Friday, February 27, 2009
I had dinner with J last night - my dear friend of more than 36 years. She is true, someone who I can pick up with regardless of how much time has passed since our last visit. She is my past and she tells me I am hers. We remember one another as children, shared dreams of being writers, mothers and having daughters that would play together. The last part about our daughters playing together didn't quite pan out - time and distance - however we were fortunate enough to realize our dreams. We were best friends from middle school onwards, we co-wrote for our high school newspaper, moved to the city to go to college and were room-mates. She was by my side when I married, and I by hers when she eloped. When my mother was critically ill in the hospital, J miraculously appeared at my darkest moment, a shoulder of solace. I tried to do the same for her when a year later her mother lay dying of cancer. Soul sisters.
For the next two hours over fresh rolls, Thai salads and stir fry, and two chilled glasses of wine we exchanged stories, philosophized, commiserated and laughed. I love the way J's wide smile takes me back decades, to a simpler, more innocent time. For a moment we are ten year olds again.
As I drove home, city lights reflecting in my rear view mirror, I tingled with sheer joy and peace. I marvelled how I have been so greatly blessed in this life with a handful of special companion souls. No matter what may come my way it's enough to know I am loved; I am not alone.
And for that I am supremely grateful. Hello weekend.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Now with Kidlet safely tucked into the arena for the next hour and half and Obama on TV addressing Congress touting the merits of his stimulus package ... the singular stand out event from today is sad - but true: apparently we have a thief at work. Everyone at my office received an email telling us that someone has obviously been
That just about says it all ... some days are just like that. Have fun - just don't steal the Charmin (and if it was Charmin -- I may actually think about it!).
Monday, February 23, 2009
I can't express the delight and enjoyment I felt tonight, surrounded by the books I love. I envision many hours spent getting reacquainted with old friends - and some new ones.
Now - nicely organized.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
My parents were married to one another until my mother's passing. They too were married at an early age; they built a family and a life starting with nothing and with only one another to depend on. Like my beloved in-laws they overcame countless challenges by meeting them head on - together - as a team. I am always awestruck by couples who manage to keep the sacred oath, and no matter what life throws their way, they keep their love alive.
It doesn't take alot of effort to stay married for a lifetime - in fact - it just requires the passing of time. It does however take alot of effort to have a marriage thrive for a lifetime. A marriage with longevity is truly wonderful; and a marriage built on a foundation of love, and love expressed is a gift and an inspiration.
So congratulations to MIH and father-in-law on forty years of marriage; and I wish them many more. And here's to those who live in love. Love and longevity -- what a pairing!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Often when I go back and read passages and posts that I have written, it is though I am reading the words of someone unfamiliar to me. I learn much about myself.
Tonight I can feel loose threads swirling around me, not yet woven and coaxed into fabric. Perhaps this is optimism, or hope. Possibilities light dim corners and I can envision the tapestry of vibrant colour and images, soft to the touch - a work in progress.
Life is unfolding as it should ... and it is brimming with possibilities and potential. And now I am reminded of this - revealed to me by writing.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
There is something comforting about going to a favourite restaurant and having them smile knowingly at you, and then bring you your usual order. I think hubby and I may be a little too predictable. I love sitting across from him, tearing the naan bread and dipping it in the masala sauce between the chatter. That would be me who chatters ... hubby nods alot. After stuffing the last crumb of samosa and morsel of chicken tikka into my mouth, and declaring that I was full, we were off to the movies. It was my choice this time so hubby suffered through Revolutionary Road for me. Hubby's review,"This wasn't a chick flick. It was just depressing." Now I owe him big time and I foresee myself at a super hero or science/space feature sometime soon.
I have been chilled all day and the blast of frigid wind that blasted us when we came out of the theatre left me fantasizing about a boiling hot shower to warm my aching bones and muscles. And that is exactly what I did when I got home. Hot, steamy shower and fleece PJ's.
Which leads me to ... I am snuggled on the couch with the fire on, laptop in my lap, Fritz laying with his head on the pillow beside me. The wind is howling and rattling the windows, but I am safe and warm in my cocoon. It's been a wonderful day. Thank you.
