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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

One of the teeter-totters of life

 Taken last summer, but newly re-noticed
This is one of the nights when I'm closed away working at my laptop and Dave is out in the living room working on ways to stay within our budget.  We used to have a pretty easy way:  we got paid, we spent what we got, we got paid again.  That was my way, and I did run into trouble from time to time.  Dave also had a way, which because I failed continuously to manage money, we adopted, and which worked most of the time.  His way involved getting paid, saving money, allocating wisely, being frugal with a burst of generousity when it seemed needed, and not going into debt.  Radical, I admit, but easy on the bodyparts that seize up when the dread word "money" comes into the conversation.

Dave is now talking to someone at Rogers, telling this service rep all about our budget, what we used to have, what he'd like to have, what he'd like to pay, all with good humour and respect.  He enjoys it the same way I do when I talk to bartenders---except he gets results and I just get smiles and once in a while a latte suprème.

I would never haggle with a service rep, maybe because I used to be a Bell service rep, and remember sometimes how it pained me personally not to be able to help someone who was looking to get a break.  Also because when it comes to money, I am both frozen and wussy.

It's kind of nice how we balance each other off that way.


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Does the end justify the means?

Today was a completely "me" day, and unfortunately I did nothing edifying.

I had thought I'd read, but both my e-reader and my tablet were begging for juice, so I hooked them up and decided to crochet.  My crocheting skills have deteriorated since I became a golden ager, but I still find ways to embarass my friends and family with crocheted gifts, so I pulled out my stuff and prepared to sit in my pyjamas and crochet for the rest of the day.

I did something I haven't done since I was in my teens and put on a CD and fixed it to repeat, and it's been going all afternoon.  When I was a kid, I listened to Harry Belafonte and Miles Davis a lot, but today I chose The Civil Wars Barton Hollow and I felt just as enamoured of it as I was the first time I ever heard it.  

I have an interesting history with The Civil Wars, of which they know nothing and which involves Adele and Jian Giamechi, who also, thankfully, are unaware.  One day, Dave and I were listening to Q and Jian was interviewing Adele, who was incredibly charming as a speaker and could sing pretty well too.  So well in fact, that Dave and I determined we must go to her Montreal concert and I then spent 3 hours trying to get tickets at a reasonable price, ending with a weak scream and "Why don't we just buy two of these $300.00 tickets?"  Surprisingly, but wonderfully, Dave agreed, we bought our tickets, got them in the mail the next day, and in spite of the fact that they said $32.00 as the price on the front, felt grateful and excited.

Come the concert day, and I'd been sick for a few days already and just couldn't imagine going, Dave and Emily went together.  They came back raving, raving, about the opening act, and very happy to have seen what's her name, and generous and kind people that they are, they brought home the Civil Wars CD, of which I became enamoured, or did I already say that?  I joined their Facebook page, I followed their web page, and was justified (and thrilled to bits)  when they won an Emmy.

About 6 months later, The Civil Wars announced their tour and because I followed their webpage, I was able to get tickets for me and Emily for their real price.  We went early, sat in the grass outside the building until the doors opened and were about 15th and 16th in for a concert that was totally non-assigned seats.  We sat so close, we (probably mostly me) flirted madly with both of them and made eye contact, which was stunning, and came home, very pleased.  Like most of the (under-20) Civil Wars followers, I was sad, curious and unbelieving when they broke up.  How could people who wrote such beautiful music together, then sang it heartbreakingly perfectly, not continue to perform?  Were they actually in love with each other, as their music seemed to lead us to believe, and had their wife/husband insisted they desist their amazing partnership?

It's one of those things like Did Elvis really die? that I look forward to hearing the truth about when I get to heaven, or when someone throws me that big book of incredible doings in my lifetime. 

As I was writing this post, Dave came in and did something that allowed him to print documents and did not allow me to hear music.  It was mysterious and annoying but a good reason to look hard-done-by until Dave offered to make dinner. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

You have been warned

Dear Next by Nature,

I have an issue with the packaging of your extremely good product, Dark Chocolate Ginger.

Every time I open the container to take out one delicious bite-sized chocolate, two appear in my hand; two wants becomes three gets, and so on.

Please make larger containers.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I Crush....

Though this is not a recent photo, I've posted it today because I've been thinking about the journey my daughter Emily has taken since she left high school.
When she left high school, Dave and I were observers of an event that was already decided, and our regret was two-fold:  she was young, and she was leaving an arts program discipline (dance) that she loved and was good at.

Emily is a strong person, and she headed into the world young and confident.  Her enthusiasm for life was vivid and her interest was wide but unfocussed, so it took us a while sometimes to catch up to where she was in her post-family experiences.  She soared, she fell, she endured, she triumphed and finally, she came home, met the love of her life and became a wonderful wife mother.  And she came back into our lives with a bang.

