Saturday, July 23, 2011

On Heat and Navel Gazing

Yup, it's hot enough for me. Most of me is loving it, I really seem to thrive on heat, even if it is at a slower pace. To keep cool today it required an entire pitcher of iced tea

a bowl of cherries

and many, many yellow plums.

Although I will admit that even I have a heat limit, which I think I reached yesterday. These next few days I am painting Riley's room, getting some new furniture in for him. At eight and a half, I figured it was time to update the toddler bed and the change-table-slash-set-of-mini-dresser-drawers.

As I was saying, yesterday I reached my heat limit. After spending the afternoon in Riley's room, moving out furniture (on my word that boy has hundreds of books) trying to sort through and throw out stuff that has been in there for too long, I was sweating pretty heavily. The sweat would dry then the process would start up again. And I would dry off, again. After a few rounds of this my underwear was stuck to my body like glue. We were invited to swim in a neighbour's backyard pool but I couldn't get my underwear off to get my bathing suit on. I was thinking I was going to have to cut it off my body.

Today is day two of the room painting. Four hours and one stomach bug later, the primer is up, and I am sipping this jelly jar of cool blue Hpnotiq. Even the colour is cooling.

No worries about underwear sticking to me today, having opted out of putting it on in the first place. Which brings me to my first bit of navel gazing.

Two themes have been recurring in my field of vision lately. The first is choice. How we choose to spend our time. As much as I love summer vacation and the more relaxed pace (not to mention the weather), we are half way through summer vacation and I have felt robbed of my time. I feel more demands on me, things I am hard pressed to say no to. Which has left me undone. Is this how I choose to spend my time? I see others around me in real time and blog time who seem to be freer in making choices or maybe it's a matter of having a better support system for the choices they do make. More navel gazing on this theme is needed.

The second recurring theme is boiling down, if you can, the purpose of life to relationships. A few readings have come to me suggesting that the essence of our life is relationship(s). It is, obviously, not about the bigger and better toys or the lofty goals or the path we choose to reach them or even our learning process, it is about how we gift ourselves in relationship. Which has me asking what I am bringing to my own relationships. Those closest to me suffer the brunt of my impatience, my frustrations. Am I bringing enough good stuff to those ones that are important? Perhaps another jelly jar of Hpnotiq will induce a deeper sense of reflection, or sedation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

{Virtual Coffee}

If we were meeting for coffee today we would be doing a drive-through because, once again, we are on the road. Today we are driving into Ontario to help my mother with her move. Which will mean at least 3 hours of driving and moving boxes in sweltering heat. Which certainly beats moving boxes in a snow storm.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you we squeezed in another weekend at our cottage, doing plenty. First at another lake and another beach with friends which was lovely and second on the petit train du nord bike path where we rode at least 20 kilometers.

We also spent enough time chez nous, welcoming back an old friend

I think he thinks he's hidden

but then we caught him on our own dock too. In fact we kind of chased him around in our peddle boat but I think he may also have been enjoying observing us as he never flew too far.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you about this strange looking plane that buzzed our lake over and over.

Can you say, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"? And let me tell you that the deer flies are horrid right now, so horrid I picked up one of these

It's an electronic mosquito swatter. Or, make that an electronic "moisquito" swatter. (Doesn't anyone proofread any more?!)

Which must be why it also works on deer flies although it really just stuns them but it gives you the advantage to finish them off with your shoe whilst they lie there inert. If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you I was laughing with a salesman in a sporting goods store on Sunday over this, The Executioner.

He said it was like my moisquito swatter only uber strength. And with a name like that, I believed him. And if I had had it handy I might have used it on this

which was flying around my bedroom one morning. Except he disappeared and then reappeared days later, spent. I would qualify all this talk about bug execution with the philosophy that as long as they are outside (where they belong) I tend to leave them alone, except for things that are naturally aggressive like wasps and deer flies.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would ask you if your kids are crazy for go-go crazy bones.

