me, my best friend Geoff had moved away; he was the “Leonard Hofstadter” of our little group. The other 2 boys that had comprised our happy group of four for all of our primary years, remained friends, but like most 11 year old boys, they suddenly noticed I was a girl and they didn’t quite know how to handle that.

Add that to the fact that I had Mrs. F. as my teacher…and the year was certain to be the blackest of my academic career. I’m not sure how D and I became friends, but that year we banded together as if our very lives depended on it. At the time, it felt like it did!

Mrs. F. was probably only in her mid to late 40s. She had dark hair and a thin face that never smiled. But her defining physical characteristic was her voice. It was high-pitched and shrill, like Mickey Mouse after he sucked on a helium balloon. She had 2 favourite catchphrases too. 1) “You poor ape” and 2) “it’s time to cut the apron strings”.

No one escaped her vengeful eye. Like Sauron, her red unblinking eyes surveyed her students, searching for any infraction. She handed out detentions like candy on Hallowe’en. Detentions were served consecutively, during recess and every child, even the keener A+ students like me, accumulated several over the course of the year. I learned to forge my mother’s signature that year in order to avoid a detention. But being a “good” kid, I did it in pencil so I could erase it and get her to sign it for real.

Chances were high that even if you didn’t currently have any detentions, you would still lose recess. All it took was someone talking when they shouldn’t, or the class failing to sing “O Canada” to Mrs. F’s standards.

Mrs. F. was environmentally-friendly before it became popular. Our math textbooks had to be covered in gift wrap to protect the covers. Mine was pink with hearts all over it. I used to write my initials in the hearts. She made me erase or colour over them. She also made us use every inch of paper in our notebooks. Our daily math quiz was squeezed into every available space between our math homework questions. If you couldn’t find space, she’d shake her head, announce that you were a “poor ape” and find a space for you.

Grade 6 was the year I learned to hold it until my eyeballs were floating. Mrs. F had a sign-out sheet. 1 page per month. Once the sheet was full, our peeing privileges were revoked until the next month began. As a class, we quickly devised a plan…the last few lines were written on only in pencil and very lightly so that the name could be erased and used again. We took turns sharpening our pencils to make sure lines remained available for emergencies. There was the unspoken rule – abuse the final lines of the bathroom board and you’d pay at recess time. For once, peer pressure was a good thing!

She was merciless. If a “home kid” (i.e., the kids who went home at lunch time) had to bring their lunch one day, she made them sit on the dirty hall floor to eat their lunch. She made the “unsporty” kids take extra turns in gym. And the one time my parents called to complain about a detention I got but didn’t deserve, she erased my name with great ceremony and a long, loud speech about princesses and apron strong. Her intent to humiliate me was highly successful.

I still haven’t forgiven her for accusing me of cheating on a division test. I always struggled in math, but I had worked and studied very hard for this test. And it paid off – I aced the test. She accused me of cheating because someone else also aced the test…someone who sat 4 seats up and 1 row over from me. Way to encourage a student!

Mrs. F. tried to snuff the life out of us, but D. and I forged an alliance. We commiserated with one another at recess. We commiserated with hand gestures only we understood during class. We compared homework before class, and reminded each other by phone to get things signed. That alliance continued for many more years in our academic careers.

We cried together on the last day of Grade 6, but not because we were going to miss Mrs. F. (We went on to have her for some subjects in Grade 7 and 8). No, we cried because we had been given a second chance. We were going to appreciate life and live it fully. We had our whole lives ahead of us…

Colours of Fall

Life has been a little gray lately. This past week, I laughed a little and I cried a lot. So, since the sun was shining yesterday afternoon, I set down the XBox controller and set out for a nearby park with my camera, looking for a little colour. It’s hard to get good shots of nature in the city – too many hydro poles, vehicles, and signs…but these colours are all natural and untouched.




Yellow Leaves

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” Rabindranath Tagore

Fall Colours


I noticed an unusual phenomenon this evening, in my household. I’ve actually noticed it before but I’ve never really taken the time to ponder its origin. Every male in my household toss their dirty clothes in the basket…inside out! Shirts. Underwear. Socks. Without fail. The only exception seems to be pants and shorts…well, adult pants and shorts.

I understand turning printed tees inside out in an attempt to preserve the ironed-on decal, or the new dark jeans in an attempt to preserve the colour. I don’t understand plain undershirts or t-shirts with more holes than I have in my ears.

My clothes (with the exception of the odd pair of panties) are never inside out in the basket. I meticulously “fix” them before they hit the basket. You may be tempted to point out that at least the pants make it in the basket with the right side out. The pants may be correct but they possess another “secret”. The pockets are often full of used tissues, pebbles, bottle caps, dead batteries, and assorted other knickknacks…that I occasionally forget to check for and remove. The result: feathering the whole load with wads of wet tissue (the size of “spit balls”) and noises from the dryer that sound like it’s falling apart one screw at a time. Maybe it is…

Just imagine the number of days at the end of my life (assuming it’s a long one) that I will have spent righting these wrongs.

Why? Why are they always inside out? I turn everything the right way around before I fold them, enabling my family to get dressed… am I an enabler? What activities have nurtured this annoying habit? Or is it nature? It is a genetic mutation carried and passed on through the mother? I guess we’ll never know.

Happy Weekend!

Capture Your 365 (September 23- October 5)

It’s OK. I may have eaten several slices of pie this weekend, but I worked some of them off yesterday…mall walking…between stores! My wallet got a small workout too, but I don’t get to shop very often so I’m avoiding feeling guilty. Guilt will only lead to more eating…

Click on the photos to see the quotes.


Happy Wednesday!


My brother would ask this question with a confused look on his face every time my mother started talking about the food and preparations for the holidays…or else he proudly spout off “Pi – 2.14159265 dot dot dot”.

Every family has their food traditions. In mine, cakes were for birthdays. And pie was reserved for family holiday gatherings, namely Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And one slice was not enough. My grandmother insisted, as she dished up, that every plate had at least 2 slices. Telling her you wanted small pieces only meant that you had marginally smaller pieces…measured in millimetres.

My Dad’s Mom was a farm wife, who whipped together pies on a regular basis. For her, it was no big deal. Nor was a recipe required. She tried to teach me once how to make her flaky pie crust by feel…but I couldn’t feel the difference between too wet, too dry and perfection.

Her specialties were lemon meringue and green tomato, which is similar to apple pie – brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. Double-crust. Mmm…My sons disagree…and so that tradition may end with my generation.

This Thanksgiving, we kept the tradition. First, we had pie.

Second, I baked a green tomato pie for our Thanksgiving meal back in late August… when it was so hot that the act of blinking caused excessive sweating. Just don’t tell her…but I usually just buy pie crust. I have a better chance of producing an identifiable pie.

Third, while we modified the tradition alittle…we still had more than one slice.