Friday, April 29, 2011

Virtual Vermut

It's Friday and guess what? It's Virtual Vermut! Kate at The Catalan Way is hosting Virtual Vermut and if you know me, you know I rarely turn down the request to join in with a glass of cheer.

If we were hanging out for vermut today, I would probably giggle because the sun is shining and what better way to kick off a Friday but with a cold glass in hand.

I would tell you that I am about to kick April out the door, so nasty has she been and almost as long as February.

If we were meeting for a vermut today I would try not to snort when I laugh because I can get kind of silly when I drink during the day. I would confess that I am still eating yogurt that was "best before" April 9.

I would ask if you do that too? I mean, it smells OK even if it tastes a little more tart than usual.

If we were really getting together I would come and see you with pockets full of chocolate because I have eaten far too much of this

this past week. Riley even laughed at me this morning and called me "Big Belly Mamma". Which kind of stung but he has a point and you know, with bathing suit weather not far off I need to get serious about what goes in. I would tell you I met an old neighbour last week who told me that after the age of 50, you need to eat only 70% of what you used to eat in order to maintain (and not gain) weight. And I would laugh because since I turned that magic age I can tell you that my body has started settling in unheretofore seen ways. So I'm thinking that maybe this neighbour is on to something. But I'm wondering just where I'm going to shave off that 30% of my diet. Certainly not my vermut, but I could see putting 30% less ice in the glass.

And because I was getting a little light headed I would tell you that I have a real potty mouth. After Riley was born I tried to clean it up a little in fear that his first word would be "sh*t", spoken in front of my mother. But over the last few years I have more or less reverted back to my sailor language. I would tell you a funny story about how at supper a few nights ago I shouted out, "Sh*t!" over something or other and the looks I got at the table were wilting. I swore up and down the flag pole that I had said, "shoot" because my brain was thinking, "shoot" but my mouth, apparently, said, "sh*t" or so said the two witnesses at the scene of the crime.

If we were meeting for vermut I would say I really shouldn't drink in the middle of the day because I still have to drive my bicycle but what the heck, I seem to have finished off my glass already

Next one I'll put 30% less ice in.

Now, if the door bell rings and it's Child Protection Services, I'm going to blame Kate at The Catalan Way because this was all her idea.

Friday Haiku

Pulling out the stops.
Been so long since I've Haiku-ed
(um, the verb, that is).

But my dear friend, Kim
mentioned me in hers today
and inspired me.

So here's to you, Kim
I've put finger to keyboard
to send you my love.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

{Virtual Coffee}

Well here we are again, coffee time. If we were meeting for coffee today I would have to moan about the weather. You know, it's either rainy or cold or both. I have yet to see one tree unfurl its leaves, they are still balled up in tiny fists, not giving over.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you to please, please, raid Riley's stash of chocolate or else I will be looking at it until next Easter. He will just hold on to everything. He does love his stuff. And speaking of Easter, everyone in the house got to wear the ears at some point.

Even the four-legged beastie.

And I would show you another seat of ears tried on

from this store

where we popped in last Friday during our one-day trip to Quebec City to meet up with some extended family. I would shamefully admit that despite my 50 years living in this province, I had never made it to our provincial capital other than flying through or strictly for work. So it was nice to a) have a sunny day (even if we needed hats and gloves) and b) spend some time walking around and drinking up some history. I would admit that we only got lost once or twice and like a little kid blame the co-pilot. I would tell you I heard an astonishing amount of English spoken par tout and saw a record of number of Canadian flags flying which tells me that the politics are a lot more tense in my own city.

We had a leisurely lunch at a place that was more shi-shi-poo-poo than I usually eat in. From their kids' menu Riley ordered the grilled cheese sandwich which came in a fancy bread roll with a thick slice of ham in the center. You can imagine how well that went over. Good thing he lives on air on an ordinary day. And he could fill up on these little piggies for desert.

I was eyeing that gi-normous bottle of wine and it was a good thing this cool cat was standing close guard.

After lunch we walked around the small cobble stoned side streets, (um, yeah that's snow you see)

gawked at this incredible mural,

admired many of the sculptures,

and climbed a cannon or two.
I thought this sign read, "F.A.Q." until I got home and had a better look at the photo.

