Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morning Breath

It was only 6 degrees Celsius at 6:30 this morning when I started my car. A misty rain was falling. It was dark with the sun sitting well below the horizon. A wistful preview of the long winter commute that lay ahead. I rolled the windows down half way so I could see as I pulled out of my driveway. Note to self to get glasses so I can actually see while I drive.

On these damp, unfriendly mornings it's difficult to get motivated to leave the heat of my cosy duvet - and hubby. I defy every fibre in my being when I force myself into my tuck and roll and head for the comfort of the icy tiled floor of my bathroom. Thank goodness for steamy showers, but then again, so hard to leave the heat and greet the morning air.

But there is a certain stillness in the first hours of the morning that feels sacred; a private, quiet reprieve; a cleansing breathe to the start of the day. Morning breath!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Sometimes the best part of going away is coming home ... That's how I feel today. I walked through my front door to a deadly silent household, and immediately tripped over Kidlet's hockey bag. Fritz heard the commotion and  came running and gave me  a proper homecoming. I was home!

I immediately burst into action -- unpacking, tidying up, throwing some squash and apples into the oven to bake so I can make soup, defrosting chicken, peeling potatoes, setting the table and checking my email. At the risk of gross generalization -- women really are multi-taskers. It feels natural and productive to have a bunch of irons in the fire.

The house smells of baking chicken and the residual baked apples ... candles are lit and I am sitting here writing my post, feet up, nursing a steaming mug of tea. Now I breathe deeply and I can feel relaxation creeping into my being. I am waiting for my little family to come home for dinner.

Peace prevails. Happiness reigns. I am home - and there is nowhere else I'd rather be.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Travel Ravel

For some white knuckle flyers (who shall remain nameless hubby) getting on a plane is a stressful event. I love it! When I get on a plane, I get instant excitement - a feeling that I am going someplace. My trip to Saint John, New Brunswick was a business trip but I was still excited to go someplace new.

Being a domestic flight, I didn't expect security at the airport to be so stringent. For the first time ever in all my years of travel I set the metal detector off. I was practically strip searched on the spot and they didn't seem to think my joke about my metal breast implants was funny. After clearing that hurdle, they sequestered me with my bag to a special area for another search. It's only in times like that that you notice just how many tampons you have tucked away in virtually every zipped pocket of the bag. They were fascinated by the mini computer that my daughter lent me to use so I could blog from  afar. Oh well - can't complain about due diligence when it comes to security.

You know you are getting on a small plane when the signs to the gate have arrows pointing down on them. With each escalator I descended, I wondered just how small the plane was ...  So we pretty much walked out the door, across the tarmac to the plane. Then up a few steps and voila! I found my seat - and a prime one it was - at the very last row of the plane, aisle seat of course, so I could conveniently  open the door of the lavatory without getting up. Actually I must have been suffering from lack of fresh air cause I started giggling at the absurdity of it all and couldn't get a grip on it ...

Remember the days when they would come with the refreshment cart and actually give you refreshments? I got a 4 ounce thimble of coffee - barely bigger than the creamer they offered with it. Too funny!

With all of the whining about the small plane, I actually enjoy them. Firstly, you see things nice and close and I figure if  we had to, we could put the plane down anywhere. I also like the sensation of flying, which you get so much better in a smaller craft.

As we landed, I had a bird's eye view of the autumn splendour - the colours are so much more vibrant and fall is further along out here than at home. I even had a few moments to duck down to the warf to smell the sea and feel the mist (ask my swelling hair!). 

I'll be heading home soon but this little travel dabble was a wonderful gift. Stay tuned.

Prime (arm's length) access to the loo!

A drop of cafe ole!

A wing and a prayer!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Work Trip

I am off for a few days to one of our maritime provinces to work a trade show. I am anxious to see how far along they are in fall -- if their leaves are changing already. I am looking forward to a steaming bowl of chowder and a walk by the water. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few scenic shots.

