Oh my, it's that time again. I'm having a soy latte with double soy since let me tell you, girlfriend, I have been flashin' hot like nobody's business. Usually it's around 3:00 a.m. but it can happen any time. And I don't mind so much because usually I am cold. Even when I'm flashin' my feet are cold.
If we were meeting for coffee today of course we would talk about Christmas and how it all went. I would show you the tree that we "grew" which was kind of weird but fun at the same time. It really only lasted a day before it started falling apart but it was just an example of technology. (I would probably drop a few words about how my mother has complained about the number of emails in her inbox trying to sell her Viagra. We would laugh and I'd say something about how weird it is that this is just an acceptable part of our day now whereas ten years ago we would probably be horrified. Yup, technology. Actually what is probably even more weird is that my mother would even utter the word "viagra" to me.)
I would show you some neat LED candles we got that change colour so that sometimes they are burning the same colour
and other times different ones. Yup, technology.
I would tell you how I feel a little burned out not being able to squeeze much studio time in despite my "time off". And you would say that I need to be more assertive about "my time".
Since the sun is shining we might take a walk around the neighborhood even though it's stupid cold. I would show you my neighbor's tree with the ornaments hanging outside (which has always looked like a bit of a death trap putting them up if you ask me)
and this sad little snowman.
We would marvel at the buds on the magnolia trees that they can hold themselves warm and ready to bloom in the spring despite hanging around out in the cold.
If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you that I'm quite over Mercury being retrograde and ready for the annoying mechanical failures to become less frequent and while the planet is at it, I'm quite over all the freaky weather like 50 centimetres of snow in New York City (although, better THERE than HERE).
I would tell you about some new life about to come into our house. Riley got an aquarium for Christmas and we spent the better part of today consulting at different stores about what to put in. At first he wanted salamanders but we found out that salamanders should be bought in the spring or the fall (which is why we had a hard time finding any in the first place) so he decided on dwarf African frogs. I would get you to help us cleaning and setting up the whole contraption which is like building a universe unto itself and which has to be in place for a good 2 to 3 days before we go and pick up the frogs. *sigh* But in all the hustle, bustle and extra work involved in this, I am happy to be hosting some new life in the house. It's time.
But look at the time! I will give you the bum's rush out the door because there are things to do! If you're still thirsty and looking for company, head on over to Amy's Lucky 13 for some more.
Holy cow! It's Tuesday again and time for Virtual Coffee. If we were meeting for coffee today, I would say come and jump in the car because we are going out to have coffee with my oldest friend in the world. It astonishes me that we've been friends for forty years. And she brews a mean cappuccino my friend, would you like cinnamon or chocolate on yours?
If we were meeting for coffee today I would be whipping out my photos and bragging about my amazing son. I would show you a snap of him getting ready for music recital on Sunday afternoon
and one as he sits waiting his turn to play
and more after when the recital was over just before we headed to the goodies table.
The song he chose was kind of simple and I thought he could have played something much more challenging, but I will proudly say he played with flare and the audience all genuinely went "wow" when he was done and applauded with feeling instead of just politely. He is always finding ways to surprise me.
And because once I start talking about him, I find it hard to stop so I would tell you about a Halloween thing he made I just found - a witches cauldron with some things he would put inside.
(dead mouse, coukie, God) Just what goes on in his brain? I would show you another picture I caught of him taking his own picture with his DSi.
And I would tell you how proud he is of his silly bands collection although his teacher has (finally) banned them in her class. It took her awhile and she gave them plenty of chances and exercised a lot of patience but let's face it, they are seven years old.
I would tell you about something else that has been going on in my neighborhood. One of my neighbors has been stealing my songbirds. That's right. He has been tempting them with peanut butter on bread (I caught him in the act) which means my boring old black sunflower seeds have just been sitting in my feeder.
As Bugs Bunny would say, "of course you know, this means war" and I've brought out my heavy artillery - suet! Ha! That'll show him who he's dealing with.
But I have gone on and on - I think I should have stuck with de-caff. What has been going on with you? Was anyone able to watch the lunar eclipse early this morning? I got up at 1:30 but we had heavy cloud cover and the most I could see was ice fog. I would love to see some photos if anyone was lucky enough to get some.
Don't forget to check in with Amy at Lucky 13 for some more coffee and chat.
This card is fraught with flaws, but I've gone beyond trying to perfect it. It is what it is, like me, warts and all. I've already written about the Sark book I've recently read but its effect is spilling out and sewing up some thoughts and feelings that have been stirring inside of me. Like everyone else on planet earth, I am a work in progress.
The text reads, "You are not the only one walking through your day in grief".
The front is a photo I took last summer with a Kim Klassen texture on top. The back is some scrapbook paper with text photoshopped in.
I was given Sark's new book, "Glad No Matter What" about a month ago. I am no stranger to Sark, I've had her How To Be An Artist poster on my walls for years(maybe even decades), I've read some of her books and gifted some as well.
