Susieboldt's Blog

Random Comments from a Dreamer

The Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe

Could you imagine being a mother of sixteen children? How about a sibling to fifteen brothers and sisters?

Nope, I couldn’t either.

I read about a woman who had sixteen kids, and I had to do a double take and re-read what I had already read. 16 KIDS!! I don’t even know how to wrap my head around this. That’s enough kids to make your own baseball team, and have extras! That’s enough kids to fill a small bus. That’s enough kids to run your own farm without ever having to pay employees. You get the picture.

I wonder how long it took for this woman to run out of names. I can barely think of one boy name that I like. If I had to think of more than one, I’d probably just start naming them after fathers and grandfathers and then other people’s fathers and grandfathers.

I wonder how big this family’s dinner table was. Was it big enough to fit everyone, or did they have to take shifts? I’m betting on shifts.

How were the sibling’s relationships with each other? I mean, by the time the mom is done having kids you’d have a significant age difference between the oldest and youngest.  Some siblings would probably get really close to others in the same age bracket, and then pick on the younger ones.

I wonder what kind of personalities each kid got, and if they’re all different. And how would the birth order theory work with sixteen kids!?

As you can see, I’m having a very difficult time imagining such a life.

This woman, who I don’t even know, reminds me of the old lady who lived in the shoe. I don’t really know why; perhaps because the old lady who lived in the shoe had a lot of kids. This is really the only parallel.

I can just picture it now: the kids are outside misbehaving, they’ve tied poor Timmy to the swing, and now they’re playing piñata with him using those sponge swords. Timmy’s not having a good time. All of a sudden, the mother rushes out of the shoe-house waving a rolling pin in the air, shouting at her boys to leave Timmy alone. The boys run off, leaving Timmy tied to the swing that he had been enjoying just a few moments before. This is how I picture life as being when you have sixteen kids.

I wonder if the youngest children received anything new at all. They probably wore everyone else’s hand-me-downs, and used everyone else’s broken toys. Those poor children. Imagine playing truck with a truck that’s missing a wheel. It’s always going to tip over, no matter what you load in the back. Or imagine playing with a doll, who’s been drawn on, had one of her eyes ripped out, and her head swivels all the way around because the siblings before her kept taking if off!

I’d like to meet every one of these kids (grown-up’s by now), and do a case study on their lives. Who got picked on? Who was the instigator? Who were the shy ones? Who loves math, and who loves reading? I could ask so many questions!

All I know is that I will not be having sixteen kids. I am not willing to move into a shoe, nor am I willing to carry around a rolling pin, looking like a crazy lady.

Nope, three to four kids will do fine.


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September 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Awkward Phrases

I went through a Tim Horton’s drive through the other day and ordered one of those sausage breakfast sandwiches on an English muffin. My friend then decided that she wanted one too, but this was after I had already given them my order.

My mind went blank and I said: “Oh! I’ll take another one of those thingys, the EggMcMuffin on the English muffin…Oh, I mean not EggMcMuffin, but the…yeah…you know, I mean the thing I just ordered.”

The Tim Horton’s worker responded with: “Yeah, I know exactly what you mean,” as if she got that all the time.

Of course when I pulled up to the window to pay, my face was bright red and my friend and I were laughing hysterically.

I usually pride myself in getting drive through orders perfect. Certainly, that didn’t happen this time, and it became an awkward, embarrassing moment.

Another awkward phrase that I say much too often is: “you too.”

I was in the grocery store when I saw an old friend of mine. She had just come back from her honeymoon and I asked her how it went. Of course everything was great, not like I expected any different response from her, and then asked her where exactly she went. “The Mayan Riviera,” she answered. I told her that my husband and I, and my family wanted to go to the Mayan next year. But because of our grocery store setting, our conversation got cut short and she told me to have fun when I go, and I answered with the awkward, “You too!” Oh boy. That doesn’t even make any sense. Why would I say that? Yeah, have fun on your Mayan vacation next year too! Jeesh. Sometimes I wonder about myself. Of course my friend just gave me a smile and walked away, probably not sure what to say to me after having just embarrassed myself. I couldn’t stop thinking about those stupid two little words all the way home, and you can probably sense that I still kick myself over it.

We, as in people, like to say “You too” when in restaurants as well. After receiving our food, many waitresses/waiters will say, “Enjoy your food!” And of course, the natural reaction from us is to say, “You too!”

