Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So what whirlwinds have befallen my world? My children start school in less than a week. I know some of you dear folk have children already started for the week, are home-schooling, or just plain have empty nests so don't even note the turning of the calendar. I have been dreading this day for years now. My children will be starting school the day after Labour Day. I know that I am being a perfectly normal irrational parent by worrying my damn fool head off. Like I said, I have been worrying about this for years. I have preferred to live in the present moment. The here and now, which always had my children and I at leisure to pick and choose our days. The thought of school starting makes me freak about the permanence of it. Once they begin, they are on the steady road to the teen years and beyond. You all tell me how damn fast kids grow. I hear you and BELIEVE you. While I have wished for so many todays to pass, I rue every minute that I have not been the idyllic parent. I have pushed myself to be the best Mom and too many times the best Dad as well. I know I cannot and should not try to be everything, I cannot help trying to provide what I think their father would have wanted and been. I also hear him telling me to relax, when I allow myself to slow down for a minute. When I feel him offering me kindnesses though, I melt. Forever I want him back by my side to watch our children grow. I know he is there and sees, but it is not the same. I know that I do not need to compensate, but I can't help it. I know how to push myself best and push, push, push I do. There have been breakdowns aplenty to show the futility of it, but sometimes I cannot resist. 

So right now, while all I want to do is stop the clock, perhaps run away, I hear him say to stop. I cannot. It will be fine. I know this, but he tells me anyway. I need to hear it, despite the tears that threaten. It is change. It is hard. It happens what comes what may. Change is necessary and holds good. It does. I am still holding tight to my abstinent need to resist up to the bitter end though. Starting school is the start of a new life for us all. Me, I want to stubbornly stick to my pre-school ways and say "I don't wanna!", but the teacher says that I have to 
and the teacher is life...

Monday, August 30, 2010


Summer Time

The last few days have been a wonderful break.
Company brought an excursion to the beach
where we encountered soft sand, feathered friends

waves, sailing ships

swimming and sunning to our hearts content.

 I love not feeling like I have to do anything
be anywhere, or worry about what life holds next.
It is all left behind
as the hot sand sears away all responsibilities
and worries of tomorrow.

I wonder what I would do if I lived there
with the beach outside my window
and the waves beckoning day and night
would I still love it?

Of course!
As I would always have stuff like this to come home to
that would drive me right back out again.

Anyone up for the beach again tomorrow?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fungus Find

"Oh Mom! What is that across the street?" 
yelled over her shoulder
as she runs to the curb. 
She knows not to cross the road without permission.
With a glance out the window
 I recognize that I need a glance out the door
to get closer
 to the mysterious find of hers

"I believe it is a fungus;
from the mushroom family,
but with a closer inspection
we will certainly more see."
Crossing over to inspect
Through camera lens and her eyes
I am drawn back to nature
with wonder at the form and mystery of life.


I really am constantly bowled over by the view 
of the world through my daughters eyes. 
Just breath-taking and beautiful.
Thank you doesn't do justice to what they offer me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Busy as a Bee

I have a house full of people. Yesterday I was a busy bee running to pick my aunt up from my Mother's house so that she could visit for the weekend. She is visiting from BC.

Things might be backwards around these parts for a few days while we visit. Today we will just be hanging around. A friend of mine is in hospital for an operation, so her daughter was here for a sleepover last night. Pizza and movies were up for entertainment last night. Today is scheduled down-time.

So while it might be painful at times, I don't think you will see as much of me for the next few days. I might be around, but weather depending we could hit the beach for sun and fun. A farmer's market might provide a spell of entertainment. The Aberfoyle Antique Market is calling my name. All good fun, but I will miss you all terribly. I promise to come visiting as soon as the house clears out again. In the meantime my friends, I wish you all a fantastic weekend. MWAHHH!!!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beauty Makeover

uneven, cracked
shifting, crumbling, breaking
needing to be repaired

messy, fractured
heaving, popping, cracking
one way to fix the floor

necessary, timely
removing, replacing, resealing
hope to get more than three years

placid, unfazed
screwing, sizing, skim-coating
all part of a beauty renewal
master bath floor

