Summer’s Almost Gone, Almost Gone

Here it is, the very last week of summer, and I’m trying to squeeze every moment out of it. I always feel kind of gloomy at the end of summer – I’m a summer-tastic kind of girl – but the gloominess is getting overridden by my excitement about September. My social life, which seems to be hinged on dog walking and hanging out at the playground during pickup and drop-off, is about to take off. I, like the kids, miss the friends I don’t see during the summer and so it will be nice to catch up with all of them.

My husband took this week off work and it’s been nice. We were up at my parents’ place at the lake for a couple of days, which is always fun. The boys refer to it as Camp Grandma, where there is always lots of ice cream and popsicles, and not much in the way of rules. It was also – and this is unusual for this part of the world – quite warm, and so they went swimming in the chilly lake.

“Smile!” “We ARE smiling.”



Exploring the “shoreline”.


My husband also swam with them for a bit; I refrained, not wanting to get hypothermia. They went for an evening swim/ shoreline exploration while I sat on the deck chatting with my parents. Barkley came bounding across the grass with what I presumed was a flat stick of wood in his mouth. Something about the way he was holding it, and the little white protrusions sticking out of it made me look closer. Hmm, I thought, maybe it’s a root from one of the plants on the shore…aieeeeeeeeeeeeee! It was a dead fish, a fish that had met its demise some time ago. I screamed and screamed while the dog dropped it in alarm at my distress and my dad scooped it away with a shovel, taking it to an unknown destination (“DON’T PUT IT IN THE GARBAGE!” my mother screamed.) That was a bit of gross drama that I didn’t need in my life; however, it’s not the first time Barkley has found and/or done something revolting, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
It hasn’t all been lake time and hating my dog this week – my husband and I took the kids on an exciting family trip to Costco. I had been hoping that my last Costco trip would have lasted me the whole summer, and it would have, but my husband really “wanted” to go. It’s fun, he proclaimed. Fun. To go to Costco. With the kids. I will tell you what was “fun” about it, and that is that I didn’t have to push the million-pound cart around, nor unload the groceries by myself. I did have to play a bit of Tetris to fit all of the food into the cupboards, fridge, and pantry, but on the upside I probably am stocked up to last for the next three or four months. Currently I would be ashamed to show anyone my pantry, as it looks like an episode of Hoarders. But it was such a good deal.
Speaking of “good deals”, did anyone read the Fraser Institute’s report on the cost of raising children in Canada? I am no stranger to the Fraser Institute – I have a master’s degree in economics – and so I read it with some interest. It’s funny, because living in an urban centre, with children in sports, and attempting to buy quality food and other clothing items notwithstanding, $4000 sounded pretty skimpy to me. Interestingly enough, childcare was not included. Aha! Apparently the Fraser Institute doesn’t include childcare as a cost of raising a child, nor the opportunity cost of lost income from having a stay at home parent. Well then, that explains that. Knowing the Fraser Institute, there is some kind of policy implication here that states that the poor can EASILY raise their children with no assistance of any kind. Well, thank you for that conclusion, Fraser Institute! This study addresses a couple of my pet peeves: misuse of statistics (“most” people don’t require childcare) and being obstinate about the cycle of poverty. Speaking of which, my friend Hannah wrote about the costs of back-to-school and how they can be more oppressive in the long and short term for the impoverished.
On a much less serious note, did you know there’s such a thing as naked yoga? Well, there is. I don’t think I can adequately convey in a blog post how revolting I find it. Not as revolting as my dog chewing on a dead fish, but pretty damn revolting. Then again, possibly I’m prudish because I found it shocking – actually shocking – when we went into town at the lake and there were girls walking around in only their bathing suits. It’s like I’m 80 years old. In my day we wore coverups when we left the beach. At least an oversized t-shirt. It’s funny how many people have the perception that yoga is this very sexy thing to do. Most of the yogis I know go to bed super early and eat lots of mung beans and quinoa and whatnot. We also generally have strained, rather than sexily blissful, facial expressions during most of our yoga postures:
Good god, do not perform this naked. Ew. Gross.


