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Monday, 27 July 2015

BIG guilty pleasure

I have a few guilty pleasures, almost all of which are based on ownership of a disreputable number of whatevers, like shoes, chocolates, books, Pinot Grigio, scarves and gel pens.  That is not an all-inclusive list, by the way.

Given that guilt is something I am seldom without, it seems reasonable though, and definitely manageable.

This particular guilty pleasure was a movie...a movie I would probably not have seen had not my daughter Sarah invited me to go out Friday afternoon, and neither of us had done any investigative research.  Which would have been redundant anyway.

The only local review of it, which we didn't see before we chose the movie, said in several cranky ways "This is one of the most unintelligent, boring mysoginous movies I've ever seen."

I don't know to what I can attribute our amazingly good experience with this movie except that it was Friday, I hadn't seen a movie in weeks, we went out together and had Mars bars and popcorn and we were 2 of the only 5 people in the auditorium.

We laughed at everything rude, at lots of things that were vicious take-downs, at absolutely impossible matches of faces to crotches, a physically impossible car/scooter chase and we left entirely pleased with ourselves.

And to add to the unbelievableness, I kept forgetting that Jude Law was in the movie.

Thanks Sarah!


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Churchill called it a black dog

For most of my adult life, I have fought depression: not knowing what it was early on, not  wanting to acknowledge it as Dave and I made a life together, trying to treat it with natural remedies, and finally, when things became very serious and I didn't even really fear for my life, accepting medication for which I'm more grateful than I could say.

I'm not depressed because of any thing or person or action in my life.  In fact I have a caring family and friends and my circumstances are enviable in many ways. However, even with the medication, sometimes I can't face answering the phone, reading email, driving a car or walking down the street.  It doesn't really last long, although while I'm in the midst of it, it seems impossible that I can pull myself through and go back to the woman I know I am. Still, knowing that I have ridden it out before gives me no confidence that I can do it again.  

I remember that first time I saw the commercial that shows how depression has an effect on everyone with whom the depressed person interacts.  For a person who throws a cloak of guilt on with incredible speed when something goes wrong, this was almost unbearable.  

Dave, the kids and I worked hard to understand each other, make concessions or build fair procedures and took pride in having worked through the kinds of issues families face. 

I got counselling, medication, compassion from friends, family and co-workers and figured out how to spread my energy over a work week or a holiday.

Still, in my black days, I can look back and see every mistake, near mistake or possible mistake I could have made, and agonize accordingly. 

I know I'm not alone in this, but I also know that I have reached a place where I can talk about it, hope people understand when  I don't return their calls or like their Facebook pages, and perhaps, offer  an insight that might help them to better understand someone in their lives whose moods seem unreasonable.

And while I'm at it, and not in a black place, thank you if you've been one of the many understanding and generous people in my life.


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Totally as expected

You may have noticed that I've been away.  I was in Calgary with my sister and her family and my other sister's family.  It was lovely there, but believe it or not, I had trouble with my electronics, which means " .Yes, I took photos, Yes, I intend to share them, and Yes, I have no idea where they are."

I can tell you I have no photos of the Calgary Stampede.  I've been to the Stampede five times in my life and the fact that the last time I went was 61 years ago held no sway.

I have photos of my sister's wonderful welcoming beautiful yard/garden which I loved from the moment I went out there because I knew it was the yard/garden my mother would have had, all things being equal.  I have photos of my family and their families and photos of me with Alberta Photo Opportunities.

I also have every intention of making myself crazy until I succeed in downloading those photos to the right place as soon as I find them.  In the interim:
from the Calgary Stampede Stories

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Photo Challenge Redux

A long time ago, I used to be part of a group that posted photos weekly to interpret the word released by the gamesmaster on Friday nights.  I had decided when I started that I would only use photos of myself that I could take on my laptop, and sometimes the challenge was pretty hard.

I accidentally opened the folder last night when I was looking for the photo with the cucumber eyes I used yesterday, and was surprised and mortified at the latitude I allowed myself.  Here are a few of the more outlandish ones:










This is the one I can't remember.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Things that are going to make me stay up late.

I'm going away for about 2 weeks and as a result, have already tested my carry-on bag to make sure I could fit in everything I wanted so that we wouldn't have to pay WestJet for checked baggage.  I did very well actually, meaning that my sister with whom I'm staying will have to lend me all kinds of things like make-up remover, housecoat, sturdy shoes and laundry detergent to get me through my stay.

