Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic Gold


I am so proud to be a Canadian. I always love to watch the Olympics, summer or winter. It is especially fun to watch and be the host country. And how sweet is that to win the last medal of the Olympics with a gold against the US in hockey. There are no other words on victory night. Oh Canada, my home and native land! WOOHOO!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow, don't stop us now!

   As the snow blows outside, I keep busy inside tidying. We have visitors coming this afternoon that we have not seen in a while. My sister and niece are going to pay us a visit. Yippee! They are coming down as they heard a little girl had a birthday this past week. They don't want to miss out on all the celebrations, so are coming for the party tomorrow. We are going to descend upon the children's museum for some princesses to show off their royal flare. It shall be a gala affair, to be sure.
   Today though, we have some other activities to put a smile on our faces. Merry Christmas to us, we are going to Disney on Ice. Back when the snow was more welcome, we were given tickets to go see this magical show and the day has arrived. I will have to allow a few extra minutes to brush off the vehicle and probably a few more for slow going roads, but we will be there with smiles on. My girlies are dressed to the nines in their finest princess attire. I have been told that I need to toes the line and must dress the part of princess too. So excuse me my friends, but I must get beautiful. Disney waits for no one...

Friday, February 26, 2010

photo journey through my neighbourhood

Random shots of man


Speed of sound

  Strength of silence



Is there a winner or a loser
punching lines through serene skies

see the birds wing below us
Better days in quiet repose,
countered with fight for tomorrow's home
laundry flapping on the line
speaks security

breeds smug self-confidence

to push into nature's bounty
with disdain

*No Answers*

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blame the Cumquat

   The first few days in South Africa were a barrage of experiences. I fell in love with the belly laugh of my Uncle Jock and felt at home in his warm presence. He wandered me around in his back garden showing me his strawberries (that I devoured), cape gooseberries (that I had never seen before, let alone eaten) and other plant life. He loved his fruit, eating several pieces every day after dinner and I was introduced to paw paws (like papaya) and oranges like I had never tasted before. They were so sweet and juicy! The food did not stop there. My Aunt Elsa was a lovely woman that cooked new and intriguing dishes for me to discover. I tried skulpakie (liver wrapped in fat and braaied), rooi hakskeentjies (translation: small red heels - pickled onion dish), home-made rusks(dried crusts of bread), bobotie (curried meatloaf with egg topping), brawn (gelatinous curried sandwich meat made of calf’s heels and pig’s trotters) and of course was introduced to a braai (a barbecue on a specially built outdoor hearth where a coiled sausage was the headliner amongst several other meats).

   Not only did I have food to discover, but a whole new language to discern; Afrikaans. I thrilled at this new   language and tried to take baby steps at learning words of objects around me.

   “Chicken - hoender. Meat – vleis. Katjie- kitten. Hond- dog.” I stated.

   “Een, Twee, drie… One, Two, Three,” I intoned to the mirth of watching relatives.

   “Dankie,” I beamed to their claps. “Baie dankie”

   Yes, thank you. Thank you very much. My pronunciation was horrible. They were happy to teach me about their culture and world though. Initial introductions were filtered through a foggy brain, but I was keen to learn as much as I could. I took notes on pronunciation. I read books written by local authors, including one relative Uys Krige. I plotted out a family tree to help me figure out who I was meeting and how they were related to me (the first day alone I met 2 aunts, my uncle, my cousin, her husband and one of their children). I listened to tales of my relative’s adventures while visiting in Canada many years before. I shared tales of my own of my country, culture and familiar family that was so far away. And of course I asked questions, questions and more questions. It was exhilarating. It was also exhausting. I made it to 7:30pm the first night and slept straight through to 10:30am the next morning. It is a wonder I had the strength to breathe, I was so tired.

   After about a week in the country, I slowly got over my jet lag. I added another uncle, cousin, her spouse and two children, and another second cousin Francoise to my list of relatives. I ventured out on my own one morning for a walk to the store and took my life in my hands attempting to cross the street. Again I was confounded by transit driving on the other side of the road. Look right, look left, look right, start to cross, and jump back as a car approaches with haste from the wrong direction. It took a lot of getting used to. The experience was empowering though and set me on a path for the independent travel that was to come.

   I also continued to experiment with new food and slowly began to regret it. One too many cumquats pushed me over the edge. The first tentative soft bowels were soon replaced by a full-on case of Traveller’s Trots. It had nothing to do with poor sanitation or contaminated water. It had everything to do with my love of new foods and lack of forethought by ingesting mass amounts of fruit to a body still thinking it was going into the hibernation of winter. Nothing stayed in me and I dropped over ten pounds in less than a week. My aunt fretted that my mother would be horrified by their lack of care of me in such a short time. As I pushed away dried toast and desperately tried to keep down sips of water, I thought again about what a journey I was on. The sounds of bubbles shifting around in a tummy racked in digestive distress did not celebrate the adventure I heralded. This too would pass.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wish fairy

pixie dust and fairy wings,
this is what a birthday brings.
Smiles so wide
with grins to match;
tickle me so it will last.

