Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Middle T.V. Series

I'm in love with this new T.V. series. Check it out when you get a chance. This is a sitcom about a very average North American family, a mom, a dad, 3 kids. So far, nothing special and yes, there has been a lot of sitcoms about average North American families before, but this family is the most realistic T.V. family I have seen. None of that Cosby family or Leave It to Beaver perfection. These folks are it. They hit the average family nail dead on the head. Perfectly. Eerily. Eerily because the dialogue is so real, it sounds like the writers are standing under our kitchen window listening to our banter while we do dishes and taking note. This family is us, we're them. Well, we don't have a weird grade one kid with the ability to read at a grade 25 level (so brilliantly played by the adorable Atticus Shaffer, a kid with a great name and a great future), but the rest of the family? Yup. As close to imperfection as us. Even their house is decorated like most of us do, in the mishmash fashion of odds and ends accumulated over 20 years of marriage.

And then there's the title. It stands for Middle America, Middle of the road, Middle class, whatever spin you want to give it. This family doesn't pretend to be at the top or even at the bottom. It's in the middle. In other words, average. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not and that's why it rings true for us. The parents are tired, they cut corners, but they try hard and they mean well. It sums us up so beautifully.

Great cast, great writers. A rare little jewel in the somewhat tarnished crown of television, a crown so overloaded by mediocre reality shows these days.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Unlike many people, we don't own a cottage. My husband and I decided long ago that we had enough maintaining one house, we didn't see the point of driving 4 hours somewhere to go clean another house, lol! So, instead, we have turned our little backyard into an oasis of peace. Pool, two-tiered deck with a nice table and chair set for eating al fresco, and outdoors chairs, sofa and coffee table on the lower deck, a great place to lounge in the shade, read a book or sip a cocktail. A plethora of shade trees, evergreens, shrubs and flowers complete the peaceful scenery.

On week-ends, if it is a nice sunny day, we plan carefully so as to run all errands in the morning, so we can enjoy the afternoon outside, including the dinner menu on the barbecue. A mini-vacation if you will.

We swim, we read the paper or a magazine, then we cook dinner and finally sit down to enjoy it.

And that's when it starts.

The lawnmowers, the weed whackers, the hedge trimmers. It's like the neighbours see us sit down and at the first bite, wham, they fire up their power tools. Why is it that the retired neighbour decides to mow his lawn at six o'clock on a Sunday night? Why is it that the housewife next door, the one that doesn't work but still has a nanny decides to trim hedges right as we're having a celebratory birthday dinner with family, on a week-end? Why is it that the neighbour two doors down decides to start building his deck as I am about to take my first bite of strawberry shortcake of the year?


So much for my oasis of peace.

A little word of advice to all who read me. Be thoughtful when you're planning to work in the yard. Not too early in the morning and certainly NOT during dinners, especially if your neighbours are having a barbecue.

Well, unless it's the divorcee neighbour who lives behind you, who has obnoxious drunk parties for her teenagers at which she outdrinks all the kids, parties that last til the wee hours of the night with total disregard to all the neighbours, who has sex in plain sight in her hot tub while we're entertaining (more on that another day). Then you have my permission.

I hear cottage dwellers have pretty much the same problems too, though. Jet skis and speed boats disturb the tranquility of the lakes and they have their share of rowdy drinkers too.

At least I don't have to drive four hours to get there and maintain a second house. So I guess I'll keep enjoying my backyard. It's not always all bad all the time. We steal whatever moments of peace and quiet we can.

Have a great summer, all!