Here is a little Cinquain poem for the good people at One Shot about a bathroom repair job going on amidst the rest of life's little intricacies. It is dedicated to the Tile Guy (aka Murray)! He heard my shout out for help around the house and showed up with a contractor hat on. Mwah! The best; you are the best!! Hopefully I can post some pics of  a brand new floor before I know it. Enjoy and Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Worst Road in Africa

Conversation stopped. The road engulfed us all. We held our breath, scanning for the pavement to re-appear in vain. I could not help, but glance out the window watching for remnants of other vehicles that perhaps did not fare as well on this stretch of road. I did not want to see fallen remains, but my brain refused to forget the stories of rain drenched tracks that sucked overland trucks and transports deep into the mire. I could not stop replaying tales of vehicles colliding when there was no other path to avoid it. There was no where to look to avoid the images.
The ruts in the road got steadily deeper. We began to hear a scraping noise as we rolled forward over the broken terrain. My heart beat a little harder, even as my breath slipped from me in whispers. The minutes turned into hours and still the road before us lay as a scathing reminder of a country nowhere near healed from the gaping wounds forced upon it. I was horrified at the appalling state of something that I took for granted back home; a simple roadway to take me from point A to point B. This thoroughfare was the main artery to get goods from the capitol and its harbor to the rest of the country. This road linked the two biggest cities in Mozambique. This road was broken beyond any reasonable expectation of repair and yet it was still imperative and  utilized. I sat in shock, unable to truly comprehend this failure of a system. The needle on our gas gauge slowly inched its way away from the large F, as the miles dragged behind us at a painstakingly slow pace.
When we could avoid it no longer, Arnie was gently eased to a halt. Normally one would stop a vehicle, turn it off, open the gas cap, refuel, replace the gas cap, pay for the fuel, then restart the vehicle and be on your merry little way. We had a couple of very distinct issues with normal on that day. For one, Arnie pretty much refused to start by the simple action of turning the key in the ignition. No, in general our vehicle relied heavily on good old muscle power to give it a big push to get it on its way again. With enough momentum built up, Arnie’s engine would fire to life. Stopped in the still muddy rut from a rain storm that was another’s memory, we pondered what to do. We could not hope or dream of pushing a kombi on the unforgiving path. Should we then leave the van running, so that we would not be stuck, but perhaps tempt the fates by fueling a running vehicle? Driver’s ed from years ago told me “no, no!” at the thought of this tactic, but our choices were slim. We might not even be able to get moving again regardless of whether the engine was running or not. The choice was made to avoid what seemed to be the worse fate and we poured in half of our precious petrol to the still running van. No pushing was required at this pit stop, but further down the road we would not be so lucky.
Yes, the road was not kind to our van or our spirits. We clung to our prayers that our lowly van would stick to the road. At points our prayers were answered and we were required to jump out and push Arnie back into motion again. With mud-splattered clothes, we climbed back into our caked kombi and continued our journey of hell. Another road side fill-up became imminent, but again the fates were tempted and we won. And still the trek pushed on.
With the last of our jerry can emptied into Arnie’s hold, we began to search for a break in the tire tracks of mud with earnest. The light of the day was waning and we wondered if perhaps we had pushed our luck too far this day. I forced myself to not think about what would happen if we ran out of fuel in these road ruts. It just could not happen. My hands throbbed as I clenched them ever tighter. The needle on the gas gauge bobbed closer to E. Panic pushed us as a tailwind. As unspoken dread  seemed to mount beyond reasonable bounds, someone noticed something. The incessant scraping noise became quieter, then finally stopped. The ruts were getting shallower. Before we could even throw out a hope, we scraped heavily on a lip of asphalt and were suddenly back on solid land. A cheer erupted from us all, as though we had beaten a fearsome dragon. It was quickly countered by another glance at the gas gauge though. We were not out of the woods yet. We knew we had to reach the T-junction. We had been told that there was a gas station there. Speed was of the essence now and we raced towards the finish line. Would we make it in time? Adrenaline gave us the lift that we hoped we be our saving grace. The needle inched ever closer to E.
There was no denying it. E was for empty and that was where the needle sat. Not certain how long we could fly on fumes, we began to glide down hills that we came upon. Tears almost sprang to my eyes, as a little village hove into site. Again we praised aloud the end of our flight, as we pulled up to the stop sign. Too soon we realized that with salvation at hand, we were still lost. Should we turn left or right? No gas stations were in sight and no signs pointed in the direction that would get us to the closest fill up. Could we make it. A light began to slowly seep red on the dash. Right would take us towards Beira, left the border. Our discussions decided right, but after a scant few miles we suspected our error. We did a wide U-turn and raced back West again. We coasted down hills and leaned forward bodily when mounting the next. Perspiration won as stress levels reached insurmountable heights inside our battered van. With a red light blazing on the dash, we ascended another hill and were met with the beautiful sight of a neon sign announcing GAS. Luck finally smiled upon us, as the station was still open when we drifted onto its beautiful lot. We laughed, hugged  and hooted in a crazy celebration of triumph. We had battled and won the challenge of the worst road in Africa.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where the road ends ...