There will be a few long days but mostly I will enjoy flying in a plane, inhaling a deep breath of fresh maritime air and appreciating a brief change of scenery. Who knew work could be so fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Options Unlimited

The time has come - my youngest is getting ready to leap from the nest, in search of higher learning. But first she has to pick a university. We made our way into the city today for the university fair. No cotton candy and ferris wheels here - just thousands of young faces and endless exhibits and "ambassadors" from every  university in the province. Kidlet was feeling under the weather today but she felt is was too important to miss.

First of all - it was completely overwhelming. The sheer number of people and  ... choices. We made a short list of schools we wanted to check out and set off ... me with camera and notepad in hand and Kidlet - with her questions, fears and dreams. As I watched her confidently stroll up to the representatives, smile and launch into conversation - face awash with excitement and eyes wide with optimism - I could feel it rising within ... it started in my tummy and swelled up into my throat. My eyes instantly filled and a rogue tear leaked out. I was verklempt! Out of control. And I wasn't sure why.

I have always told Kidlet that our higher power works through people ... messengers. And every once in a while you have one of those special encounters that makes us pay attention. We had one of those encounters. An older gentleman, head of a humanitities program at one of the universities looked right into Kidlet's eyes and asked her if she wanted to study humanities or give to humanity.  She answered the latter. He snatched the brochure out of her hand and told her his program was not for her. As he explained God's blessing to Kidlet - that he wanted only the right thing for her so she could be happy and contribute her best, his eyes were serene and we became acutely aware that for this flutter in time, we were communing as spiritual beings. Then- another swell of emotion. My throat tightened and I couldn't speak. So I left them chatting and I took pictures.

What joy to see Kidlet getting excited about living in residence, playing university sports and studying abroad. My last chicklet is on the cusp of adulthood. And it happened so fast. Life is a blur and there are times we have to freeze frame and savour the moment. Today I tried to do that. We had a good day together, Kidlet and I. Unlimited options and endless possibilities; she has important decisions to make. And I made mine -- to freeze frame today!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Burning Brightly

Fireplace is burning and I am basking in the heat. A fire is one of the upsides of cooler weather - and cooler weather we have! As I drove home tonight and noticed the foreboding gray clouds on the horizon I couldn't help feeling grateful for the 24 straight days of perfect, glorious weather we have had. Summer gave us a September peace offering to make up for the lousy weather we had the rest of the summer. I graciously accepted it.

But now I am ready to let summer take its place in the archives of summers passed. The bold golden strokes of early fall are evident in our trees and the transformation will happen quickly. I have to remind myself to stay present and inhale and soak up every pixel of beauty and glory of autumn.

Every season I find myself declaring that "this is my favourite season", so I guess what I am really saying is that I love living in this region with its everchanging, fantastically beautiful seasons. I love the changes; I love the renewal that each transition brings, and the re-dressing of the landscape.

So tonight, the inaugural fire is burning brightly and so is my gratitude.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Love at First Shot

Brownie Hawkeye. It was my first camera.  My mom handed it to me and said I could use it. I asked if I could have it -- to keep. She said sure - as long as I took the family pictures. I remember the feeling of pride of having something so important for my very own.

The idea of freezing and preserving a moment in time for all eternity was fascinating to me. What potential! What endless possibilities! It is still so vivid -- the memory of awkwardly threading that large film  onto the spool. The anticipation of  the first shot ... The agony of the wait - waiting to get my developed photos in the mail.

The first roll of film I shot was of my family ... my siblings made willing models. When I look at those first few blurry images I took (and preserved under a film of plastic) I remember the feeling I had taking them ... pure joy in motion. Since then my camera has pretty much accompanied me whereever I go. I kept my promise and took most of the family pictures throughout my life.

I am not a technically accomplished photogragher; I lack polish, skill and talent. What I do have is an eye for angles, for that which others may not notice, nor find worthy of a shot. I have passion and a desire to express myself.

