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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

I boast about achievements I made today

I just turned on the overhead light with my nose.  Thankfully it was one of those flat switches, but to make it slightly difficult it was the one in the middle of three.

I finished reading a short story about the death of Jayne Mansfield, and I didn't shudder.

I walked to a meeting in -27 degree Celcius and arrived there without crying.  Then I lost my boots.

I made chicken soup from scratch and left it on the counter to cool; then I tasted it and it was so delicious I ate it cold.

I sat in my papasan with a copy of the catalogue from Victorian Trading Company, and I didn't actually place an order, although I did go back several times to this offer, and this one, and that:

Monday, 26 January 2015

I'm swimming in it...

Definition of nostalgia: a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period

I just spent some time at our family home, and if I think I was nostalgic before....some photos taken in the same place:
Chris and Phoebe....she might have been 3

and even though they both look like they finish at the hairline, Chris and Phoebe...she's 18
I got wrung out, looking at things and knowing how they were cherished by people who are gone, looking at others that I gave to the family (i.e. an image of a sampan on which I pasted about 3 thousand glass beads) and wonder what I was thinking.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Idle Hands, Idle Mind

Sometimes when I haven't got something I'm eager to write about---let's face it, I mean sometimes when I can't yank an idea to the forefront, I choose a number (this time it's 43) and open my photos to see which is the 43rd photo, and whether I can blog about it.
To be honest, I really couldn't inflict 43 on anyone, so I moved back one.  This is a photo of Dave and Robyn, taken about three years ago, at the Photo Studio of a pioneer village exhibit.  I didn't go on that visit, but here are some photos of the others who went:
Sarah in yellow

L to R:  Emma, Julia, Emily, Sarah

Patient Emma, Leaning Julia, More Leaning Emily, Saucy Sarah

Angelic Julia, Not-so-angelic Emma

Ho-hum, angelic Julia and one of the Children of the Corn

and an encore.
This exercise was brought to you by the amazing self-help book: 
How to Blog when Your Mind is Blank

Monday, 12 January 2015

Thinking makes me bezack

We've been in our condo for more than 6 years, but this is the first year I have ever felt cold when the heat is on.  I can hear the wind whistling around the building. It's a sound right out of a movie about Siberia.

Sitting here at my desk, I'm between two windows, one in front and one beside me, and it feels like it used to feel in the winter when I lived downtown in old wooden houses with single pane windows.   We would wrap up in duvets, but we'd have cold noses.

I know about layering, and I have sweatshirts and sweaters and tights and cozy slippers.  It's not enough.  Dave reminds me that we're having a cold winter, and that we're not spring chickens.  That just causes me to feel guilty because I'm not hardy.  Feeling guilty makes my jaw clamp and my teeth hurt.  And because I belong to every Facebook page with bad news, I know how awful this is for the homeless, so how can I even think about complaining?

I'm crocheting an afghan for the mission, but by the time I finish it, April will be upon us.  Damn, I feel like slapping my own face.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Old, _ _ _ , New _ _ _ _ _

The other day I was out for drinks and dinner with friends.  As usual, I had a glass of Pinot Grigio, as did a woman across the table from me---someone I didn't know well.  As we ordered, and began on the "starters", I noticed that my wine was gone, and hers was still at the 5 oz level.  

"How does she do that?" I said to myself as I ordered my second glass.  I watched her surreptitiously, and couldn't catch her imbibing, even though by dessert and my 3rd glass, she was close to finishing.  Went home, slept through some some TV with Dave, and woke up thinking about 3 glasses to 1 glass, and how did she do that?

It made me crazy for days.  I usually have a glass of wine with dinner, and everytime I poured one, I reminded myself, unsuccessfully, that it would be nice if I could make that glass last till bedtime.

"Sipping!" I said to myself in the middle of a recent night, "she must have been sipping!"

I tried it, and it's so much better than drinking wine like it was milk.  I'm even thinking that the pleasant smartass who joins me after a glass or two was coming by earlier.

And at $9.00 a glass, sipping is even helping me cleave to (well, approach) my newly-defined budget.