With the fresh light of day, we packed up our tents and had a quick breakfast to fill our bellies. The road ahead of us lay heavy on our minds. We had already seen many rough patches of road, so  wondered how bad this new stretch of road would actually be. Little prickles of uncertainty scratched at my brain, but with another new traveler joining us to help with the driving, it seemed that the destination was onward and upward.  We had no way to reach our fallen comrade Brett, so turned to the bumpy road ahead of us and focused on getting back to him however it took.
We had already seen a fair share of potholes on our journeys through Mozambique, but now they got wider, deeper and more frequent as our little Kombi chugged along the highway. The suggestion to stop for gas had been pushed at us heavily before we had left. Stories of buses and transport trucks getting stuck on the road, falling off the road or simply running out of gas along the road  were numerous. We had listened to the stories with growing trepidation and as we saw the petrol station grow in our sites, we paid heed and pulled off to fill our tank. We had even prepared by bringing a jerry can as well. It was filled to the brim and we prayed that it would be enough to see us through to the other side. The horror stories had suggested it was a must. I for one did not want to be left stranded to the elements in the middle of nowhere. Looking at a map, it appeared that no towns or villages would meet us till we reached the end of Highway 1. By all accounts, it sounded like it would be a tight squeeze to make it that far. There were no other roads to take though.
We pulled away from the gas station with  a full tank hoping we were ready to conquer the divide. The road continued to degenerate. Soon we found ourselves swerving all over the road to avoid the ever-growing potholes. Whole sections of pavement slid deep into gullies. Our speed dropped, as we feared the unknown gaps in the road ahead. At points we crawled to a slither to bump into and through more manageable obstructions. Conversation become sparse and was relegated to sightings and suggestions of how to manoeuvre the road. Windows were cracked enough to dispel the heavy breath in the van.  Dust filled our lungs instead.
Just when we thought that the road could get no worse, we eased to a stop. We had just finagled a particularly nasty stretch that saw us careening from one side of the road to the other and scraping our exhaust pipe in the process of avoiding especially deep drops in the roadway. Now as we surveyed the road ahead of us, we began to realize why the warnings had come so thick and fast. A mere metre in front of the van the road ceased to exist. The asphalt road stopped. The path that lay in front of us was two rivets in the mud. No concrete could be seen as far as our eyes could stretch. This was the main highway. The only highway leading from the capital to Beira, the second largest city in Mozambique. We would have to descend into this trench, if we were to get to the other side. I was speechless. There was no other way, but forward. If we met another vehicle on this road, we would be in a bad way. I tried not to let my mind dwell on this fact, as we slowly inched Arnie into the tire tracks that would take us out of this country. If we made it out the other end.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Road Home

I am home.
I survived six hours
Two road-side pee breaks
Pretzels, rain, juice boxes
And more rain
Listening to promises of closed roads
And dreaming of pizza
And beer
Well, lookey that! That there looks like 160, bang on. hunh.
Bet there are some better ones out there, if you go looking.
Check over at Monkey Man's and see if I didn't tell you so!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The End of Your Song

Tears stream,
nay in yesterday's dream,
but drizzle fair
given memory's care.
 I walked this path before...

I need no help
to see your face,
yet wordsmith's gift
took me back to that place.
  This path took me right to your door...

Bedside horrors.
Unbelieving strife.
It wasn't supposed to be like this!
This shouldn't be my life!
   The door thrown open once more...

Words lost between ethers.
Throat dry in the chaos.
My pleading eyes
leave no room for lies
    Propped open to dramas of undone life ...

