Monday, November 28, 2011

Mango Delivery


As I left the hostel behind, I swung my pack onto my back for the last time on the road. Keetmanshoop was a small town and acted only as a short rest stop for me.  Time marched on and so must I. There was now less than two weeks left of my African Adventure, so every moment was precious. I had no time left to play idle tourist, when there was a finite amount of time left to get back to Cape Town and squeeze in a quick final visit with relatives. It was time to move on.

Sadly, when I evaluated the last of my funds, I found that a train trip back to Cape Town, or even Springbok for that matter (where a cousin lived), would be too dear for my pocketbook. My options were limited. So putting trepidation aside, I decided to try my hand at hitchhiking once more. My spiritual renewal in Swakopmund had refueled my faith in the fates again, so I set my mind to the end goal.  I crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t run into any rides reminiscent of my last hitchhiking fiasco. Or worse, for that matter.

So with a prayer to my angel wing-man, I turned from the train station and headed out to the highway. I couldn’t help but pull out the camera to take a quick snap of my beat-up, dusty old pack that had seen thousands of miles pass under it. There wasn't much left of it or in it, besides the thin orange and brown polyester sleeping bag and an assortment of even thinner clothes. It was hard to believe that I would be hanging it up soon. Even harder to think about leaving this beautiful land, that I still felt like I was only just beginning to know. When I thought of the family and friends that I would soon see, I was spurred on to action though. I slid my camera back into my pack, just as a big rig approached. I stuck out my thumb and the truck slowed to a stop. This was it, I thought to myself, as I swung up into the cab. 

And as the truck lumbered back up to speed, I met Mango. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: First Dates

Saturday's Email of the Week

Its Saturday. And I feel like torturing myself today, so am going to share some of what I got up to last night. You see, I went on a date yesterday. Ooooh aaaaah! I know - wow. pffft

Well, I fussed about what to wear. I donned makeup & even let my girls dictate that I wear lipstick. I own the stuff, but have to admit that it doesn't get a lot of "face time". Har, har, bad pun. If you know me though, it just usually doesn't happen. But last night, you better believe it did! Oh, and I even put on a pair of pantyhose. For my dear gentlemen readers, I am pretty sure you designed the crazy things, as they are really quite the uncomfortable item, if you have to wear them for any period of time. Sure they help to aid as a tummy tuck if necessary or hide less than smooth legs, but really! Anyway, thank God I noticed that I had a run in them when I got home. I am sure I could have laughed through that at the time, but once home they were Off & then GONE! But, I must note that I did opt for them for the affair.

So we set a date, picked a location to meet and right off the hop, the location wouldn't work. You see date night has to work around my kids, first and foremost. I had arranged for them to be at a gymnastics outing that was a 3hr affair, therefore I had time constraints. The first restaurant of choice required reservations or a time slot that didn't work with my child are arrangements. Damn, this dating stuff is hard work! But the crux of the story is that this my friends was a first date. In fact, my first date in a good long time. And you know what? It was darn awkward! Lord, I felt weird. Essentially it was a blind date, so we had to try and get through the " Hi, nice to meet you" phase. shake hands here. Then what to order and what to talk about and ...

yeah, it was just weird. But I can now lay claim to a first date. And no, there was no mad passionate kiss that swooped me off my feet at the end of it, in case you were wondering. Suggestions were made to chat again, but I am wondering about that whole spark factor. Bah! I wish there was an easier way. Anyone on here single? Got any single friends in the Canada region? Kind of a big place, being the 2nd biggest country in the world and all, but I have been known to go on a road trip or two. So what have I learned from all this?





Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Poet

people
real live people
flesh and blood
sparked with creative juices and 
breath

poetry
draws us in
united as brothers 
to tease meaning and maybes
titillation

poets
one and all
carrying the stylus
set in ancient tongues of
camaraderie

reading
words on page
thoughts in mind
all our own exalted bards
Scribe

in 
london
tonight
~

set in 
cinquain style
to describe a poetry reading
attended
by moi
Book!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Little Promo

I have been doing some looking.

