Monthly Archives: January 2014

Wednesday January 1, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

These strips are from a scene in my childhood. The morning after a New Year’s Eve party, our house had been left as it was. Bottles of half-finished beer, glasses with the dregs, drying canapés, and stale chips covered the tabletops. Remnants of cigarettes and cigars filled the ashtrays. Alan and I were the first on the scene, and the place was ours!

Sunday January 5, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

I made good use of my own childhood experiences, and one of the things that plagued families of the 1950s was the need for parents to be right. It was, “Do as I say, not as I do,” which never made a heck of a lot of sense to me. If Dad swore, swearing was cool. If Mom smoked, smoking was cool too. If what they told us didn’t add up, we were quick to object, but the folks were always right — no matter how wrong they were. This was a hard façade to maintain. When I had kids of my own, I discovered that it was much easier to admit to a mistake than try and justify it.

Monday January 6, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Our folks didn’t suddenly wake up and discover our deeds that New Year’s morning. Dad went to use the bathroom and found Alan doubled over the biff (from smoking the cigar), and me in the tub smiling stupidly. As I recall, neither of our folks was angry with us for trying out contraband; they were mad at themselves for leaving it there. We all considered it a lesson learned.

Friday January 10, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Looking for a wayward mutt on a night like this is one of the downsides of dog ownership. When our small spaniel, Willy, wandered off, it was usually “Mom” who put on the boots and jacket and went out into the gale to find him. I was convinced he could hear me quite well and was just ignoring me. This was something the kids did too. It infuriated me. At least kids understand a mother’s wrath. When a dog comes home to a fuming human, he just pants and wags.

Sunday January 12, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Living in a cold climate means having the kids indoors. I swore that television would not be my babysitter, that my offspring would have wholesome, educational, and creative pastimes. I encouraged them to read, draw, build things out of wood, clay, and paper. I bought board games — we played Scrabble, Monopoly, and Crazy Eights. I let them take apart the vacuum cleaner and roll marbles down the hose. I did everything I could think of to keep them entertained, and they, in turn, participated — as long as I played with them. The plan disintegrated if I decided to leave them and do something else, which is when they begged for television. So, I caved. I gave in. I set them up with food and water and turned on cartoons. I was able to work, clean, do laundry, and get stuff done, while my children bathed in the glow of the tube. I felt guilty, but at the same time … anything that saves a mom’s sanity deserves a place in the home.

Tuesday January 14, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

I am guilty of letting my dog run about without a leash. We live in the country and our little black spaniel, Willy, was free to go where he pleased — which was usually next door to my in-laws’ for toast and coffee. The neighbours didn’t say anything — for the most part they let their pets out as well. It wasn’t until the school bus nearly ran over Willy that I paid more attention. He died of cancer years later, but I never forgot his close call.

Wednesday January 15, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Gary Larson (The Far Side) once sent me a Christmas card, which showed a house with a brightly lit window through which you could see a group of wildly partying dogs. In front of the house, on a white lawn, was a snow sculpture of a fat cat. A path of paw prints lead from the door to the snow cat — the side of the cat was yellow! I guess cartoon minds think alike.

Saturday January 18, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

When I was a kid, a travelling salesman came to the door selling piano accordions. I’m not kidding. With every purchase, they threw in a year’s worth of lessons. My mother, wanting me to play something (that wouldn’t swallow half the living room and take ten years to pay off), actually considered buying one. Here was a piano-like instrument that was almost portable! I liked polkas and accordion music in general, but the cool factor was lacking. I declined. A real piano would have been great, but this was not the same! In desperation, she promised me that playing the accordion would increase my bust size. For a budding teen, this argument had merit, but the piano accordion still wasn’t my thing.

Years later, when I was living in southern Ontario, I met some musicians from Newfoundland. Caught up in my love for east coast music, I bought myself a button accordion. This I learned to play not too badly, and after a while, it showed. I was indeed building up bulges where none had been — on my arms. I actually had pipes! I knew then that the old arm-pumping exercise to the cry of “We must, we must, we must improve our bust!” was hogwash. The only sure way to enhance the un- enhanceable is through surgery! I still play my accordion, but only for sympathetic friends, and I don’t really care about the bust line. I do have a word of advice, however: Ladies, it’s a fine instrument, but never play an accordion in the nude!

Sunday January 19, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

I took my kids to fast food joints. I knew the value of cheap, fast, and fried, and it had everything to do with convenience. Tiled floors and washable seating, disposable plates, cups, and cutlery offered respite from kitchen duties and the possibility of communicating with another adult (with kids the same age). It also meant my offspring would eat everything on their plates. It might not be with sustenance, but their stomachs would be full. I ushered my charges, unapologetically, into plastic indoor playgrounds. I ordered the specials, the biggies, and meals — which came with toys. I too ate with gusto, knowing that what I was doing was addictive, that I was introducing my children to substances I wanted them to avoid. Still, the positive outweighed the negative: an hour of freedom vs. a hassle at home. I plead guilty to falling for an easy solution to lunch.

I can’t remember the last time I went to a fast food joint, but I know the time will come when I will fall off the wagon again. I look forward to sitting at one of those colourful plastic tables with burgers, onion rings, and a rot-gut pop while my granddaughter romps in the plastic kid-proof play area, her stomach full of fries. I’ll count the useless calories in the grub that I’m eating and try not to feel guilty for enjoying every bite!

Tuesday January 21, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Sheep dogs have big, wide feet, and their toes are webbed to some extent. This means that a snowy walk will result in wads of frozen snow plugging the dog’s foot pads. I’d have to spread his toes and pull each chunk of snow out of the crevices — and with it, remove hair and dirt as well. It’s a messy process, and the only rewarding thing about it is the look of relief on the dog’s face when it’s done!

Sunday January 26, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

When I drew this strip, I weighed 130 lbs. I was in the best physical shape I’d ever been and I still felt chubby. Like most women, I was down on myself for not being shaped like the girls on the covers of magazines! No matter how hard I exercised or how much weight I lost, I’d never be able to achieve that model shape. The “ideal” was never going to be me.

I have been going through old photographs lately looking for things to put in our latest treasury book and I came across a rare photo of yours-truly in a bathing suit. The first thing I said to myself was, “Wow! I didn’t look so bad after all!” Strange how your perception of self can change over the years.

And, no … you can’t see the photo!

Thursday January 30, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

I did these strips after agreeing to look after a friend’s two-year-old. Both my kids were in school, and my home was no longer baby-proof. I had forgotten how to feed, carry, talk to, and otherwise live with a toddler and was right out of my element. To add to this, my charge was the spawn of “New Age” parents who felt that discipline curbed a child’s natural curiosity. In other words, the kid was a terror. His mother arrived before I called and begged for mercy. Thankfully, she never asked again!