Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolution Revolution

To resolve or not resolve. Is that your question? Last year I had a couple of goals, more than resolutions. Creative goals that I didn't keep up with, one I felt a little guilty over (imagine?!). I also had a word for the year - peace - which was like a goal. I needed to bring a sense of peace into my life about everything. It involved letting go of so much, remembering what is important in the moment. I feel pretty successful about the results of my peace quest. This year my word found me in November - dream. Ah, such dreams I have! I am going to dream this year, not only in a wishful way, in a way that brings these dreams down to earth and into my life.

A while back I stumbled across a blog post connected to, I think, the Mondo Beyondo group which was about grieving what you need to grieve for the year passing as well as setting your intentions for the coming year. I wish I could find the link for the specific questions as they seemed geared toward digging up a lot of deeply buried treasure.

This coming year I am participating in Karen and Lori's Weekly Gratitude project. I am a big fan of gratitude, it has been an essential part of my life for over 600 days now (and counting). I have also bought and downloaded Leonie's beautiful book for seeing out 2009 and welcoming 2010, with 40 colorful pages of writing and other exercises. I can hardly wait to carve out the time to sit down with that piece of art.

What are you doing during this transition time?

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


*e*'s 49th question - What is the sweetest thing anyone has done for you?

It might sound sad but there is no one thing that really stands out as the sweetest thing. I do know that Riley is such a sensitive and kind soul and so in tune with what is going on around him emotionally that he often knows just the right thing to say or do to turn my day around. Example: I had been given an ipod a number of months ago but was unable to get anything downloaded on to it despite many, many wasted hours at the computer. Two weeks ago after a particularly frustrating hour, I told Riley to take the ipod and throw it out into the snow because I never wanted to see it again. He took it, but hid it until the next day when he asked me if I was ready to have it back. Please don't call child services.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Lifespan of a Ladybug

Yesterday we were moving some things around in the house and Riley found a ladybug. A l-i-v-e ladybug which begged the question - what is the lifespan of a ladybug? He used to have a board book with a page for ladybugs that declared they sleep together in bunches through the winter. Wikipedia gives them between 1 and 2 years. A bug! And they do hibernate, living off their body fat which they plumped up in the fall. And it's a good thing because there is no ladybug food around in our climate at the moment which is mostly made up of aphids and pollen.
Apparently it's not uncommon to find them in your house in the winter, the smart buggers look for warm places to hide but their biggest threat at this time of year is dehydrating. We've scooped this guy/gal into a dixie cup with some paper towel shavings and are trying to keep a little piece moist. I don't know if he'll make it through the next five months, or if I'm going to remember to keep him hydrated. But I have to admit it seems almost like a miracle finding this bit of nature in our house at this time of year.

The Big and Small of Hockey

Coach and Riley. Big and small.

I don't want to be a hockey mom. I don't want to get in the car in the dark, drive on icy roads with one eye looking for an out-of-town arena and the other eye on the road, to then sit in a cold building for two and a half hours with people on either side of me blasting ear drum splitting horns reeking of cigarette smoke. With all due respect to hockey moms everywhere, of course. I'd rather be a soccer mom. Which, at its worst, means sitting in the pouring rain, eyes on the sky for lightening or ankles being eaten by mosquitoes. But mostly its spending the last hours of the day outside when the days are long and it feels like a blessing to be outside without multiple layers.

These days we are playing a tournament which means the nastier details of the above. To sound completely selfish, I want to spend a couple of days at home where we don't have any obligations to go anywhere. Where we can putz around with our stuff, watch too much t.v. and eat junk food. Hockey is an experiment this year and I'm secretly hoping the passion for it doesn't grow. Oh how awful of me, I know. But there it is, in all its naked honesty.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post Holiday Fun

These ladies never sleep together. I guess I shouldn't say "never" since I caught this snap:

And hoping you have a similar sense of humor, I stole this from Dawn's blog because I thought it was really funny. I'm not sure what I found funnier - the actual video or the person laughing all the way through!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

And a few words...Merry and Happy to all. Thanks for tuning in here, leaving your comments and thoughts. It makes a world of difference to me that you do.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

The end of the dark and yet, somehow, the official beginning of winter. So what we've lived the last month - still wintry.