This is always an embarrassing situation. The waiter isn’t eating anything, and probably won’t be until either break or shift-end. I’m sure they’re used to hearing it, but if I was a waitress and people kept saying “You too!” to me, I’d constantly be jealous that I don’t get to enjoy the food. I’d probably also be thinking that the only food I get to enjoy is the stale Twinkie in my lunch box, and then I’d become resentful and treat my tables badly. Then I would lose my tips.

We also tend to say, “you too” when in response to someone telling us “Happy Birthday!” And “Congratulations!” The list goes on. We say this a lot, and most of the time, without thinking.

Can you think of anymore awkward phrases? Maybe you said something to someone lately that became completely uncomfortable, tell me about it! I’d love to hear your stories. I can’t be the only one in the world who says embarrassing things…

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments


As I was driving home from Windsor the other day, a group of three four-wheelers were hogging one of the back-roads I take. They were driving in the middle of the road in a V formation and they were all wearing helmets, except for the leader of the pack who was wearing a ski-mask.

I slowed down, a little worried, considering they were coming straight for me, but thankfully they all moved out of the way. But the leader with the ski-mask turned his head slowly and let his eyes linger on me inside of the car. I stared back, defiantly of course, but on the inside I was completely creeped out. It was one of those looks you see in movies, where everything goes slow-motion and the background music starts to play with your mind… I can still picture the exact look he gave me, and how long he stared. In fact, I do believe I had a nightmare about it last night.

I drove away slowly, because my car is incapable of accelerating fast, and kept looking back at them in my rear-view mirror. I was thinking that they could have been robbers, waiting for a victim in a slow car. They would surround this victim, force her out of the car, and steal anything worth value. Good thing I have nothing of value inside my car, unless that is, you count my miniature umbrella. After a few seconds of driving they were gone and out of sight. Although, even though they were out of sight, I kept wondering why the ski-mask leader had looked at me like that. And throughout the next fifteen minutes of driving home, I came to a conclusion.

It’s simple, really. He was wearing a mask.

Yes the hat is called a ski-mask, but really it can qualify as being just a mask. It covers the entire face, all except for the eyes and mouth. And masks make people do weird things. They make people do things that they would not normally do. I’ve seen this happen first hand. Somebody who’s shy puts on a mask, and suddenly they’re dancing and doing weird hand motions; things that they would never do without the aid of the mask.

I once wore a ski-mask for work, when I worked in lawn care. It was November and snowing outside, but we still had piles of leaves to clean up. So here I was, bundled in a winter jacket, two pairs of socks, and gloves, and my trusty ski-mask. Of course with all that I was wearing, no one would know it was me. So to make my day just a little bit better, I jumped into a pile of leaves and relished in the moment. Of course the leaves were frostbitten and nowhere near soft, but lying in the pile of crusty leaves was still better than having to clean them up. We were working beside a busy road and the leaf pile I was lying in was right next to this road. Multiple people stared at me as they slowly drove by, and I stared back. It was as if the ski-mask had given me an alternate personality where it’s okay for me to jump in leaf piles, acting childish, and stare back at people. No one would recognize me and so there wouldn’t be any repercussions.

That is exactly why this man on his four-wheeler locked eyes with me; the mask had given him the ability to do so. Manners tell us not to creep someone out like that, but if your face is hidden, and no one knows who you are, why bother with manners?

If you don’t know the feeling of putting on a mask, and suddenly feeling like an alternate version of yourself, try it sometime and let me know how it goes. It’s quite the liberating experience.

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September 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sometimes it Sucks Being a Woman

There are moments in my life when I detest being female.

My husband and I have ventured into a complete kitchen overhaul; one that includes re-painting, replacing the floor and counter top, and adding trim to our cupboards. To be completely honest with you, this project involves more of me and less of my husband. Frankly he doesn’t have the time or interest in involving himself with this project.

Because I am the one tackling this project, I figured I could save money in doing a few things by myself…how naive of me.

I have this image of myself. In this image, not only am I a competent woman who can do anything I put my mind to, but I am also completely capable of successfully using a saw and cutting wood. Turns out, this image of me and me actually, are two very different beings.

The actual me cannot cut wood. I cannot do anything I set my mind to like I thought I could, and I am not competent. Now, before I go any further, let me clear something up. I have a notorious tract record for being negative, but this post is not negative, it is realist. There is a major difference, and if you do not know the difference, you should probably exit out of this post and get out your dictionary.

I started this project in which I line my kitchen cupboards with trim. First, I begged my Dad for a lesson on how to use a Miter Saw; second, I borrowed that Miter Saw; and third, I set up that Miter Saw in my garage. I then proceeded to buy the trim, stuff the trim into my vehicle, and set the trim up next to the saw. I calculated my measurements and measured my first piece of trim. I was now ready.