They turn away their shoulders
intent not to stare at my loss
lest it find ways to their doors.
I mute and dumb, crumble as shock kicks in
     Undone by the end of your song...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Loving all God's Creatures Great and Small

   Whew, what a day! The girls had a field trip to Storybook Gardens today with their daycare and I was forced volunteered to go along as a chaperone. They pretty much know that I am willing to go along on most field trips, so just expect me to tag along. As I used to work in the daycare field, I am not afraid of the little buggers darlings and relish getting a little outing in on occasion. Good practice to keep me sharp by yelling at other people's kids to find their partners, stay with the group and keep their clothes on. Actually I only had to re-clothe one child. Surprise, surprise, it was one of mine. sigh...

   We (yeah, ok mostly they) climbed pirate ships, screamed down giant slides, splashed with wild abandon in the spray zone (that one had me written all over it) and generally had a super swell time. I cannot tell a lie though. I really do love going on class field trips. I already know all the children's names in both girl's classes, but hanging out lets me get to know them all a little better. I get to see them on their terms playing and having fun. The smiles are contagious and their lightness strips the years off my soul. It reminds me why I love children. Yes, sometimes I do need reminding, strange as it may seem. Children's exuberance, joy, amazement at life and pure honesty is just beautiful in my books. Of course, when we returned to the daycare, I deeked out to buy groceries for dinner leaving my little angels behind, just so I could get a few minutes of kid-free time to myself for the day. We are headed away to my  Mom's trailer for the weekend, with big family birthday celebrations on the roster, including my sister and her two little ones, so I am not expecting any more kid-free moments the rest of the week. The one kind thing I did do for myself (really, probably for everybody) was to wait to go up until tomorrow. We were going to head out today, but all I wanted to do when we got home from the field trip was to pop open a beer, so that is exactly what I did. Tomorrow is another day; A New Day in fact. ;)

   I think I will just leave you with a few moments of my day that stood out for me as especially poignant. The children had all been dragging as the lunch hour approached. Both my girls were leaning on my arms, as well as the child of the other parent within our little group. Having a parent on a field trip seems to give a green light for extra suckiness to appear, but thems the brakes I guess. So when we announced food on the horizon, many little faces lit up. All the groups that had dispersed from the daycare, reconverged at our appointed rendezvous spot. I was amazed, nay flabbergasted that thirty + little people waited patiently with plates in front of them till everyone in the group received their meals. With a shout to dig in, food instantly commenced to disappear. It was all very civilized, with some laughing and joking, but no continuous urgings to "eat" or "stop that". Wow. Fresh air is an amazing encouragement. The moment that struck me though was after the sandwiches had disappeared and the apples were being crunched on. My eldest noticed that the father in our group had a spider on him. He was apparently nonplussed, but it went further than that. His son knocked off the little arachnid, but it kept coming back. Dad finally got it and let it crawl on his hand up his arm without batting an eye. The kids in the vicinity just watched in interest. No one ewwed or screeched. It spun a line down off his hand and hung there for a moment. His son peered in and jumped back as it blew towards him, before it jetted off for adventure in other areas of the park. It made me laugh to see the boy jump back, but he certainly wasn't overly fazed by it. This was almost immediately followed by the discovery of a caterpillar. This little creepy crawley was a wee beauty. It was small and fuzzy, mostly black, but with white highlights. The caterpillar again crawled up and down Dad's hand and was soon transferred to son waiting palm. Many boys crowded around to look, as did my daughter. She got her chance to have its little legs put some miles on her skin, before she handed it on to another. Eventually it was released and all the children agreed that it had to be returned to a bush. No squashing of this delicate creature. It touched me as a great learning moment about the beauty and breadth of all living creatures. After packing up the lunch detritus, we started back into the park for more fun, only to discover another caterpillar. This green one was worse off than the other creatures we had come across over our lunch. It appeared to have been partially trodden upon, but still relatively whole. Everyone crowded around to look and agreed that it needed to be moved out of harm's way. A stick was quickly found and the ailing caterpillar was relocated to a garden bed where nice fresh leaves could be had. No screams, stomping on or laughter here. Just tender empathy from a group of five year olds. For me a special "wow" moment. Yeah, I like nature and it warms my soul to see people kind-hearted towards it. For all the laughter that was had throughout the day, that was my favourite part of my Thursday. If you made it this far in my reverie, I thank you and wish you happiness and tender moments in your day too. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I fill my days with running
   I try...
The images are cunning
   I cry...
They come to me 'tween heartbeats
   and pry...
Reminding me of anniversaries
   thoughts fly...