I kind of like the idea of having one central place for all my F.A.Q.s.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would admit that I have been feeling very introspective lately. Which has meant I haven't even been feeling like blog posting. I am coming to the end of a very intensive 6-week painting class that I have intentionally not talked about and I think this has driven me so deeply inward. I have to be constantly reminded to NOT compare myself with others, especially bloggers who seem to accomplish so much more than I. No matter how much I discipline my time, I feel a lack of getting things done. Some days it matters less than others. And other days I get overwhelmed at the futility of doing just about anything and it takes every ounce of energy I have to hold my center and to just let life happen as it will and be at peace with that. Maybe it's the 7 month winter we are coming out of and the spring that has been holding out on us. I am aching to walk barefoot in the yard, sit in the sun for a few minutes and feel my bones warm to the core.

If we really meeting for coffee today I would tell you I am so glad that mercury went direct on the weekend because frankly I am quite over all the shenanigans of the last three or four weeks.

And before we trot over to Amy's Lucky Number 13 for some of that froth she is steaming up for her coffees, I would show you a couple of other "firsts" that happened to us this week.

The first hyacinth in the garden of yours truly

and this little lady who was trying her darnedest to camouflage herself.

Now, despite the dire weather forecast for the entire next week, I am going to try to find a little more spring for our next virtual coffee.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

{Virtual Coffee}

Today's Virtual Coffee is brought to you by Scrabble Apple.I think they only put one "F" in so as to discourage kids from spelling too many naughty words.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would be sticking with decaf because I'm already revved up. It has been such a nutso week between what I have to do and what I want to do and if we were meeting for coffee and you got all spiritual on me about my choice of words I would probably take your head right off.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you that after much running around, we found Riley a new bike. How can you resist a bike with your own name on it?

And I found one for me too.

After going to see what I thought was a dandy "vintage" bike and turned out to be a hunk of scrap metal, I literally had this one delivered to my door (for considerably less than the asking price of the hunk of scrap). And to make it even better, it f-o-l-d-s up into a nice package, small enough to get in my car so I don't have to buy a rack this summer.

It has three speeds (on my 21 speed mountain bike I think I have only ever used 3 - hard, medium and easy), a chain guard, a spring rack on the back and a squishy mega gel seat (essential when you have no butt and an ordinary bike ride turns into a bone crunching event).

It's only bothering me a little bit that I have to put my a** on something somewhat porous that has had someone else's a** on it on a regular basis.

And the Piece de Resistance....a wicker carrying basket to clip on the front which hasn't made it on just yet.

I look like a complete nerd and geek on it and I love it!

If we were meeting for coffee today I would say that the first day after we got our bikes I begged off riding because the winds were so high and the temps so cold. We had white caps on the LAKE near our house.

But we still managed to share some love and peace

and to let loose.

If we were meeting for coffee today we would laugh at the question Riley asked this week that stopped me in my tracks. After prefacing this question with plenty of lead-ins like needing to talk to me about something that has been on his mind for a long time (which tells me he's kind of afraid to ask The Question), he wondered, "Why is it that you can yell at me but I can't yell at you." Hmmmm. That's a dandy question. I have always tried to treat my son with respect, as an equal in as many ways as possible in the house. And as hard as it is being a kid and growing up in 2011, adults have certain stresses that can put us over the top. I don't know of one parent that wouldn't confess to losing it every now and then. And if I'm really honest, I rarely yell at my son but it is usually when he has tuned me out. And the only way I can think of reaching him is sheer volume. Of course when the moment has passed I can think of umpteen ways of reaching him without yelling. So my answer was, in other words, "I'm human".

Now, since we're done here let's trot on over to Amy's Lucky Number 13 for some of those sugar cookies she has made for Easter and see if I can talk her out of those nifty blue shoes she is wearing today.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pet Peeve of the Week, etc.