In days to come
magic powers may fade
a bundle of shoulds  
strapped across back blades.

but tinkle the light
and twinkle the stars
for far and near
a bigger power
doth lies

The little people
are alive and well
just waiting for you
to fall under their spell.

Whisper in the darkness,
murmur in the glade
believers  open eyes to see
their heart's wish already made.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blow baby, Blow!

   Five years ago today I was huffing and puffing. I was glowing and blowing. Right about now I was contemplating sliding into a nice warm tub to ease the pains and strains of my day. It was an enormous amount of work, but I would do it again in a heart beat. That heart beat was my first born child and love of my life. Today is my celebration of her birth, her  celebration of life; T's birthday.
   She put me through my paces, but her brilliant eyes awoke in me a love that I had never known. Her tiny hands reached for me and I gave myself wholly and completely without a thought. How could I not? She was perfect. She was everything I had hoped and dreamed for. The nine months leading up to her birth were some of the happiest days of my life (aside from some hormone-induced mood-altered moments that made me wonder if I was carrying Satan's child in my belly). My life was perfect (how many drugs was I on during that time?) and her happy nature was proof of the quality of my days. I loved everything and everyone at that precious moment that I gained the identity of Mommy. For all the strife and gripe, I would never relinquish my hold on that identity and all it encompasses. I love my baby and all she represents. She loved me, changed me and looked up to me regardless of my rights or wrongs. I in my turn changed her (many times over!), loved her and would give her all the fairies in the glen could I to catch them. Forever she is my baby. Forever she is my heart.  Happy Birthday is shouted through the ethers of my soul. Chocolate cake will be my reward once the sun says goodnight. And it is good...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cleaning the path for light

    So thus far in my day I have attacked my task scheduler with vigor. I picked up a few needed groceries. The bill man got his dues. I jumped on the sturdy vacuum (no, not broom you nasty people!) and sucked up any new crumbs that were added over the last day and a half. My arch nemesis the mop had his way with me and danced me throughout my world. Almost worked up a sweat with that last one! I even swept the hunks and ashes from the hearth, with thoughts of a flame to set backdrop for my evening. I am feeling good. I visited my friends at Threading Light and smiled with gratitude that I am able to state I have friends and people that care about me. Life is a pretty good thing. Tonight there will be conversation, smiles, nibblies and bevvies to sip at. I can think of others that wish me well and am truly grateful for the path that has brought me here. For all the stresses I carry with me, today I thank you who offer your shoulders to lean on, hands to pull me up and smiles to encourage the dance. The snow that blows outside my window covers up the grass that hinted at spring yesterday, but the sunshine remains shining in my heart.
Be well

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Performance Anxiety? Nah...

   So I have to share a little secret with you. I am a little bit stressed. Tomorrow evening I am hosting my book club's meeting. There are a few factors here that cause me angst. The first being that I have not finished the book yet (Yes, I know that I could be doing that now. Thank you for reminding me). The second is that with me hosting I should present a clean and tidy house. This never happens for more than 5 minutes at my house. Yesterday I vacuumed the entire upstairs world, with dusting attachment and everything. Within half and hour lunch occurred and the kitchen floor resumed it's normal state of existence; crumb covered. I live with this, as I know having two girls under the age of five necessitates a mess or two. Tomorrow though I have outsiders entering my abode. Some of the ladies have never been here before, therefore might want a toodle around. I do a great job of looking through things and not even seeing messes. Right now I cannot help but notice the masses of papers cluttering counters in my kitchen. Oh.

   "How do I deal with that?", I wonder to myself.

   So now I feel like I am up for inspection. Ack! I think this is where my anxieties step up to the plate. What will people think of me? I already fail in my eyes, as I cannot live up to my own expectations, let alone anyone else's. No. No, no, no! Stop! Put the brakes on the negative train. I have had enough. I will clean again tomorrow after the children go to daycare. I will do the best that I can and accept what does not happen. Many of the ladies have children and all have a job of some sort or another. I can do nothing but my best and if that means I ask them to walk through the kitchen with eyes cast down, so be it. So what! Will they judge me? Maybe. Maybe not. Does it matter? Not in the grand scheme of things.

   Realistically I do not think I am that worried, if I think about it. It is a sunny day. The girls and I went for a walk to enjoy some of the rays, which is much more important for them and me. We all thrilled to the melting snow and gloried in each other's company. Plus, I managed to put another coat of paint on the trunk that was started many moons ago. So I will close today with a few pics to celebrate the day.

I think that these smiles are worth every bit of sniff I get over a less than perfect house...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Segways

   I have just come across  from my writing course. I am taking a digital  writing course that offers suggestions as to how to promote myself in the digital age. It is an online course with approximately 15 people in the class. This week has been my workshop week. I submitted an early section  from a biography piece I am working on about my cancer journey with Brad. I debated whether I should use this piece, but thought that if I hope to have my words go further into the ethers at any stage, this might be a good forum to introduce it. As I noted to a classmate that gave me comment, they are anonymous for the most part, as I shall probably not meet any of them.  I can read their comments and either take them or run from them as I see fit. They do not have to worry about offending someone that they have vested interest in. I hoped that would elicit honesty. While it is a heavy subject that people have noted and are somewhat leery of cutting apart, I think that I was correct in my assumptions. I have had some good points offered, that has led to some editing. I even offered the same section, plus more to a friend for some critiquing. Before now all these thousands of words have just been mine to play around with. I am beginning the process of changing that. I think that my positive comments from my African tale have helped with that. Thank you to all of you readers out in blog-land!
    While more thoughts could have puttered out there in regards to this, distraction has floundered the writing machine. Grandma and Grandpa have arrived with gifts in tow for two little girls. So alas, I must leave you my dear readers. Perhaps tomorrow I will remember if there was point in what I was about to say. I leave you with thank yous for giving me the confidence to be here every day. Be well. Sunshine wishes to you all.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Silence is Golden