P.S. Bet you thought this post was about Fritz - and not me, huh? : )
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
It's definitely a good night to take a time out. When we hit the wall, it's better to regroup, call it a night, and start over with a new day. Sad thing is, I miss the simpler times when talking was easy. But as I have learned, this is all part of raising teenagers, and as with all things, this too shall pass. Good night!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
When MIH finished talking, my eldest daughter, who lives down the street in her own condo, piped up that if she died, no one would find her for 4 days. I was shocked that she said that and quickly replied with "of course I would!". She smiled at me and said no - she had calculated it. I don't phone her every day and even if I did, and didn't get an answer, I wouldn't worry anyway. There's some truth to that, and sometimes I think I don't worry enough. MIH would be over in a flash no matter the time or day. And her daughter isn't crazy about that.
My daughter on the other hand would probably love it. I tried to explain that it isn't that I don't care about her and her sister (who also lives on her own) ... I have just tried to give them their own space; I didn't want them to feel that I am in their faces; I don't want to be the one who when they see my number come up on call display, they roll their eyes and sigh before picking up the call.
But my daughter's comments gave me cause to pause, and rethink my approach. As I have said, I am not wired for worry, but I should be wired for concern and caring. And when you have loved ones who are on their own, it's a good thing to make regular house calls - rolling eyes or not!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
We have a birthday tradition in our family that the birthday girl gets to pick their favourite foods for the dinner. Last year Kidlet requested homemade potato leek soup and tacos. : ) poor guests
This year she requested the same soup (her favourite), roasted potatoes, chicken skewers and the spinach-berry salad. Phew! No supplementary menu required this year!
I haven't forgotten that tomorrow is Valentine's Day ... I call it a Hallmark holiday (not to sound too cynical), however when you are in love and have a sweetheart, it's kind of cute to have a special day to express those romantic notions. So, all cynicism aside, I feel grateful to have the sweetest, softest teddy bear to call my sweetheart. So tomorrow, when I ask him if he'll be mine -- I'll smile cause I already know the answer. blush
Thursday, February 12, 2009
It was like I wore an invisible shield today (remember Maxwell Smart had that clear dome that would drop down from the ceiling to create a completely private space?). It's as though negative remarks were bouncing off me with little or no effort. Nothing could spoil my day (not that anyone was trying to ... I am surrounded by happy, funny coworkers). Maybe part of it was that I knew I was meeting my 2 amigos after work for
Tonight we munched on crunchy coconut shrimp, nacho chips and E and I split a steaming plate of fajitas. S satisfied her craving for a juicy burger, warning us that she was starving when she saw us staking claim to her fries. We chattered about our day, exchanged family updates, threw in a couple of "whatever happened to ..." stole a few of S's fries (who wasn't as hungry as she thought), and talked about what we may plan for our next milestone birthday getaway.
As I walked to my car I marvelled at this exceptional circle of people I have accompanying me on this journey of a life. My tummy was full and my heart overflowing.
And better yet, I get to do it again next week when I meet my dear friend of 37 years, J for dinner and more girl talk. Blessed am I!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Update: My blogging
inexperienceinnocence is showing. I now know the meaning of tag-free and meme-free sites. Apologies to any who I tried to include in this. It seemed interesting and harmless enough ... but like I warned you, I'm a tagged virgin.
Thanks to Ribsy
If you feel like learning more about your blogger mates (or want to risk alienating others), just link to your tagger and add these instructions on your blog:
- Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
- Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
- Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
7 things you should know about me - or not
1. I can touch my nose with my tongue and use my toes to pick things up.
2. I once painted my youngest sister with red lead paint (hey I was a kid ... but she still looks a little pinkish).
3. I love politics, and when I was a teenager, I had a poster of our Prime Minister (Trudeau) hanging over my bed. Maybe I was a little weird ...
4. I used to write a column for our high school newspaper called Gertie's Gossip - and no one (especially NOT the cool kids) knew it was me who was Gertie. [Correction: my best friend Jill knew.]
5. I wake up happy. I go to bed grateful.
6. I eat things that have expired past their due date. I also eat bruised fruit, the white part of the watermelon, grape seeds, plum pits and apple cores. My version of a high fibre diet.