Ah, the golden years.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Why Dave Eats Healthily (mostly)

I have had such a relationship with nostalgia over the last few days.  I went searching for photos and spent hours, sifting, crying, laughing, puzzled.  Then I spent minutes, which was about my limit, trying to figure out how to scan 4 photos without having a page of photos that I couldn't manipulate.  I'll look for a tutorial, I guess.

 I believe this is my parents' wedding picture
they are in the front row, left and centre
Crawling around the floor, trying to plug in the scanner, I found a filebox I hadn't seen for a while, and sat down immediately on the floor and opened it up.  It was full of cards and letters from Dave and the kids, and a few from my mother.  Among the cards, the most heart-catching was a birthday card from my mom and dad which had been signed by them both.  This was after Dad had had a stroke and I know how difficult and frustrating it was for him to manage pencil and paper.  It made a direct link with some of the photos I intend to scan which show the loving and different relationship between my parents when my dad was immobilized and my mom was the caregiver.  

I've told Dave that my mother's example of caregiving, which lasted for 7 awe-inspiring years, and included singing Beatle songs, was one I could only aspire to, probably not manage, so he's pledged to stay well.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Colour as anti-therapy

The other day I was looking for a particular photo and came across pictures I hadn't seen in a long time.  The folder name was pretty generic, and I don't think I'd opened it in years.

I only really take pictures of people, and there were some lovely ones of young Sarah, Chris, Emily and Phoebe, and some taken while my mother was still healthy and visiting us.  This is one of them that I particularly liked, although I didn't take it.

l to r: sister Kathy, brother Sean, me, brother Pat, Mom
 What surprised me though, was how much I'd forgotten about the house we used to live in, and how differently we live now.  In the photo above, you can see, behind the Canterbury chimes, that the wall was painted purple.  We had so much colour all through that house!  We were all facing a turquoise dining table and its turquoise chairs, while off to the right of us, pale mauve sofas and chairs were sitting next to houseplants and cats and hearts of glass and stone in dozens of sizes.  If I remember rightly, we had gorgeous turquoise tiles on the kitchen floor.  It sounds overwhelming, but it always made me happy to be there.

This is not to say I don't like our apartment.  It is also warm and inviting to me, although the colour scheme is very different, built around cobalt, copper and deep brown.   In the summer, I throw in some white and the place brightens right up, and as we've been here 6 years, it reflects both our former and our present life.  My one regret is that I didn't keep the glass I'd been collecting for years....Dave said it was because it was scratched, but I don't remember that.  I think it was because I didn't want to admit to being a collector.  The colours, mauve and cobalt and pink, still draw my eyes.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Graceful Recovery

I'm starting to notice that I have good reflexes.  Stop laughing right now! 

You people who know me are aware that things around me jump off the table, that I take a giant step when a medium one would have sufficed, that immoveable objects roll off tables towards me.

What you're not taking into account is the frequency with which I face these strange happenings without being covered in egg, wine, baby diapers or unneeded glitter.  I take my giant step, which for other people would be a down-in-the-gutter experience, flail wildly for a moment and recover.  I reach over with speed and grace, and stop the bouncing object, albeit sometimes by smashing it somewhat.

Anyway, whatever the reason, I'm going to start celebrating my fine reflexes and ignoring the reason I have to use them in the first place. 

Friday, 26 December 2014

Post-Christmas musing

In some ways this has been a very Dickensian Christmas.  The ghost of Christmas Future showed me what could happen if I don't foresee my intended results better.  My learnings in point form:
  • it's not good enough to make a Christmas Day To Do list in your head, especially if all the good ideas come at 3 a.m.
  • it's not good to plan a dinner with one huge ham and one huge turkey and one medium-sized oven
  • try to stay on Emily's good side, because, when you're failing and panic is starting in, she's the one who'll self-transform into a beautiful but merciless Sgt-Major and turn chaos into managed chaos
  • continue to spoil your children and grandchildren and all their friends, because you can't lift a roasting pan with a turkey in it, you can't make gravy and cranberry sauce at the last minute, and once dinner is over, you're going to fall asleep before you say "goodnight and thank you for everything" to said children, grandchildren and friends. 
  • if this is the most elegant photo anyone takes of you on Christmas day, try staying in bed:

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.