Candlelight and roses set my table

As the day disappears outside my window

Romance perches in a vase for me

With a wine glass for one to enjoy

Thursday, February 18, 2010

ardha chandrasana - Centre yourself. Forget about mice

   The postal carrier brought pleasant surprises to my world today. I rifled past bills, tax forms and donations requests and found two envelopes that contained special greetings. Not one, but two! Lucky enough to have crossed the thoughts of some special someone, but then lo and behold a second. Lovely! And surprises they were.
   The first was not actually that surprising. My daughter's birthday is next week, so a birthday card came in the mail for her. The special thing about it though was that a little extra was put in the envelope to put a smile on her face; stickers. The way to a five-year old's heart. The card was just perfect though, as it almost even looks like her. My little fairy angel  that I love with all my heart is going to be five. Sigh. How do you make time stand still? Some days I wonder and wish. She is growing up, regardless of anything I can do or say. I am happy, but ...

   The next item was much more of a surprise. I recognized the sender, but had no idea of the contents. When I opened the envelope I found this;

   Absolutely hilarious! I love yoga, as many of you know, and of course have kitties that wander through my world. So this special little treat put a smile on my face that was needed. I am going to wash a little girl in a moment, but spent the afternoon washing her car-seat. Yup, the plague is back. More mobile barfing. My favourite. NOT! She is recovering after sleeping half the afternoon away. The soon-to-be birthday girl got to escape to swimming lessons with friends and dinner for them was a restaurant. Sick kid and I dined on noodle soup. Oh well.
  So a big Thank You is shouted out to my friends who think of us today.  Now I am going to go and see what wonderful poses I can contort my feline companions into. Do you think they will stay still long enough to breathe them  into a full lotus? Here kitty, kitty, kitty

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Where do all the animals belong?

  Surely you must have guessed by now that this is my story. These were my experiences from many years ago. I lived them then, but remember them now. A new tale to tell for you my readers. 

    My first taste of the darker underbelly of the Africa of my dreams slowly faded and was replaced by suburbia. Dry scrub gave way to shopping plazas and gated communities. Manicured lawns and familiar fast food restaurants set my vision on its head yet again. Surely lions and elephants did not graze  through KFC's parking lot? Would ostriches bury their heads beside a mall's receiving area? And one could not imagine vultures perched atop walls with broken glass embedded into them to discourage scavenging trespassers. Where was I? Barbed wire seemed to be everywhere. It's presence bespoke anger, mistrust and violence. I wondered how much anger I would encounter in this land that held a past checkered with racial intolerances buried so deep into it's psyche. While mild, I sensed these tensions in my new-found relatives. My uncle kept his opinion in check, perhaps knowing that I might find the ingrown racism distasteful. I sensed it and appreciated it. It was such a far cry from the multicultural world I had left mere hours ago. While I chided myself to think that there were no prejudices back home, I knew that they were not as outwardly apparent or severe as here. What would I find and how would I process the differences in act and thought that I would come across? I watched the world glide by my window. Home seemed like an eternity away.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


   I carry around a mental list with me everywhere I go. Do you? At points I need to write it down as well. Sometimes the act of writing words on a page changes the dynamics of it. I remember names better when I see them written and better again when I write them myself. Same thing with a list. Good thing if I make one, better if I write it down. It stays in my memory and gains significance. I can weed out what isn't so important or place it further down the list and pop more pressing issues farther up on the list. After my hubby died, I had to have a list, as my brain was mush. I was constantly barraged by grief images, so other things did not stand a chance to get recognized or dealt with unless they were written down and looked at. At that point my lists involved many appointments with lawyers, financial consultants, social workers/grief counsellors, as well as the myriad items necessary for the bathroom renovation that I took on (compliments of my father-in-law) immediately following Brad's death. While you may wonder at the timing of such a project, it was a necessary and helpful item to jam into my thoughts. It gave me other focus, aside from always being rocked by grief. The bathroom was terribly ugly, so really and truly needed a face lift. And the bathroom held a fresh and heart-wrenching vision that I could not live with. It had to go. Hence a project and lists of everything from;
  • toilet
  • paint
  • bathtub
  • flooring
  • wall tiles
  • vanity
  • etc, etc, etc
These items needed to be written down, as sometimes there were even little items like grout, toilet paper holder, tile edging, nails, etc. I was familiar with living in the midst of renovations and did not mind the chaos. My brain held more chaos, so it fit that outside of my brain also matched that. The point of the renovation though was to create a new fresh space that held beauty. Once it was finally done, it was a beautiful thing. I loved it. It was the first thing that I tackled all by myself, as far as decision making went and I certainly questioned why I was doing it when faced with picking out exactly which toilet and bathtub would be the best fit for my tastes and my budget. There had not been I or Me for a long time and those words felt poisonous in my lungs. I got through it though.
    Today, I still have my lists. Often, I can function with mental lists and can rhyme off half a dozen items that will need attention at some point in the future (ie. roof, floors, master bedroom). I still tuck renovation projects into the list, as you may remember from last month's endeavours. Other life items take precedence in my mental rotary file though (ie. book birthday party, wrap presents, schedule swimming lessons, pay bills). Last week, a couple of items got crossed off my list. Birthday party for my eldest was booked and invitations were handed out today. Swim lessons were debated and booked, but with complications that will hopefully sort themselves out. A big item that has been on my list for probably the better part of a year was finally addressed today as well. Why I have had such a hard time with it and fought the effort mentally I know and do not know. It is begun though. Yes, today I registered my children for school. I will still continue to debate exactly what the best course of action for both my girls with all of this is, but I took a major step. Life moves forward whether we like it or not. In September, my girls will enter the next phase of their lives. The school bell rings and I must stand outside and watch them go. Check something off the list...

