Boundbytheword Blog

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Bacon Lovers Unite! March 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 9:16 AM
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With April being poetry month, my 9-year-old daughter has to memorize a poem for school that ultimately meets just two criteria:

* It must be 12-24 lines long

* It must be chosen by the student or composed by the student (this is not to be confused with the parent poetry corner)

With upwards of a dozen books of poetry in the house, not to mention the internet at our fingertips, it makes perfect sense that my daughter insisted on writing her own. You would think as a writer I would be thrilled about this, and I am – sort of. The writer in me shouts – hurrah – she loves to write! The mother in me says – crap – that means more homework for me.

But – in the end – the student is supposed to compose it themselves, so really my job would be simple prodding and perhaps the odd run down of words in response to “what rhymes with ketchup?”

So – we’ve been working on it – and as strong-willed as that girl is, I couldn’t sway her off her chosen topic. Bacon.

By the time it was completed and typed out – I have to say – I was proud of her. I helped her with the title and just two lines – the rest are all hers. She was a poet and didn’t even know it. Either did I. In honour of her first official writing (other than the nasty messages of how much she hates her unfair parents left occasionally on her chalkboard) I thought I would share my little poets work. So here’s to Lainey and to bacon.

It Doesn’t Get Better Than Bacon

by Lainey 


I love bacon, there’s no doubt,

Piggy strip lovers – give a shout!

Oh, how it sizzles in the pan,

It’s made fresh from the farmer man.

Bacon, bacon, the sensation

Fills my mouth with celebration.

Bacon with eggs, bacon on toast,

Bacon – plain, is what I love most.

Dipped in ketchup, that’s so gross,

But, that’s my opinion, go try a dose.

I like pork bacon, not chicken or turkey,

But I do like to chew on a bit of beef jerky.

Bacon for breakfast, lunch or dinner

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!

If your parents will say yes

Fry some up and make a mess.

Dig right in and have a bite,

Go ahead and eat all night.

Hey meat lovers, take a call

Bacon’s here to save us all!


Peace, Love and Pixie Sticks March 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 8:51 AM
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It’s a surreal kind of moment when you can look into the future and see what your kid is going to be like a drunken or stoned freshman (hopefully at university, not high school..pretty please). When your kid is just 13 and still into StarWars and other things in dorkville, you don’t worry about them getting into messes like that. You can actually convince yourself that your kid will always be a responsible drinker and would never touch drugs. You can convince yourself of that quite nicely until you see him all sugar-jacked on pixie sticks. Then you get a vivid image of your annoying, inebriated, mindless twit of a son acting the fool, and it ain’t pretty.

My son had his best friend stay with us for part of March break. These boys have been best friends since junior kindergarten and are still thick as thieves – even with 2 hours separating them. There’s just something about someone knowing you when you were still trying not to wet your pants that makes a bond like no other. Both great kids, they spend a great deal of the time they spend together laughing. Cute, right?

Sort of. It can be cute. But Friday we headed to retro planet – a Chuck.E.Cheese type of place that has laser tag and token games in exchange for tickets, which you feed into a ticket eater which shoots out a redemption code which you trade in for cheap, crappy toys. It’s loud, crowded, and smells like overcooked hotdogs. Sort of like a Vegas for kids. It is also crazy for stimulation for anyone with shades of ADD like me. With all the bells and lights and horns and buzzers, I feel like I’m chasing my tail the whole time. C-R-A-Z-Y. But – the kids like it, so we go on occasion.

Since both boys are almost 13 years old, the crappy toys don’t hold much appeal so their trade in choices were limited to Tootsie rolls and pixie sticks. They had over 400 tickets and a pixie stick was worth 5. In case you’re not great at math – here’s the breakdown – they came away with about 40 each. That would be tubes of sugar about the size of a pencil. Of course, I wasn’t privy to the trade until after they had them stuffed in their pockets with sheepish grins. 

It’s a bit weird that a sugar addict like myself didn’t see the inevitable coming. But the chaos of the place was clouding my judgement, and next thing you knew, my son in the high zone. His buddy came over and said – “I think Sam’s having a sugar rush.”