I put my safety glasses on, placed the trim under the blade, and got ready to push the button. It was then when I realized that my saw was not angled properly for the type of cut I wanted. I didn’t panic because my Dad had showed me to re-position the saw. All I had to do was insert a dohicky into its proper dohicky spot and then loosen the saw’s base. Once loosened, I could slide the saw over and cut my trim properly.

So I placed the dohicky into its hole and turned. Only, nothing happened. The dohicky did not move and I began to question why it had looked so easy when my Dad did it. I tried again, and again, and again. I just wasn’t strong enough. After five minutes of yelling, occasionally kicking, and mentally cursing, I gave up. It wasn’t going to happen. I even attempted to use a vice grip and a hammer. The only thing that was going to work was the hand of a man. I needed strength.

I was now unable to use the saw all day, even though I had set aside that entire afternoon to cut trim. Instead of successfully using the Miter Saw, I walked inside -completely defeated, and plopped myself onto the couch. My sadness over having useless weak female hands made me fall asleep and I took a three hour nap. That’s what defeat does to you; it makes you take pity naps.

After my husband came home from work, he successfully turned the little dohicky in its little hole, and re-positioned the saw. I was feeling a little better about myself after this, because it took my husband a few tries to turn it.

The next day I was feeling capable and ready to start this project, now that the saw had been loosened. I headed out into the garage, positioned my trim, put on my safety glasses, and proceeded to push the on button. Nothing happened. No spinning of the blade or defeating saw noises, nope, nothing. I checked the cord and outlet, everything worked. I couldn’t wrap my head around this. The saw worked when my Dad tried it. But not for me. Hmm….

I’ve come to the conclusion that the saw hates me, and hates the fact that a woman is attempting to use it. If I was a male, I’d have stronger hands and be able to turn the saw. If I was a male, the saw would turn on for me, probably without me having to push any buttons. Saws just know.

Now, after the image of competent me has been stabbed and murdered, I can only dream about being as confident as the woman in the above picture.

I blame my failure on my womanhood.

But let me assure you, there is a silver lining to this dismal cloud. There was one way in which I succeeded. Because I am a woman, I managed to not pick up that saw and throw it to the ground; like I envisioned myself doing a thousand times. Amazingly, it’s still alive and in one piece. Women have an uncanny level of control.

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September 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Instability a Good Thing?

Everything is changing for me…yet again.

I wrote my first novel, the first draft anyways. I’ve now handed it out to people who will give me their much needed opinion. Today was the first day that I wasn’t staring at my lap top for six hours. I pretty much didn’t know what to do with myself. Also, school starts tomorrow; the very first year that I will be attempting to take five courses instead of four, and hold down, a so far non-existent, part-time job. I’ve also just ended my youth leader duties for the church I attend, because of school, and my baseball season is finished. Although, not only are physical obligations ending and beginning; I also feel as though I have changed on the inside as well. I won’t try to describe these changes, as I don’t know how to even put those changes in words, but what I can tell you, is that everything is up in the air for me.

My life feels up-rooted and unstable. I’m wondering whether this instability is a good or bad thing.

When life is perfectly planned and everything is stagnant, growth is un-achievable. In fact, most comfortable people, as in comfortable in their lives, don’t think about growth when they’re in this position. Comfort and stability seems to make a person forget about growth, whether that be spiritual growth, relational growth, or any kind of growth for that matter. When a person is comfortable in their stability, stability is all that matters to them.

Instability, on the other hand, literally forces a person to grow. It forces a person to make decisions, and most of the time those decisions are the ones that would have never been options, had it not been for instability.

I am now in the position of change and growth. I’m thinking about options that I would have never even considered a few months ago. I could tutor for free with a volunteer organization. I could join an outreach committee that specializes in large youth functions. I could volunteer with a Christian school board. These are all options that I am considering all because my life has been, for the moment, up-rooted.

Instability has even forced me to take a good long look at my spiritual life. Where can I do better? What are my weaknesses, and are they holding me back from something potentially life changing? What can I do for my community? Where can I better be spiritually fed? These are all questions that I’ve had to answer, all because my stagnant life suddenly became changed.

I’ve decided that instability is not just a good thing, instability is a great thing, unwelcome as it is; it is needed for me to grow. And if I am not growing each and every day, then I am useless to humanity. Sitting in my house, watching my TV shows, staring out my front window; it’s all very useless, and the recent instability in my life has become some much needed chaos.