From the first time I depressed the shutter, I knew I was on to something big. Photography and me ... friends for life. Love at first shot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heart Strings and Phone Lines

Just hung up from a nice long chat with my dad.  The one thing we share is a love of good conversation. I am forever being reminded by people about how much I talk -- guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

Our phone chats pretty much resemble the talks we have when I drop over for a visit. We start off with the weather, which leads to global warming and the effects it is having on developing countries. This of course prompts discussion about the oppression of woman -  half of the population - around the world. Politics takes centre stage and we usually end with agreeing we are grateful to live in the country that we do. Of course all of these topics are stitched together with memories we shared and personal anecdotes. Dad's wife T is a patient women and sits good naturedly through the same tales and opinions, occasionally attempting to edge in a word here and there. When I am in one of my animated conversations with Dad (on the phone), hubby just pokes his head in once in a while with a quizzical look "what are you talking about now?"

I think he is a little bewildered how the conversation wtih Dad is the same whether I am visiting him down the road, or on the phone with him here or when he is wintering down south in the States. Dad and I have an intense need and desire to share ... and a big part of that is communication. It doesn't hurt that we both love politics and world affairs.

Sitcoms often depict a girl getting the dreaded daily call from her mother. I would kill for a call like that, and since I don't have my mother here, Dad is my go to phone friend.

And when life gets busy and a few days pass without connecting, I just have to read his blog to know what is on his mind. I feel grateful for having such an illuminated, highly evolved/ing soul in my life. Heart strings and phone lines ... keeping us connected.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sure Sign?

My day got off to an early - bur roaring start. I was ready ten minutes early, and at 6:15 AM, every minute counts. I lingered a little longer packing my lunch and even checked my email before leaving. bonus. A quick check to make sure I had everything -- why can't I shake the feeling I am forgetting something.  I picked up my eldest daughter along the way and dropped her off at her office. It's always a nice ten minutes to catch up and stay in touch.

As she was getting out of my car, she caught her foot in the door and tore a ginormous hole in her stocking. I of course burst out laughing and despite the destruction of her pantyhose, she laughed too. I laughed too quickly. As I pulled away and checked my rear view mirror - I could see my freshly scrubbed face in all of its natural beauty staring back at me. I had left the house without so much as a lick of mascara. My red rosacea kissed skin blazed brightly and I couldn't find my eyes. Quite frankly -- I looked like I had the flu. I burst out laughing and chuckled all the way to work.

The first thing I did when I got to work was revisit that checklist of Alzheimer's symptons. Left me wondering if it is dementia -- or a just sure sign I am getting older and/or forgetful.

But I didn't forget to laugh!

Monday, September 21, 2009

300 and Counting ...

Dear Blog,
This is my 300th post and I thought it only fitting that we celebrate, you and me. When we started out together just over a year ago, I wasn't sure of the commitment I was willing to make to you. I wasn't sure of what I would say, or if what I did have to say would be of interest to anyone else. So, we flirted and dated occasionally, but nothing too serious...

By last November, after much soul searching, I was ready to make a commitment to myself - and to us. I wanted to end my day, reflecting on the gift - the take away - from each day. If there is no take away, then it is a day wasted, and not a single day of life should be wasted. I concluded that there would be some days that my take away may not be terribly interesting to anyone else, but I decided right then and there to commit -- to commit to writing every day, regardless. And I think I have done fairly well. There have been the odd days when it was simply impossible to access my computer or the Internet to get to you, or that I was too ill to write. But on the whole, I made every effort to end my day on a positive, reflective, grateful note and blog about it.

So thank you my dear Blog. You have taught me much about myself and showed me that I have a rich, blessed life that is constant motion and evolution. You have given me friends from all the corners of the planet, and reaffirmed my faith in humankind. You have reminded me of the legacy of strength and love I have inherited, and you have encouraged me to share that with others.