Then, belatedly, I checked to see if my usual carry-on still fit WestJet's requirements.  It does not, and since we have no wheeled baggage of the appropriate size, we've calculated that it would be cheaper over two flights to buy a new bag which does meet the requirements.  Life gets complicated when your husband checks a fully-loaded bag to see if you can easily carry it.

Even more annoying was that I did my nails last night, two coats, a base and a top coat.  Then today, I did all the housework that needs doing so that Dave doesn't have to take on an even larger amount of the shared tasks than he already has.  Like I do the washing and he maintains and cleans the car.  Fair, don't you think?  Not on your nails.  Now mine are so chipped that I'm going to have to entirely do over at least my right hand.  One does not visit one's sister with chipped nails.

Nor does one visit one's sister with a smartphone that won't let you answer it, so right now, I'm taking a tutorial to find out how to manage the "hello" thing with voice instead of fingers.  I'll probably be up till midnight.


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Calm, Calm, No!

Yesterday, my daughter Emily, her two children Robyn and Maddy, and Dave went to watch the RCMP Musical Ride.

Later in the day, I saw an amazing photo of that very ride taken by Suzanne Ure, supreme photographer.

I kind of love the contrast.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

And now for something I've been missing

I just spent the better part of an hour watching the CBC documentary on the development of the Alberta Ballet's "Balletlujah".  The music is KD Lang's.

I have always been bouleversée by KD Lang---there isn't a stronger, truer voice, and she has always seemed to me to be so in touch with herself, and so comfortable, without being very "Look at me".

The documentary, which I highly recommend, was beautiful, moving and wholly compelling.  It brought together for me things I'd been or am passionate about and reminded me how much joy dance has brought me over the years.  My own, my daughter's, my grandchildren's, my grandparents's, complete stranger's dance has always delighted me and I must do something to cater more to watching performances.

I'm just going to rise gracefully now and point my toes as I go out to pick up my book---one of the many other passions that keeps me from experiencing dance.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

William James Cunningham

My dad in Sicily, around the time I was born
I couldn't even begin to think how to best celebrate my dad's life, and to show how important he was to me, but I'm feeling inspired by the many touching and inspiring posts I've seen today.  

I don't often speak of Dad, which is no indicator of the influence he had on me, or the loneliness I have felt for him since his death. He was so special to me, so loved, that I think I take it for granted that everybody knows how low-key wonderful he was.

I look back at my dad with love and gratitude for his patience, his gentleness, his guidance, his generosity, his availability, and his willingness to help us learn.  I am still delighted with his love and extensive knowledge of puns, his cooking and shopping skills, his unusual walk, his inability to do anything with a hammer and for his taste in movies.   And in spite of the fact that I disobeyed him, I love that when I first talked of Dave, he said, " mmmhmmm, please remember---just because a man makes you laugh, you don't have to marry him."

Being a good dad was part of being a good man, a good soldier, a good husband, and I can only hope that I made it clear to him that I finally figured that out, and how I admired him for it.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Regrets, I've had a few

Last week I decided that I had to acknowledge the fact that I could no longer bead or crochet with any success.  After I'd said it out loud, it turned out that I was OK with it.

Or so I thought.  Friday, I took all my wool and hooks to the Salvation Army and measured out my beads and wire and cord etc to share with Emma and a friend.  It didn't feel good, but I could stand it.

Monday, I went to the dentist and walking home in a June shower, ducked into my favourite Used-to-be-dollar store where I spent quite a few more moments than necessary looking at beads, wire, cord and wool.  Bought none, but it was a scorched success.  I had to stop at every Timmy's on the way home (that would be three) to console myself.

Then to come full circle, I saw this image on Pinterest or somewhere, and knew that I had done the right thing.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


My lovely granddaughter Phoebe, she of the tattooed foot, is getting married in August. Yes, I hear you saying, "But she's only 19!"

I think I said it myself several times when I first heard, but as you may have guessed Phoebe is her own person, and given that she got this tattoo the moment she was old enough, and that she chose the image from my parents' headstone to honour my mother, you'll have to agree that she knows about love.

It's quite exciting to hear about the wedding plans, to see the hush-hush photos of the dress and to be involved in the bridal shower.  Luckily for her, my only part in that will be to be there.

Phoebe is a sweet and thoughtful girl and will make a beautiful bride and a loving wife.  Look forward to the well-meaning but blurry photos I always take and hope that the formal wedding photos will be available for sharing electronically.  In the interim, here's a photo I didn't take
Phoebe and Phil Warner

   and one that I did

Phoebe and Chris, 3 years ago (and yes, I made her buy those pants)