My pet peeve of the week is the over-use of the words, "vintage" and, "retro", when trying to sell crap via on-line sources. I want to beg, "please don't waste my time". But one man's ceiling is another man's floor as Paul Simon so aptly put it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

{Virtual Coffee}

Oh hi. Glad you could stop by for a cup. I am a bit on the fly today. So very, very much to do it seems. I usually keep to a pretty strict routine and when the routine gets shuffled, I find myself scrambling to "get it all done". If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you I have almost recovered from the sleepover on Saturday night I went to with the Beavers and Cub scouts at our Ecomuseum. I have written about the Ecomuseum before, oh how I love that place. Briefly, it is a "zoo" of sorts that has indigenous animals that have been injured, orphaned or raised in captivity and thus are unable to be returned to the wild. The staff learns from these animals then teaches what they learn to us, the general public. I have signed Riley up for an entire week of summer camp there at the end of July and he'll be learning plenty and teaching me some too. I have pretty much given up on getting a decent photo of the bears but isn't the wolf a beauty?

And even though they smell pretty raucous, the porcupines were very funny and very curious about us.

This caribou reminded me of my old English Setter - the extra long nose, flappy jowls and sleepy smile. See the resemblance?

And why just one eagle when you can have both a bald and a royal?

But I think the otters win for being the most entertaining.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would have to tell you about something magical that happened to me this week. For the last year and a half I have been leaving The Rock Fairy's rocks around town. I do leave them far and wide but mostly I have a few favourite spots down by the water where I walk the dog. On two separate occasions, Riley and I have "found" hearts on our walking path, once stamped in the snow very early (I mean VERY early) one morning just before the sun rose

and on another occasion in May made from tulip petals.

Anyway, this weekend, in the same nook of a tree where I often leave my rocks I found this:

I would swear up and down the flagpole that it is one I left behind at some point. I scanned through my library of photos looking for it but to no avail. I feel as if there is a kindred spirit in my neighbourhood, someone who thinks similar to me. It may or may not be someone I know since the rock project is kind of quietly kept between Riley and me. It feels good and a little creepy at the same time.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you that yesterday was the first day this year I went all day without gloves. Then I would ask you if you think those firming body lotions actually work because I am starting to see those same puckers on the inside of my elbows that my grandmother used to have. I haven't grown her arm flaps yet but I'm sure they are next.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you about this huge tsunami made up of parents from Riley's class reacting to the cancellation of the reading project I mentioned last week. I am so proud of and moved by these people getting together and trying to DO SOMETHING about this and at the same time I am so grateful that I can ride along on the wave and not have to lead it. There is a regularly scheduled parents committee meeting tonight at school and we are going to be there in droves. This principal is in for a big surprise. I'll have to tell you how it all turns out next week.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you I have been shopping for a new bike for Riley as he has outgrown the one he's been on for the last two years. While looking on craigs list, I found one for me (isn't that always what happens?) - it's a vintage one with a basket and streamers and I can't wait to go and see it. This is a horrible photo and I'm hoping that fact is keeping any other potential buyers away. Apparently the streamers are removable but why would I want to? This is exactly the kind of bike I imagined myself riding around town when I turned 50. When I turn 60 I am going back to a three wheeler with an enormous basket in between the two enormous rear wheels.

OK, then let's head off to Amy's Lucky Number 13 as Riley will be home from school soon and all I have been doing is yammering on here. I hear her magnolia's are in bloom!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Top Ten Reasons I Know It's Spring

Number 1: seeing the first pair of white pumps on a fellow female commuter (at least I think she was female)

Number 2: the return of the Bixi

Number 3: seeing an ant traipse across the floor in the bathroom at Starbucks

Number 4: Girl Guide cookies on sale

Number 5: my Crumpler bag is back in use (they make amazing bags - - but their website used to be a lot more entertaining, this one is the Headaitch)

Number 6: I'm starting to think about what I look like in a bathing suit

Number 7: bike helmets have replaced tuques at the back door

Number 8: I've been told to *Twinkle*

Number 9: I can ignore the garden clean up because of that one tenacious pile of snow that refuses to melt

and the Number 10 reason why I know it's Spring (drum roll.....)

Number 10: I sat on something wet on the bus on the way to work and DIDN'T CARE)

What is telling you that it's Spring?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Middle Aged Triathlon

1 - get up before the rest of the house to work out on the elliptical/treadmill/rowing machine
2 - bike ride with your son/daughter to school (and back home)
3 - walk the dog for an hour down on the hiking trails