Wednesday, December 31, 2008
There is so much good that has come from this year. And one of the most important lessons was taught to me about regret, right at the end. I feel like I squeezed the most out of this year. I think I'm ready for 2009. One toe in the water, the rest of the foot on the shore, balancing. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this year so wonderful, you will never all know who you are or how much you touched my life.
Back in October or November, iMan announced that we (our son and myself) could accompany him to New Zealand for a three week stay in January where he would be working for a stretch. His employer would pay our airfare and hotel. This is a place I have always wanted to travel to but considering the cost and the time, it just never was a true opportunity for me. I was excited and of course a little nervous about leaving my life behind for that long. Then just as suddenly as the trip came up it was cancelled. Not for him, but for me and our son. I was disappointed but took it in stride, not going meant not leaving a job I had only started a few months ago. A job I am grateful to have found in these economic times. But nevertheless a job and not a career. Then shortly before Christmas the opportunity was back and I had to decide quickly as plane and hotel reservations had to be made. It was my last day at work before the holiday break and when I flew the idea by my boss he was, needless to say, not thrilled. Not only is he embarking on a new working partnership himself in the new year which means a lot of PR but it also leaves him in the lurch work-wise since I was giving him virtually no warning. I wasn't surprised but I was hoping he would say how he understood that I couldn't turn down this marvelous opportunity. Well, he didn't exact say that either. So having to make a quick decision, I turned down the trip.
Just yesterday I took my son and a new friend of his and that friend's mom skating. She's a wonderful woman (hi Sally!) I only recently met despite living a block away from each other and having sons the same age. She's also a New Zealander and she mentioned in the car that it is quite likely she and her small family will be moving back there come October. I was floored partly because a new friend I've made might be leaving my life but she's moving exactly where I want to be! I don't begrudge her anything, for goodness sake it's her homeland and where her family is. All the same I felt, well gypped.
I spent a turbulent afternoon and evening letting all the feelings come and overwhelm me and trying to figure out how I churned myself up into the proper little mess that I was. I was actually jealous. I felt trapped here in a city and a climate that doesn't make me happy. And I realized that I had made the wrong choice about my trip. I should have chosen to take the trip, taken my chances with leaving the job and my boss in a pickle. Which is where the regret comes in. It is said that people only regret the things they didn't do, never the things they did. I made my decision based on fear. Apparently I read somewhere that the largest fear women have is becoming a bag lady. On the other side of the gender spectrum, I'm sure the largest or one of the largest fears men have is being homeless. And it was this base and basic fear that guided my decision.
I think I learned a lesson in all this. I am still enormously sad about not going. And I hope that next time I have such a decision to make, even if it's under the gun like this last one, that I'll choose so that I won't have regrets.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I managed to polish off, "October" by Richard B. Wright in about a week. An easy read but intelligent prose. It doesn't come close to his, "Clara Callan" which I thought was brilliant but it was better than the rest of him that I read after Clara Callan. You know how it is when you discover a fabulous book then run out and try to get your hands on everything else he/she has written? This book is about death, a popular subject since, as they say, no one gets out of this alive. But in all it wasn't really depressing, considering. Not much else to say without giving the premise away.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
THE 99 THINGS MEME
Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font
1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars. But I wasn't happy about it. It was on the beach and the tide came in, waking me up with wet feet, luckily only wet feet!
3. Played in a band.
5. Watched a meteor shower. Plenty of them, they are very popular here in August.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity. A couple of times, always around Christmas to animal shelters.
7. Been to Disneyland/world. Once in
8. Climbed a mountain. Nothing like Everest or Kilimanjaro but I live in a very mountainous area, so plenty to climb.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. Not on stage, I sing all the time with my son.
11. Bungee jumped. I’d have to be sedated and bound and gagged.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. So much I want to learn with art(s).
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning. Can’t prove it but….
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in
20. Slept on an overnight train. We used to travel every summer to
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked. Once, during a bus strike. I was foolish and very lucky.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. Yeah, but not in a long time – who wants to waste a good sick day when you’re sick?
24. Built a snow fort. Two days ago was my last one.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping. I’m bashful
27. Run a marathon. Longest I ran was a 20 km race.
28. Ridden a gondola in
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. I’m not sure where that would be.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied. Of course there are various degrees of satisfaction. I don’t think I’d be any more satisfied with millions. Less stressed out but not more satisfied.