Monday, February 15, 2010

wavering at the glasses edge

   For all the love I tried to pour into my consciousness earlier yesterday, I seemed destined to fall back into old familiar ways as the day progressed. After dinner, and a couple of glasses of wine, I expounded on how much I used to dislike myself, but tried to offer up the claim that I am working on it. For every day that I put on a big brave face and say that I am worthy, I let a tear slide and point out reasons why I am not. I waffle with dreams for the future and drag my heals on making the important decisions that will take me there. I let slip the "shoulds" and balk when I hear them come out of my mouth. For all the attempts at retracting them, I feel their power still rumbling in my heart. I did reach a bit of an epiphany though. Whether it helps or not, I am not sure. I realized that I have always had a difficult time in making decisions. That has always been a part of my personality that I have struggled with. I had a quiet moment with myself and remembered that the journey I have been on has been an incredible struggle and challenge. I am reinventing life and myself. It is one thing to do that, but traits have a way of clinging to oneself. So to chastise myself for not making decisions or moving forward truly does not help myself. I know that my journey has been more than difficult. It has been life changing, but it takes time and effort to also make those changes. Learned habits do not disappear overnight. They must be recognized and given their due. They do not have to keep me in stasis forever, but in taking away their demonization, their power diminishes and change will come. It already has, but confidence is lagging behind. Knowing that I am working on it and that maybe the steps are small and seemingly painful to those around me is just part of the process. I have to move forward, but I am. I am doing it my way and that is the only way that I know how. Stop, breathe, and look into self. Put it all out into the universe and know that it will all come to pass as it should. Learn and love.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine to Self

Valentine to Self

A lovely post that struck a chord for me. I think that I could use more self-love. So perhaps a Happy Valentine's Day to me today.
Here goes then, ten things I like about myself;

1. I am a compassionate soul that wants to reach out and heal all those around me.

2. I breed beautiful, sensitive girls

3. I am not too horribly hard on the eyes (Ok, ok, I think I am reasonably attractive)

4. I have been told I have nice coloured eyes and I will go with that (light brown, if you are wondering)

5. I think that I have a gift for words and images, that maybe one day will produce a book if I can stick with it

6. I like to bake and am happy to report that I am fostering this love in my children

7. I love to garden and appreciate the gifts that are given from the Earth.

8. I am good at getting down to children's levels and making them feel recognized and important.

9. I try always to treat all people as equals and not discriminate against others for their differences. Appreciate the differences, or at least try!

10. umm, hmm; I am not afraid to try different things and look forward to new foods, new places (oh travel, bring it on!) and meeting new people (big groups kind of freak me out still , but I am trying to get myself out there and push my envelope when I can)

There, that wasn't so bad. I am not going to look at this too much or I will revise and criticize. I do not need that today. Happy Valentine's Day to you today. and to me. Hugs

The View

As the car pulled out onto the highway, vehicles zoomed directly at them. With a sharp inhale, she clutched at the door. Heart beating madly, she blinked as the anticipated impact was somehow averted. Her battered eyes looked out the back window, then back to the road in front of them. Her uncle continued chattering without missing a beat. Breath slowly seeped back into her straining lungs. She realized that she really was in a different country now; a different world. Driving on the other side of the road was just a first for her. It was the first of many experiences to come.

While her tired brain tried to adjust to the onslaught of new stimuli, she desperately tried to follow her uncle’s anecdotes. She watched his profile as they zipped along. He had visited Canada when she had been but a very young child. She did not truly remember the visit, or him for that matter, but fairly glowed at the connection that was already there. This man was her uncle. He was her father’s brother; a link to a past that she did not know. She thrilled at his recollections of familiar places and people. She soaked in pictures of the father that had been but a word to her for most of her life. Now fresh images were forming in her consciousness. Her father was filling out in her mind and gaining flesh and blood. It was magical. It was surreal. It was just too much. A quiet tear was brushed away before it sullied her lopsided smile. She was in Africa. It was a dream she had held for more years than she could remember. Right now she was zipping through the Cape Province. She closed her eyes and listened to her uncle prattle, the noise of the car and the whizz of the surrounding traffic. It was real.