Riley is somewhat obsessed with them. And if you had never heard of them I would tell you that stepping on one of these is exactly like stepping on a piece of lego. But when you look like this

you forgive him once the swearing is over. And then I would suggest we go over to Amy's Lucky Number 13 and see what's cooking.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Conversation

A few nights ago I took Riley to the pool after supper and we unexpectedly met one of his friends there. Naturally, I thought this was stellar for me as I suddenly didn't have to go in the water. Riley played with this friend for almost two hours and when I pulled him out we had this conversation:

Riley: why didn't you come in the water with me?
Me: I didn't think you wanted your old, fat, stinky momma if you had a friend to play with
Riley: you're not stinky

Reading between the lines is easy. What struck me was how I described myself and how that story I tell myself about myself isn't true. I'm not stinky.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{Virtual Coffee}

If we were meeting for coffee today it would be somewhat of a miracle because I have been AWOL or perhaps AWL because I have been truly absent with leave, my own personal leave. And I could not tell you why other than it was just a gentle segue on my own part that I barely recognized my own absence.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you I have been to my cottage two weekends in a row. The first weekend my sister brought this mini-kayak for Riley

as last summer he was driving her own full-sized kayak on his own, without help and only ride-by supervision. He took to it like stink which made me go out and get this 8-foot puppy to paddle along side him.

Unless you have already paddled, it would be hard to describe other than it brings a special feeling of control and power that is rare to experience at any age.

And lest you think I am a bad mother endangering my son out on a lake by himself, I would tell you that there was always someone riding close by.

He discovered that his open style kayak is great for resting on in the early morning sun too.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would introduce you to this guy who has been beating up my country house something fierce.

I have had to call in unfriendly reinforcements as if I were to leave him (and his rather large family) on their own, I would have no house left. I would add that there has been lots of bird medicine appearing in my life and that in the last week alone these three unusual feathers have crossed my path.

And what would a blog post about nature be without a shot of dock scat?

It was easily six inches in diameter and, if you are like me, you are imagining the size of the thing it came out of.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you I have caught myself doing absent-minded-professor-like things like putting empty pickle jars in the fridge.

And that this is just an example of the harmless things I have done.

If we were meeting for coffee today I might broach the subject of my most recent change that has come upon me. I'm not even sure how to put it all into words, only that it is natural and likely long-time coming. I would tell you I have been feeling a certain lack in my life and instead of filling it with time wasters I have chosen to go inward and listen, or try to listen to my directives.

I would tell you I filled myself up with nature these last two weeks with lots of these

and this momma merganser with her nine (!) babies

On Saturday Riley and I went to the local beach and found exactly this many people there by 11:00 a.m.

We had the place to ourselves for awhile so we made some sand art

before the crowds hit. Later that day I discovered that now, when my knees get sunburned, they could double for elephant skin.

Which is a might sight better than what I discovered behind my knees.

I can't believe I never noticed them before but then again, I rarely look in a full length mirror and when I do, my legs are usually covered.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you that also in the last week I went to upgrade my ancient cell phone and came home with this

after being sweet-talked into it by the salesman. I knew almost immediately it wasn't for me so after a few days I went back and exchanged it for this

which is what I really wanted in the first place and it's kind of scary how much fun it is. I would ask you what apps you might suggest as the apps store is kind of overwhelming.

If we were meeting for coffee this week I would tell you that last week Riley had his first swim meet and at the pep rally just before it started, I thought he looked both so tiny and so grown up at the same time.

I would tell you how easy it is for him to make art out of nothing, like dirt on the road

or with an old pop bottle and gathered twigs.

How deeply he inspires me when I have these feelings of being in backward motion.

And then I would say I am sorry for not letting you get a word in edgewise and I would listen to your story because it is so important that we do that for each other.

And then we would head over to Amy's Lucky Number 13 and see what her pot is brewing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happiness Is

a flower shaped soap pie when the dishes are done

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What I Owe

I am wondering tonight, to what do I owe this space, this moment. I have been silent on my blog, finding myself stretched more and more and not being able to scrape enough time together to formulate even a meager post. And then I wonder why that should even matter. I am relishing the sudden burst of good weather, time with my boy. Dreams are still being cogitated, photos still documenting. And a list being made of what is really important to me with what I want to really, really do with my life. I am painfully aware of my fears, of my shortcomings, my weaknesses. Somewhere my strengths lie, waiting to be acknowledged and invited to come out to play. Home life is tumultuous, work life is similar. I have been challenged this week to stand up for myself, all the while feeling out of my body, watching myself speak up and assert, mark my space like an animal, staking out my intellectual territory and justifying decisions made. Transitions, movement, knowing it's all good.