38. Seen the
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke. I’ve been paid to not sing.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance. Yes, it was horrible.
47. Had your portrait painted. A caricature, as a child.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain. It’s over-rated.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the
57. Started a business. And gratefully, got out of it quickly.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies. Girl Guide cookies (
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood.
65. Gone sky diving. See number 11.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. Not a camp, but the
67. Bounced a check. I was young and foolish.
68. Flown in a helicopter. See numbers 11 and 65.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. My mother is very unsentimental and all my childhood toys went out the door one day.
70. Visited the
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt. I’d love to do this, when the time presents itself.
73. Stood in
74. Toured the
75. Been fired from a job. Once, then talked my boss into giving it back to me.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in
77. Broken a bone. One tiny one in my foot that had me in a cast from toe to knee for six weeks. Then on another occasion I broke my kneecap.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the
82. Bought a brand new car. Once, when I was young and foolish. The payments nearly crushed me.
83. Walked in
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House. Yeah, and it’s not really white.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. Not even a fish. Would a mosquito count if I fed it to a spider?
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life. ??? Maybe indirectly, I’m sure we all have without knowing it. I’m sure I’ve saved my son’s life at least once a day since he was born.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous. That’s over-rated too.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one. My father then my husband within ten months of each other. A very difficult year that was.
94. Had a baby. I always wanted one. Then I thought it wasn’t going to happen, then when I was 42 and least expected it, but most wanted it.
95. Seen the
96. Swum in the
97. Been involved in a law suit. Stressful.
98. Owned a cell phone. But rarely use all my allotted monthly minutes, I’m a bit of an old-fashioned user.
99. Been stung by a bee. Once
Been there done that, got the t-shirt: 48
Wish I had: 19
No desire: 32
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Last weekend Santa told me I looked tired (gee, thanks Santa for the honesty)and I was struck by a certain crone-ness when I realized the last 5 or 6 CDs (almost typed "albums" there) were all greatest hits or best of. That kind of did me in for a few minutes. I have to wonder how I can feel so old yet so vulnerable at the same time.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I couldn't resist posting this lovely shot. I must have a suspicious nature because whenever Riley sits on Santa's lap I keep my eyes peeled for where Santa's hands might wander. Or maybe it's a sign of the times or my over-protective mother hen-ness. My son walked right up to the man today, whipped out the list he had been working on for some time and posed like a fashion model with the big guy. Lovely souvenir, dontcha think?
"Sharing Good Times" by Jimmy Carter was another book I bought iMan for last Christmas. The former president of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner is a man I admire. The cover of the book has a photo of him and his wife posing with fish they have caught in what looks like a lake with a mountain background. Early on in the book I had a good laugh when he talked about how his mother always thought his brother, Billy, was the most intelligent of her children. I guess that is something only a mother can know. But he is equally at home living and writing about running a presidential race as he is fishing and farming. One very interesting confession he makes is that when he was younger, he took little regard in his wife's opinion in how their life would run. It was over time and a few humorous incidents that he came to build a true mutual relationship with Rosalynn and grow to admire and respect what she brought to them as a team.
Here is a quote that sums up the main lesson of the book:
"...and really for the first time, I was beginning to consult with Rosalynn and to accommodate her ideas and preferences before final decisions were made. I learned that real sharing was much more than laboring together at the warehouse or even dancing all night with each other and with friends. It included planning in advance and later savoring our experiences. What was especially challenging but enjoyable was treating my wife - and even sometimes our boys - as equal partners, with mutual respect for their opinions and with special delight in their pleasure. This did not come easy for me."
The book has just a smattering of his political life and includes snippets about many of his varied interests such as birdwatching, fishing and travelling. It was heartening to see how a man who started off almost as a male chauvinist could evolve into an open minded man of this time. The true richness of his life came from sharing.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I spent the whole day in my art studio. From about 9:30 to 4:30, coming out for an hour break at lunch and then to pick up Riley at school. Once home I got another hour in. And this is all I have to show for it:
There is incredible detail that the camera doesn't do justice for because it's a night shot and I am still working with my focus-challenged camera (I have asked Santa for a new one, but I think he, too, might have been hit by the financial crisis). It is on a measly 5 x 7, 140 lb. watercolor paper. Actually there is nothing measly about the paper; it is holding up quite well, I'm impressed because I haven't worked much with watercolor paper. I have started another collage on acrylic paper, mostly to give it a test run before my next class starts in January to see if I have the right paper for the medium. But I've digressed. I still will work this a lot more, but was curious to chronicle the process and compare what it looks like two weeks from now or hopefully, a few days from now.