So for now, our bond is a permanent one. A lasting one. Here's to you and me Blog, and another 300 posts.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Raise a Glass for Gram

She was a feisty woman, my Gram. One of kind; a rare mixture of lady and naughty. She could appear demure in her (it's a stretch) five foot two frame, sitting quietly back, politely nodding and smiling to the conversations around her. Unless of course it involved politics, namely her hero, Pierre Elliot Trudeau - or hockey, namely her dream team, the Montreal Canadiens. Contrast that with the little lady parked in front of her TV on Saturday nights, beer in one hand, cigarette in the other, cussing the bad ref calls and cheering her team on when they scored.

She was a force of nature and a big part of my life. *gross understatement* When my sisters and I were little, we would argue whose turn it was to sleep at Gram's. Maybe it was because she would let you pick a silk nighty from her drawer to wear; or in the morning, drink a big mug of instant coffee laced with teaspoons of sugar. Maybe it was because she would put on her old records and teach us how to cha-cha or foxtrot or play hand after hand of cribbage or euchre - for pennies. If you wanted to see her blow her stack, just try reneging ... yikes. She didn't coddle us -- no way -- if you lost your pennies, she took them. She said it was all part of learning the game.

When I lived at home, I spoke to her at least once a day. She was the first person I shared my news of getting accepted into college with. She could always be counted on to be on the other end of the phone.  When I went to college, I was the first person she shared her first old age pension with. She gave me $20 and told me not to blab it. When I landed my first job in the city, once again, she was the first person I got a hold of to share the news with. I spent many a night in her apartment sharing several half-beers (per the doctor -- half a beer would be good for her), as she told me how she fell in love, was convinced that her mother didn't love her, how life on the farm was no picnic and what a blessing the baby she had when she was in her forties turned out to be. She shared stories of wearing hiked up trousers under her dress on Sundays so she could sneak off and play softball after mass without her mother knowing. She shared the advice her mother gave her on her wedding night; and what a tough go marriage was to a man who spent years at a time away mining.

I asked; she answered. And I got to know the girl and woman my Gram was and had been. I could share my secrets with her too ... she never judged - just shared her observations. Mostly she made me feel as though I was the greatest ... a knack she had with all of us I believe.

I lost my Gram when I was 32, five years before my mom passed. The last words my Gram shared me with as she lay in her hospital bed had to do with my mother ... your mother is very sick. She has been an angel to me, so be an angel for her.  At the time, I didn't know how ill my mother was and didn't recognize them for the prophetic words they were.

It's been 17 years, and I still miss her. I miss the strong, powerful women I had in my life. Now I look to my girls, and see that the women power lives on.
Today my Gram would have turned 96.
Raise a glass for Gram.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Just a short post tonight. It's the end of a long week. I'm a little tired tonight but starting to wind down nicely. Hubby and I are on a mini-vacay just a few hours from our home. The sun was setting in the sky as we drove up here, and with every mile travelled,  I exhaled stress, tension and anything else that isn't good in my body.

Now I feel refreshed already (the shower head with the water pressure of a machine get didn't hurt). No way you could have a tense muscle in your body with that thing ... Anyway, I wish everyone as good a weekend as I am having.

Exhale - s l o w l y -- it's good for you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Postcard from the Universe

Today's mail brought a wonderful surprise ... a postcard of Africa. In amongst the credit card bills and the junk mail -- this beautiful golden and crimson postcard chanting "A F R I C A ". It caught my eye immediately.

A moment of pause to ponder who sent this to me -- someone from Africa? Someone visiting Africa? A travel agency? A quick flip solved the mystery. An African themed spa where I had my nails done a few years ago was sending the postcards out to former clients as a promotion.

I smiled. My spirits were not dampened. I excitedly waved it at hubby and told him that I thought this was a wonderful sign (in light of my current goal). He simply smiled that "whatever you want to believe" half smile he has. I don't care who sent it. I GOT THE MESSAGE... Africa in my hands. I placed this postcard up on our open shelf in our buffet for all to see (especially me). I am going to take that postcard with me to Kenya next summer and mail it back to myself.