More than just looking at cute strangers too. In fact, I have been looking at me. Scary! Worth a look every now and then though. And what is it that I see, you wonder?

Normally I spend my day writing, often trying to come from other people's voices or perspectives, but as of late I have turned the magnifying glass around to inspect myself. What I am trying to see is a professional writer scraping out a bit of a living. I am trying to envision this business person that works for a living and does the job at hand to the best of my ability. There is attention to detail there and yes, an eye to the clock for timeliness as well. Hey, those are good qualities and worthy of a nod for my chosen profession, right?

This process does not flow so easily though. I am not sure if you noticed or not, but I had a suggestion to polish up my professional image here, so did a little housekeeping. I revamped my pages and tweaked a thing or two. If you get the time, I would love it if you checked it out and let me know what you think. When I was going through the process though, it forced me to take a look at me. Truth be told, it wasn't so bad! If I look at my resume of people that I have worked for, variety of subject matter attacked and timeliness in making it all happen, I am a little impressed. I have written more than an article or two, and some of them are quite good! Looking at them from a potential new employer's eye, the trick is to decide which articles are most worthy to share though. FYI: Much harder than I thought it would be. I am still not sure if I did myself justice either.

That bring me to today. When it comes to the marketing of me, I could use a lot little more practice. I become shy and reticent. To humble to boast, I am unable to sing my praises, despite knowing that I do have a modicum of talent. Again, I feel all gangly here; barely able to spit out a cohesive thought.

You want me to talk about me? Oh geez! What's to say?


The problem is, I have to get over that. I have to put on my biggest smile and sing my praises as loud as I can, because it is only through marketing, in the world of writing and social media, that your voice can be heard louder and in more places. And I do have a book that I would like to see in print in the near future, so I need the practice. And while in my little blog, I have been content to use my own small voice to gently share thoughts, poems and prose, that needs a little dose of confidence thrown in now and again. I have to find my big girl voice.

So in my best Big Girl voice today, I am going to ask of you a favour. Kahemm...

You see, while my first love is to the beauty of words, Mama gets a new pair of boots via selling those words (Winter is coming up fast and I noticed that my old winter boots have a hole in the bottom of them).

Oh geez, I am doing it again! Blathering to the point of LOSING the point. So,

I would appreciate it if you would all visit some of the sites that I work for and comment on whatever you might find interesting. If you do find something interesting, it would be even better if you could SHARE it too, like on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon or Google +. Heck, you could even follow them! My clients are pretty generous folk, but a little more turnaround would be beneficial to keep me working.

Thank you

In Your Neighbourhood - DIY, house, home & real estate, plus a cool FOLLOW THE FLIP of 2 houses
CLC Tree Services Blog - focus on trees, plus general gardening tips, landscape lighting & Christmas Decor

Monday, November 21, 2011

Still Looking


My journal entries got longer and more verbose as the days went by. It was to be expected I suppose, as I spent most of my days alone. It left me more time to think and hence write those thoughts down. After travelling with so many people, through so many places, it was kind of nice to be left to my own devices. But in truth, it kind of scared me too. With all those kilometers under my belt, I felt like I should have some kind of hold on the world by now. Instead, I still wondered what I wanted to be when I grew up. More importantly, I wondered what I would do with myself when I returned back home to Canada. The answer seemed no closer than when I had left home over nine months before.

I returned to the best way to avoid thinking about the present moment – through travel. I left Swakopmund behind and took in Windhoek and its sights. I visited the Alte Feste and learned a little more about Namibian history. A Natural History museum provided information about some of the local animals I would see if I were to explore the game parks in the area. Interesting, but I had no time left for game parks.All I had left was the opportunity to read about cheetahs, rhinos and some of the aboriginal cultures that existed in the area. My time was ticking now though and it was more about quantity over quality.

