Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thanks Ted!

If you have ever had the feeling that Big Brother is closer than you would like him to be, I invite you to watch this Ted Talks

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

{Virtual Coffee}

Can you believe it's Tuesday again and the end of September already? If we were meeting for coffee today I would say let's sit outside because I want to soak up every minute of this sun and 70 degree weather.

If we were really meeting for coffee today you might ask me what happened to my foot

and I would tell you that this karate class Riley and I are taking is much tougher than I thought it would be. Last night I thought I had broken my foot but this morning it wasn't swollen, only bruised and I can walk on it with minimal pain. The teacher reminded us that karate is a combat sport and not ballet and that she didn't want to hear any, "Ow! Ow! Ow!s" or any "Boo Hoo Hoo's". I have an inkling I may be in over my head. Especially when, during the last ten minutes of the class the more advanced belts stopped, suited up and did actual combat. What really freaked me out about it was how much Riley was a keener - my usual peaceful, non-confrontational son was so excited at the thought of getting to that level. Help.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you about my girls' night out last week, the first one in two years and show you Linnear's Killer Shoes*.

I would also tell you that while I was out partying iMan and Riley engaged in some property defacing and would admit that this particular act of vandalism, writing in wet cement

is something I have always wanted to do.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you about a new unpaid and thankless job I have been corralled into, that being a third grade math tutor. Riley's teacher this year is new to the school and more or less new to the profession. She offers a stark and welcome contrast to his grade two teacher who retired at the end of last year and who was wonderfully old-school. But his new teacher has very high expectations, in my opinion a little lofty for the beginning of grade three. Nightly Riley and I are working math until we are both nauseous, we even had 8 pages of math over the weekend that had me both cross-eyed and seeing red. Then I would also admit that the house has succumbed to its first of the school year viruses which, all in all, is pretty good since we usually get invaded within the first days of school.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would say I am woefully short of photos this week and short of words so maybe we would just go over to Amy's Lucky Number 13 and see if she has any extra of those Hillbilly Lattes laying about.

*These are not my shoes, but Linnear's. I could never wear these for even a minute, I'm not nearly that brave.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

{Virtual Coffee}

Hello Tuesday, it's time for Virtual Coffee. If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you I'm hoping for a slightly calmer week than last. I actually told someone today that I am "almost" embracing the autumn. And maybe I should capitalize the "A" in almost. The weather has been delightful and although I am missing the warmth of the days, there is something in the air (other than the fertilizer from the pig farms on the south shore) that is bringing in something new. Riley and I saw something in air the other night

and even though it's hard to tell, that is a shot of some geese flying south. We stood on the sidewalk and shouted at them to come back, don't go! But they didn't listen. A few neighbors came out to see what was going on and that just kind of sewed up our reputation on the block.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you that yesterday I discovered:

1) ALL my shoes squeak and I want to know what's up with that because it's making me feel like an old fart; and

2) "LOL" has now pervaded business correspondence as I found it peppered throughout an email at work and even finding myself finding it unprofessional makes me feel like an even older fart.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would segue that last fart talk into a something that happened at our karate class last night. Yup, "our" karate class because both Riley and I are taking it. I guess I ate a little too heavily before rushing off to class because I had, well, a little uncomfortable gas throughout. At one point when we had to yell out "hai" at the end of a sequence of movements, I opened my mouth and out came a "BRRRAAAACK!" but I would tell you that I was very grateful it came out the end that it did.

If we were meeting for coffee today I might ask you if you remember me telling you last week how grotty my kitchen and bathrooms were. I would say that a good sign that your kitchen is really dirty is when your babysitter decides to clean it in your absence. Needless to say I found that a little embarrassing and got on the bathrooms immediately.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would say that despite the crazy buzy last week, I didn't think I had that much to say but it turns out I was wrong. You might say you think my house smells a little bit smokey and I would tell you that earlier this morning I was smudging the house and set off my smoke alarm. The one that is connected to the house alarm which is connected to a loud speaker in the house which is connected to an external central station in the same kind of way the knee bone is connected to the hip bone. Luckily I managed to convince the alarm company to not send the fire trucks but I would also confess that I bent the truth a little and said I had a cooking accident, fearing what they might think if I had said I had over-smudged. The idea of intentionally getting something to smoulder inside one's house doesn't usually sit well with insurance companies.

And lest you think that my life is just one hysterical moment after another, I would ask you if you think there could be an uglier word on planet earth than "oncology". With due apologies to those who work in the field and do so with gentleness and sensitivity, every time I hear the word I wish that it was called something else that sounds a little sweeter. My mom is making her game plan with her doctors and it will be a tough haul these next months.

And because I hate to be maudlin I would show you something I found in my closet. I bought these last May and immediately forgot about them for sandals and bare feet.

They are kind of like Ugg shoes and I have been wearing them everywhere.

I would tell you about some guidance received from the Universe last week. Right after I announced my birthday give-away, I chose this rock

and I read it to mean that my personal stock is always replenished so why not give more?

If we were meeting for coffee today I couldn't help but share with you some of the photos my mother passed down to me last week after grousing that my sister had absconded with all the family photos. It was astonishing to realize that these are my people

I love how the women in long skirts all hold their children close to them and how often they are wonderfully uncentered like this baby standing in a corner

or my mother and her mother off to one side

or unfocused, although there was a time when it was considered to be more artful to have them unfocused.

I would introduce you to, "Our John",

show you how Arthur loved his Grandma,

and wonder how many of them came back from war.

Here is Uncle Edwin at 82 years old - it appears there is longevity on that side of the family,

Hannah and Agnes as "Babes in the Woods",

Harriet and Bessie "about 1900"

a hand painted one,

and amongst many, many unlabelled and undated ones, these two are my favourites

This one is another Harriet and dated 1910 - just over a hundred years old and is in ridiculously good shape.

I also love this one of my dad and my niece (she is almost 30 now)

and this one of my grandmother on the New Brunswick shore - I never remember her smiling so happily.

And there were a few less flattering ones like me with our family dog when he was just a puppy

and four generations of women, that's me - the foxy one on the far left.

Seeing this photo was so illuminating because I never thought of myself as ever having had long hair, at the time I always felt it too short to pull back or put up or style in different ways and I also never thought of myself as particularly foxy and it's kind of sad that it has taken me so long to feel good about myself, but better late than never I would say.

And before I head over to Amy's Lucky Number 13 to make her some chicken soup, I would leave you with some sound advice from a postcard to the seasick: Keep your mouth shut.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Give-Away Winner(s)!!!

Oh my, please forgive me. I started to make this post on Tuesday night with a little help from my friend, as I had said I would announce the winner of the set of six cards made from prints of my original art birthday give-away (that doesn't sound right, but you know what I mean) on Tuesday. But, life being what it is, this has become the moment to pull it all together. So, without much further ado....drumrolllllll

On this day

my trusty friend

and I, took all the names from the blog post comments and from the facebook comments

put them in a hat

shook it up



BUT! This was too much fun. So we chose another

BUT! We couldn't stop there, so we decided to have a runner-up (or two)

who would receive a 3-card set

We discovered that giving really does feel better than receiving so we picked another

and another

and another

and another

and another

and another

and another

Until there were no names left in the hat. Ahhh, now that feels better! I have some of your snail mail addresses and will contact the others by email for theirs. I just need a wee dram of time to clear off my art desk and then they will be in the mail. This is my sincere thanks to all who stopped by to leave a comment or a message, you all encourage me and support me in ways you will never know.