Thank you Universe. Write again soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flash Flood

It came up out of nowhere
like it usually does
driving on the highway
away from the sunset
radio singing
me along with it.

A flash flood of memory
your anguished face and pain
wild eyes and panicked breathing
emblazoned on my brain
I wanted you to stay ...

They came up out of no where
like they usually do
driving on the highway
away from the sunset
tears flowing,
my heart breaking
along with them ...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Evening Shade

Kidlet is sleeping on the couch, catching a few minutes of shut eye before her hockey practice. She looks peaceful in slumber, but spent. I am hoping that she hasn't bitten off too much this year. I always feel badly when I see her stressing, but on the other hand, I admire her desire and determination to immerse herself wholly in life and to be involved in everything.

Fritz the hyper schnauzer is barking randomly at the door. I checked -- there's just the odd squirrel or bird bouncing around outside. This dog's watchdog senses are faulty --- false alarms.

And me? I am procastinating ... I have homework to do; an article on domestic violence no wonder I avoid. Yet I post. My work computer got hijacked by malicious viruses today, bringing my productivity to a grinding halt. Gotta get busy now cause I always feel better when I don't have a deadline hovering over my head. As the evening shade unravels, I feel sleepiness on standby ...

Have a wonderful evening my friends.

Note:  [In the completely off topic category] I think the chubby PC guy is lovable and cuts a sympathetic figure. Mac comes off like a stereotypical arrogant  yuppie. Not sure if Apple is on the right track this time ....

Monday, September 14, 2009

What a Wonderful Blog World

It never ceases to amaze me -- the warmth and kindness of my blog community. This community of mine - this cosy little circle of human beings who share a love of writing and connecting - is as real as though they were my next door neighbours, colleagues or coffee buddies. I look forward to catching up with them and if they  God forbid take a vacation or break in blogging, I miss them and eagerly await their return.

How lucky was I to stumble upon these wonderful people ... I remember the very first blog I ever followed -- Carrie over at Carrotspeak. I am not sure how I stumbled across her blog but when I did, and read her charming profile and her display of wit and humour I couldn't believe she didn't have any followers yet. I confess that the fact that she was barely older than Kidlet may have stirred the protective, maternal senses - just a little. I wanted to cast my vote for clever - and I wanted her to know she was being heard. I was privileged to be her first. Of course now that she has been Blog of Note, I am just one of more than 600 of her royal subjects. And even though we have never spoken and will probably never meet, I have grown attached to my little friend and have a vested interest in her life and future. I care about her.

And that goes for so many of my blogger friends from everywhere. You make the world a smaller place.
The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the post
Are also  in the hearts of people I follow most
I see friends checking in, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
What a wonderful blog world this is.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Journey is the Destination

I can't get Africa out of my mind. Our trip is months away yet I can't help thinking about it. I close my eyes, put my head back and slow my breathing ... I create a pallet (based on every image I have ever seen) so vivid, I can almost smell Africa. I can hear breezes rustling through acacia trees ... and the night time sounds from a far away, majestic continent.

I seek and need the lessons Africa can teach me. This little adventure that Kidlet and I are embarking - on has become more focused now that we have added the goal of raising money to have a new school built. We haven't launched our campaign yet ... but we can't wait to get started. Daughter Harmony is also having a milestone birthday - turning 25 in November - and has joined our quest, Milestones for Education.

With ten months ahead of me, I have lots of time to gnaw on that bone, and savour every delectable drop of marrow. And for, the planning and anticipating is as much fun as the actual doing. You know the adage - the journey is the destination.

Although I am supremely more interested in the people and culture of Africa than the animal life - I have a dream of seeing elephants up close and personal, in their natural habitat. Don't get me wrong ... I love nature and I am eager to experience the wildlife, I am just MORE interested in the people. I am reading Water for Elephants and my mind keeps wandering off at every mention of Rosie the elephant.