When I looked over, Sam was laughing in hysterics. His face was purple, his eyes watered, his mouth wide open with shrill screech of a laugh coming out like a crazy man. He was almost doubled over on the floor. My daughter promptly went over with her cheap toy selection – the “joke ice-cream-cone” and shot him in the face with the foam scoop of vanilla. What normally would have been a show-down moment that would have required major intervention only rendered him more useless. He landed in a heap of hysterics on the floor. I wasn’t sure it would end. I wasn’t sure he wouldn’t pass out.  I wasn’t sure he wouldn’t wet his pants.

“How many did he eat?” I asked.

“Twenty-two.” His friend said. “He said he didn’t think sugar affected him.”

After getting some fresh air and confiscating the remaining stix, we headed home. He had no recollection of the ice-cream in the face, and decided it was his buddy’s influence that “made him do it”.

“He tempted me with all those stix!” He claimed.

“I didn’t force you to do it. You ate them on your own.” His buddy said.

And sitting in the driver’s seat, listening to the banter after witnessing the sugar frenzy, I had a moment where I realized this was probably not the last time I’d have this moment with the two of them on my watch. And I got the jitters at the thought of years to come.

Good lord. It all begins with a simple pixie stix.


The Witch Hunt of Kony 2012 March 9, 2012

I’m giving fair notice – the post today is less happy-go-lucky and more WTF??? Readers beware.


With all the hoopla about the Kony 2012 campaign, I’m stunned. If you haven’t watched the video – view it here. Take the 29 minutes and watch it. Then know that as much as this video went viral in two days, the haters came out in full form and started in on how Kony 2012 is a big scam.


What the hell is with you people? Criticism against the Kony 2012 campaign is a kin to a witch hunt. People are trying to create awareness and make the world a better place. They are there standing beside children who have been mutilated, parents who’ve had their children kidnapped to be slaves and soldiers. In the hopes of making change, they talk to children, who have by some miracle, escaped from life as a soldier and will be forever wounded. They are doing it in a way they feel will work most effectively . Or did you think this was a fun hobby or extra jovial way for them to spend the last few years?


Will they make a salary while creating awareness and fighting for the cause? Yes. Will a percentage of the fundraising go towards administrative costs, promotion costs, travel costs, etc. Yes. Shame on them for making money while fighting for this cause? I don’t think so.


Would you like to go and fight with them? Talk to the families and hold hands with children with half a face, tell them you’ll change their world? I know I couldn’t do it -I couldn’t bear it. Few of us could. But they are – they’re looking at the atrocity of this horrific problem face-on and doing something about it with the hope for change. Making it happen this year.


Are we all that naïve to think that when you donate to a charitable organization that the money all goes towards the cause itself? Come on people!  Do you work for wooden nickels in life? Why do you think these people – doing a job that would render many of us into a huddled mess in a corner for the next 5 years – would be working for free? How do you think they live and eat and do what they need to do in order to dedicate themselves to a worthwhile cause?


I guess for some of you, having a cut go to the educators or promoters feels wrong – but here’s the thing – before this social media frenzy, many people knew nothing of this tragedy, knew nothing about child armies – about what has become a way of life for them for upwards of 25 years.  Kony 2012 is like wildfire and is in everybody’s kitchen, office, chat room – and that is essential to change. Whether you agree with the package they wrapped it in or not, you can’t take from the fact that they have done what nobody has ever been able to do – open millions of eyes to the issue of child soldiers and the atrocity that these people are coping with alone. I say help – no matter how it comes – is overdue.


When people learn about something tragic, they want to help. They want to be part of the better good. They also need to know what exactly to do before they get distracted by everyday life here in cosy North America. The Kony 2012 team gave clear direction – this is what you do – 1-2-3.


Listen haters – your immediate criticism and rants of “scam” have not led people to other organizations to give their money to. No, you can’t any take credit for that – because it isn’t happening. But you can take credit for making people pause, put their head back in the sand, and justify why they can sit back and do nothing at all. You’ve effectively shocked people who may have reached out, to turn away and feel like they almost got “suckered” into caring. For that you should be ashamed.


Let people come to awareness and do what they can do. Let them feel good about it – in doing any little bit at all. If that means only sharing the link and spreading the word – so be it.  You don’t know where things go when they get passed on – and every little bit does make a difference.


Haters be gone.