When she opened her eyes again the landscape had changed. Table Mountain was still visible in the rear window, but the city had been left behind. The first of the terrain that would become so familiar started to creep in. What was surprising, was the buildings that began to dot the landscape. The red soil gave way to decrepit lean-tos with tin roofs. A few merged into many and then many more. They drove and drove and the shanties took over the world.

“What is this place?” she asked with a wave of her hand.

“Khayelitsche.” Was the curt reply.

It was indeed a shanty town. The kilometers of scabbed together “homes” were made from whatever materials could be salvaged. Barbed wire was liberally scattered everywhere. It was shocking. Poverty was not unknown back home, but not visible on such a level. There were thousands of structures, that all looked like a gust of wind or drop of rain would level them to the ground. These were people’s homes. A clarification from her uncle reminded her of South Africa’s sordid past. This community was home to a black population. Poverty was widespread. Running water was not available to most. Electricity was sketchy. Violence was a given. This was people’s homes. This was their reality. It was shocking.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Arrival (Home)

   Blinking in the glaring sunshine, our young woman looked out at this new world. The moisture that escaped through slitted eyes now had more to do with a need for shade. Home, on the other side of the world, was leaving the sunshine for the cold embrace of winter. Here the spring rays drove arrows into already tender lids. Already there was a need for adjustment, for change.

   Sleep had continued to elude her in her jaunts. Arriving in Germany, she had tried to explore this new city a little, but lack of sleep and time changes left her thoroughly uninterested. She eventually gave up and tried to find a quiet spot to catch a little sleep. Just as she was drifting off a security guard came and shook her. He spoke abruptly in what she assumed was the German language and scowled at her. Desperately trying to bring a German word or two to mind, she tried to apologize  or ask if there was somewhere she could rest her eyes until her flight several hours later. Her stupor left her dull and she shuffled off to find another space to occupy. The flight from Germany to South Africa brought even less sleep. She had managed to  find a few hours rest in a tucked away corner that she added to the small handful from her first flight. The second flight followed moonlight and she was enthralled by the trail of the full moon as it followed her down the continent. She imagined deserts, nomads, villages held close in slumber's grasp. She was truly in a different world and it was getting closer. In a matter of scant hours she would be touching down in the land of her Father's birth. She would be meeting his brother, her uncle, and numerous family members that had been no more than fantasy a short while ago. Excitement began to seep in.

   Now she walked off the plane and down a ramp to the tarmac below. A novel experience alone, as back in her part of the world there were too many months that held inclement weather to discourage outside ventures for those not yet acclimatized. Back in Canada, she would have drifted through a tunnel attached to the stopped plane that led to the airport building proper. Not here. She followed a flight attendant who had called her name and was plunked in front of a smiling man.

   "Welcome!", he fairly shouted as he scooped the bag from her arm. Introductions were proffered with smiles and warmth. Mirth fairly sparkled in her cousin's eyes. This was in fact her cousin's husband and he worked for the airport. This was the first of her kin. Her father's kin.

   He whisked her through security with laughter and pleasantries. She blinked trying to keep up with his jovial banter. Despite her muted brain, she liked this man already. She continued to squint through bleary eyes, but was happy to be there. Before her sleep-deprived brain could catch up, they stopped again. This time it was in front of her uncle. A crooked smile pattered across her creased face. She was home.

Friday, February 12, 2010

22 and life

   Once upon a time, a young woman sat waiting for the call. Eyes downcast, she poured her heart into the journal on her lap. Tear drops dried on the page as she wrote. Hugs received moments before still wrapped themselves around her soul; arms warm with their remembrance. Bittersweet moments to carry into days to come. Adventure traded for letting go of tarnished love.

"First boarding call for flight # ^<~> to Frankfurt, Germany..."

   Her bag was stuffed under her chair and looped around her ankle. While travelling, always be more cautious. You never know who you are going to run into. Strangers might steal your purse, bags or heart. My Father learned that the hard way. Canada was the last stop on his tour before heading home. My Mom put an end to his travelling days. Heart stolen by love, they were married within the year. That story is for another day though.

   This afternoon, the young woman was jetting off to find her father's roots that so long ago had been settled far from his first home. Germany was a transit place for her. The main destination was Africa. A place of her dreams and wonder. What would she see and do? Would she reconnect with the lost pieces of her childhood? The excitement could have been palpable. She wrote of what she should be excited about. The hugs that were fading around her held sorrow in their wake though. A difficult love to leave behind. One that was necessary. Tears still fell and would continue. It was time.