7. I talk very, very fast -- and alot! Or so I have been told. I remember recording a 30 second radio commercial in class in 11 seconds. The prof said we had to work on that!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Check out the Faces of Freedom photo exhibit that is part of RugMark’s “Most Beautiful Rug” Campaign to end child labor. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is the national co-sponsor of the tour of photographs taken by U. Roberto Romano during visits to India, Nepal, and Pakistan. The shots take you behind the looms and inside the lives of children who have been forced to weave carpets for export to the United States and other countries.
This is blogging at its best ... sharing this undiluted information with the global community and maybe affect a change. View the slideshow in the post above and prepare to be moved.
Today is Kidlet's 17th birthday. She was a complete surprise, a spontaneous bombshell to her father who would only believe I was truly pregnant AFTER I saw a doctor. Having already birthed two daughters, this pregnancy felt different some how. Baby was super active, determined and thankfully allowed me the luxury of keeping my overall shape from behind - hanging nicely out front like a basketball. There wasn't alot of morning sickness, no double chins or swelling -- I was convinced this one was a boy. Hence I routinely referred to baby as Jake.
I wasn't sure what I would do with a boy -- my sister had one and I was mystified by all that baby projectile peeing stuff. Even though I have a younger brother I feel that our household was one of women and girls. My grandmother and aunt (she was only 6 years older) lived with us, and I was surrounded by sisters, aunts and now - daughters.
I chose a colour of the sky for Jake's room and counted down the days to his arrival. Two weeks before his birth, I had a dream in which my baby spoke to me (telepathically, without moving its lips hey- it was a dream!). She told me that she was happy she picked us and couldn't wait to be born. In turn I blurted out "you're a girl!" and her mouth turned up at the corners ever so slightly into a smile. When I awoke I remembered the dream and began a fast and furious search for a girl's name. Baby's dad was confused .... "but you said it was a boy!"
My due date was February 6th. I hedged my bet on the possibility that baby could be born on my sister's birthday. I found a name that started with the first three letters of my sister's name and one that means "dark" in Gaelic. When I went into labour early in the morning of February 8th I was convinced she would have her own birthday. Stubborn as she was, reluctant to leave the comfort of her own womb, she was properly yanked and made her debut in the wee early morning of February 9th. I gained instant membership to a very exclusive sorority (or should I say morority).
My dark little Kidlet was an unexpected
I have the common complaint of all mothers ... where did the years go? What happened to that little cherub faced, mischievous little girl with high tops and a baseball cap askew?
Today she is on the cusp of womanhood and will soon be facing important decisions about her future. But for one more day, let her be a carefree teenager, full of hope and optimism. Let me hold on to this, my baby's birthday and just for a moment, let me glimpse into those same chocolate pudding eyes as she blows out her candles.
Happy Birthday Sis.
Happy Birthday Nephew.
Happy Birthday Kidlet.
Feel the hugs.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
The long wirey tentacles of these statistics have far reaching affects and inevitably, the reality of them have penetrated the lives of my family members. My sister's 26 years of service to the phone company offers little shield from impending lay offs. Her husband's newspaper job hangs in the balance - uncertainty from recent mergers - and now purges. My brother also works for the now same huge communications conglomerate - with over 20 years service as a sound technician in the TV arm. His future there is tenuous as well.
On Friday my eldest daughter, with only a few years into the working world, experienced layoffs first hand. She was thankfully spared however the remaining office workers were asked to entertain a work sharing arrangement supported by the government. They would work greatly reduced hours and be paid by their company, and the Canadian Unemployment Insurance program would supplement a portion of it. This is supposedly to keep all somewhat employed. She will grow up quickly now.
All I could offer her was practical, real world advice:
to dig in, minimize and reduce any unnecessary spending
and preserve every dollar possible.
Put away for harder days ahead.
Think creativity how to make more money
to supplement her income.
Flash back to 1983 ... Times are reminiscent of the early 80's when I was just starting out; unemployment in Canada was over 12% and mortgage interest rates were also over more than 12%. Success and prosperity seemed to perch high on unreachable mantles. Funny enough, it was during that year of economic crisis that at 23, married with one kidlet and another on the way, we bought our first home - a tiny detached bungalow in a tired neighbourhood in the city. The 1940's wallpaper may have been drooping, but it was all mine (ahem -- the bank's and mine). My then-husband and I made a little better than minimum wage.