I think I am in for a ten month daydream ...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Love of the Game

Just as the autumn chill comes early, so does hockey season. I try not to be bitter- leaving the sunny fresh outdoors to head into the frigid stale air of the arena. The first games of the season are the toughest -- my body hasn't climatized to the chill yet, and I haven't yet resigned to fleece.

But Kidlet is excited and full of hockey talk - the lame calls by the ref, the unfair penalties, what they have to do to win, how much she loves the girls on the team... And that alone is enough to warm my bones.

This year is different. Kidlet can drive herself to her practices (4 times a week). She doesn't need us anymore. In fact I think she is making some pocket change driving her teammates as well. To my surprise I find myself missing those little rituals we shared.

So this beautiful Indian summer weekend finds me at the first tournament of the year, cheering Kidlet and her team on and sitting in the parking lot between games, tapping blog posts out on my BlackBerry.

It has me thinking about how many more times I will see Kidlet raise her stick in the air and jump into a group embrace when she scores, or come for a hug when she has a less than stellar game.

Time is fleeting and these are precious moments shared. So now that I am over the initial shock of the season opener, I will make it a point to absorb the moment and enjoy watching Kidlet - her love of the game - and my love for her.

Where the heck are those woolly socks??

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nine Eleven

Nine eleven.

We hear the words and we know instantly what it means. It is one of those monumental days in history on which time stopped - and we know exactly what we were doing and where we were when we learned the devastating news that left our world forever changed.

Just thought it may be cause to pause ...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I've Got A Feeling

Hope is afloat - and Obama's address to the joint session of Congress last night proved it. He did his job brilliantly - he inspired. He reminded Americans that the issue at hand - affordable health care for everyone - is one of morality, character, and social justice. I loved that. My optimism is burning brightly.

Maybe it's the eleven consecutive days of warm sunshine but I am walking two feet off the ground. New starts. New goals. Big dreams. Big 360 love. Clear skies -- in more ways than one. Everything seems possible.

And I have a feeling -- that it is!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Yes they could. Wish they would. And they will...

Question: Couldn't they be more tidy, helpful, organized, energetic, communicative, affectionate, sensitive, thoughtful, respectful, generous??

Answer: Yes they could. I wish they would. And they will ... someday.

I am talking about teenagers. Oh sure, we all think our little, sweet faced, cherub-cheeked child will be the one who escapes the dark side of puberty ... who doesn't morph into the body of attitude that seems in many cases to accompany the foray into adulthood. But you will probably not dodge this bullet ... unless of course your spawn is not of this earth. : )

[Gross generalization alert]

You too will awake one morning to a mumbled response to your cheery "good morning". You too may be the object of impassioned pleas of why they have to go there and need that and stay out that long, with those friends. You too may lose sight of your child, lost in a three foot high clothing collection consisting of pretty much everything they have worn, tried on, that has arrived as nice piles of clean clothes, and those that have been salvaged from random backpacks and sports bags. You too may suddenly find yourself behind enemy lines (how did I get here??) ... fighting for the other side - or rather, be told that you are. You may also find yourself the subject of excruciating scrutiny and the extensive inventory of your misdeeds and shortcomings - the source of all your teen's angst and problems. You will be challenged at every turn ... even at the most innocent of suggestions or even compliments ....

"I think you played really well in that game."
"No I didn't. You don't know ... you're my mom."

"Honey, make sure you get lots of sleep -- you have a big day tomorrow".
"Ya Mom. I know that. I'm the one living it."

Parents be forewarned. It happens suddenly, quickly, without warning. One day they wake up, and you find you have been toppled from your pedestal; no longer the answer to all of their questions; no longer the centre of their universe; nor the source of everything they need, unless it's lunch money.

But it's not all gloom and doom. This state of change and strange is temporary, and necessary for both. Teenager needs the space to assert their new found, greatly desired independence. Parents need to see some ugly to help us loosen our grip and let go -- just a little.