Early this week a necklace I ordered from Lisa Leonard arrived. It was a Christmas present to myself and is more lovely than I could ever have imagined. I first saw her work from a posting at Karen's website. I went over and looked at her jewelry and craved it. It is handmade, personalized and incredibly beautiful. I chose my two words "Be" and "Peace" because they represent the fruits of so many of my struggles that have lessened in the last year due to a lot of hard work and opening of my spirit. I can't say enough about how much I love this piece. It also makes a beautiful sound when I bend over (no snide jokes, please), there is just something about it's simplicity and clean lines. Lisa Leonard rocks.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Early in the morning on my way to work, I got off the subway and in the corridor lay a homeless man, sleeping. Someone before me had taken the sandwich they had made and brought for their own lunch, nicely packaged in a tupperware style container, and left it beside his head. It was so touching. If I had had my camera I would have wanted to take a picture but in a crowd of people it probably would have looked crass. Not that I would have cared. But I thought what a wonderful testimony to the kindness of strangers.
Later that night I was out walking my dog. I heard someone calling behind me and I stopped to turn around. On the other side of the street was a teenager, running and beside me was his dog. Not leashed and obviously not very obedient. I reached down to grab the dog's collar so its owner could reclaim it but it jumped away from me and ran into the street - right into an oncoming car. I screamed and screamed like a freaking banshee, as if it was my own dog. The crunching sound of the impact is something I'll never forget, the sound that kept me waking up last night over and over again. But this is a good news story so I will hasten to finish it. The driver of the car stopped immediately to make sure that the dog had not gone under the wheels (it hadn't), but had been kind of blind-sided. The dog kept running across the street and its owner was able to grab it. I crossed the street, realized the guy was pretty young, so I checked the dog over, making sure it wasn't bleeding (it wasn't) and that it didn't have any broken bones (it didn't). I was worried it might have internal injuries but there wasn't anything concrete I could do about that unless the owner took it to the vet. And it seemed spirited enough - it took off down the street again with the owner chasing it.
What a day.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Apparently this project originated over at Mindapples. The gist is for you to share with the world what five things you do that help keep you mentally fit. And then invite others to share with you.
Here are my five:
1) yoga and exercise, alternating days
2) creative expression
4) express gratitude
5) good sheets
6) Three Acres perfume stick in Amber scent (although I can't seem to find it anywhere anymore)
I've gone over by one and stopped myself because I would probably go much further and I think one of the ideas of this is to keep it simple. Some of these things sound strictly physical but they also give me a thought-thrill too so I left them on my list.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Now I often find myself simply giddy with being alive. I like waking up, even at the cold and dark hour of 5:00 a.m. which is when my alarm is set for on weekdays. I have an hour to myself before the rest of the humans in my house get up and it makes me feel drunk. Mostly between 5 and 6 I attend to my dogs' bodily functions then work out or do yoga. But I feel like laughing, like I have a secret or a private joke. Some aspects of my life right now are really in the toilet but I still get in the shower and get that same feeling my father must have had. It's unexplainable. I just want to sing. About having this moment, this one free wheeling ride. And lucky for me it lasts long past 11:00 a.m. At the end of the day I look forward to getting in a hot bath with my book, climbing into bed and journaling, taking some silent time before sleep. I'm still not sure how I got here, but I like it. I think I'll stay.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I bought this book for my significant other, iMan, last Christmas, kind of as a joke but also because it sounded interesting and if I read it, I might just learn a lot - a lot of what I don't know, tidbits? trivia? conversation starters? Coming in at just under 400 pages it took me two weeks to get through. The second week it was starting to wear on me, I think because it doesn't have a beginning, middle and an end. The story (although this is non-fiction) is about a 30-something male (married, Manhattan living) decides he is going to read the Encyclopedia Britannica from A-ak to Zywiec. Each "chapter" is a Reader's Digest abridged version of the encyclopedia, or rather the best-of. It was laugh-out loud funny many times but like the author, I have to wonder just how much I will retain of all those facts. I'm glad I read it, I know I am never going to attempt the same feat as the author (A.J. Jacobs) but I'm just as glad to be finished with it. I'm looking forward now to some quick fiction.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Goldilocks was finishing her work day and knew she had to take a trip to the loo before heading out into the cold for a long and snowy commute home. With the pass key to gain admittance, she opens her usual stall door. "Oh no!" she says. "I can't use this loo. This loo is stinky AND has not been flushed!"
