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Monday, 4 May 2015

Are these on the Canada Health warning list?

I am appproaching a very insignificant birthday, but seem to be running into way too many signs of serious aging:

  • I tried to take a photo today with my camera; my hands shook so much I had to give it up
  • after Maddy's birthday dinner last night, I was cleaning up and caught myself thinking that this was the last birthday dinner we'd host.  It took me about 15 seconds to recant, but I had the thought.
  • No matter when I go to bed, I sleep until 9:30, which is a huge change for me from waking up at 3, doing stuff and going back to bed at 5
  • while talking on the phone to Chris this morning, I complained about someone standing outside, looking at our front window while I was in my nightgown; later I went out to see if you could see into our place from where the person was standing earlier, but forgot that I was in my nightgown
  • I looked at a dress in the market yesterday and told Dave I thought it was too colourful
  • I bought myself a box of Copper Moon Pinot Grigio on Friday and on Saturday, I bought another one (well, that was just taking advantage of the fact that people have noticed my memory is going)
  • I was talking on the phone, ranting, and didn't know the person was gone until he called me back on my cellphone because our landline was busy
  • I forgot the word "leaves" when I was talking to my daughter, and when I started to tell that story to my other daughter, I lost it again
  • I let Emily post a photo of her (beautiful) and me (with no upper lip)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

It must be relative

When I was working, I had hundreds of clients in almost every job I had, and I knew them, what their business was, who was their main contact and any facts I needed to be useful to them.

When I was a volunteer, I knew the priorities of the group I was working with, knew what our goals were, knew how I fit and what I was supposed to deliver.

so why, oh why can I never remember how to work iTunes?

Thursday, 23 April 2015

How do I love thee?

How do I know it's spring?  I have myriad boxes in the various haunts of the house and in the locker room that are full of things I haven't worn for 12 months, things I should have known better than to buy, things I had decided definitively that I would keep forever that have lost their lustre.  All to be hauled off to mingle with the leftovers of other people that I might sort through next week.

I also have "hobby" things that I always buy in the spring when I'm feeling capable and handy and in the fall when I'm depressed and think that if I could craft one good thing, my life would be bouleversé.

We have both decadent food left from the holidays and an incredible amount of veggies and hummus which will help us ward off the results of having had too much decadent food to begin with.

I have runners with no laces, but it won't matter.  

I have sunscreen in several versions of SPFness and consistency which we'll start to use in earnest when we get the Miata out this weekend and start vrooming around the countryside. 

There are silver anklets and toe rings and sandals, all waiting for the temperature to be at least 15 degrees, and there are toenails with very smart mauvey polish, just waiting to be scraped through the spring gravel.

We've changed the "welcome thing" that we hang outside the door to celebrate the various seasons and important holidays.  Can you see the birds?

Oh, I love the spring!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

keine photos

For some reason lately, German phrases pop into my head.  It's been about 40 years since I actually spoke German, and since I learned it from adverts on TV and without the aid of a grammar base, I could only speak in the present tense, so it's not really a grand feat.

I'm guessing it might have something to do with the nostalgia binge I've been on in the last while.  When I was readying my post about Chris's birthday, I spent time looking for photos of when we were in Germany, and when I say "looking for" I mean avidly examining every photo I have from the three years we were there.  There aren't a whole lot of them because when Garry and I broke up, I took the kids and he got most of the photos.  He later included them in a document fire he used as part of his post-marriage clean-up. 

I still have vivid memories of that time though---it was my first time living at a distance from my parents and siblings, and I wrote home constantly with tales of beautiful countrysides,  superior shoes and wonderful bread.  My mother saved those letters and every once in a while, I pull out the album with my extra-light air mail paper and randomly choose one to re-read.  It always sets off stories and memories that I felt so lucky to be able to share with my family.  In those days, even though my parents had access to RCAF flights, it would never have occurred to them to undertake anything so frivolous as a trip to Germany, so I wrote detailed letters about the village I lived in, the markets, the teeny-tiny fridge, the flash heater on my cold water tap that I could use to make instant coffee, my neighbours who were all multilingual but urged us to learn German anyway, my red convertible Beetle, which cost me $87 CDN and conspired with me to endanger my children when we drove by leaving Chris to wander all over the backseat while Sarah lay next to me in an open wicker basket on the passenger seat.