The harvest fills
my hands and days.
I stock my shelves
with jams and pray
that frozen images
will away,
   just for today...
   I pray...

I fill my days with running
   I try...
The images are cunning
   I cry...
They come to me 'tween heartbeats
   and pry...
Reminding me of anniversaries
   thoughts fly...

Your hands so cold
are but a dream.
Their sturdy tasks
so far it seems.
While once
you stood beside my bed,
now memory
lies close instead.

I fill my days with running
   I try...
The images are cunning
   I cry...
They come to me 'tween heartbeats
   and pry...
Reminding me of anniversaries
   thoughts fly...

The waning days of life
Inside my head
my stories told.
best left to lie
til pillows hold
yesterday's gifts
that still feel bold.

I fill my days with running
   I try...
The images are cunning
   I cry...
They come to me 'tween heartbeats
   and pry...
Reminding me of anniversaries
   thoughts fly...

just for today...
I pray...

Busy days keep me running, but I cannot forget some things. My friends at OneShot are one of them. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Some Days

Some days,
 I want to hiss and burble
splurting old rusted words
and tears everywhere
as I break my rotting hold
on existence
that has gone beyond
its expiry date.

Some days,
no amount of
trying, tape or trauma
can revive
past due promises
that remember
those shiny hopes
of yesterday's beginnings.

Some days,
I pray 
for the pipes to burst,
the dam to flow 
so i can rip out 
my old decayed heart
filled with detritus and disease.
Aye; yet replace with plumbing brilliant and new.

Some days...

Some days,
I ponder
wondering what to write
thus I visit friends
and pick up inspiration
where I may
like today
with my visit to Magpie Tales.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bringing out the Big Guns

buzzing slowed as activities ceased for the day
my activities could begin
I pulled on gloves bought at the store
grabbed the oven cleaner out of the bag


Here's hoping that I make it. I discovered wasps busily making a nest in the venting bricks in my house. Lovely. I  tried to piss them off last night with a spray of the hose, but tonight I am going in armed a little heavier. I wanted to post tonight, in case my fingers are swelled up like fat sausages tomorrow. For other entertainment, swing by Monkey Man's place for his Sunday 160. Pray for me!

P.S  Maybe I should have a few less flowers to attract the little buggers 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Foggy Fuzzy Thoughts

Just about ready to crawl into bed. NO, I lie. I am ready. A cat is snoring away beside me and I wonder why I am not doing the same as of yet. I was up late doing some editing on some writing that I have been plugging away at and hope to turn into a book one day. I love the process, but wish that I could just sit and write, write, write while the words are flowing until I am done. Unfortunately, things like the clock ticking past 1am and the knowledge that two little girls will crawl into bed with me in the AM regardless of what time I go to bed, stops the flow. Then I need to find my muse and mo again. Not tonight though. Both cats are in. I finally returned a call to my sister and should get up in the morning for a potential play date that may or may not materialize. Hopefully my mind will co-operate and just fall asleep instead of swirling around images of what a working world looks like and how I can coordinate it. 

Not even going to go there.  Before retiring for the evening I am going to share some of my recent Becky Home-ecky moments. Here are the fruits of my labours from last week. On the left is some of the batch of sweet pickles I recently made and the right is a one of the jars of dill pickles that is ear-marked for a friend of mine that loved my garlic dills from last year. Put in your orders folks! The corn is tempting me to try my hand at corn relish. The peaches beg to be concocted into an array of yumminess from Peach Amaretto Butter (last year's was delicious but more like syrup- great on pancakes), to peach jam or maybe even peach pickles? Hmm... Must go to sleep. I can dream of my canner and smile.