I opened an email from my friend Christine today which read, "At 12:47 today the sun stands still -- celebrate!"

And until June 21st, the days will each get a little bit longer. I feel as if I've made it. I always celebrate the fact that the shortest day of the year is behind me, regardless of the fact that the toughest winter months are still to come.

Having tried to embrace the dark these last two months and really delve deeply, working with a deck of cards that describes archetypes and their light and shadow sides, I feel well versed. The one stickler there was that I kept pulling The Saboteur card. And after a little while I decided I needed to settle down and receive that message. I'm still processing.

But a saving grace came last night, while coming to the conclusion of Martha Beck's, "Steering By Starlight". Therein was a poem by Ben Okri (whose book I will be buying after the holidays) which reads:

Remember that all things which happen
To you are raw materials
Endlessly fertile
Endlessly yielding of thoughts that could change
Your life and go on doing forever...
So fear not, my friend.
The darkness is gentler than you think.

I am so grateful for finding that poem when I did. Or perhaps it found me.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


*e*'s 48th question: What have you done over and over this week?

The journaling on the back: "This week I have shovelled and shivered and shivered and shovelled. Lots of snow and deep freeze temperatures. And muddled through in the dark, physically and metaphorically." I started with a homemade collage sheet and used snowflake masks and black ink. I have felt the dark this week, rather deeply. Mind you, I haven't had mice in my house and for the most part we've been pretty healthy. It's just that time of the year, in so many ways. I've never minded when my life has been boring, I embrace boring, I'm probably at my best when the external influences in my life are boring, some of my best friends are boring. As much fun as the approaching holidays are, I will be glad to get back into the regular routine of living and learning.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Haiku

A mouse in my house
But it turns out it's not real
Made me think of Beth

I was cleaning out some closets, making room for the things that will be coming in the house next week, or at least the things that I am aware of. At the back of a cupboard I found this toy mouse. At first I flipped out, then realized it was just a toy, but a pretty good replica nonetheless.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

You know it's cold when... (Part 1)

1) the locks on the INSIDE of your house are covered in frost;
2) you sniff outside because, well, the cold air makes your nose run, and your nostrils stick together;
3) you can't blink outside because the water in the corners of your eyes freezes instantly;
4) feet? what feet?
5) IF your car starts, you drive around on what feels like square tires all day;
6) even the kids and dogs don't want to stay outside for longer than absolutely necessary.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I can hardly believe the year is winding down for *e*'s questions. Five more tags for me to make, two more questions to be posted. The 47th is, "When you think back to your childhood, what moment first comes to mind?"

I have two strong, first memories. One is a home movie my father made when I was two as I struggled to dress myself. I hold that moment responsible for my low self esteem and poor body image for the first 40-odd years of my life. The second was the fact that I got an "F" in English on my Kindergarten report card because I refused to speak in class. Things that happen in our childhood can seem funny once we are older but at the time they are happening, how we perceive those moments mold who we become.

Thought for the Day

I received this card in the mail yesterday from Celeste, one of my classmates from the LIAV coaching class we just completed.

Not a Christmas card, but a celebration card. I needed to be reminded of this.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Making Lemonade

It's still cold today, but less windy. So we're making the most of it.
Here a Bog, there a Bog, everywhere a Bog, Bog (they are pretty good on ice, too I will admit)

and eating lots of these

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Haiku(s)

I'm tired, spent the day "doing" things on my to-do list. I made my first dream/vision board and accomplished a substantial amount of holiday baking. My back is sore from all the standing so I'm reaching a little with these.