From Windhoek, I boarded a train and blissfully watched the miles pass me by from the safety of its rocking compartment. It was the first time in my African excursion that I had the luxury of train travel, but the eleven hour journey left me a little less than impressed. Thankfully, it was an overnight trip, so at least a few of the hours slipped by unencumbered. Of course it also amounted to more time to ponder my fate, so when I arrived in Keetmanshoop my journal had a few more pages of notes added to it.

At this rate though, there would not be many more pages left to write. I had made it official. With a bittersweet heart, I changed my plane ticket for the last time. In a little over two weeks, I would fly out of Cape Town for Germany, then home. All that was left to do now was to get to Cape Town. Keetmanshoop deserved a cursory exploration, but as I debated what this arid town held to offer, I knew my heart was no longer in it. It was time to go home. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Wan Chocletz?

Saturday's Email of the Week

Oh, hello Saturday! You have snuck up on me again. The week has breezed by, but thankfully we are home this weekend to relax. Err, well to sleep in anyway. Got leaves raked, window repairs estimated and lunch in a with friend I haven't seen in months. All in all, a good week.

Today, kids will be rolling, tumbling, then painting hot on the heels of gym class. Me, I will spend my hour sweating, then pick up a girlfriend to shop for some reasonably priced Christmas presents. Woohoo! Sunday will see some well-deserved downtime, but more than blissfully there were no major catastrophic events of the week. My visit with Grammy went well (much better than expected) last weekend. Parent-teacher interviews went well. Drumming went well and I might have a new iron in the fire as far as work goes. No complaints!

How was your week? Any deaths, births, new jobs or friends to boast of? How about a book finished or a bully squashed? Well, they can't all be banner weeks, I guess.

Oh, you want to know the best part of my week! I mopped the floor!




And what you all have been waiting for; drum roll please....

My EMAIL OF THE WEEK! Happy Saturday!!!!

()~~~()

I'm passing this on because it worked for me today. 


A Dr. on TV said to have inner peace we should finish things we started and we all could use more calm in our lives. 


I looked around my house to find things I'd started & hadn't finished, so I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiuminun scriptins, an a box a chocletz.Yu haf no idr how fablus I feel rite now. Sned this to all who need inner piss. An telum u luvum


()~~~()


And I couldn't resist this video (mostly because of the last ad - that will be me sooner than I would like). Cheers!



video

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Introducing...


When I Caught a Firefly
On a day filled with lots of camping
Spirits and darkness is falling down
And fireflies are out
I see a firefly
Fluttering about
I run and run
I feel a breeze
I try to catch a firefly
I run. I jump.
I clap my hands.
I feel a tickle

I caught a firefly!
I tell my Mom.
She does not believe me.
I show my Mom.
She gasps
“You did!” she said.
I tell my friends

My Daughter's hand at poetry
Momma's so proud ♥



firefly's flicker
is no match 
for the light in your eyes
~


Monday, November 14, 2011

Ocean's Kiss


I couldn’t resist. I slipped my shoes off so that I could wiggle my toes in the sand. It was delicious and extremely therapeutic for my aching soul. I was alone, but not lonely with my company. I was in the desert! The Atlantic Ocean stretched out before me and behind me the Namib Desert shifted and drifted, as far as the eye could see. Life surrounded me and it was beautiful.

The lapping waves reminded me that home was closer than ever. The mighty Atlantic Ocean kissed my feet here, then travelled to the East coast of Canada to deliver my love to the wind. Perhaps it would whisper its secret message to my Mother, as she stepped out of her car on arriving home that evening? Who knows? But its music filled me with the peace in this moment, making us as one. I lifted my face to the sky with a smile.

As I listened to the Earth speak to me, poetry surged through my mind. My Grandfather lingered there and offered me his blessings. With a tear, I picked up a pen and offered thanks.

