reprieve from the (shit) storm

Years ago, I owned these shoes that were so beyond repair that Matt used to call them my “broke down palace” shoes.  “Oh no,” he’d moan, when he saw me putting them on, “please not the broke down palace again.”  He was sick of hearing me whine about the pain the broken shoes caused me, and I was so reluctant to let them go.  “but I LOVE them” I’d say.  “But they’re BROKEN” he’d retort. 

Since then, anything broken, defective,  malfunctioning or damaged in our lives is referred to as “broke down palace.”  Like the toe I busted a few weeks ago, smashing it on the side of our banister, causing me to show my little baby what mama means when she yells MOTHERFUCKER really loud.  Also, like our  car that chose to die its final death in the Loblaws parking lot recently – in the middle of a heat wave, with 2 screaming kids, bags of groceries, and one pissy husband, I might add.  And finally, like my basement, which became the ultimate broke down palace a few weeks ago when a giant rain storm ripped through Toronto.  The already crappy drains were pushed to their limit and let in a river of backed up sewage under the sub floor of our basement.  (You see? I’m not joking about the shit storm).   Once the plumber got in and took a look at what was going on down there, he very forcefully encouraged us to vacate the house immediately because of the risk of inhaling methane gas.  (note: these kinds of warnings do wonders to a panic-prone mother who immediately upon hearing said warning by the plumber will burst into tears because she is sure her new baby has now been damaged somehow by the days he spent breathing in methane gas.  She will proceed to pack up all of their belongings in 15 minutes and lay them all over the front lawn, giving the neighbours a good show in the meantime). 

And so, we hightailed it outta there, rented a car (remember, ours was broke down palace), and drove up north to my parents’ place.  It was decided that I would spend a week or so there with the kids while Matt returned to Toronto to “deal” with the basement (read: contact the proper people while also enjoying nights out with his friends).  Now, I’ll be the first to admit I am lucky:  my parents retired to a lovely little town called Southampton, just north west of Toronto.  It’s small and idyllic, and many many people cottage up there in the summer.   And while I tend to go a little crazy up there sometimes (the clean air, the niceness, the leisureliness of it all somehow can GET to someone after awhile), I was able to leave broke down palace life behind and see this every morning:


Nothing like a view of beauty to make you forget (for the time being) the river of poo at home. 

(full disclosure: this picture is not my own, but one taken from a public tourist site for Southampton.  I would have inserted my own picture, but alas the camera is also living the broke down palace life.  Of course).



  1. Jen said

    Oh man. When it rains it pours. I’m glad you have someplace so lovely to flee to and wish you rain free days, talented (and dirt cheap) plumbers, and Xanax because, well, you’re staying with family (not that they aren’t perfectly lovely but, well, absence-heart-fonder and all that)

  2. Jen said

    Mother Mary! Have your comments always included the avatar inclusion? Gah!

  3. crabbykate said

    Laugh out loud, Jen. Laugh out loud (I am hating LOL these days).

    I have NO idea why the avatar inclusion has shown up. Seriously, no idea.

  4. Marla said

    (there, there)


  5. Marla said

    Hey! I want a nicer avatar! WTF quilty thing?!!

  6. Suzanne said

    Nothing like an influx of sewage to make me appreciate the mere water that flooded our basement a few years ago! I hope that the cleanup and repair aren’t too overwhelming/expensive.

  7. kgirl said

    Ah, escapism. Lovin’ it.

  8. Garg – shit storms are never fun – seriously, how could they be fun? Anyhow, I’m with kgirl, escapism is where it’s at. Wishing methane-free air and a quick clean-up.

  9. javamom said

    Lovely post about all the broken and shit and what have you….have a nice vacation!

  10. Lisa b said

    oh man why does it always happen like this? reminds me of last year just around the time Julia was born. Like having a new baby is not more than anyone can handle.
    I am glad you had somewhere nice to go even if its niceness does start to grate after a while.

  11. kittenpie said

    Oh, jeez, and I thought I was having a crazy summer… I am so sorry, hon. It never seems to come one thing at a time, does it? But at least you have some enforced “relaxation,” if you can call staying with parents and away from home with children such a thing.

  12. blogwhore said

    do those shoes have flames on them?

  13. […] are fine.  We didn’t die a slow and painful death due to the basement from hell this summer.  Nor did we end up moving up north.  We did, however, endure a very fussy and […]

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