When I wonder what to insist upon, what rule to enforce, how much and how far to push, I think back to my own teen years ... I hear my mom telling us to keep our bedrooms doors closed. I recall her telling me as a parent to pick my battles and not to sweat the small stuff (the stuff that isn't risky, unhealthy, dangerous or illegal).

These teen creatures who we love so dearly are a work in progress and one day, just as quickly as they left, they will come back to us. And they will ... someday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lil Sister

Today is my youngest sister's birthday. How fitting! She was born on the first day of school -- and my father being the eager beaver school principal that he was, couldn't miss it. I remember my mom at the breakfast table telling him that she thought it "would be a while" before the baby came, although labour had already started.

It wasn't too long before Mom was on the way to the hospital courtesy of the military police (we were living on a Canadian air force base).

My sister's arrival was not without pomp and circumstance ... and a broken tailbone (Mom's) - but for me it meant yet another sister to take care of and to share my secrets with - not to mention a bedroom. She did all the fittings for my first wedding dress - all of them. The first time I tried my dress on was the night before the big day. She ended up wearing that same dress (albeit a little shorter) to her high school grad a few months later. When it came time for college she followed me to my city and lived in our second bedroom. When we bought our first house, she moved into the basement apartment. And when I moved out of the city to a town not too far away, she and her little family moved into our neighbourhood.

So I guess when I say that we have always been close -- it's true -- in so many ways. So - as I have said often, the best gift our parents gave us - was one another. On this day, my little sister's birthday, I feel blessed and am reminded of the many precious treasures in my life.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy new year! Confused? It's Labour Day isn't it?

The first day of school (day after Labour Day) for me has always been the start of a new year, even more so than January 1st. It's been alot of years since I've been in school, and I only have one kidlet at home going tomorrow, but to this day my senses queue for that special first day. Labour Day truly marks the end of summer and the beginning of a fresh start - a clean slate. My inner guidance system automatically quickens my pace, kicks it up a notch and the lazy, laid back vacation vibe is instantly shed.

September is a memory soup ... anticipation butterflies fluttering in my tummy; the aroma of fresh paper and packaging ink from brand new pencil crayons and duotangs; new shoes; clean hair and that all important special outfit for first impressions. I mirrored these impressions every year, on the eve of my first day at university and the first day of anything throughout my life. The first day on a new job still brings me right back to the first day of school feelings.

Tomorrow my last kidlet will begin her last year of high school. Her mom won't be there to get her to pose for that first day photo. I won't pack her a little lunch, kiss her cheek and send her on her way with her little backpack. No -- Kidlet is a big girl now - a young adult. And part of me is mourning the end of an era - but still, the start of a brand new year ...

Happy new year!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Me and My Gals

I knew it was going to be a glorious day when it started with a sunshiney wake up call.

My eldest daughter and I took a trip into the city to visit my other daughter Harmony. She lives in a cosy apartment masqueraded as a quaint cottage, just blocks up from the lake. The rolling waves and sapphire skies beckoned ... we took a stroll on the rocky beach.

What is it about being near the water that calms us ... delivers instant peace? The winds were blustery and the waves crashed heavily against the breakwaters. I breathed deeply, my lungs filling with the moist, musky smells of the lake. Diamonds danced on the surface with the windboarders and I stood just gazing out onto the water, watching the sailboats trail across the horizon. What a revitalizer ... instant peace for me. My head clears and all cares fall away. My very being communes with the rhythm of the lake. My heart fills with gratitude and I am reminded why I am so happy to be alive ...

Today was a perfect day. Life is good and life is grand. Nothing like an afternoon in the sun, by the water - me and my gals. Lucky me.

Good Morning!

Summer has truly been a gracious guest this weekend. She brought more than expected ... the sun has been shining relentlessly in a perfect blue sky. The air has been warm and breezy. When I awoke this morning I rolled up my blinds, eager to see if our good fortune had been extended. It was and is. So on this Sunday, on our last weekend of the summer, I am elated with happiness and lightness. My heart is singing (in perfect tune) and nothing can dampen my sunny spirits. I just had to say sing, with arms outstretched, and face aglow -- Good Morning! I wish for you all to have such a wonderful day!