Now all I hold is a polished stone
And a picture in my hand
But your loving glow
Pumps my heart to go
Eternity is yours for all time
-Love in a circle-

Every day is a good day, in the fact that it has been. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Remember to Breathe

Saturday's Email of the Week

Today I will be going on another road trip. I may have seen my sister last weekend, as well as my mother, but we will all be gathering again to celebrate my sister's upcoming birthday. That is what we do. There will be laughter, dinner and more than likely some cards to be played, long before we crawl into bed for the night. Fun, but nothing especially remarkable. 

I shall be going in early tomorrow though, as my sister and I have a little road trip planned. We will arrive, hug our Mom, wave goodbye to our children, then get back into a vehicle and drive away. We are going to see my Grandmother. She will not be joining us for dinner, even though I will almost drive by her new home on the way to my Mother's. No. Sadly, it is beyond her now. 

Last weekend, my Grandmother moved into a nursing home. She had been living in a retirement home, but was not getting on there anymore. She is pretty much at the point, where she is unable to function in a gathering, such as a family dinner. She is out of touch with current events, cannot remember what is going on in the lives of her grandchildren, let alone her great-grandchildren and pretty much doesn't even care anymore. Not that she doesn't us. I know in my heart that she does, but time has been cruel. 

My grandmother has Dementia. 

It came on gradually. She forgot what she had bought at the grocery store and bought multiple items of it. Food rotted in her fridge. When the fire department had to be called because she left a pot on the stove to boil and forgot about it, we moved her closer to my Mom, so that she would have someone to look out for her. She also moved into a retirement facility, so that she would get better care. Her meals were provided for her, her laundry done and general housekeeping performed. But it was not enough. Her short-term memory doesn't last much more than five minutes and she is getting angry. She is quick to snap at anyone and disagreeable to the nth degree. I can theoretically understand it, as I think I would be defensive and perhaps a little snappish if I couldn't remember things and people kept treating me like a child. That is theory though. In reality, I don't think she even understands what she is doing when she attacks the workers with a vicious tongue. Or when she stares at family with such fight in her eyes that it feels like hate. I struggle with that. I know I should be understanding, but when she vehemently attacks words of truth, turning them into falsities that we all know are fake, my tongue bleeds as I try to prevent words from flying out. 

You know me. Words are my strong point. My Grandmother's anger, the dementia that has turned her into a nasty and negative shell of who she once was, is so hard to deal with. She taught me never to tell a lie. And I learned those lessons well. Now I struggle not to counteract the words that come out of her mouth. I am ashamed to say that I don't always do a very good job of that. 

So tomorrow my sister and I will go to visit my Grandma. I won't take my children, as I don't want to explain her words that sound like lies, but are in truth the warped reality that is the world of dementia. We will lean on each other, as we pay our respects to this woman who was once such a powerful influence on my life. She taught me how to bake and attempted teaching me to knit. I watched her cook, can and smoke anything that she came across and loved those lessons more than anything as I grew up. Now I will offer platitudes and bring up memories of days gone long ago. For the past is the only place where she lives now. I tear up now, but hope that I have the strength not to get dragged into a fight there. I shall just have to remember to breathe. Smile and breathe.

And keep this video that my Mother emailed me in my head. 

video

Happy Saturday all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget


They fought for our freedom
They gave us their lives
Their families fall weeping
I’ve a tear in my eye

I stand by the cenotaph
Brace cold in the wind
Think of the trenches
Where they hunkered in

