Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Calling All Animal Lovers

I was gifted this incredibly beautiful book recently. Have you see this?

It came to my attention that a Spanish edition of Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell's stellar book, "Guardians of Being" had just come out. I couldn't believe that I had missed the original English publication in 2009 even though I am a big Tolle fan. So under the rubric of "ask and ye shall receive", I came home to a copy of the book in my mail box about two weeks ago. The collaboration of Tolle's teachings and McDonnell's drawings is a magical match. I laughed at many of the illustrations, so close to my heart they hit. The pages are filled with Tolle's ideas and observations on what function our pets and nature fill in our human lives. McDonnell takes these ideas and boils them down to their essential essence with stunning lines and vibrant washes of colour. Am I gushing? I was trying to choose my favorite line in the book, there are so many that resonate with me, but I think this is it:

"The vital function that pets fulfill in this world hasn't been fully recognized. They keep millions of people sane."

I highly recommend it if you are looking to treat yourself or looking for a gift for someone. I can already think of two people who will be finding it under the Christmas tree this year (indeed, I have already started my shopping, but that's another story).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

International Lego Day

Betcha didn't know that it's International Lego Day.

See? It says right here on our calendar.

This day was planned awhile back and the boys are having so much fun, we've decided to declare another one next March. The rugs have been rolled up and they are only stopping for lunch.

Before the whole thing kicked off, Riley and I took a walk by the lake, something we haven't done in quite some time. This guy was completely oblivious to the fact that he shouldn't just be hanging around, he should be getting out his legos.

And while you're at it, when you're dreaming, why not dream BIG?

Right now I am dreaming of finding one measly plastic orange duo-tang with crimps and inside pockets. One like this.

Yes, I have one but I need two. Actually I need two each in the colors of red, black, light blue, dark blue, yellow, green and orange. Finding the school supplies this year has been like going on a treasure hunt. I ended up emptying and cleaning up the folders from last year. They are a little beat up but they are plastic and have both crimps and inside pockets. But it seems only one orange duo-tang came home at the end of June instead of two. What would be dandy is if the schools would liaise with the stores and see if they can't order up what parents need to buy. An even better idea is a school committee to prepare packages of the needed supplies at a fee, goodness knows I would still save a bundle between the cost of gas and my own time. Or how about this: I supply the kid and the enthusiasm to learn and the school supplies the rest. Dreaming? Maybe.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm just saying

Am I the only one who thinks people walking around talking with their bluetooth(s) make them look like escapees from the loony bin? I saw an awesome one today, a tall man wearing a hoodie, walking his chocolate lab and it took me a minute to realize that he wasn't an escapee. He was talking markets and options and the like. I have seen women power walking in their power suits looking totally maniacal. Just saying...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Haiku

Does it get better?
The dirty feet of summer.
Should I feel ashamed?

Greasy sunscreened legs,
navels over bathing suits,
smelling of chlorine.

How about this gem -
artist driven bicycle.
Seat looks kind of hard...

It was parked neatly
outside a tatoo parlour.
I didn't get one.

A tatoo, I mean,
In case you were wondering.
Dirty feet suffice.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


A couple of scary things from my day. First "real" check up at the dentist.

No cavities - yay! - but advised to have sealant affixed to the molars. WTF?!

A ghost fish at the pool Halloween party this morning.

And....drum roll...

Pastries that are deemed to safely last one month.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Quest

I am on the quest for the perfect glass of tea. I drink mine unsweetened and cold, iced even. I used to think I made the perfect pitcher - one bag of black tea, a few pinches of green gunpowder (preferably by Kusmi) and a few squeezes of lemon. But since I took my retreat at Kripalu a month ago where they had, literally on tap, an iced tea which blended (I wish I remembered for sure) some rooibos, blackberry (or blackcurrant), lavender, rosehips and hibiscus (I think) perhaps a bit of cranberry as well, I discovered liquid ambrosia. Since then I have tried to recreate the recipe, have come close but not close enough. Another shot at perfection happened today, adding in a few blends from Teaopia acquired during my visit to Toronto a few weeks ago. I'm floundering, is there anyone with good iced tea recipes to share?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Haiku

Yesterday we rode
together on the bike path,
our first two-wheeled trip.

That's no training wheels,
just me and my size thirteens.
Spectacular day.