And summer, with the generosity and hospitality you have shown these past few days, you have redeemed yourself; you are welcomed back any time (or maybe I should say, same time next year).

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Eye of the Needle

I used to be able to do it effortlessly, successful often on the first try. Now I hate to admit it, I struggle to thread the needle. I turn up the light. I cut the thread to give it a nice clean edge so there's no resistance. I even don the drugstore cheater glasses. I'm fully equipped.

I squint - where the heck is the eye of the needle? I bite my lip hard as I will the needle into focus. It helps a little - but not enough. I refuse to concede to the needle. I will not be defeated!

It's hard to accept limitations, that something I could do so routinely now requires the use of an aid (those darned glasses). I've been reading labels at arms length for some time. Maybe I should be thinking about getting my eyes tested for the real deal. I've been resisting that for a while now. Not anxious for proof that something is starting to fail. What'll be next?

Right now I need the black thread in the eye of that darn needle ...
Hubby was happy to help. Lucky me ... did I mention his eyes are not as aged as mine?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blossoming On the Job

As you know, I was delighted and proud of Kidlet when she recently landed her first job. She tends to cram almost more than she can handle into her school years - hockey five nights a week, school sports. running fundraiser campaigns for breast cancer and Free the Children and the list goes on. In a nutshell, she basically ran herself ragged during the school year and would crash for 6 weeks in the summer. This year she was motivated (the car needs gas) and ready to take on a part time job.

I feel strongly that young people need to learn the lessons (seek the gifts) from having a job. It gives them instant appreciation for the value of their work -- that it takes far more effort and time to earn it than it does to spend it.

Kidlet is working in a quaint little flower shop within walking distance of our home. I am not sure how she will manage now that her hockey season is underway as well as juggling the demands of her last year of high school ... but regardless, she took the plunge and she learned something about herself -- that she is an extremely capable and valuable employee. Her boss told her so -- and I already knew so.
One more reminder that Kidlet is growing up on me ...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Better Late Than Never

For the second day in a row, the sun shone brightly, high in a clear blue sky in what almost seemed like an apologetic gesture for the rest of the summer. If so - we'll accept the apology and bask in the heat and splendour of the peace offering. Better late than never.

I slept yesterday away ... and chased my nasty cold away too! I went to work today a little shaky, but as the day wore on, I felt better and better. Voila! A day in bed, lots of meds and a followup dose of glorious sunshine and I'm better than new.

I am going to wring every bit of happiness and pleasure out of the last long weekend of the summer - the next weekend is hockey tournament time and I haven't got my arena-wear out of storage yet!

Final note: It occurred to me that Michael Jackson's death marked the beginning of the summer holidays ... and sadly ... his burial marks the end. How tragic that even in death, the madness and chaos that was his life continues. It seems incredulous that from death to burial could take 2 months. Better late than never ...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Got One

Yup! I got one. Just like fellow blogger Fine Life Folk warned me, "It's really not advisable to have cold feet. Next thing you know, you have colds" - I caught a cold. Not sure if it was my cold feet or not - Kidlet probably brought it home with her from work or hockey camp. Maybe not, but there's no one around to pin the blame on ...

Poor me. I had to heat up my own dinner ... and hubby hogged the gravy.

So after a very long day at work suppressing sneezes and coughs, something I did very poorly, snorkng and sniffing at my desk, trying my best to milk every ounce of pity from my colleagues ... I am home, medicated and in couch potato mode.

Poor me. I could use some tender loving care ... I can't find the remote.

The upside (cause there always is one) is that it is a time for rest, revitalization and guilt free TV viewing. So my plans are to enjoy a giant mug of steaming tea, pop a couple of nighttime cold capsules and hit the sheets early AFTER I finish this post to my blog.

Poor me. My feet are cold and the blanket is on the other sofa ...