The least I can offer
Is this little pin
To say thanks for fighting
Pray never again

~~~
Lest we forget...

This is my tribute to all the brave men and women who put their lives on the line in the name of our freedom.
I offer it up for G-Man's Flash Friday as well.

Thank you



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Retail Shopping = Christmas ♥

Christmas is entering my world. I needed some retail therapy today, so started my Christmas shopping. Yup, it has begun. And it was good!

So, I have had Christmas carols running through my head (compliments of other blog posts) and my eye is scanning the room for Christmas Decor placement already (Snow globe on the new table or would that be better for the stuffed Santa?). I have a neighbour across the road with their light display up and keep thinking that I should get on that too, before I am doing it in the snow. I don't have the giant blowup snow globe to display, but a few lights & giant Christmas balls add a little flair to the yard. I bet the kids would flip for a Santa display on the roof, but it ain't going to happen!

Plus, I have been thinking safety. I will be putting the snow tires on the old clunker to keep all my passengers safe in the van again this winter. Winter coats, hats and mitts have been out for a few weeks, but I haven't broken down and put on My winter boots yet. Heck, I saw people in sandals earlier this week! Anyway, I couldn't find a new pair and last years boots left the soles of my feet a little on the damp side. More shopping!!

Just so that I can get you all in the Christmas spirit too, I thought I would share a video that I bet none of you have ever seen before. It is a familiar song, but with a twist. Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Talking to the Wind


Dear Grandpa;

You lead a full and satisfying life. To you, three daughters were born, and have since gone on to do you proud. They presented you with grandchildren, whom you spoiled and cherished, every chance you got. You even got to see a great-grandchild before leaving this living world. Indebted, we are all a legacy to you.

You saw so much in your lifetime. The television came into existence, along with VCRs, fax machines and now the internet. You fought in World War II and served for many years afterwards in the Air Force. You sweated in steel mills, but I remember you sweating in the garden most. That lovely garden you built on Pender Island, along with a beautiful house to go with it. My memories of that house and garden will warm me for a long time to come.

I clasp my hand around a stone you polished and set. I do not know if it was specifically for me, but I cherish it none the less, for your effort into it. You were always working with your hands, creating something whether it was a green house, the ‘discomboobulator’, a ‘gotcha stick’, or your famous peanut butter sandwiches. You were always doing something. Even in your later years you were President of your local Legion, played bridge once a week with your lady friends on Pender, and you still had time to help advise your children and grandchildren on major life decisions. I recall my Mom, your eldest, asking for advice on job offers. Your youngest also consulted you for advice on important decisions. You had a good head on your shoulders and everyone knew it. Even in your last six months, you were looking into a job for me, despite major operations, recoveries and meeting the newest of your seven grandchildren.

Grandpa, you were the father that I never had. You taught Kerry and I (your favourites, you always said) how to spit, to collect wood and stones (still do that, especially this trip), to gather eggs when you had chickens, to fish, to play crib (and count via muggins), to blow my nose (which I should do now- sniff, sniff) and many of the manners that I rely on today. I have iconized (I know you would tell me to look that word up!) you in speeches (remember my grade 5 speech on your inventions!), in my memories of the summers Kerry and I spent with you and Grandma, (integral to my growing up and formation of personal beliefs and traits), as a teacher (I too have asked your opinion, mine on writing). It seems you had a hand in everything. While expert may be a bit of a strong word, your general knowledge was broad and indepth.

I love you for your hat and suspenders. I picture me snapping them and …Aggh”! Despite your military breeding, that I did not necessarily always agree with (“Front and Centre!”), it taught me respect for my elders and authorities, at least to a certain degree. We finally got you to start using a “please” now and then though, with much effort from our army of kids.

Now I recall helping you on with your socks and can see in my mind’s eye your varicose veins; snakes or worms you called them. I picture you in your rubber boots, with a chain saw in hand, sticking out your dentures at the kids (“arrh!”) and Grandma complaining “Geordie!”

Oh you could make us laugh! I recall more images of you slapping the blunt edge of a knife into elbows, with the words “elbows off the table” or “are you tired?” Your famous pout-catchers almost always got us laughing again, despite stubborn tears. The dreaded whisker rub made us shriek every time too. I could go on and on.