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September 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I Hate Flip Flops

Flip flops are useless; let me explain why…

  • Flip flops are horrible for your feet. They have no arch support whatsoever. Why would you want to subject yourself to wearing shoes that are obviously bad for your feet, posture, and joints? It just doesn’t add up.
  • Flip flops are dangerous. Imagine for a moment that you are being chased by a mugger. He wants your purse and he’ll stop at nothing to get it. Clearly, you have no chance at out-running this mugger. He’s wearing running shoes and you…well, you’re wearing flip flops. He catches up to you easily, grabs your purse and then hits you over the head with your own bag. You then slump to the ground, hit your head, and start bleeding. All this because you were wearing flip flops.
  • Not only are flip flops dangerous because of muggers; they are also dangerous when it comes to driving. I heard that it was illegal to drive while wearing flip flops, probably because they can get stuck on the gas or brake pedals. It’s just a bad combination – flip flops and brake pedals….a combination that should not be messed with.
  • Flip flops are bad for camping. You are more subject to getting sun burns and mosquito bites on your feet. You are also subjecting yourself to getting campfire burns. Those campfires can be dangerous things. Depending on the type of wood that is chosen to burn, the campfire could produce burning ash and debris. This is more common than you think.
  • Flip flops do not make you look cool. What makes you look cool is wearing something other than the norm. Flip flops are a dime a dozen, and in turn, they take away your uniqueness as a woman. I get the impression that when people are wearing flip flops, they think they’re cooler than everyone else who isn’t wearing them. Well let me tell you something, when I’m the only one in a group of girlfriends who is not wearing flip flops, I’m the one who feels cool.
  • Flip flops are noisy, and occasionally make farting sounds. It’s embarrassing, not only for the wearer, but also for the unfortunate people around them.
  • Flip flips are inconvenient. Don’t ask me to feel sorry for you when you get a rock imbedded in your heal. I’ll be wearing my runners and walking over that rock that just made you cry.
  • Flip flops force you to colour your toe nails. Before you leave the house you need to check your toenails and make sure they’re painted; if not you’ll have to postpone your plans and dig out the nail polish. Tsk tsk. Let’s say you’re going to a birthday party and you’re just about to head out the door when you notice your toenails are un-painted! You run back inside and quickly cover them with colour. Well, the running shoe people will arrive first at that party and eat all the cake, so by the time you arrive with your brightly coloured toenails, all the cake will have been eaten.

These are my arguments against flip flops. I challenge anyone to out-argue me.

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September 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Big Burgers

I tried a new restaurant the other day and ordered myself a beef burger. What a mistake.

The beef inside the burger was at least two inches thick. Let me say that again: two inches thick, and that was only the beef.  I want you to imagine eating a two inch thick patty. Go on, try to open your mouth two inches wide. It doesn’t work, does it?

This is the problem with two inch thick beef; most people cannot open their mouths this wide. I’d rather not half to dislocate my jaw to eat a burger.

Not only are these types of burgers impossible to eat, but two inch thick patties do not work in a bun. The meat pushes everything else out of the way. By the time you’re a quarter a way into the burger, everything else has fallen onto your plate. Your tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, everything, it’s all gone. All you’re eating is meat and bread. Who wants to eat just meat and bread? Okay, I know a few people who would love just eating meat and bread, but those people are boring.

Why would I want to pay money to eat a pound of ground beef? It just doesn’t make sense.  I’ve been to Gilligan’s the restaurant and even their huge patties are not as big as the one I had. Just looking at the two inch thick patty burger made me sick. I couldn’t even imagine all that beef inside my stomach.

Are there people out there who like this? Who like not being able to eat their burger properly because the beef has become so dominant it’s actually pushed everything else out?

It would have been more productive for me to cut this burger with a fork and knife. At least that way I’d have a sliver of a chance to also get some tomato or lettuce.  But let’s face it, that’s just embarrassing. It’s understandable for people to eat pizza with a knife and a fork, if it’s thick enough. But when people eat their burgers with knives and forks, well that’s just wrong on many levels.

I just don’t understand why restaurants think this is a good thing. “Come to our restaurant! We have burgers so thick you won’t physically be able to eat them!” It bothers me to no end why society believes that the thicker it is, the better. Who started this horrible monstrosity, creating burgers that are impossible to eat? If anyone ever finds out, let me know please. I’d like to blame someone for the pain I feel in my jaw ever since attempting to bite into the two-inch-thick-patty-burger.

Disclaimer– I don’t actually think meat and bread eaters are boring. Their burger choices are boring, not the eaters themselves. Do not come at me with pitchforks and torches, this will get you arrested for acting crazy.

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September 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments