Saturday, December 31, 2005
Robbie and I have had an interesting week. . well, okay it was actually rather yucky with both of us being under the weather - so when we weren't working, we were laying around cuz we felt so yuck. A couple of days into the week I took a turn for the worse, as is my stupid body's habit, and Rob kept in a bit of a holding pattern, but now seems to be improving. You know, how i told you in my last comment on the 'sick' post that Levaquin is miraculous and was even my new beloved word?!! I take it back. . . because as I surfed all your blogs last night to see what was up with you, and to help relieve the tedium of being lethargic and ill; i felt this intense itching on the backs of my legs. It got worse. I had just taken my second 'wonder tablet' about half an hour before i started blog reading. Then my arms and hands started to itch and i lifted my arms up and looked with shock at swelled up, angry welts which seemed to be rapidly spreading!! YIKES!!! You know the globes with the countries raised up from the flatter parts? They felt like that. It seems that because I'm allergic to Cipro, which i already knew, I now have a cross reactivity with Levaquin and all its 'relatives', which I didn't know! I just thought, well the doc knows i'm allergic to several drugs. . and this new one wasn't on my 'allergy list'. IT IS NOW, BABY!
The itching was getting ridiculous, so I decided to go into the full length mirror to assess the situation. . i looked at the backs of my legs. . . OH MY. . . . red, ginormous hives up and down the backs of my legs. . my a#@ was completely covered in hives. . . it was kinda funny, though scary. I felt like one of those red bummed primates on the discovery channel. Definitely the 'itchy and scratchy' show last night! I called the drug store. . . the pharmacist told me to get some antihistamine right away and to keep taking it every few hours and to contact my doctor in the morning. He then told me to be on the lookout for difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or tongue. . I started to panic a bit. . . this scenario is way too familiar with me, having been hospitalized several years ago by another drug reaction. ay yi yi. . . at such times you have to separate your physicality from your psychiatry!!! Anxiety is quite the fooler. . . so I didn't want that faking me out. I popped the Benadryl and went to bed - slept like a log - that stuff is like horse tranquilizer!!
So today I'm on the antihistamines and i'm kinda 'loose'. . wouldn't want to operate any heavy machinery, eh? I still have a red you know what, but at least its fading, the rash that is, not my a!#, though i wish it would!!!! I can't take my new pills until the hives have gone. . the doctor thinks that because my system is so 'on guard' and sensitized, that any antibiotic i take may cause another reaction. Can't i just be friggin' sick? Why this crap???!!!! GAH!!!!
Now to get away from the topic of illness and its inherent yuckiness . . i just made some great peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! YUM!! Glad i'm not allergic to peanuts!!!!! *touch wood* (i touched my head!) ha ha. . .
Rob's watching hockey. . which is one thing we don't share - but that's okay. He loves to watch the odd game, i do my own thing. We had a great chinese dinner for 2. . . Golden Dragon rocks!! No MSG!!! Its a quiet New Year's Eve for us this year. . which is quite nice. We're going to watch "Wedding Crashers", hope its more funny than crude? KK's gone out to ring in the new year with her friends -- dinner and a house party. Lindsay and her family are probably kicking back at home too, having a family NY's Eve. . . so its just me and my best friend!!! ahh, true love!!! I love him so much. This is our 29th new year's eve together!!!! fogeys or what??!!!! heh heh. . .
I'm not feeling especially philosophical, even though its only 2 hours till midnight and another big, 365-day chapter in the world history book is about to be written -- its a big deal!! Let's see how it goes. Who knows what's in store for us? Well, God of course, but for the rest of us, we just have to take it as it comes. Happy new year, fellow babies!!!
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Jesus, I think of you this cold Christmas night, as the world sleeps.
I think of creation. You made us to be perfect, like you and we loved you with perfect love.
I think of how we changed with that fateful choice, i think of what we became, how low we sank, how tainted and cursed.
The wall between us constructed sin by sin, choice by choice.
The depth of our depravity, the spread of our selfishness pierced your holy heart.
Your tears watered the earth.
You made a choice to step out of your glory and you came down to us.
You became one of us.
Your breath could melt the sun, but you breathed words of love to us,
even to those who didn't love back.
Your love cut through the darkness of our ignorance like a search light slices the night sky.
Something in us stirred - that long dead part of us.
You knew that it was your destiny to die and that your death would destroy the wall that our rebellion had built; the wall that keeps us from you. I don't understand this, its just so much to take in.
You bore the crushing load of our guilt and it was the death of you.
In your dying, you repaired the damage our choices had made.
When your work was done, your Father lifted you up and held out to you the glory you had set aside.
But you didn't sit back -- from then till now you have not stopped loving us, calling to us, hearing our prayers and praying on our behalf to your Father.
You gave yourself with no guarantee that we would treasure the pardon you died to secure.
Many have grabbed hold of the life you offer, though many don't honour your sacrifice, some don't even know about it and others take no time to think about or to understand the depth of your mercy.
We pierce your heart again and again and we are not properly sorry.
Jesus, i think of you this Christmas night, as the world sleeps.
As i think of you, this night's blackness becomes mid day and the bitter wind blows warm; caressing the earth and whispering your love to listening ears.
Thank you for making everything all right.
Thank you for not giving up on us.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
When Rob and KK went to get the tree at the tree farm i had only one stipulation: FRAGRANCE! I wanted to be able to smell evergreen!! Too many Christmases I have been disappointed with Scotch pines totally devoid of aroma. Rob doesn't have any sense of smell, so he's just not concerned about it, but I want to walk in the room and say "ah!!" I have this thing about scent. . yeah, yeah. .
So, tonight i wore long sleeves - smart girl - avoided the arm hives- thank goodness! I put the political debate on TV, and listened and occasionally glanced up at the 4 candidates as they bandied big promises and pointed jibes. It was a strange way to decorate a Christmas tree. . no mood music. . just yapping politicians generating lots of hot air. But I wanted to catch the debate. . cuz I need to know how to vote!!! Kinda hate that politics is at the forefront the week before Christmas. I'm on a political epanel, so I had to be able to answer all the questions that would follow, which did, and i did!!!
Speaking of procrastination and greenery. . i have fresh boughs, swag and 2 wreaths sitting out on the deck, in the snow, waiting to be hung!!! AHHHH!!! we're crazy. . we get these Christmas accessories then we wait till days before the' big day' to display them?! We haven't even put the lights on the bushes outside!!!! We suck!!!! Rob bought the lights 3 weeks ago!!!
Maybe tomorrow will be the day all this comes together?! Please let it be so!!! I love to go down to the basement now. . the gorgeous Norwegian pine smells wonderfully piney. . and I'll forgive its seeming inability to retain needles, scads of which I have pried from the carpet with yards of duct tape!!! KK decorated last week, so the house looks warm and holiday ready - inside anyway!!!
I hope that you're all having a tad more success with your own decorations, preparations for the holidays?! I'm 90% finished with the gifts, so at least I'm ahead of the game in some ways!!!
Its the most wonderful time of the year. . . ding dong ding dong. . .
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Its not as bad as all that. . .and its DEFINITELY too cold here to go through the holidays starkers. I bought a new holiday CD for us to listen to this year. If you're not familiar with the 'hardest working band in Canada' *The Barenaked Ladies* Here's a link for their site: www.bnlmusic.com
How can I describe BNL? zany. . talented. . . hilarious . . . unique. . . . I love these guys!! Anyway, their holiday disc is called "Barenaked for the Holidays". I really recommend this one. Its got some crazy little fillers, some cool originals, some traditional stuff and some funky Hannukah songs. . which brings me back to elementary school days when our Christmas pageants always had to include Hannukah songs because half our school's population was Jewish.