Entschuldigen Sie, es macht mich weinen.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Like a Sinner Before the Gates of Heaven......

So here I am...headphones on.  Lipstick off.  Wine gone.  Head bobbing.  Feet synched to the drums.
It's heaven. (Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell)

Earlier, I was working at beading.  Fingers out of control.  Beads all over the bedspread.  Four different pliers, each of which had a mind of its own.  Memory wire that only remembers that it hates me.  Hunched back and clenched teeth. That was hell.(Harmonium:  Pour un Instant)

I actually know in advance that beading is going to be frustrating, and that I'll have to look in my music library for Bach and Beethoven to keep me from heaving the whole batch of tools of the devil across the room.  Why do I do it?  Because I used to be able to.  It's why I crochet, continue to slide make-up over the wrinkles, buy slim-leg jeans, floss my teeth and read every minute in between. (Meat Loaf: I Testify)

So, given that I do those things because I used to could, why am I never in the kitchen trying to put together a nutritious meal which I could serve on some dishes that still match and enjoy with my dear heart?  Why am I not down in the gym pounding hell out of the elliptical cross-trainer? Why have I become a passenger in my own car?  (Evanescence:  Whisper)

Because I'm only true to myself when I feel like it.  Heaven again!(Rush: Closer to the Heart)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

If this is April the 9th.....

Every year, since I first started blogging, I've written a post on this day to commemorate the day Garry (my first husband) and I brought Chris home to live with us.  The day he ate fries, chattered nonsense in our friends' car, carried the most pathetic stuffie ever, got welcomed by all our friends and family, and caused Garry to vault over me from his side of the bed because of the strangling noise we later found to be Chris snoring.

I say with no qualms that he was a darling child, a wear-only-black 6 year old, a struggling student, a natural toy tractor and real car driver, a family-centred being, a terror of unknown quantity as a teen-ager, a loving husband and father and a thoughtful and opinionated adult.  Just what we wanted.

If I have any regrets in life, and you bet I do, one of the strongest is being a guiding, make-your-own-informed-decisions parent to a child who needed stronger discipline and fewer platitudes.  Can't fix that and I'm not sure I should, given the result.

He doesn't read my posts, so I'm not getting any kudos for this meandering This is Your Life, but I love looking back to the sweetheart he was, and to the scared new mom I was, and to the journey that we've had with both Garry and Dave.

Here he is at 2 when we were living in a one-bedroom apartment with a flimsy divider for his space.

Sarah and Chris; I think they're dancing

Chris at 6 or so with Dave

Chris at 12, Emily about 3 days old
Chris with Emily (l) and Sarah(r)at his wedding

Chris, Anne and Phoebe
Chris with me at Emily's wedding

Mommy and her boy

Daddy and his girl

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

English 101

I posted this photo today before I realized I had left my face as clean as a ...what is a good analogy for "clean"?  I went into that sentence with "as a baby's bum" on my mind, but you can see why I hesitate.  The posting was to celebrate the excellent work my cousin Joan did on making me a rainbow bracelet to replace the plasticky rainbow band I had which is making my skin somewhat scratchy, like the last scritch of a mosquito bite.  Now, there's an analogy.

I used to be really good at finding analogies, but since the initial word I'm looking for sometimes evades me, I don't try as hard as I used to to, which is good because I just looked up "analogy" and find I was using the wrong word for the thing I was trying to explain:
noun: analogy; plural noun: analogies
  1. a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
    "an analogy between the workings of nature and those of human societies"
    • a correspondence or partial similarity.
      "the syndrome is called deep dysgraphia because of its analogy to deep dyslexia"
    • a thing that is comparable to something else in significant respects.
      "works of art were seen as an analogy for works of nature"
    • Logic
      a process of arguing from similarity in known respects to similarity in other respects

Sunday, 22 March 2015

I misquote a famous thinker

Often I find myself talking to my mother in my head...what doyou think of this shirt?  I just read a book you would love...Maddy said the cutest thing!

