Thursday, November 24, 2011

Going Wilder

Maddie's hair is finally getting longer, and i can't help noticing her resemblance... ok, her hair's resemblance to Gene Wilder's in Young Frankenstein. She's already got the mad scientist laugh down, and we'll work on her pronunciation of "Fronkensteen", so it looks like we already have next year's Halloween costume picked out.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Awesome Blossom

Hats off (pun intended) to Mayim Bialik for a pretty great article about parenting that you can read here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Grumpy James

Yesterday morning, my grandpa passed away. When my mom told me the news over the phone, I was heartbroken, but I also felt a strange sense of relief. I know that might sound terrible, but Grumpy endured incredible physical pain throughout his life. He spent more time in the hospital than anyone else I know, and it comforts me to know that he's not in pain anymore. As a kid I used to cry just thinking about how I knew Grumpy would have to die someday. And I feel extremely lucky to have been able to spend so much time with him over the years, despite rarely living in the same city.

Here is a page from my journal in grade two:

Ok, it's not the most flattering depiction (though the man really did have an impressive head of hair), but notice the the huge smile, and the faint outline of an angel from the other side of the page. It seems oddly fitting in the wake of yesterday's events. This journal entry seems a little silly, but it's also evidence that my Grandpa was always in my thoughts.

This is probably my fourth or fifth attempt to write about this (not even including my previous post) but the tone just hasn't seemed right-- it hasn't properly conveyed how sad I am. I guess it's just that Grumpy lived a wonderful life, and died surrounded by people that loved him. And I think that's worth celebrating.

He was a beacon of strength and kindness, and even among his 7 kids, 22 grandkids, and a rapidly growing number of great-grandkids, he always made me feel individually loved. For those of you who didn't, I really wish you could have known him. I miss you so much already Grandpa.

With Sweet Baby James, 2005

Grumpy helping with the flooring-- could he have gotten any cuter!?

My cousin Katie wrote a very moving tribute to our grandpa on her blog. If you would like to read it, you can see it here. ♥

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gentle Giant

I've been thinking a lot about my Grandpa, Ronald Keith "Grumpy" James, and wishing I could be near him. When I was growing up, Grumpy was always there to take us grandkids out for bubblegum ice-cream, where he'd proceed to devour half our cones in one lick, under the guise that he was "helping with the drips". We would convulse in laughter when he showed us how he could open a neighbour's garage door with a click of his own button, and he delighted us further by steering the car home with his knees. Even after the amputation of his first leg, he still seemed so big and strong, and was amazingly adept at using the end of his crutch to twist up our shirts and yank us towards him for a hug. This is how I always think of him-- happy, mischievious, and affectionate. Even in the face of tremendous hardships, Grumpy has always been one of the sweetest, funniest, and all around best people I have ever known... or probably will ever know.
I love you so much Grumpy,
Lindsay, aka (The Orignal) Dizzy

Here are some photographs I had on my computer of my Grandpa through the years:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Being Harkers

My dad, his siblings, and his grandmother, just sitting around being Harkers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little Boots

Oh my goodness, these boots look so freaking adorable and cozy. At $60, maybe a little pricey, but adorable and cozy nonetheless. Oh Gravity Pope, it's a good thing for my wallet that we no longer live in the same city-- especially now that I have an extra little pair of feet to shop for. That sounds so creepy, but you know what I mean.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


This is a picture by Anna Emilia, an illustrator from Finland. I don't know her, but I feel like this could be a picture of me and Mads. Doesn't it look like her? And the hair may be a little lighter and straighter than mine, but it has that same all-consuming quality. Love it.

Should Be Studying

I like this video, but it would never work for me. In fact, just watching and then posting this video are evidence of me putting off schoolwork again! Thanks for nothing Miranda July (and you too Naomi Davis and your adorable baby).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Snapshot of Madeline at Age Two

If you ask Maddie how old she is, she will hold out five fingers and say, "TWO". She calls everyone including her mum by their first name. She knows the words to lots of good songs, ranging from the alphabet to Beyonce and the Beebs. Despite a wardrobe stocked with adorable gender-neutral sweaters and jeans, she only wants to wear her "kitty" (leopard print) shirt or "princess" (pink) dress. She often insists that the tiny bundle of hairs at the back of her head be put into the littlest ponytail you've ever seen. She throws her dolls on the ground so she can hug them and ask them "Ok Dolly? Ok?". She tells you she loves you and give you a "mooch". She's really the best.

Happy Birthday my big girl, I sure love you.

(Photo by Jessica Roberts)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Road Trip

We decided to take advantage of the warm weather today by hitting the road and visiting a couple towns east of Toronto. Maddie got to show off her Justin Bieber tattoos and the "princess" outfit she picked out, Grandma Terri found some tasty apple pastries, and I'm always happy to endlessly wander around the flea markets. All in all a pretty successful afternoon!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Kewpie Cutie

Maddie doesn't turn 2 for another couple of weeks, but we had her birthday yesterday. My mom made all the food-- mini burgers, coleslaw, parfaits, and this amazing Kewpie doll cake (which was pretty much the best thing ever). Thanks to everyone that came out, xo

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

I'd like you all to meet "The Monkey Head"-- a precious family artifact that we have been holding onto for generations. By my calculations, this little guy will be turning 40 this year, and that is cause for celebration. You see the reason my family (my sisters and me in particular) are so attached to "The Monkey Head" is that it was made by my dad in grade ten art class. And it is in fact, a self-portrait. From the individual lines of hair, the green thumbprint eyes, highlighter-yellow skin, paintbrush-poked breathing holes, and circular shoulders, to the strip of masking tape holding the whole head together, the resemblance is uncanny! It set a precedent for decades of amazing doodles drawn on church programs and paper tablecloths, and I still count my dad as one of my favourite artists. So Happy Birthday "Head", and thanks Pop, sure love ya!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mads & Dads

I just came across a bunch of pictures from earlier this year, of Maddie wearing one of her dad's baby sweaters. I had intended to use them for a father's day post, so Eric, Happy Father's Day (oops)!

Eric in the sweater, with his dad, circa 1986:

Maddie in the sweater, with some chalk, circa April of this year:

(She even wrote her first word that day, "Tim", which I'm pretty sure is an FNL reference.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Made of the Mist

Maybe it's because I've already seen Niagara Falls. Or maybe it's because I had to stay so far from the railings in order to keep Maddie happy and dry. Either way, when when we took a ride on the Maid of the Mist this afternoon, I was more fascinated by the glowing blue ponchos they gave us to wear than anything else. The following are stills from the iPhone video that my aunt Vicki made.

I dunno, am I crazy? I think something about this is both spooky and beautiful.

Here is the video:

That's me in the middle trying to take a picture of our dumb ponchos. And yeah, I guess the falls are kind of beautiful too.