Grandpa, I love you dearly and always will. I carry you with me wherever I go. You are a part of me, as you are a part of everyone you touched. I cannot even begin to paint a complete picture of you, as the colours I have available are insufficient and drab, as compared to the rainbows you left on people. The respect you earned from the world, I flaunt as a memory to you. Many will pause, as your spirit touches the wind.

To SGT George McLeod: husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather; The 23 years I have known you are not enough, but as the hurting flesh is laid to rest, your essence carries me on. May your heart be felt forever in those that pump your blood. Go well, strong warrior. Stay well.

Love ∞

And with that, a scotch was raised to my lips in memory of a great man. My eyes stung, as the ice clinked against my teeth, but I valiantly swallowed my sorrows along with the libation. My Grandfather had died the month before on my birthday. Teardrops littered my journal, as I paid homage to him. The hugs I needed and craved for release were over 6000 kilometres away, but there was nothing that could be done about that now.  I was alone with a grief that needed to be heard by someone, but all I could do was talk to the wind. So I did. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Scars

Saturday's Email of the Week

Saturday has arrived again. I have to say that I am glad to see the week go. There wasn't anything extraordinary about this past week. The week before was rough though and I was riding out the after-effects from it all this week. Do you ever have those moments? Pushing yourself to survive in the middle of a crisis, only to be limp and stumble once you can breathe again? Well, that's me. I can handle crisis. I can be strong and stand up to do what I feel I have to do. Sometimes I might want to hide under a rock or run in the other direction, but I know when I have to face something.

Last week I did.

I put my cat down, then went to a family member's funeral with the girls a few days later. I didn't have to go to the funeral. It was my husband's grandmother, whom I haven't had much of a relationship with since Brad died, but I felt that I should for the kid's sake. Not that they knew her either. And not that they truly cared that she died. I don't say that to be callous, but they are 5 & 6 and not emotionally invested in a relationship that didn't have any flesh and bones to it.  Sad, but true and there is nothing that I can do about that now. What I could do though was take them to the funeral to meet some of their other relatives that are still around. Again, they weren't invested in the experience, but I suspect that some day they will be grateful that I made the effort. Perhaps they will be able to gain a new relationship with some of those family members down the road, that would not have occurred without my intervention. Or not, but I felt like it was my last opportunity to reach out and make that effort, so I grasped a hold of it.

This week, I have suffered for it all. I miss my cat. I dragged up old broken relationships with other members of the kids family, that would seem to be beyond repair forever now. I flogged myself for not being able to fix it all and make it better. But I have to move beyond that. I accept that time has moved on, because I have to, but still feel broken by those failed relationships. It is out of my hands though, so I must let it go. This week I had to process that though and try to shake myself away from feeling bad at kin lost. I have to accept my failings and those of others, and say "it is alright". I have to say and pinch myself until I believe it that "I am alright". Because I am. I cannot bring back a lost kitty, lost grandparents or great-grandparents. But I can accept them, grieve the losses, and be strong enough to let my children see that grief and the resilience that comes with moving on. I have to, because I love them more than anything and they deserve to have a parent that is as stable and imperfect as I can be.

So I guess this week was about healing. It can be an ugly process and I often disparage myself as I move through it. In healing though, once the scar has served its purpose, it falls off to show the fresh new skin underneath. It might be thinner, but it will thicken in time and those scars will be almost invisible to the naked eye. I guess that is what I am gunning for. I have an ugly coat around me, but it will fall off to reveal a beautiful new me underneath. That is the hope anyway.

Peace

video

Here is my handshake for you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

familiar foe

Anger
bubbles through my soul.
caustic curses
that have torn strips off
Me
and loved ones
(my babies small)

Aghast again
venom pours through cursed lips
making me hate
~self~
that
much
m o r e

I know the cause
I know it is bigger,
deeper and more profound
than just a broken nail
blistered thumb
or spilt milk
no...

there is grief there
(familiar foe!)
always ready to push
scrape away esteem
like blowing dust
off my oft-forgotten
soul

somehow easier 
to point fingers
backwards,
elsewhere...
blame time and me
as I sit sadly 
alone

because when it comes down to it
am I not at fault?
is it not I 
with power to hold tongue
to beseech higher powers
to give strength
understanding and love

nay
I crawl back into self
back unto my bed of nails
that I push into hands
eye and mouth
anything 
to stop 
stop
.


(perhaps words and fog 
will make 
these grumps
disappear

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