In spite of the Norman Batesness of this, I am really glad that I still feel such a connection to her, and that it seems natural to share things with her.  I always could, in the same way that I could always count on being able to check out the wisdom of my ideas or plans with my dad.  It's not that they had different parenting roles, but it did seem to break down that way with me.  Even as a parent myself, I still had them to share things with and to get feedback.

Mum and Dad on a visit to England
I was about to say that it's lonely after your parents die, and that's true, but an even clearer thought is that it's comforting in a way to be lonely, to miss something that was really good in your life.   It's comforting to work out your reactions to issues by imagining the discussion you could have with your parents, how their wisdom could still influence you or how their sense of humour would still be so clear in your mind that you'd know what would make them laugh.

My dad was a truly awful punster.  He could never resist, nor could he tell you a pun without lighting himself up with the pleasure.  When I was a kid, I used to hope I'd grow out of sharing what I saw as a base form of humour, but I still kind of bookmark puns I would tell him if he were here.

I'm not sure what has propelled me into this nostalgia-laden story, but it makes me happy to realize that, to badly paraphrase Einstein, time really seems to be a river you can dip your toes into at any stage. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Who You Gonna Call?

Sometimes when Dave is away, the house gets to me.

I can hear noises within the apartment that I can't identify, or match up to anything that is moving, could move or has moved in the last few seconds.  I tear around looking at doors, baskets, chairs, plants, pots and bookcases; I go over and yank back the curtains as though I were going to discover someone there for nefarious purposes. Today is one of those times.

It started when I woke up around 3:30 a.m, and thought someone banged on the door and yelled "Are you gay?"  I checked the little spy-window and there was no one there, but I was awake, so I got started on the day.  Lights that have always heretofore stayed on when I turned them on, turned themselves off, there was apparently a cow mooing in the upstairs apartment, the water wouldn't turn off after I filled the kettle for my coffee and the fridge was shivering, but with a bass undertone.

That was just the first four minutes, and it's been weird like that all day since.  Clack, zip, swoosh, hummm.

Tonight, the living room seemed warm, silent and ordinary, so I stood at the window, enjoying the view.  I was startled  while gazing at the War Museum across the street, where I could see someone or some thing, glowing and climbing up the wall of the museum that looks like the prow of a ship, with sparks running down to the ground every 10 or 20 seconds. 

I tried to imagine myself calmly telling a person at the number you call if you want to talk to the fire folk when there's no emergency, (just in case they weren't aware of the museum-climbing character), but just couldn't put words to it, so I shut the curtains and continue to hope for the best.

Feeling tired but somehow not wanting to go to bed.  And yes, there are still sparks.

Note to Dave:  I need a noise-repelling headset.  And maybe a jaunty scarf to tie over my eyes.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Classified Secret

I'm alone in the condo.  Some of the things I've been doing today:

  • opened a jar of olives, speared some with a knife and ate them (carefully) off the blade
  • turned the volume on the Bose up to 77 to play Evanescence  
  • lined up my nail polish by colour (aside:  how did I get 14 bottles of nail polish?)
  • left clothes in the washer all afternoon
  • wore unmatching clothes
  • had salted caramel frozen yoghurt for lunch
  • set myself to listen to 36 songs by Joy Williams
  • cut the hair along my neck with scotch tape and a hand mirror
  • spent a crazed 20 minutes looking for my tablet until I remembered I'd lent it to Emma, then read email on my phone
  • danced in the kitchen
  • shined up silver earrings with toothpaste
  • got lost in magazines while I was looking for a crochet pattern
  • did not crochet a stitch or look at the weather
It's been kind of a nice day.  Monday happens tomorrow, but I could actually have another day like this one