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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

When all is said and done, I, a retired person, doing next to no volunteer work, and with only a small apartment, hundreds of books, two righteous boxes of wine (one red, one white) and a husband whose sweet tooth gives me a reason to have salted dark chocolate caramels on hand, have things pretty easy.

In spite of that, or maybe because of that, I am posting photos today.

The first is of my sister Mary, 17 years my junior, in a very fine plum-coloured coat on her way home to Kenora after a conference in Ottawa.  We breakfasted, I abated her desire to shop, and we had a very nice Chinese food family dinner one evening.  She does not have a piece of white chalk embedded in her head.

The next two are of Robyn and Maddy on a very important day.  Because their mom is going back to work, Robyn is going to a new day care and Maddy is going to her first day care.  This was them their first morning, on their way.  There are no on their way back photos but I am assured that had there been, the girls would have looked as smashing and confident as they do in these.

this last is Maddy eating rocks, which is why we can't leave her at home while Emily is at work. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Well, I think I got over myself!

Almost every day since March the 2nd, which was not a particularly significant day, I've thought about writing a post.  On some days, I was so down that I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to read what I'd write, and on other days, I was so down in other ways that I couldn't think of anything to write or any way to write it.

Today, I just poured a glass of wine, ate three 2-bite brownies and decided to just get on with it.

I haven't been myself since last November, and I am now getting to be in a much better place, but having been so depressed, and so uncaring about being depressed, meant that all my energies had to go into just bothering to take care of the basics for myself and family. Friends and family and music and babies helped.  Clear thinking about personal priorities, which kicked in after Christmas, also helped.  

I am now back to Pollyanna.  You may or may not think that's a good thing.

I am also down to about 10 emails a day, 4 of which come from the CBC.  That's disconcerting, yet liberating and I think I get points for liberating, so I'll stick with it.  With so few emails, I have actually been able to explore Youtube videos, especially the self-published music ones, of which there are so many, and so many good ones.  The downside to that of course, is that I didn't bookmark any of them, and I can't remember their names.  Still I can remember loving them, and taking joy in finding them.  Maybe I can do it again.

Today is Sarah's birthday.  She's away in Manitoba, but in our are some good ones from another post

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Damn, it's 3:32 a.m.

Cough into your elbow, Mina
See granddaughters of mine...I can get it right.  Funny how things change, but I do love being taught by the kids of my kids.

I thought I would take a mildly amusing photo of me bored to tears in the middle of the night, but no---I was just going to cough.  Again.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

In which I plead

I just finished writing a comment on a blog I read and comment on every day almost.  Before my comment could be published, I had to prove I'm not a robot.  This is OK---who wants robots touching their stuff?  However, I would think that in this time of technological excellence, I could be identified and allowed to post after I'd proved myself non-robotic 30 or more times.  Or 50.  Or 365.  And as you know by my Pollyannaness, this is not a derogatory remark to my friend.

She posts every day, posts of beauty, intelligence, insight and occasionally amusing rants.  It's worth writing 66 2087466 many many times to actually interact with her, but please, gods of ether, fix this.

Friday, 21 February 2014

This is not a book review

I've written before about my penchant for reading Young Adult Fiction.  I think some of the most exciting story-telling is being produced in this genre, and although searching for books has given me some interesting age-related experiences, that hasn't stopped me.

One of my most exciting reads in any book category was the Phillip Pullman series His Dark Materials, which, in its first book, The Golden Compass, has one of the most appealing first paragraphs ever.  Who wouldn't want to read about a girl and her daemon?

Right now I'm almost at the end of the second book in the Legend  series by Marie Lu.  I can't say enough about my admiration for authors who not only have a compelling story, but build a complete world in which to set it.  And yes, I know I haven't been talking about the actual writing, the tone-setting, the appropriate dialogue, the balance of characters and the literary value of these works, but that's a) secondary, for me, to the story and b) something I don't feel qualified to judge.

I do like my literature, my historical fiction, my mysteries but sometimes it's just about a good story, and that explains why you might see my gray head bent over the YA table at your local bookstore or watch me not grimacing when the cashier tells me my grandchildren are going to love those books. 


Thursday, 20 February 2014

It's all about attitude

Dave and Lorna converse:

D (for Dave):  You know we should really make an effort to be more careful about our eating---we don't seem to have any schedule or planning around our meals.