Bang, goes the door to the stall next to her usual one. "Oh no!" she exclaims. "I can't use this loo. This loo has pee on the seat!"
Bang, goes the door to the stall next to the one that is next to her usual one. "Ah," she says with relief. "This loo is just right."
Honestly, I can not fathom why people leave toilets in such horrible states. Why not flush?! Do they want the next user to admire their fibre intake? Why not wipe the seat if they splatter? Did they grow up in a barn? I can understand an urgent need to get IN to the stall. I can not understand an urgent need to get OUT of one, leaving as if there is a fire in the building. And these aren't "public toilets" where just anyone off the street can wander in. These are locked down toilets in an office complex. I live and work amongst heathens.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I know there are people in the world with real problems and I shouldn't complain. But it's my party and I'll cry if I want to.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
After I dropped Riley off at school one day other parents were standing around talking about t.v. Most of them don't let their kids watch much. One said her t.v. was off Monday through Thursday and even after that it was heavily regulated. Another said he had definite time restrictions for his kids. I immediately felt like a television whore. And the biggest consensus was that they didn't like the behaviour of their kids when they watched what they felt was too much. They argued, threw fits, basically unpleasant stuff.
Ironically I rely on our television for some inner peace. I don't even hear it most of the time. But when I am one-on-one with my five-year old for months at a time I need some escape to keep my sanity. It allows me time to take care of the essential, have some time to think about something other than the non-stop (bless his curious soul) questions and attention. And frankly when I say we are going to turn off the t.v. and do something else (go outside, play a game or whatever) he easily agrees and is happy to do something else. It's not like he sits like a zombie, entirely mesmerized. He is always doing something else while sort-of-watching. And we do get out of the house other than school hours. He is enrolled in swimming and music. Weather permitting (above -20 C and not wet) we go to the park, down to the waterfront, walk the dogs - plenty of things that don't involve the boob tube. He goes over to friends houses and has them over to ours.
So why do I feel a little guilty that I am letting the t.v. run too much? I am a television whore. It has been two days since my last t.v. show.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
And another thing... awhile back, I think it was on Mir's blog that I discovered Wrap N Mats. They replace the lowly plastic sandwich bag so it's a no-brainer politically correct environmentally green thing to do. I ordered a couple from the Canadian distributor and they arrived within the week. Then I saw them over at Andrea's blog, who also gave them a great review. I figure I save putting about 16 plastic sandwich bags in the landfill every week, possibly more. I also ordered some from the US distributor only because they were offering different and more funky designs and they too came within 10 days. I like that the majority of them are made in the USA (some are made in China, I'm not sure why, but that's a choice you can make when you place your order) which gives it more points for buying locally. I can't kid myself and think that anything like this is going to be made in my own backyard anytime soon so buying something made on the same continent as me qualifies in my book. I've bought a number for Christmas presents (also inexpensive for me ship out because they weigh so little and pack down well). I'm doing my part to have a green Christmas.
Friday, December 5, 2008
"Ho, ho, ho," I say
Buy hand-made is all the rage
Time for reflection
And another because I'm feeling so prolific at the moment.