I wonder now how we did it ... we were lucky in that our menial jobs were relatively secure; that coupled with the fact that we didn't spend anything on entertainment, vacations, dining out or much of anything else other than mortgage, gas and food made it possible for us to eake by. I was fearless and naive. I remember calling the bank after I received my first annual mortgage statement showing that we owed alot more than we borrowed. Why weren't our payments showing up? The patient lady from the bank explained that in the first few years, you only pay interest...
Now, once again, the tide has turned from excess and prosperity to insecurity and fear. Statistics representing broken dreams, tumbled lives and hardships are aimed at us constantly. And it would seem too trivial to say that these times of tumult will eventually subside; that this downward cycle will eventually spiral itself down to a point where we can rise again. I have a feeling that when we do - we will rise renewed and different; stronger, wiser with a knowlege that we are truly a global village and that challenges must met and problems solved as humankind.
Until then, I think we had better hunker down, dig in, hold on to those hard earned dollars - and, those of us with jobs - count our blessings.
Now - can you give me a hand getting down off this soapbox??
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I was taught from the time I was a young child that worry is a pointless emotion; an energy sucker. My mother used to say that when we worry we often imagine the worst case scenarios - which, in reality, are the least likely to occur. More often than not, the worst does not happen.
I am not wired for worry - sometimes to a fault. Years ago on a Caribbean vacation when our then 17 year old daughter was out with some kids she met and was still not back in our room by 4 am, her father was frantic. We split off to go in search of daughter; he was borderline hysterical with thoughts that she had been murdered in a foreign country. I on the other hand had a sneaking suspicion this was a girl on the loose who lost track of time. I headed for the beach and within minutes ran into her on the pathway, happily chatting with her new pals as she strolled along towards the room. I was spared the emotional upheaval and histrionics. Her dad- not so much.
My family member has some health issues and is getting medical attention to figure them out. We talked about what could be causing the symptoms and in the course of our conversation she said she wasn't going worry - there was no point; it wouldn't change the outcome. She was right.
Sometimes there are things we can do, actions we can take to affect the outcome but there are also things that happen to us that are completely beyond our control. Today Kidlet's dad texted her to say he would be late picking her up, and when she got a second text from him further describing the bloody scene, (he said his shirt was so bloody that he looked like he had been beat up) her concern escalated to worry. She began furiously "Googling" nose bleeds and rhyming off possible disorders ... tumours, infections, allergies. My heart melted for her - that she took the worry on. When I gently urged her not to worry, she said she had to worry about him, cause he doesn't.
It sounds trite to suggest not to worry. But really, to worry is to waste. It bears no fruit; it accomplishes nothing but rather, it depletes and destroys confidence and hope. Better to take whatever action is necessary and then release that over which you have no control. The universe is unfolding as it should.
Kidlet was going to the hospital with her dad so he can get checked out and I told her to call me if they need my help - or anything else. I want her to understand that you can only do what you can do -- do being the operative word. And she is doing that. I want her to worry not - and be empowered.
I am going to get my empowered self to bed now. I hope she is OK. Did I just worry???
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Stubborn leaves that refuse to surrender to winter ...
Benzie the car was sad because her fresh-from-the-carwash shiny coat got overshadowed, or should I say snowed under. The window art does not reflect my shift in attitude towards the winter. I am contented and feel lucky to live in a land of four seasons. I just have to keep reminding myself that!
Monday, February 2, 2009
The phone is ringing and the dog is barking. Reality beckons. I am home from my momentary vacation. But you know what? I am breathing a little slower and a little deeper. I am content, peaceful, and rested. And I swear a little sun kissed!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
It got me thinking about fleece and the person who invented it. He/she are single handedly responsible for bringing instant comfort to millions around the world. Their handiwork is evidenced everywhere ... hockey moms huddled on benches swaddled in fleece blankets; dads in fleece jerseys, and kids wearing mittens and hats cut from the same fuzzy cloth. As for me, I defrost after a game in my fleece PJs. Yup -- fleece is the new flannel.
I don't know who I can thank for this wonderful invention but if I could nominate them for some kind of Nobel prize, I surely would - for I'll never be cold again (at least not in an arena).