Wow. The last 3 out of 4 days have been warm, sunny and gorgeous! The leaves are turning colour and the smell of fall is in the air. I have started walking the dogs again now that the muggy heat is done for another season.

I’m refusing to acknowledge what follows fall though; after last winter we deserve a break! I peaked into the Farmer’s Almanac to check out this winter’s forecast. Yuck. Snow and cold. Seems as though the mild Maritime winters lasted as long as I lived out WEST – in Alberta – and now that we’re back, so too is the true winter. Phooey on that!

So let’s keep the focus to this great season. My pug is out front warming his little rotund belly; he just LOOOOVES the heat! When we lived in Alberta our home had a natural gas fireplace and Bosco used to shoo the cats away from the ceramic tile in front of the fire and flop himself down for a little roasting. He’s funny about it because he rotates as though tanning (or cooking like a hotdog perhaps?). So he’ll roll every few minutes to warm another section of his body. He does not like the cold at all and water horrifies him – with one exception. Normally, on walks after rain, he tiptoes around puddles with great distaste. If there is a dark spot on the pavement, which he regards suspiciously as water in disguise, he will sideswipe it as well. When there is just no way around an offending water puddle then he watches my route and tiptoes daintily behind me. Which is no small feat when you consider “little” Bosco is actually a broad-shouldered fellow weighing in at 30 pounds. That is the upper end of the pug’s weight limit. He pushes the envelope. Most people think he’s easy to handle or hold until they try to pick him up and he suddenly changes into lead weight.

So, Bosco will roll on the front porch until the heat starts to overwhelm him and then he’ll duck into the house to cool off. At which point he’ll scratch to go out again…and so it goes. He just looks too darned content out there to deny him an hour or so of sunning ~ I know that colder days are coming! Our husky-border collie prefers the cooler weather. She shines in the fall and winter.

She has a new trick she’s performing for me lately. She throws herself down in the middle of the street and rolls back and forth, to scratch her back. In. The. Middle. Of. The. Street. She always seemed to be a smart cookie so whether this is a tactic to get people to pay attention to her or if she is succumbing to a few senile moments….I dunno. She’s only 5 so the old-age excuse I’m not buying.

What’s that? Bosco…hating water? Except for? Oh right ~ the exception I mentioned above! Sorry. Bosco is fascinated with the shore water. When the back yard flooded, he waded in to his chest and stared, fascinated, into something in the water. His right paw extends forward and flops in the water, he lifts it out and he flops it in again. Whether it is the bubbles that creates or the feeling of lightness on his limb….something entertains him! I did see bubbles attached to the grass under the water; maybe it was that? He stood or wandered just a little, for about half an hour doing this. He does it every so often during the hot summer months only. A nervous swimmer’s foray into dangerous territory? Perhaps but he seems to enjoy it so I leave him be.

The kids have settled nicely into school. Son actually shares a couple of classes with a couple of cousins so that is cool! Son’s transition into school full-time went exceedingly well and we are very pleased. I think that by staying through lunch, son gets to interact with other students, and so he gets to visit and chat on a daily basis with other students. There is a special table designated at the school, for kids with special needs that also has an aide sitting with them. Son has actually wandered away from the table, with another kid, and participated in a lunchtime event held at the school. This is excellent and exactly what we wanted.

He is handling a full days’ worth of classes pretty good so far. There has been the usual fighting about homework although now that he is in grade 10 the talk has turned more to what HIS responsibilities are and about time-management skills. There is a mental block about homework with him. It is unclear if that is due to those horrible elementary years when the work was over his head and he had so many hours of it each night, or if something else is behind it. I am trying to transfer some of the responsibility to him because I’m exhausted with this battle and just don’t want to do it anymore. Some days it takes almost an hour to calm him down enough to get him on task. Then he tries to negotiate the smallest amount of time and will erupt again if we don’t give him an absolute schedule of how much time he’ll have to spend on homework…or if he feels it is too much time. In his mind school is to be done at school and it is just not fair he has to do “extra” stuff at home. The concept that you are TAUGHT something new at school but LEARN it at home by doing these assignments, has totally escaped him. And studying? Don’t get him started on THAT.