P.S. This probably wasn't worth the effort of popping by today and I apologize for that, but I will try harder again later. Peace out...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mid-Summer Reflections

Hello my friends. Good of you to stop by today. I have had a wonderful summer thus far, full of relaxing by the beach, visiting with family and friends, gardening and whatever whatnot that has held my fancy. I have to admit though, that works has been the last thing on my mind. Not exactly true, as I have thought about it, but just have not undertaken much paid employment. Things are about to change a little bit in that respect though, which I have to admit is probably a good thing. My little bee in the picture knows the value of a little labour. I think it is time I did too. This might mean a few less posts here, as I will be doing writing for others so my brain might be empty at the end of the day. As this has been my focus for the last couple of days, I don't feel an awful lot of inspiration today. Since I didn't post yesterday, I had to pop by for a few minutes anyway though. I thought I would take you for a wander through my garden today for a change in pace. I hope you are having a happy week, be it productive or relaxing. Enjoy!

Balloon flowers still blooming

These delicate little flowers were a gift that I was allowed by a dear woman that I gardened for last year. Their beauty  and hardiness remind me of her every time I look at them.

My butterfly bush hoping to attract a few winged friends to the garden.

 These unique sunflowers have a heady honey scent that is tempting for bees and me alike.

A green zebra tomato that is almost ripe. I cannot wait to taste this heirloom variety and hopefully save a seed or two so we can continue to preserve its quality.

This little gourd is compliments of last year's leftover Thanksgiving display. I cannot wait to see what colour it ends up and how big it grows!
Another heirloom variety plant picked up from the Gathering on the Green in the spring. This is the second eggplant I will have got from this plant thus far. I bought the plant on a whim, but my first taste was pure Yum!
and a little more sunshine at the end of the day
peeking through the black-eyed Susan.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Heart of Stone

Love is in the air
on the beach; everywhere.
be still my fading heart
whilst I am handed fresh cares

through your eyes
I see the joy
of nature grand
cast asunder upon the sand.
Again, reminder wrought
that perfection lies not
upon bended knee,
but in whimsy sought.

how'st that I can beg,
plead for more
when nature's gifts
spread via children's lips

yea thou my ragged heart
doth question life's path on
occasion too numerous to writ
today a heart -not foregone



 never throw away
my love.


A day at the beach last week with inspiration and love handed to me by little hands.
Shared with you and my friends at One Shot

Monday, August 9, 2010

Adventures off the Grid

Another day, another beach.  I wished all the goodness of my heart to the beautiful people I had met in Praia de Tofo, but it was time to move on. We headed North on the only good road in Mozambique and found shelter in Vilanculos. The road was getting progressively worse. We had weaved all over the road avoiding potholes that would have ripped axles, wheels and whatever it could have snatched, right off. We pulled into a little compound by the ocean to call home for a few days. The sight of an outdoor shower in the middle of the walled compound brought a smile to my face. As we had been camping by the sea, with no facilities to speak of in Praia de Tofo, a good scrubbing was in order. On checking in, it was suggested by the people that ran the camp to shower in the afternoon. A morning shower would be cold, as the large bucket was filled every morning. By afternoon, the water would have had a chance to warm up, therefore sun, soap and  sun-warmed water would cleanse our bodies and souls. Point noted. I luxuriated in a warm, sunlit soak later that afternoon and felt like a new woman.
First though, we stowed belongings in our quickly erected tents and went off to explore our new home. Again the locals seemed warm and friendly, with smiles offered from all we met. The charms of Mozambique were certainly working their magic on me. Unfortunately, other factors were working on Brett again though. Our first night there was a sleepless one for him, with little sleep attained by the rest of our travelling band, as we watched him writhe in pain. It was obvious that the kidney stones had not worked their way out yet. He needed to get medical attention. There was a small clinic in the village, but this would not be enough to help Brett.  The problem that we quickly discovered  was that there was not even a telephone here. The closest phone was in Inhambane, which was where we had left the day before; a full day’s drive away. We scrambled around town trying to figure out a course of action and discovered a small airstrip. Our hopes were dashed to discover a flight out, but full up. To charter a flight to Johannesburg would cost $1500 US and without a phone to call Brett’s health insurance company to get them to pay for the flight, it was a moot point. We did not have the cash between us to pay for it and that was the only method of payment they accepted. Brett could barely stand and had trouble catching a full breathe. It was decided that we would get him on the bus back down to Maputo where he could catch a flight to Johannesburg. Miki and I gave him money enough to get him there and prayed that he would be able to withstand the journey that led to salvation.
With teary eyes, we watched the bus depart headed South. In the hurried rush to get our ailing travelling companion attended to, we had made a rough plan. Brett would take the bus to Maputo, then continue on a flight to Johannesburg. We knew there that he would be able to find modern medical assistance to tend to his ills. Once recovered, he would make his way back up to Harare, Zimbabwe where we would reconnect. In the mean time, Miki and I, along with Oliver and a new Aussie travelling companion by the name of Rob, would make our way North. The dreaded highway towards Beira would be tackled and we would veer off towards Zimbabwe and eventually Brett.
Praying that Brett would be recovered soon, but knowing that we would have a stretch before we saw him again, we tried to distract ourselves by taking in the sights. We bumped into travellers that we had met back in Tofo, and they convinced us to take in a dhow excursion to Magaruque.  A dhow was described to us as a local sailboat. While it sounded enchanting, the day was not. The dhow was absolutely ancient and very tippy. The day was sunny and beautiful, but hot. We found shelter under beach umbrellas at a hotel in the middle of nowhere, but got run off by a very angry hotel manager. The next closest patch of shade did not accommodate the seven of us very well, so we moved on to snorkelling. It was magnificent, but we returned to our dhow captains dehydrated and severely scraped by coral, only to find that we had misunderstood our arranged meeting time. We had thought they had said 3pm, but were informed by the angry men that we were supposed to have returned at 13:00. Oops. With a new experience under our belts, we bid adieu to the day. A rough road lay ahead of us and we would need a good sleep to give us the strength to withstand the next leg of our journey.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dragonfly's Repose