Momma Grumpy Pants March 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 10:37 AM
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If my life was a Disney movie, it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out which of the 7 dwarfs I was representing the last few days. Although I normally try to distribute my time pretty evenly between Dopey, Happy, Doc, Sleepy, Grumpy, and Sneezy (I don’t do Bashful), there are times where one of the little guys dominates my head. I am currently stuck on loop and even Snow White herself couldn’t keep me from being the grump in tights. The antics she uses to bring Grumpy around – a pat on the head, a little pinch of the cheek, a kiss on the forehead – any one of those things would assure Snow got a wallop that would set her flat on her pale-as-powder ass.

So, Grumpy it is. And today I’m trying hard to shake it, but I’ll admit, the monster factor was in fine form last night. I went postal on my son for not having his homework done. To ease any concerns about my son’s welfare –  I don’t yell, I don’t hit, I don’t starve him in the scary basement. Postal in our house = near death by nagging. In my defense though, this is homework that is due once a month. The kids have to use media (photos and news stories) to talk about a character trait. In case you’ve been out of public school a while and don’t have kids cycling though – character traits are something all the school boards use to teach kids how to be better people than parents are raising them to be at home.

Integrity             We act justly and honourably in all that we do

Responsibility    We are accountable for our actions and we follow through on our commitments

Cooperation       We work together towards shared goals and purposes

Caring                We show kindness towards others

Respect             We treat ourselves, others and the environment with consideration and dignity

Optimism           We maintain a positive attitude and have hope for the future

Honesty             We behave in a sincere, trustworthy and truthful manner

Empathy            We strive to understand and appreciate the feelings and actions of others

Courage             We do the right thing, even when it’s difficult

Inclusiveness     We include everyone in what we do and value their unique contributions 

So – basically, my son was failing miserably at the responsiblity trait – since he had a month to do this homework but only remembered ten minutes before bed the night before it was due. I was failing miserably at empathy, caring, and optimism as I nagged him half to death as he tried to cram 2 or 3 hours of homework into the thirty minute bedtime extension I gave him to get his ass in gear. I must say though – he did quite well at courage, handling my tyranny. That is until a big fat tear rolled down his cheek, because I wasn’t helping him and was making him feel bad. (his words).

Cue the horrific monster music. 

Okay – so I felt like a giant jerk who doesn’t help their kid and just makes them feel bad. It wasn’t a nice place to be. I was able to placate the beast in me long enough to make amends and tuck the kids into bed, but I wasn’t downstairs more than 15 minutes before my husband asked me to look at the wording of something for work. He asked quite nicely and I agreed, but the longer it took to get through it, the more the beast bubbled up again. After barking out a multitude of questions about the memo (and even saying the wording of one particular sentence was just stupid), I emailed the revised offending document back to him saying I felt crabbier than ever now. I think I was implying it was his fault, which normally would have evoked an immediate challenge to my accusation. But instead he just thanked me and kept his eyes averted. I think he wanted to be sure he didn’t turn to stone.

All I wanted to do was watch the informative and relevent television programme – the Bachelor – Women Tell All. Is that too much to ask? A little light entertainment? By the time I had drained my tea and finished wasting the two hours of my life that the programme ran, I decided all the girls on the show were officially stupid jerks and bullies. I hated them all. I hated Ben too, because he was being a spineless weenie. My therapist would probably say something about transference – but I was too grumpy to handle self-reflection or how those stupid bitches mirrored how much of a stupid bitch I was being. I just turned on Intervention instead.

My mother has always said if you get into a tussle with one person – they might be having a bad day. If you get into it with more than two people, make no mistake – it’s you. Advice I’ve used for many years to determine if I have settled into my grumpy-pants and need to look at a wardrobe change. Or at the very least, recognize it’s not a good look.

New day, but I’m not wearing new pants. Not yet anyway. I’m trying. Sort of. It might just be another day to stay huddled in the dressing room.


He comes bearing gifts… March 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 12:23 PM

Some men bring their wives flowers, others lavish their sweetheart with serious bling  – gold & diamonds. Mine came home after my last blog post bearing gifts. How sweet! In order to show his support of the whole big bad wolf adventure, he brought me a gift bag with not one, but three treats inside:

  • Dog Attack Deterrent
  • Air Horn
  • Bear D’Fense Spray

I may be walking in the wilderness, but I’m now packin’ some serious heat. So beasts beware and step off, or I’ll blow-horn your ass all the way to Barrie.

My husband may not be traditionally romantic, but he does come bearing gifts when prompted by the written word. Next week I’m blogging about struggling through life with a lack of gold, diamonds, and easter creme eggs.