This book deviates slightly from her usual format. The text is dense and rich and has made me think and think and think. The fact of loss has been in the forefront of my year. Reading her words explaining how we have lots of different feelings all at the same time was an "aha" moment for me. As simple or silly as it seems, I tend to be an extreme person and of course drama goes hand in hand with that. But really when I'm rushing with anger a part of my heart also holds love and forgiveness. The truths that we never really "get over" our loss(es) made me feel that there was nothing wrong with me for living in grief for so long. There are events in our lives that change us down to our DNA. I had one of those events happen 10 years ago and now I recognize similar feelings from that time. Loss is changing me and I need to adjust, re-adjust, make more room for how I am expanding. And while I do, I need to be kind to myself. Sark reminds me to do that, to make self-care one of my practices.
She shares the details of her own losses, the ones that she will never "get over" and in doing so makes us feel like we are going to be alright anyway. There are practical exercises for dealing with our minds, she writes "my mind is an unreliable guide - by itself" - I loved that as I have a love-hate relationship with my own. I laughed at some of the things on one of her loss lists such as "loss of youth and a certain kind of attractiveness" because I've been feeling that recently. Which is not to say she is flip about her losses as she also includes "loss of my cat and physical experiences of unconditional love" and "loss of significant friendships".
I loved that she included lists of what to say and what not to people who are grieving. There is really so much to love about this book. As always it is also beautiful and colourful, reminding me to see the constant beauty right under my nose.
If we were meeting for coffee today we would be meeting at Starbucks because that was my first stop after my reading time with Riley's class this morning.
I was so relieved that I didn't have to read Mon Chien Balou today because it is getting tiresome for both the kids and me to have an adult sobbing in class.
If we were sitting down with our drinks and muffins I would try not to complain too much about how much P-R-E-C-I-P-I-T-A-T-I-O-N we've had these last ten days. Snow, rain, freezing rain, more snow (and more snow predicted for tomorrow). I forgot to lift out a couple of my garden ornies and this guy was winking at me yesterday.
If we were meeting for coffee this morning I would tell you that I just finished my last mad dash through the malls and with the exception of a bag of Skittles and a Toblerone bar, I am DONE shopping. I feel almost giddy. All my handmade gifts are now done, OK, the calendar is not done but I'm giving myself until the 31st to do that.
Invariably the subject would turn back to the weather and I would really get a good jag of complaining done about how hard December has been already. But if we were meeting for coffee you would know me well enough that winter isn't my season.
I would also tell you about all the Santa sightings around my house this past week. In fact, the other night I had supper with Santa
and yesterday he stopped in to play piano for me. Santa knows everything, it's true. So he knows that I need a little extra cheering up these days. And speaking of ho! ho! ho! - I better go because I intend to make a batch of Christmas cookies this afternoon, in between the shovelling and more complaining about the weather.
Well hello Tuesday. With all that has been going on, I had to pour me a tall one this morning. If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you that we got our tree on the weekend, before all this snow came.
While we were waiting for the man to come out and haggle with us, we noticed the place had a direct line to Santa.
If we were hanging out for a brew and a biscuit, I would tell you about a classic "me" story that happened last week. I was having lunch with my boss, partly to celebrate my 50th and his 50th and partly to replace the company Christmas dinner I won't be able to make. In the bathroom just before lunch I realize I've got these big white deodorant stains on my BLACK sweater under BOTH armpits.
So I spent the rest of the day trying to keep my arms close to my body.
After having a good laugh at my expense we would get on to some teary subjects like how I took Riley shopping for his first tie last week. It was, in fact, his idea, which tells me how he is growing up and it was kind of fun going in and out of stores, fingering the different materials, imagining what it would look like with his (one) fancy shirt. He finally settled on the first one we saw at H&M, a funky plaid.
I would tell you about another teary thing that happened after Riley lost another tooth last week. He likes to make fancy envelopes for them and wrap them up. For this one he sacrificed one of his funky bands.
As we were placing it under his pillow that night he whispered that he thought I was the toothfairy. Then he changed the subject real quick so I didn't have to answer.
But it left me choked up because once the toothfairy goes, so does Santa and the Easter Bunny. As luck would have it, the next day over lunch the subject came up again and I segued into how important it is to believe in magic all your life because when you don't believe, magic stops happening. With Christmas coming I paralleled our conversation with the Polar Express and he said he would always believe in magic. Christmas was saved another year! Until he came home from school saying that a kid in his class told him that Santa was dead. Luckily I had some experience with this as last year his grade one teacher told him there was no such thing as Santa Claus. Just don't ask me about that book the grade ones and twos have to read, Mon Chien Balou (I've had to re-read it at least seven times these last few weeks with the kids in Riley's class). Am I the only one who sees it as morbid - a story about a little boy's special birthday dog who gets hit by a car and dies? Good grief, it all reminds me of this math problem Riley brought home last year. Remind me again why I chose this school?
And since you probably had some trouble getting here with all the snow that has fallen these last few days, you would enjoy seeing the flocks of tiny birds taking advantage at my feeder.
There is an absolute feeding frenzy going on with the finches and the chickadees who are braving the storm to dig under the snow drifts to get to the black sunflower seeds. This is indeed a haven for wildlife with this guy
who has taken up residence in the bathroom. Usually he comes out and struts his stuff when I'm taking my morning shower. I've decided to let him stay the winter.
If I haven't talked your ear off yet, you can go over to Amy's to see who else showed up for coffee today.