He is in a regular English class but hubby and I think it is better to have him transfer to the Applied English. The school begs to differ at the moment and have asked that we wait until after his first exam, which someone will scribe the answers for him. Okay for that….but who is going to help him with that 2 page essay coming up? The 2 page SINGLE spaced essay? When it just about kills him to write anything more than the absolute bare necessities? Answering any assigned questions beyond one, brief sentence throws him into a fit. This should be good.

This English class focuses on written work and covers a couple of classical reads and plays. A Shakespeare play is coming up. Son’s reading and interpreting skills are poor. He is reading at a 9-12 year old level, only if the books are thin, with bigger print, and simple writing. Those books printed from the 1960s, 70s…? He can’t read them or understand them. Their grammar, style of writing are beyond his abilities. A book has to be written in modern, every-day speaking kind of language. I try to explain this to his teachers but they don’t seem to understand the point I am trying to get across. This is where the specialists in Alberta would step in but out here there is no one yet. We’re still trying to get a family doctor, for heaven’s sake! Son is participating in gym once again and so far seems to be enjoying it. Overall he is much happier.

As for me? A WHOLE day without kids? Amazing! Wonderful! Productive! YIPEE! I am taking full advantage of this time because it will probably be short. I’ve been in touch with the government about a couple of jobs and hopefully something will work out soon. Everything takes so long with bureaucracy however events are still moving along. I will be glad to get back to work and now I know that son will be able to adjust to it much better, when he is in school full time.

Daughter is enjoying her time. She kept busy with the Tech crew all summer so didn’t really have much of a break from all parts of school. For some reason she was removed from one class she asked for, and placed in another on the first day of school….but with a little coaxing and determination, she was put back into the pre-advanced English class. She has started walking to and from school, each way being 2 km. One way is Up, up, up for a long way so it’s a good workout! We found some Gortex running shoes in the U.S. so that will keep her feet warm and dry through rainy days. Her social life is starting to pick up and she is also enjoying having her cousins at her school.

We finally got ourselves a family dentist. The doctor just recently graduated and looks young enough to be my daughter…*sigh*…I KNEW that was going to happen one day! She is working in a brand new practise that hasn’t yet hired a hygienist. I told her not to worry, once she’s done working on my mouth she’ll have enough money to hire one…and anyone else she wants to bring in! Now get this: daughter has 7 cavities and son has none! One takes care of HER teeth and the other one needs constant prodding and my help in doing a thorough job. Guess which one that is? Yup, son whose dental hygiene leaves a little bit to be desired, has NO cavities!! Daughter has something called “soft teeth”. Why there is a difference between the two of them no one knows. Maybe Germany water made son’s teeth harder? I was pregnant in Germany with him and had him 3 weeks after landing/moving back to Canada. Daughter was born a year later when I was back to “all things Canadian”. Whatever…!

Hubby? No cavities. Me? Trouble in paradise, folks.

I’m up for a few crowns on those teeth. Oh, I don’t know. Something like 12 or 16 of them. Maybe even more. The ONLY reason I found a dentist is because my tooth broke in half. That freakin’ nasty one that’s given me so much grief over the last few years. The same one that had the root canal in it. There I was, eating a bbq hamburger, when I chomped down on what I thought was extremely hard gristle…which totally grossed me out. It was only after spitting another couple of pieces out did I explore that side of my mouth with my tongue only to discover a gaping hole in my tooth. Great. Oh happy day.

The dentist’s office has sent off prior approval to start the crowning process. With my dental plan and hubby’s, prior permission from the insurance company is required for certain procedures if that company is to cover the cost (or a portion thereof). I wonder what their reaction will be to “this patient needs almost ALL her teeth capped and ASAP”. I imagine there’ll be general gaiety at the thought and a gleeful “denied” from their end. I gather crowns, due to their cost, isn’t high on the list of items insurance companies want to pay for. Last I heard one crown was about $800 and the insurance only covering approximately 50% of that. I’ll be sure to pass the real information along….

Enough talk of that lousy subject on such a beautiful day though! It’s time to unwind with a book, soaking up that sun, before all the animals…er, people, come home!

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