   When her section was called she joined the queue. People shuffled forward pushing boarding passes in front of them. She was leaving behind her home; her life. She wanted to; had to, but ice stabbed into a swollen heart. She found her seat and settled in for the journey. People bustled about on the tarmac. She watched, but saw a lover's eyes staring through her. All night those eyes watched her as she flew through inky skies away from him. Sleep teased and gave her comfort for a few scant hours. Mostly she watched the midnight sky. A full  moon was her guide to a new life. Adventure had begun and she could not close her eyes to the experiences that were bright in front of her. Africa awaited ...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The wind blows through the pages of my map book; destination unknown

Hmmm, a road trip whispers. Different time. Different Places. Different van. Same gaggle o' galoots. I am interested. A small smile creeps into the corner of my thoughts. Good timing. Good people. Good vibes. Yes. Now to make the thought take flesh and fly. Something to work on...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Eyes in the Mirror

Look into the mirror.
Do you know what you are looking at?
Do you know what you are looking for?
  If you dare, stare into the eyes that stare back at you
Can you do that?

I ask me.

Deep, deep into pools of yesterday
Deep, deep into soul
  deep into me

I have looked and seen

I have looked away

tears sliding down dark cheeks
too many demons there
no eyes
just memory

Today a woman stares back at me
some days she is familiar
she smiles
she is pretty.

some days I wonder how she can be there at all
How did she not float away?
ride on a wave of grief
out of the world,
off the edge of the mirror
into someone else's memory.

And yet this morning I got up
and she was there
every day she is there
she is there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Job Title: Author

   I am a little hesitant to say anything, but what the heck. Are we not in the blogosphere to put our words across? To make our voice heard? Do we not take that giant leap of faith in thinking that someone might possibly have some little interest in the things rolling around our heads and what conceivably falls out? Yeah, something like that. I do not have readers falling all over me, but I know there are a few of you who wander by my page to see what interesting things I might spout today. So I will let you in on a little secret. Are you ready?

   I want to be a writer. 

   "WOW", I hear you say. "Yeah, join the club!"

   For those of us that write blogs, I can guess that we all are writers in our own sets. Presumably we would all love to be writers with a capital W. Generally, we accept that this golden dream does not happen for everyone. Well, today I took another step in that direction. I submitted a children's book for consideration. It is a silly animal ABC book. The odds of it getting published are questionable, but the point is that I am taking that first step. I have submitted a few poems to poetry sites as well, with no hits yet. This feels bigger though. It is a bit of a testing ground for me. I am taking a writing course at present which seems to be keeping my writing alive and well. I figured that if I truly want to make a go at being a writer, then I have to start somewhere. So I start by submitting my words out there. I am leaning quietly out of my comfort zone in hopes that I will not be shot down, or worse ignored completely. They both may happen, but I have to know that it happens to the best of them. So today as I sit pondering what life may look like in the future, that darned "What am I going to be when I grow up?" maybe I can hope and pray that some day I can say with pride that I am an author.

Monday, February 8, 2010

you are never, ever alone

On this day of your life, dear friend, I believe God wants you to know...

....that you are part of a Larger Whole, and you are
never, ever alone.

It is tempting, during difficult times, to feel very much
alone, as if you are taking this journey in solo form,
with no one at your side, and no one on your side.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

You are an aspect of The Divine. God lives in you,
through you. "I am with you always, even unto the end
of time" are not just pretty words. They are truth.

-Neale Donald Walsch (paraphrasing Matthew 28:20)

This is borrowed from a blog I visited this morning that I just had to bring here. It touched me. I hope you appreciate, as I did.

have a little faith

I have read a few books by Mitch Albom now and recently finished "have a little faith". A friend lent it to me, as she enjoyed it and thought I might as well. We had recently been talking about faith and religion, so I believe this is what lead to the thought that I might find this book interesting. She did forewarn me that there was much religious talk in the book though, so hopefully it would not deter me or bore me. I have to say, it did not.

Mitch Albom is a Sports writer based out of Detroit, Michigan. Normally that would preclude me from even thinking about picking up a book he had penned. I am not a huge sports aficionado. You might have guessed that already. I do like books though, as is noted elsewhere in this blog. Everyone who knows me, knows this fact about me. As a young child, I always had my nose stuck in a book and often gave up playing with friends to just finish a few more pages. Geek, I know, but I have had some wonderful friends found in the pages of books. I digress.

For Christmas a few years ago, my uncle gave me several books as my present in our family gift exchange. "The Five People you Meet in Heaven" was one of the books and I liked it well enough. I do not recall recognizing the name Mitch Albom and certainly did not recognize him as a sports personality at the time. Shortly thereafter I heard very good things about "Tuesdays with Morrie", so decided to pick that up as well. This was a wonderful little book that had just gone into its tenth anniversary re-release. What I liked about "Tuesdays with Morrie" was Albom's honesty in his writing. He tackled a difficult subject matter, dying, with grace. He was not afraid to paint an candid picture of himself, sometimes awkward or saying the wrong thing, while at the same time expounding on another's good points. It was a heart-warming true story of letting go, but more importantly in discovering the joys that life holds in simple things every day. He steps into "have a little faith" with that same tone.

"Have a little faith" is a true story. It begins with Albom's rabbi asking him to write a eulogy for his funeral. The rabbi has known him all his life and has always taken on a sacred and looked-up to role for him. Albom is surprised and overwhelmed at first, but decides that if he is to take on this responsibility, he must get to know the Rabbi as a man as well.