Sunny and breezy,
just hot enough to end up
at the Dairy Queen.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Bunch Of Completely Unrelated Things

Lately I have been living with this strange dichotomy. I have been feeling the opening of my heart in extraordinary ways; and feeling as if this opening is finally, finally becoming permanent or at least static in a way that means I will never be able to go back to how I was even as short a time as a year ago. And all the while I have been feeling repetitively and deeply hurt by some close to me; as if I have been taking in intentional hurtfulness. Or maybe just recognizing the intention and feeling the hurt. It's a push-pull sensation. Some relationships are meant to be challenging and I am seeing how some of my own are making me grow, become more tolerant and oddly more at peace with my own choices.

Last night as I was having my soak and reading Caroline Myss', "Defy Gravity", I came across this question she proposes asking ourselves each year on our birthday:

"What shall I do this year that will teach me something new about myself?"

I imagine you can ask yourself this question on any day, changing "year" to "week", "month" or leaving it out altogether. This being the month before my milestone birthday, I am asking it frequently.

This morning I spent an obscene amount of time waiting in line at Toys R Us, more time than actually locating the birthday present item in the store itself. When will multimillion dollar conglomerates realize that punishing their patrons by treating them like peons sends them scurrying to the little shops where customer service still is evident? There was one cashier open who also had to work the returns desk. This is normal for the branch of this store near my house. Occasionally on a Saturday the week before Christmas they will open two cashes. Toys R Us - it's time to wake up. If there is anywhere else to get what I need, I have made it a priority to go there instead. Today was a big mistake on my part.

13 is the new 12

Also on the shopping list today was new running shoes for Riley. He's been complaining about his shoes being too tight. Turns out he went from a size 11 at the end of the school year to a hefty 13. I've warned him about growing any more before spring. We had to order - yes, order! his winter boots because they were all sold out and, they are not planning on getting more winter stock. My calendar reads August 10, what does theirs say? How crazy is that? Last week I went into the pharmacy and asked where the sunscreen was. A very nice girl took me to a small display saying, "this is all we have left for the season". Hello? It is still blisteringly sunny here. And while I'm venting, I've been saving this tidbit just for a special occasion. I saw my first back to school ad. Not this week or even last month. I saw the first one at the end of last June. I almost threw something at the TV.

I want to be able to buy flip flops in July and a winter coat in December, dammit!

Friday, August 6, 2010

(Boring) Friday Haiku

Off on a road trip,
yet another adventure,
just Riley and me.

This summer has meant
missing some Friday Haikus
so I'm posting this

with a time delay.
Technology amazes
What next, I ask you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's In a Number?

I read in the news that today is the United States President Obama's 49th birthday. What a co-incidence because tomorrow is the one-month countdown to my own 50th birthday which makes me eleven months plus one day older than he is. Holy crap! If I didn't feel so grounded, self-confident and self-empowered in my own life, I may feel, oh just a tad, er...old.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Thing About Books

I think I read a lot. I challenge myself to read a book a week - averaged out over the year - with one book a month being non-fiction, again averaged out over a year. I recently finished Jonathan Tropper's, This Is Where I Leave You. I loved it, laughed so much through it, and I could identify with so much of the odd family humour even though my family is not anything close to any of the characters in the book (hi Mom!).

The thing is that the book I picked up after this wonderful one was, IMHO, anything but. The characters and story line were ridiculously predictable, the American author had located her story in England and was trying to write dialogue in the local dialects and I thought it was terrible. I wondered if I felt it was so awful because the one I had read just before it was, IMHO, so incredible. Was it a case of comparison, could I have enjoyed this second book more, or at all, if I had just finished a book I considered to be so-so? I rarely put a book down unfinished but I returned it to the library today, all but the first 70 pages unread.

Do you plod through what you consider to be awful books because once you start one you feel the need to finish it? I used to. There are so many great, great books to read, I figure why spend my time on ones I don't click with? Do you have any good reads to recommend?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mosaic Monday

I don't know why, but I do. I do have so much trouble creating these online photographic mosaics. *groan* It seems like there is a lot of swearing at the computer, alot of wanting to thump it, throw it out the window and then miraculously, there it is. I don't, for the life of me, know why it is such a struggle. Anyway... a glimpse of my weekend, in (Monday) mosaic form.