Nor this, unless you want to slip and fall and break your face.


  1. Naked yoga?? Nope. Ew. I’ll bet there is naked hot yoga too and grossnowineedashower.

    Your mom cracks me up. “Don’t throw it in the garbage!” Practical even in a crisis.

  2. Fogo found a fish a few weeks ago while we were hiking. She tried eating it, but realized it was too putrid. Instead ROLLED on it. Back and forth. Shimmying her muscles to ensure the smell of rotten fish permeated all her fur. If I’d had a shovel at hand I would have used it. But not to get rid of the fish.

    “STAND UP STRAIGHT! Shoulders back. Chin out. If you are going to parade around in a bikini — and I really don’t think you should — then don’t cross your arms over your chest and look embarrassed. Have some confidence!” what 80 year old me would say when she joined 80 year old you at the lake.

    • Hahaha, maybe we should get a new cartoon going, a sequel to The Adventures of Barkley and Beeps – The Adventures of Barkley and Fogo which would end with every episode utilizing a shovel.

  3. All right, I always come here because your comments at Nan’s are so funny, but I never comment, but now I must because NAKED YOGA and it’s just so wrong it almost feels like the plot to a Seinfeld episode.

    I can never unsee that one yoga pose. That was just mean.

  4. Sorry, are they implying that you can raise a child on just $4000, lifetime expense??? My kids are obviously receiving TOO MUCH FOOD.

    As for the yoga poses…I am amazed and filled with wonder. This morning my whole body ached when I woke up and I tried child’s pose and couldn’t even do that. You’re dazzling!

  5. Miss Elise says

    I almost coughed coffee out my nose with the last bit of visual imagery! As always I am so impressed with your flexibility and the discipline you have to get up and go to the yoga shalah? every day.

  6. I stared at that top pose for a good three minutes and then went back and stared some more because I don’t understand how the heck that is possible without splitting in two. I am actually quite excited about the return of fall because…SCHEDULES!! I have learned that I am incapabale of doing anything if we are unscheduled. Work…no. Cooking…no. Exercise…no. I spent this morning signing myself up for swimming and yoga to start next week. I will likely keep my clothes on though.

    Fraser Institute. I don’t even.

    • I don’t even wear shorts to yoga because I think that’s too much flesh. Let alone…well…I don’t think I have to go into detail here. I have said too much already!

  7. Holy cow, are you good at that yoga thing!

    Misuse of statistics drives me bananas, too.

  8. Camp Grandma sounds fabulous!

    I had not heard of naked yoga and now I am going to forget I heard of it. Pooof. Gone.

    And as for the Fraser Institute, it can bite me where the yoga don’t shine.

  9. Ohh God…Imagine Naked Hot Yoga….EEEKKKK! In a group class…the idea of sweaty nakid strangers bums is soo gross!
    Getting back to you side note about how the system is designed to keep the poor poor because they spend more for less.. Reminds me of when I first moved out on my own and could only afford to buy 4 roll packs of toilet paper at a time which I had calculated once cost me 3$ more than if I was able to buy the 12 pack roll..and its not like you can go without until you save up.. when you’re on a fixed income.. especially when you need to save money to go to the club because you’re 20 and broke LOL …so you steal toilet paper and cleaning supplies from work lol because you will never get ahead any other way.. thank god I am past those days..I can’t imagine how families with kids on fixed low incomes cope especially with the cost of daycare.

  10. I thought hot yoga was enough of a vision of hell for me. Now when I feel bad about myself I’m going to imagine hell as endless NAKED hot yoga – THANKS NICOLE.

    When we used to rent a cottage in Grand Bend with the whole family, my sister once went into town to get groceries and a cop reached something for her so she said thank-you and he said “thank YOU for being the only one in here under forty who’s not wearing a bikini”. What IS it with these young people nowadays?

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