Similarly to "Tuesdays with Morrie" visits are begun that look at life in all its glory, beauty and ugliness. This story is told parallel to the story of another man that Albom meets. This man is also a holy man, but his faith is that of Christianity. Where Albom's Rabbi is upheld as pure and all-knowing, the Minister's past is unearthed and it is far from pure. Drugs, alcohol, violence and prison all saturate the Minister's past. An ugly picture is painted, but this man finally finds Jesus and gives over his life to him. Where I appreciate Albom's storytelling the most is in his difficulty in moving beyond the Minister's past. He shows his true feelings and offers himself up to criticism with his honesty in questioning this man's faith and character. Could he really have changed so much? Will he not fall back into old ways? The beauty of the two men of faith is that they both show a love for humanity and the will to want to help their fellow man. Albom allows us to see his own growth and in some ways asks us to look beyond our own comfort zones. He asks us to look at the people around us and see beyond what we think we know. We all have our crosses to bear and  regardless of background we are all worthy of love and forgiveness. I looked at Albom as a busy hotshot sports writer that had little time for faith or life and watched him gain a little more humanity. While he painted the picture, I made my own judgement call. He has done the same himself. What he does ask is for  us all to look back at ourselves. Make time for oneself. Make time for others. Make time for life. Thanks Mitch.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Sunshine dreams getting closer
and closer

as little feet walk the forest floor

Discovering little bits of nature

and memories of summer's sun gone by
Perhaps to nourish the earth again,
we hope

but crunching through winter's blanket
with smiles
Our view of the world
painted with questions of future developments
What shall tomorrow hold?

The children chant
"Enjoy today!"

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Sign

   I am tired tonight. It was a reasonably pleasant day, despite T sagging at lunch time. I thought for sure that plans would get cancelled again, but she rallied for the birthday party. Nothing like a group of 2-5 year olds screaming and laughing in a gymnasium to steal the last of your energy, but miraculously super-charging them. Many smiles abounded though, so all is well.
   Now I sit in front of a fire and will it to bring me some warmth. Quiet night in (aren't most nights?) in store. Time for children to retire for the evening, so I can crash too. Be well. Perhaps I will find more wisdom tomorrow. Tonight I have little to offer. As a fellow blogger and I noted, is it worthwhile to write when you have little to say? You tell me. What do you like here and what makes you turn aside? What more could I add? What should I let slide? Looking for some input from all you lovelies out in blogland. Give me a sign!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friends via Chocolate Shortbread

   This post may seem familiar to one I did at Christmas, but I have added a twist. Since everyone seemed to be feeling better today, I thought we would do some baking this afternoon. My girls love to bake and don their aprons faster than I can finish this sentence.  Today's baking was baking with a purpose though. 

   Yesterday after swimming lessons, we were supposed to go to our friend's house for dinner. Well, T kiboshed that little plan by painting the van in (you don't really want the details, do you?). Right then. So I bundled a bootless, coatless T back into the van and called our friends to say that we would not be attending dinner as planned. The problem was that I had just received their house key, as last week we had arrived there first. Not wanting to leave us out in the cold, a key was proffered. Bad timing. As it was now nearing 7pm and no dinner had been eaten by anyone, it was decided that dear D would come over to pick up the keys at around 8pm. Once I had T safely tucked into bed, R and I dined on strawberries, cherry tomatoes, crackers, cheese and left-over noodles. Bless his soul, D showed up with some of the home-cooked soup that would have been our dinner. It was delicious, but I am sure would have been better eaten with friends and a bottle of wine.

   So while I thought to entertain the children with baking, I also recalled a promise I had made at Christmas to make some gluten-free shortbread for N. What better way to fill the day than to serve up a little yummy thank you for being such good friends. So here is a post for you today N, for being a good friend and super support. Your gluten-free chocolate shortbread cookies will arrive shortly. Thank you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

for all that changes, we stay the same

   So, after a few days being tied to the house I have been set free for a day. Little R is riding the motrin wave and flying high. In fact, she was up at 6:30 this morning. Very unseasonable for a little girl who usually peeks out from under her covers closer to 7:45 ish. My girls appreciate sleeping in. I like that, as so do I. She cuddled for a little bit, then tired of trying to lie still and quiet, as Mommy pretended to drift back to sleep. It didn't really happen. She did eventually head off in search of the TV though. Bad Mommy tucked back under snuggly warm blankets and tried to remember where I was in my dream. Ack, day has begun...
   When I did eventually rise, the sun was streaming in through the windows. It looked like a beautiful morning, that deserved embracing. Sniff. Motivation just not up to snuff yet though. After dosing everyone with their morning meds, we headed out to face the day. Despite complaints from R that she wanted another medicine and tears that she wasn't getting it, we left the house. I expected her to attach herself to my leg at Daycare, after spending the last two days with me, but she entered the room with her regular smiles. Kisses goodbye and the day was mine!
   The day is mine. Sigh. Now the clouds have reformed. Oh well. I saw an old friend at my new yoga class this morning, but missed my other class terribly. Hugs to you Randolph! A nice treat was tea and cookies afterwards though. It was a lovely social setting that I appreciated. Wellspring truly is a magical place. I pray you don't, but if you ever have need it is a wonderfully supporting place. At times I have wondered whether it truly was the place for me, but any time I question I get a resounding "YES" from any and all. The people that walk through their doors have seen such adversity and yes, I am one. I have lived through a cancer journey. I may not have had the disease myself, but as caregiver I have permanaently been painted as well. For some reason it has been weighing with me again this last little while. Oh gray skies! Just blow away already! I need some sunshine in my soul. Pleasant activities in the next little while should help. Dinner with friends after swimming, a playdate tomorrow and birthday party on the weekend. Smiling children tend to rub off on you. Here's hoping
   I am anticipating responses, so send out big thank yous to "me", R and L. Knowing that friends are out there and caring makes the day a little brighter.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Face the list