Are you looking at me?
What do you see?

Hiding behind a leaf so shy
I stare at you and wonder why

High flying stunts and wings of light
don't grace my world and give me flight.

But with a stare so big I have to say
perhaps I should just stay away.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wiping the dust off the canner

Wiping the dust off the canner

Well, it's that time again. Somehow my day seems to be slipping by without notice, but I am on it. Yup, today is day 1 of pickle making. I bought a whack of pickling cukes yesterday. At 1:30 I am finally ready to start, barring any distractions. Dill pickles should be setting up in shiny jars by the end of the day, with sweet pickles to be made shortly after (or tomorrow?). So no time for wasting; a pickling I go! Happy Six Word Saturday! Hope your day is a success.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Watering Can

   I filled my old watering can up at the new tap that I had installed just that afternoon. The old one had dripped horribly and no amount of elbow grease or washers would stop the leak. There wasn't a problem that I couldn't tackle, so I set to the task and fixed it myself. Water droplets glistened off of the old tin, as I slaked the thirst of my precious ferns. I surveyed my gardens, looking to see which of my other beloved plants needed a drink, when my eyes drifted past the road at the bottom of my mossy front steps. A car was jerking to a stop. I set the watering can down on the ledge at the top of the stairs, as I walked by it. I stared forlornly at the car on the curb. Not again. Its dented fender and chipped paint bespoke of distraction and disregard. Nothing had changed. I saw the disheveled figure behind the driver's seat desperately straightening errant hair and checking lipstick. Like it mattered. The fact that she was here spoke volumes. No amount of rouge or hairspray could hide the fact that it had happened again. I sighed as I descended the steps towards her rusted old Buick. How many more years would she get out of it, I wondered. As many years as she could push.

   "That's quite the bruise that you are going to end up with," I stated.

   I had reached the curb just as she was unfolding her long legs from the rumpled interior.  I saw pain, fear, sorrow and anger flash across her face before she quickly replaced it with a look of surprise and nonchalance. 

   "I... I bumped into the cupboard door," she replied hastily. "It's nothing."

   A smile splashed across her face, as she flung her arms open. I couldn't help but think that it looked rehearsed.

   "Are you going to greet me or not Sis?!" she pouted with a smirk.

   A crooked smile crept across my tired eyes. I loved her so much it hurt, especially at moments like this. I knew that snippets of the story would emerge over the next few days. The images would be glossed with her mistakes, her failings and all that she could and should have done. I hated her in these moments. Not because she had let it happen, but because she could not stop it from happening, and I let her go back again and again. I felt I failed her as much as she failed herself and of course HIM. His name was always spit through my teeth. It didn't help. I offered sanctuary, reprieve, a new beginning... but when the phone rang after she had been there for several days it was always the same. He apologized, said he loved her and that it would never happen again. Things would be different; better. But her battered old Buick kept on showing up on my curb again and again. I kept wondering how much more it could take. Or her. Or me. There did not seem to be an easy fix to this problem. No washer to ebb the tide.