It's cold and rainy
Vancouver's standard forecast
I wish I lived there
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
A week ago I had a message on my answering machine from the electric company saying they would be doing work in the area on Saturday (yesterday) and that the power would cut between 8:00 am. and 4:00 pm. What they p.c. call "a scheduled interruption". Me, in a brief moment of optimism, took that to mean that somewhere between those hours we wouldn't have any electricity. No problem, I can work around that, thought the confident and quite naive me. Yesterday at 8:01 am the power went off. Before coffee, before shower, before basically anything constructive. We managed to spend most of the day out, coming back around 4:30 when it was getting dark. We giggled as we passed street after street with their Christmas or porch lights on, happy to think that the house would be warm when we got there. Instead it was cold and dark. I called the 1-800 number for hydro and their machine told me that power would be restored at 4:30. In fact is was already past 4:30. I waited a few minutes and called again and was told it would be on at 5:15. At 5:30, holding a candle up to the one non-electrically powered phone in our house I called again to find it would be only 6:30 when I could expect it back. Do you want to guess the estimated time I was told at 6:45? Well, it was 9:15 in case you're wondering. It is the end of November. I also live in Canada. These days are cold and dark. WTF? Why, I wondered, don't "scheduled interruptions" happen in July when you can cook on the Bar-b-q and it is daylight until 10:00 pm? And the house is guaranteed to be warm.
As it turns out the lights came on around 7:30 after we ate a cold supper in candlelight and relied on conversation (gee, let's talk about the 13 hour day where we just spent our every waking moment together) instead of mind-numbing TV. I was able to give Riley a hot bath and get him into bed at a decent hour clean and warm and happy. The real fun of the day began when I was settled in my own hot bath a couple of hours later, my Saturday night face mask on, book in hand. When suddenly I heard the dreaded heave and splat. Heave and splat. Heave and splat. Riley's second round of vomiting had begun. I easily gave up my hot bath, stripped him and tossed him in. The bedding required two wash cycles just to get rid of the chunks. My oh my. And my dilemma of the day was where does he sleep? I like him to sleep with me when he's sick, like to keep a close eye on him. And now his bedding was soiled right down to the core, that left my own bed with quilts and pillows that don't wash so easily. Out came the blow up bed and we camped, plastic side up (!) sleeping on towels, just in case. And I wonder why the bags under my eyes are so heavy.
Friday, November 28, 2008
This is a book that takes place in one day, with a fair amount of backstory. Best known for penning the Oprah book, Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwartz continues her examination of couples and what drives them together and apart. I found the backstory to be a bit distracting and confusing from time to time and didn't really see the relevance of it. In the end the relationships are unresolved and things could go any which way which I guess the author leaves up to the reader to finish in his or her own way. I would have liked to see another 100 or 150 pages taking the actual story much farther and most of the backstory relegated to the back or, the backstory cut almost entirely and this be a novella.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Pimples, that's enough
I'm almost fifty years old
Give me a break, 'K?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Lately Riley has been making me sing all of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. He'll suddenly say, "on the count of three we're gonna sing Rudolph". And then he counts... After a few times it started to annoy me, then I realized he was actually watching me when I sang and he was slowly learning more than just the first and last two lines. I don't know why it's that one song that piques his interest so. But I love being the one to teach him things like this. Now I am watching his chapped lips trying to follow me, and he's almost got it all. With just a little nudging here and there he can do it but he still likes to do it with me. And I think it is finally putting me more in the spirit of the coming season. Here's a snap of him at the park a few days ago when we met up with a couple of his school friends. We put our long johns on and bundled up because with the windchill it was -14C. Cripes. Winter hasn't even officially begun yet.
I got some unexpected time in my studio today and took my painting for Paulette's Faces Class one step further. I'm not sure it's all that successful, I don't think portraits are for me but it was a tremendous learning time. I loved doing the collage, I know I want to do a lot more of that. I am going to put it away for awhile, I can't believe how long I've been working on just one piece, I think it's starting to get on my nerves. I'll pull it out one day and really finish it.