I know I may sound biased.  Actually I know that I am biased, as I am for all my offspring, and I'm not apologizing for that.  Biased, I look at Emily and I see a person with so much spirit, so much integrity and so much support from her friends and family that it makes me realize that she has kept all the best things from her journey.  And I am as proud as I was when she was dancing at school, when she was making great jewellery, when she was giving wonderful aromatherapy advice and massages, when she graduated from her admin assistant course, when she wore a gorgeous greenish wedding dress and when she gave birth to her equally wonderful children.

This has been an exercise in promoting myself behind a front.  But it's an amazing and loveable front, and I take as much responsibility as possible for it.

Friday, 31 October 2014

In case you're going shopping

If any of you ever see a fountain like this, with a metal or porcelain bowl, please let me know by knocking on my door, or by phone or email or facebook.

I truly crave this.  It makes the most harmonious cling sound as the bells are moved around by the water.  It will enhance the bloogedy-bloogedy sound my present fountain makes on my side of the bed.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Yay! but don't get too excited.

Two views of the chalk-painted counter stool

I have now finished all three and find myself relatively satisfied. Using the chalk paint certainly beat stripping and sanding before painting.  I didn't know how much work it would be to buff the wax coating though.  I imagine Dave and I will be buffing furniture while watching TV through the rest of the winter.  I've got enough done that we can sit on them, but they don't feel as nice as I know they could.

Look to the left, see my 7 year old runners; the not-as-gorgeous but brand-new runners are to the right.  And I'm keeping them both, even though the old ones have started moving away from the soles.

This weekend, I may get instructions on how to send myself the photos I take with my phone.  Depends on Emily's good will.   She's a good person, but I think I try her patience....

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Not a Facebook status update

A while back, I talked about giving up wine.  I gave up that.

I promised photos of my new Lelli Kelly runners.  I have pics on my phone but I can't send them to myself.  therefore I cannot post them. 

I actually finished working on the counter stools I was painting, but can only post one picture, which I sent to Emily, and she sent back, a foolish move which I am not going to use again.  Especially because I can't actually find it.

I just spent the better part of an hour looking at 3306 photos stored on Google + that I thought were gone out of my life.  None of them were the ones I was looking for.

I declare myself the least photo-posting blogger in all of the cyberworld, but there's always consolation in a nice glass of wine.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

I sabotage myself

Today, I outdid myself.

I was up early, making my breakfast, and planning to, at the most, clean the stove-top, which had been bubbling at me when I made my coffee.  The rest of the day was going to be focussed on some new books I'd downloaded from Scribd and the public library.  

the chosen colour called Arles
Before Dave got up, but after my coffee, some kind of foreign thoughts started to push books out of my mind and put chalk paint and counter stools in their place, and before I knew it, I was dressed in old jeans and a t-shirt, putting a drop-cloth on the living room floor and stirring paint.

This is the day of the week when we have dinner with Sarah, Julia and Emma, so it wasn't a good idea to take on three pieces of furniture, a can of paint and another of soft finishing wax.   It's especially not a good idea because part of the deal is that we make the meal and take it over to their house, but I refused to listen to internaLorna and got down to the painting business.

I haven't finished yet, and because the lighting in our place is lovely but hardly able to allow a paint inspection, I don't know how well I accomplished my task.

I may take photos tomorrow after I buff the wax.  I will also take photos of the amazing silver and pink sequinned high top runners that were delivered this week.  I'm starting to quiver at the idea of sitting on my mediterranean yellow counter stool with my sequins all ready to scratch the new paint when I cross my legs.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Perfect is as Perfect does

I'm back to the purple text.  I wonder if there's some significance to my changing text colours randomly?

Yesterday, I had a surreal experience.  Actually, friends often tell me that my experiences are surreal, but I'm hoping that reflects more on their lifestyle than mine.

My experience was this:  After doing all the things I make myself do in the morning before I sit down with coffee and a book, I grabbed a book I'd picked up from our Share-it library in the Fitness Room of our building.  No, that is not surreal.  I have fewer books than I used to have, and enjoy taking down books that I've finished or finished with, so that I can righteously take a book someone has left there.  I sat down with my coffee and the paperback, and when I finished the page I was on, I tried to click the bottom corner to turn the page.  I didn't know whether to laugh or click again.

I thought it might be a good idea to see if "surreal" was really the descriptor I wanted to use.  Found this: surreal:  having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream, unreal.  
borrowed from wikipedia

 I thought this image was an interesting if dramatic addition to the surreality.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Some People Just Have to Know

In no way am I intending to make this post a woeful one, but just out of curiosity, if you don't drink wine, what do you do when you're making dinner, reading books, or having a bath?