The wind is howling
Crappity crap, it's cold out
Frostbitten iced toes


No pigs were harmed for
My double batch of shortbreads
Oven warmed the house

To Belabor A Point

Those are my new winter boots - Boggs - good to -30 Celcius, waterproof and breathable (thank you very much for that part). It seems I am forever on the quest for the perfect winter boot. I'll let you know how these pan out. And my snow pants. Life is better in the north with snow pants. No, I'm not five years old, but I wear them always when walking the dogs, always at a certain temperature no matter what I'm doing and it makes a huge difference.

I'm surprised that I felt so caught off guard with winter now here. After being lulled into a fall sense of global warming with the ridiculously fine November we had, this first storm really knocked me for a loop. Enough to call my snow removal company TWICE yesterday and act like the kind of consumer I loathed when I used to work retail.

But the Queen of Arts left me a message a couple of days ago which made me feel a little less alone in this blustery time. Basically she said she didn't intend to waste any more time letting something she had no control over get her down. She's rolling with it. I'm going to try harder to have that kind of attitude. Today I am grateful I don't have to go farther than walking the dogs. With the windchill it is -17 ( about 0 Fahrenheit). After 28 centimetres of snow (about a foot), then a smattering of rain and high winds, the deep freeze has moved in. I've noticed a pattern the last three winters that goes like this:

1) heavy snow fall
2) rain and high winds
3) sudden deep freeze

all within a 24 hour span. That, my friend, is winter in the north in the 21st century.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Over It

December 9 and I'm over it. Our first storm, which turned out to be less than predicted, but still of storm caliber. Despite all the excitement around me, I just can't muster up any pleasure for the white stuff. I deeply envy all those who either never have to see a flake or who have limited exposure to them. I was doing OK with the dark until this morning. At 7:00 a.m. the street lights were still on and with the incoming weather, the sky looked like it was filled with locusts. I do wish I could feel like this:

but I don't. I hate shovelling it. I hate driving in it. I hate scraping the car windows multiple times a day. I hate the cold feet and the hat hair. I hate the amount of time it takes to get dressed to get us out the door. I hate not seeing green, living things for months on end. Yeah, I'm over it.

Wordless Wednesday, by special request

Sunday, December 6, 2009


*e*'s Q46 - What makes you glow?

I made this pretty quickly, without even thinking about it very much. Ink, masks, marker.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Globetrotting Monkey

I saw this Sole Monkey over at the Blue Chair Diary and it didn't take me long to join in the fun. Would you accept this monkey into your home for 10 days, take some photos as he joins in your life and blog about it? Silly? Maybe, but to me it represents the contact we make in the blogging world, some human contact versus cyber contact, not that there's anything wrong with cyber contact, some of my best friends have come from cyberspace. If you want to join in the fun, take in Sole Monkey then pass him on (I can see the various descriptions on the customs declarations already...) but sign up quickly as it's only open until December 9 and on December 10 he starts the journey.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Haiku

Four a.m. full moon
Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! I cry, I beg
But to no avail

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Here a Chick, There a Chick

She beat me to the posting board, the Queen of Arts, she did. I was so excited for days before she came. We've been blogging buddies for any number of months, probably since last spring but when we sat down together it was like we were spirit sisters. We talked so much and so fast about everything, jumping from subject to subject, trying to learn it all in the few short hours we had to spend. All those things we choose to not blog about and that don't carry so well in emails either. Our visions and dreams, our stumbling blocks and our beliefs that everything is going to work out just fine. She is originally from my neck of the woods and lucky for me she still visits family here quite often which means other trips will be down the pike before I know it. She's a special soul, you can tell when you look in her eyes and she looks back. We laughed and nodded a lot in agreement - oh yes, me too. If I could choose one word to describe the Queen, it would be Authentic. It was a gift to sit and break muffins with her, and naturally we left a rock behind! Thanks for sharing those parts of yourself with me Kim, they are safe in my heart.

For many reasons this is a poor photo but I love our expressions - my favorite of the ones I took of the two Kims this week.

And the rock, again the quality is poor, the light was difficult to work with but it has an ethereal quality at the same time.