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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)

Monday, 25 May 2015

Faraway Friday ( now Moderately Annoying Monday)

Fifteen years ago, for almost two years Dave was studying for his master's in Victoria, and I was at home in Ottawa, still working.  Did we have email?  I don't think so because we used to talk on the phone sometimes (no cross-Canada deals on  long distance) and write to each other often.

Partway through his time there, he discovered and sent me a lovely piece of music by Connie Kaldor.  It made me cry to get it, and it made me happy, and since then, if it shows up on our various playlists, we always dance to it.

 This is the place I would have embedded that song, "Love Letters" from her album "Vinyl Songbook", but two hours yesterday trying to follow even the this is how, stupid directions, and another hour today makes me feel unempowered and frustrated.  I do not like this feeling.  I am going to play "Love Letters" for myself.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Uh, what was that again?

Today I was looking at some old photos, which sent my mind reeling---not because they were unusual but because seeing Sarah in a bedroom that might or might not be hers made me realize how much I've forgotten about the various places we lived in and the various things in them that we hold dear.

Without photos I could never remember what my bed looked like when we lived in the Glebe or whether or not we held birthday parties for the kids and whether or not those were successful.

I know I've had a happy and privileged life, I just can't remember the details and that makes me sad.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Granny to Granny, and it was my fault.

I remember not too long ago making a decision to let my hair grow.  As I'd had a pretty short style for a while, the growing was taking forever, and somewhere in there, I cut two inches off the back and thinned the sides and top with rusty thinning shears.  The rust made no difference.  I looked even more like a granny than ever.  And I know I am a granny, but I thought I could stave off the granny hair bit.  

Today I passed a salon I used to go to, felt my steps slowing and soon arrived back at the salon door.  As soon as I'd asked if someone was available, I wanted to run.  Didn't.  I wanted to go home and change so that I had an edgier look.  Didn't.  I damned myself for decreasing my edgylook by having worn pearl earrings. Drat.

I walked home from the market with an imaginary brown paper bag over my head so no one would notice that my hair had been styled.  I never do that.  I mean I never style my hair, not that I never wear an imaginary bag on my head.  I often do that. 

At home, I washed my hair, let it air dry and looked just like I had on my way downtown.  But somehow I looked like a shorter granny who hadn't been able to explain "edgy".