L:  mmmmmmmmmm

D.  I want to take equal responsibility for this---it's not about you, but I don't get enough vegetables.

L:  mmmmmmmmmm

D:  (at Milestone's) You know, we could make food like this---it's just the same food we usually eat, just more elaborate.

L: (for the next 3 days, and only in her head) grrrrrrrrrrrr

D:  The dark chocolate Magnum mini-bars were on sale.  The ones with the caramel.

L. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

A bibliophile's dream

I am able to borrow e-books from my library, but because I have a lot of books-to-read in a pile in my room, and because I'm so short-memoried that I can go back and enjoy an e-book I bought last year but can't remember, I seldom think to look at what there is on offer at the library.

I'm so glad I did last night.  Actually, I was looking for an audio-book so that I could listen while I'm crocheting, but they changed the system, so while I could choose a book, and download it, I can't actually find it anywhere on my computer, so I went back to sign out and happily, I found a section called Hidden Gems.  Happily, but not by choice, I have to add.  I feel like I've lost my senses and my connection to the learning part of my brain after I've been poking around the internet world for a while.

The Gem I happened on had the combination of a beautiful illustration and an intriguing title, "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane". 

It was late, and I was not at my sharpest, so when I saw the illustration I thought it was a space fantasy.  "Have to read it," I said to myself, and before I knew it, the book was sitting among my Adobe digital editions and I had begun to read it from my laptop screen.

That's not my favourite platform for reading, but I really felt compelled to get into this tale of minute aliens or giant aliens---whatever!  

This, as some sharper-eyed person might have known, was a book about a rabbit---a china rabbit with silk suits and his own pocket watch.  

I read till I had to stop, slept, had breakfast and reacquainted myself briefly with Dave, and came right back to the laptop, reading until I got to the last satisfying word.  That was followed by information on the other books this author has written, which I've heard of but not read and which are to be found where all the books for 6 to 9 year olds are kept.

Don't let that stop you.  For me, it was like putting on my favourite, knitted-by-nanny sweater or eating a tiny, perfect strawberry.  I came out of it with a list of people who need to be gifted with this little treasure.

Thank you Ottawa Public Library.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Keep it simple, sweetheart

Yesterday I sat down in my papasan in the bedroom, and I just felt such peace and happiness, I wanted Dave to take a photo of it.

It's hard to imagine that a ratty old chair and a bunch of pillows could be so comfortable, and so perfect a way to remind myself that I don't have to do the washing till tomorrow, and that there are still a couple of hours before I have to think about dinner.

That chair, which I notice I called "my" papasan is one of several rattan chairs that we have had over the years---one a mamasan and one a basket chair that we hung from the ceilingand several that lived outdoors.

This is one that got picked up from someone's lawn early one garbage morning sans pillow.  We were moving and it was so easy to find the perfect place for it in our new place, which I think must be the apartment we're in now.  I'm so grateful.

There are other things that make this a happy place for me.  This is the shelf that I can snuggle up to, which holds calming blue things and always has room for a glass of wine and a snack.

And of course, there are these, in their hundreds, and my lovely Kobo Mini which is on its last legs, Alas!

Life IS good.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Never too late

Sometimes, when I wake up early, I stand in the window, looking out at the traffic.  I don't have lace curtains---although I have had them---but it makes me think of all the stereotypical seniors with a comfy chair in the window and a cup of tea in hand.  True to the image, I stand there watching  and wondering what brings people out at 5 a.m.

People who leave their homes early are the people I counted on, without much thinking about their contribution, when I was working:  the ones who drove the bus, who made or sold me coffee and cinnamon buns, who got the day care facility ready for my kids, who clocked me in at the office, who gave me receipts for my dry-cleaning, sat behind the counter at the gas bar, took the early doctor and dentist appointments for the kids, and generally made it easy for us to wake up at 6 (or at 7:30 if you were a kid) and zoom off to our schools and offices.

I hope I thanked them then. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Confessions of an undressed housewife

This is just about my most decadent still-in-the-house day in a long time.  It's creeping up on noon and I'm still in my nightgown, the bed isn't made, the coffee and toast Dave brought in is finished, I've only got 3 real emails, none of my clothes from last night are hung up, and my glasses are so filmy I'm lucky I know how to touch type.  Or, oza. ;ivlu zo lmpe jpe yp ypivj yu^r.

And I love it!