Yesterday Riley and I had a Kodak moment. After a deathwish trip through the Fairview shopping mall where the season is in full swing complete with parking lot disasters and kamikaze shoppers, we came home and ruined our suppers with a big bowl of buttery popcorn and watched DVDs. It was so nice doing n-o-t-h-i-n-g with my boy. I was even too lazy to set up the camera to take a picture.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Another Jodi Picoult novel came into my hands. Nineteen Minutes starts off with a bang. She is known for putting intense and controversial subjects as the focus of her books and this one I found hard to read. Not because it's poorly written or it doesn't hold my focus but because its subject is something that no one can imagine having to live through. A school shooting leaving ten dead, many more injured and lives changed forever. The perpetrator one teenage boy, a misfit, an overly sensitive outcast. I am imagining my own son, in some ways so much like the murderer. Small for his age, an easy bully target, very sensitive. Where does it all go wrong in a child's life? Can the parents be held accountable or is it just a bend of nature? It's horrific, from all points of view it is written from - the one girl who was intentionally spared, the mother of the murderer, the prosecutor, the police investigator, the murderer himself. Amongst many things it's a call to take a look at our children, about being more present in our kids lives even when they don't want us there anymore like in adolescence, probably especially in adolescence. Stop the world and get off from time to time, and acknowledge that we are all human and sometimes we as parents aren't right and don't have all the answers. As always, there is a surprise twist toward the end but this time I found slightly implausible. Also, I found an overuse of similes. But all that aside it is an intense book that left me feeling uncomfortable and slightly fearful for the future.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Complete with "grossology" button at the bottom of the keyboard page. Man, that kid cracks me up.
It turned out to be a glorious day here. Sunny and only one-jacket kind of warm. After the morning of ferrying one dog to the groomer and back and another to the vet and back I managed to cut back the raspberry bushes and remove some of the fencing that protects the garden. Then I was faced with a dilemma. Do I spend the rest of the afternoon outside in the nice weather doing the obvious chores like, oh raking. Or do I do something for me inside the house. After this hair-brained week at work and a ped-day last Monday I have to admit I tossed the chores and watched my last video lesson for Paulette Insall's class. This month is just racing by and I'm not really unhappy about that. Once December is here I feel I can properly start feting Christmas. But something is a little different this year. Usually I just get by until spring arrives and with it the warmer weather, almost wishing away the time. This year I can feel myself taking each day as it comes, accepting that summer is gone and just experiencing what is going on at any given moment, weather included. I'm still frustrated that I don't get enough me time, that my creativity frequently takes a back seat. Maybe I'm growing up a little. But I no longer feel like wishing away these next months until the good weather returns. I am looking forward to just being. Ask me again how I feel when the blizzards are clouding up the windows and the sidewalks can't be seen, but for now everything is just perfectly alright.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I was drawn to this book because of the movie, which I never saw. I figure if someone has spent millions of dollars to morph it into another media then it must be worth the read. And it was. I did find the characters to be a little stereotypical though. But it was a quick read which I always appreciate; I get such satisfaction out of finishing something I've started. Probably a side effect of parenthood. And it was a fascinating concept, of course. I almost wished it wasn't fiction and that the world might be capable of such change.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
to fill my tank. Paranoia set in. I started to feel better when I realized I had chosen locker number 13 at the pool and then when the pizza we ordered for supper came with the wrong toppings I breathed an audible sigh of relief. What I really needed was a good toe-stubbing to put things right. The planets must have been slightly askew yesterday, I hope that doesn't happen again for a good long time. (P.S. - For my American friends that 93.9 cents is per litre which means if you mulitply that by 4, you'll see what we're paying per gallon. )
Monday, November 3, 2008
After much ado, Riley got his Chloe the Beverly Hills Chihuahua costume. Here he is looking a little like a ghoulish chihuahua, but he was happy with the way it turned out and how he looked. I'd love to see what he looked like behind his eyes.
Now that holiday is over and done with, Christmas is fore front in my mind. I have barely started my shopping and usually at this time I am almost finished. For one reason or another I am not feeling as inspired as I usually am. Maybe it's the cash flow or lack thereof, my market fears, debtors prison fears. I'll have to pull it together soon although I do like the recent surge to support handmade gifts. Some of that will fly but with little kids it's hard to not have all the bells and whistles. I don't know who we do it more for - ourselves or them.