   Well, I had hopes for today, but plans dashed again. Ah, who I am kidding? I dropped the girls at daycare and went to stare into a coffee cup at my favourite coffee shop. I made a list of things that I should/could be doing now and in the near future. I then promptly threw my handy dandy memo pad back into my purse and took my coffee to go see some artist friends. Screw lists, I would watch artists in action. I arrived  and immediately started winging about the fact that my cat has decided to test my strength of self again by peeing in the upstairs bathroom. Worse, that she peed on my daughter's sweater yesterday, which I discovered when I was picking her up at the end of the day. Gross. Truly, it was not even me that noticed it, but another parent that was picking up her son and thought that maybe he had an accident. Nope, it was my daughter. Smelling of cat pee. Poor thing stunk. Yuck. As I sat and got sympathy for my woes and suggestions of what to do (they are both experienced at the cat pee issue), my phone rang. It never rings. Except when the daycare calls. Which is who it was. Sigh...
   So I have picked up my sad little girlie and tucked her into the couch. She is topped up with Motrin and will hopefully feel better when she wakes. I am playing a little avoidance, by sitting at the computer, but seem to be coming to the end of my post. So alas, I shall go work on striking a few things off my list that was created this morning;
  • clean the house
  • pay bills
Perhaps tomorrow will be a new day...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Plan; Nixed!

   Today has not gone according to plan. Funny how that happens when children inhabit your world. In the pre-dawn hours a cry rang out. I was instantly awake, but lay still for a moment. Perhaps it was a dream. No, there it goes again. Tears. The tears of an ear infection. I have heard them many a time before. I can tell by looking at her, listening to her. Yes, Dr Mom dons her hat again. A hug and a kiss. The best medicine. Not enough this morning. A second trip brought Motrin. Go on the pain relief, hopefully go back to sleep train of thought. Tuck back into bed, just about asleep... and again. Water. I know she is not feeling well and I tell myself this as I stumble to the kitchen to get a sippy cup filled with vodka water. Maybe sleep? Nope. Just warm enough to start drifting off again and she whimpers again. I cringe and try to escape under the blankets further. I am sending reiki, therapeutic touch, rainbows and sleeping aids at her from under my pillow, but I hear her open her bedroom door crying. "Make it stop", I whimper to myself. Alas, not to be. I call to her and she finally comes and crawls into bed with me. Kisses and snuggles and finally I win. She drifts off to sleep. I too edge back towards dream land, but am rudely jarred back by the alarm. Grrrr. Snooze. The alarm is insistent though. I have windows being installed this morning. My man proclaimed he wold be here by 8am. The alarm reminds me of this yet again. Finally, I accept my fate. I carefully slide my arm out from under my sleeping baby and head to the shower. She is good and asleep now. Looks blissful. Jealousy will get me nowhere though. Coffee will.
   So I clean the sleep out of my eyes and slip into my jeans. My big girl blearily stumbles into the bathroom with one eye open.
  "Morning," I state.
   Yes, it is. Milk gets poured, followed by the integral coffee. The minutes tick and I wonder if our agreed upon time was 8:30, not eight. I could have got a few minutes more sleep! R materializes in the kitchen rubbing groggily at her face. Time to call the doctor. I have been anticipating this since last week. An appointment is set and I check the clock again. Now I have to be to the doctor by 10:15 and have my eldest dropped off at daycare beforehand. Still no windows.  At 9:00 I call my guy. Are we still on, I postulate. I suggest that I thought we had a date for 8am. He is on his way and asks what time it is. He sounds surprised to hear it is already nine, but promises to be there in 15-20 minutes. Hrmph. Starting to count minutes now. Kids into snow suits and we are out the day as he pulls in. He jokes that he won't steal my flat screen TV and I laugh. Yeah, right. It is a hand-me-down old-school model. Don't steal the kids toys. I am off. One kid down and we arrive at the doctor's with a few minutes to spare. No big deal, as we wait for half an hour to get in to see her. Luckily my "sick" child entertains everyone in the waiting room with her stuffies and hellos. Yeah, I really needed that emergency appointment. Paranoid Mommy moment? Nah, I am justified by another raging ear infection. Good times. We drop off her prescription, pick up money for windows, then pick up her prescription hoping to still find my house standing and maybe with new windows in place. The guys are still there. They are almost done. And you know what? The windows look great!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunshine walk

I needed some fresh air and sunshine.
So I went for a walk near my house.
It was still, but for a few companions
and evidence of others in days past.

I soaked it all in
with my senses admiring the world around me
scents, colours, sounds

Life in small steps


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