   With hugs and tears, I watched the beaten up old car pull away from the curb. She had been here for almost a week this time. I thought that I had gotten through to her somehow. I hoped that maybe she would be able to find her own feet, but her taillights blinked as she turned the corner. I brushed the tear that quietly crept toward my chin with the back of my hand. I glanced down at my weathered skin. Water. Yes. I climbed back up my mossy steps and picked up the watering can that I had abandoned the week before. Only a week, and yet my ferns had already started to grow over the empty vessel. They were trying to hide the dents and battle scars. I sighed again. 

"Perhaps tomorrow will be a new day," I mused as I filled the watering can and returned to the ferns that shaded my heart from the hurt that seemed never to heal.

This is in response to the prompt over at Magpie Tales. Go check it out and see what others have to offer.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Snake Bit Me

I just rolled out of bed. It is noonish.

Before you punish me with an abusive tirade on my slothfulness, I will add that I had only returned to bed around 10 o'clock. That after a night spent holding long, golden locks out of the line of fire over a toilet bowl. Oh, and also developing a dainty little blister on my thumb from trying to play plumber at 4am. I don't know if it is me that just doesn't have the knack with a snake (or toilet auger as the packaging states) or me that is an idiot to self-diagnose toilet issues, or me with a God complex that thinks she can do anything, that is at fault here. Apparently it doesn't matter, as the one thing I can do is laundry and the pile was quite large this morning. sigh... Full of towels used to mop the floor, splattered rugs and bedskirts and all the sheets off of another bed that was soaked through with pee. That announcement came at 7:30am, after I had finally fallen asleep at 6:30 praying that my daughter would not wake and splatter me with ... ugh never mind

So I am tired and wondering why the world seems to be pushing me so hard. I am not a plumber or doctor, roofer or general contractor (other issues that need tending to in my house- don't ask). It seems that I am being asked to step up to the plate to decide what I want to be though. My daughter will recover from her night of woe, but my money tree is quaking in fear as I tally the expenditures that are all imminent. I think that I might have to break down and push myself harder than I would like right about now. The world is pushing for action. An honest to goodness full-time job has been something I have been trying to avoid, but I feel that I have lost my battle. 

house 3 - Mama 0



P.S. Over a quick beer with my neighbour to get the run-down on which plants my girls need to water while she is away, I was reminded of the fact that another neighbour is a retired plumber. Oh. Yeah. Right. And another is a contractor. Really? Hunh. It looks like I shall be wandering the neighbourhood this weekend with a cooler full of adult bevereages and blank cheques inquiring if anyone has a moment to help a friend in need...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


painted, punished
drifting, dangling, drooping
challenged by the journey

youthful, lively
running, jumping, dancing
ready for the next hurdle

calloused, care-worn
comforting, standing, walking, 
there to stride me into tomorrow

darling, unique
working, moving, living
appreciated for all they have seen and done

What takes you into the future and today? My feet are feeling punished by my journey as of late. I need to appreciate them more for all they do for me. I showcase my tired tootsies over at OneShot with some Cinquain poetry today, but also give a nod to GardenMama and her Wandering Wednesday photo journeys. Happy Wednesday all!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A New Day

I have seen that phrase in more than one blog today. Funny that. Coincidences are never really truly random. What does it mean? It was a phrase that meant something to me about a year and a half ago. It was meant to remind me that I could go on; that I would go on; that I should go on. The future holds much that is worth looking into and returning to. While tomorrow may be bleary or bleak from one angle, it never remains stagnant. There is always a new day to unfold with new things to learn,and see, and do. From today, we cannot always see the future with clear and straight eyes. When we think we do, often a shift slips in to shake up the paths before us. Our goal is to trust that tomorrow will come. Purpose will reveal. Wait and the light will go on. I am learning to wait...

Monday, August 2, 2010


Rainbows to remind
that after stormy weather
comes gifts of delight

Simple reminder
that life does not always end
when showers batter

This colourful gift
can be yours to enjoy for
those willing to wait

So I wait hoping
that I will survive torrents
of passion's brute force


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