I stayed up late (for me) last night and finished Jodi Picoult's "Change of Heart". I have read a few of her books, usually enjoy them because they are easy reads and aren't too fluffy. This one really made me think a lot. It discusses many aspects of religions and belief with open discussions about faith, ritual and oddly enough, the death penalty. Without giving away any of the details I'll simply say I found it thoroughly engaging and recommend it.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Things turned around a little this afternoon. At my son's school the kids were allowed to wear their Halloween costumes after lunch. So Riley trundled home for lunch and we got him together for the afternoon. Up until last weekend he was going to be Catman (an invention of his). Which meant using his cat costume from last year with just a tweak here and there. And then he decided that he wanted to be Chloe the chihuahua from the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Now already this poor little guy is getting bullied in school and I'm thinking, "you want to go to school dressed up like a girl dog??!!" But yes, he did and he does. So we spent half the weekend running around for the bits and pieces to make the costume and I shoe-horned in time this week running around to find the smaller details for it. When I saw all the kids going into the school yard in their costumes, so in the spirit of it, and the parents who also dressed up, they too in the spirit of it I thought it was time for me to get an attitude transplant. So what if the house is a pigsty. So what if I can't find the kitchen table for all the accumulated debris that came in this week that needs attention but hasn't yet got it. So what if I'm two weeks behind in Paulette's painting class. What mattered most was seeing my little boy's face light up when another child recognized him as Chloe, the chihuahua. My whole world was right there at that moment. Children can really help you focus on what is important in the moment, if you stop to be there along with them.
And here's a picture of a pumpkin supper I made this week. A while ago I started to make pictures out of Riley's meals. I was missing my art and needed to express some creativity. During my mother's last visit she was telling Riley how I used to be an artist, that I used to paint. And my beautifully observant son said, "now she paints with food". God I love that kid.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Despite not picking up a pencil or a paint brush today I feel quite creative. I found this from a link from this. I've signed up, hoping that despite everything else I have going on at the same time (like Karen's class and finishing up Paulette's class) and things like oh, my day job, my boy, the dogs and even the weather, that I'll be able to participate. It just looks so appealing. It's free, go and sign up too!
Friday, October 24, 2008
It's also the one year anniversary of my LuLu Lemon hoodie. Last year when my job was ending I went a little crazy buying some new clothes, clothes that would suit my upcoming house frau days plus I didn't know when I was going to be gainfully employed again and able to buy new clothes. So one of the things I bought was a rather expensive hoodie. Mind you every thing is, in my opinion, expensive in that store. I've bought a number of things in there - yoga pants, work out shorts and tops and that infamous hoodie. The pants didn't hold up well, my Costco yoga pants have turned out to be a much better buy. The shorts are OK but the tops fit strangely. Maybe I just don't have a LuLu Lemon body. But the hoodie represented the beginning of an era in my life, the return to casual wear and a more relaxed lifestyle. I can hardly believe it's been a year. And now I'm working again, gone is the relaxed lifestyle but there is a new sense of freedom with Riley in school and a couple of days a week to be creative.
I chewed on this book for over a week. I thought it would be a quicker read and I had been waiting for a number of months for it to be available at the library. This is definitely a book you need to take slowly. The characters are complex and for the most part strangely lovable. The ending was a little weak but I don't know how I would have ended it myself. I can see why it won the Giller. A class act.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Isn't this just the perfect leaf? We haven't had a spectacularly colourful fall here. Alot of the trees even still have the bulk of their leaves here in the city. A few rogue maples are red and shedding. Many oaks have just browned up and dropped their leaves. The last few years the snow has arrived with many leaves still on the trees, which makes it really messy in spring. I hate to admit it but I do miss the picture-postcard kind of falls I remember from when I was younger. But it is fall, a dreary, rainy, damp day, probably what England is like in February, without the promise of spring though.
And much, much better photos of the two canvases I completed for Paulette Insall's Organic Dimension class:
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I am a sucker for these peonies . My neighbor gave me a pink one and a red one a few days ago and I have been floating them in bowls of water. They truly are other-worldly.It has been cold here the last few days. Cold enough for gloves in the morning and today was a 2-fleece layer day. Thank heaven for fleece. I had to scrape the car windshield Friday morning, but first I had to find my scraper. For most of the summer it was getting under my feet or under foot in the passenger seat, so do you think it could be found when I had minutes to spare to get Riley to school and me to work?! Since these peonies are so far off the ground I guess they have been spared the nightly frosts.
I just signed up for Karen's scrapbooking class that starts on November 10. I'm quite excited since I was originally inspired by her to do some scrapbooking and have slowly accumulated some supplies. Soon I'll get to put them to use. And I'll only have to juggle the end of Paulette Insall's faces class at the same time! But I am very grateful for all this creativity in my life now. After the early years of drought, wanting and missing, I now am blessed with some time to pull it together and do it. Of course, it's still a matter of making the time but it's still so exciting for me. my life blood, in a way.