This week I returned to the old homestead to visit my family, and in particular, my expatriate sister and her two adorable children. I have mentioned my sister Amy many, many times before. She is the super buff one (with the handsome husband a two beautiful children) who literally lives the American dream in Texas. This week she brought my niece and nephew up to the Great White North for a visit with the Canadian relations. Thus, my sister, brother, and I were all at home together for the first time in a long time. Here are some highlights:
Poorly Timed Illness - Right after arriving I come down with a disgusting cold. This means that I stay home with the kids while the rest of my family are having an awesome time at a super fun wedding (note my brother and sister double fisting drinks). This is also the same night as my high school reunion, where I was planning on showing a picture of my cat for every baby/wedding picture I was forced to look at. Instead, I watched Shrek with the kids on my dad's gigantic television. Awesome.
Crepes - While at home I ate crepes at least once or twice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is in no way a complaint. My brother showed off his amazing skills by doing daredevil crepe flips. He only dropped one on the floor, it was slightly burnt, it was also mine, I totally ate it.
Gough Family Portraits - Back in 2006, around the time my sister was pregnant with my nephew, my family started to veer away from "traditional" family photos. We were all sick of them. We've had a hallway filled with them from 198o on and decided we needed a change. Thus began the era of the Preposterous Gough Family Portrait. The only rules are that we have no rules. Anything goes. Nothing is too strange or too stupid. In the words of Walt Disney, if you can dream it you can do it. This year we decided to leave the house and head for my dad's garage and all his power tools. It turned out pretty awesome, I must say. I don't think my parents have decided which one to hang in the entry way, but I'm kind of hoping for the chainsaw picture.
Mirror of Ylgu - Similar to the way the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter showed people what they most deeply desired, the mirror in the upstairs bathroom at my parents house shows you the most repugnant and grotesque possible version of your reflection. It is a black hole of pretty. I can't explain with scientific certainty what causes this phenomenon, but my money is on the high powered lighting my dad installed in there. The bulbs are so high watt that I sometimes break out in a light sweat when I lean in to pluck my eyebrows. Then again, the sweat may also be my body's natural fear response from looking at my face that close, perhaps a mix of both. Every night, as I brush my teeth while standing as far away from the mirror as possible (and as my sister leans in to get an extra good look at how fit and attractive she is) I long for the soft lighting and dimming switches that exist in Vanessa's bathroom (and throughout the house) - because I like my steak medium rare and my lighting medium honest.
The good news is, while at home my sister introduced me to the "Wordfeud" app on the old smartphone. I was hesitant at first, but I figured it was time to let go of my hurt feelings and give it a go. Turns out that digital scrabble is so fun that the phrase "your turn!" became common place around my parents' house this week. We got my brother on board too, and at one point we were talking to my brother-in-law on Skype and he too had his smartphone out for some Wordfeuding. One evening, after we had all said goodnight, my sister and I ended up continuing our game while in our respective childhood beds, shouting encouragement - "good one!" or disgust - "can you even use that in a sentence!?" at one another through the wall. Upon reflection, playing scrabble in your childhood twin sized bed while sharing that bed with a box of Kleenex is pretty Spinsterly; sometimes I even shock myself.
Spinster Quote of the Week: "I cry while laying on the floor as well, but I prefer the bathroom"
Said to my two year old niece as she had a temper tantrum in the middle of the kitchen floor.
Well Diary, today I will bid a sad goodbye as Amy and the kids head home for Texas. I shall then re-pack my bag as I will depart this evening for Maui to act as a pasty and curmudgeonly chaperon for three beautiful friends.