Speaking further on holidays. . this is a week off work for me. . my pre-Christmas 'get everything done or else' week!!! I devised this stratagem. . well actually it came about not so much by design as by default! I was supposed to be in Cancun at this very moment!!! Instead, what am I doing? I'm sitting in my teddy bear robe, my hair up in clips, blogging this. D'OH! I'd much rather be doing the samba, or perhaps listening to a Mariachi band. . plunking down in a beach chair and doing absolutely nothing. . . Thanx Hurricane Wilma for destroying our resort! *I won this trip back in the summer and had booked for this week* Now we have until next September to take our trip. . so we're in the midst of deciding when. Looks like we'll take it to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!! So, yes, getting back to my plans. This is the first year I've ever taken 1 week off before Christmas. . and a girl could get very used to this! I'm lovin' it! I can go shopping in the day time, with all the seniors - its bliss! No rushing, ravenous crowds, no fighting traffic out to the stores. . I did my chocolate store trip. . i got some of my baking ingredients, the stocking stuffers are bought. . most of the presents have been purchased. . I've been socializing and cleaning up and going to dance at nights and wishing I could retire RIGHT NOW!!! My oldest daughter cleaned our house from top to bottom today as her Christmas to us! She did a fabulous job!!! I could get very used to that too!!!
Anyway, its 1 a.m. . how will i ever begin to retrain myself in this regard?! i'm like a sleep retard! duh, you're tired. . GO TO BED!!! I'm worse than a little kid who doesn't want to miss anything!! Maybe I wouldn't loathe mornings if i got to bed at a decent hour? I really do detest them. Don't get me wrong. . i'm glad to wake up!!! *its nice to be alive!!!* I HATE waking up before I want to. . i haven't wanted to waste this week sleeping half the day. . so i've been waking up before 8 a.m. all week. . I get Rob to wake me. . cuz I have trouble waking up on my own!!! At least he can hear the alarm!! It feels almost impossible for me to get out of bed. Its like the bed's got this invisible tractor beam that draws me back if I try to get up. Its so strong I can hardly fight it! My eyes don't want to open. I am so out of it -- groggy, grumpy. . droopy - its not pretty. Takes me a good hour before I feel human - i grunt. . don't use words for a little while. I'm glad that my husband is like me. . cuz if he was one of those 'spring out of the bed and beat his chest' types and said things like "good morning, sunshine! up and at 'em!", etc. . You know what? I think I'd hafta to get physical. When my kids were little it was my hardest part of the day, waking up!!! But I loved them, so I dragged myself outta bed for 'Mommy duty'. Once they became old enough to get up, get their own brekkie and get dressed, i thought i'd died and gone to heaven!!! When they became teenagers and also liked to sleep in. . i was so proud of them!!! Like Mommy, like daughters!!!
Taking a week off before Christmas? I love it! I feel on top of things, organized, peaceful, glad. It still doesn't feel like Christmas to me though. Does it to you? I know that its coming at us like a speeding freight train, I just somehow find it strange to think that it is. . Maybe once I get my decorations going I'll be more into it? I have been feeling the peace and love for others feeling - its so good. I want to do good things for others, I think of God and thank him for this season, I want to eat fruitcake with marzipan. . so I bought a little one just for me today!! *i'm the only one who likes it - yes, I'm one of those weirdos * I want to bake cookies. I want to smell evergreen. I love holidays -- you too?
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Got some shocking news from my friend Moni this a.m. We know a lady named Rose who went to the church we both used to attend. It seems that Rose was in a parked vehicle with her sister, waiting for Rose's husband to come out of the grocery store. Rose just slumped forward in her seat and died of a massive heart attack. No word came from lips -- she didn't have time. Her husband went in to get some food, and he came out minutes later to the car, to find his wife dead and his sister in law in a state of disbelief, sorrow and shock. THINK about it!!! ahhhhh!!! I mean we all know we're gonna go some time, but somehow we don't believe it will happen? Rose was . . I can't imagine that word applying to her. . was, past tense. . gone. . Rose was an immaculately coiffed, artfully clothed, cheery, organized, maternal, woman's woman. wow. . this is just so weird. I feel bad for her husband and son. . her sister, all their family - her friends. Everyone says stuff like "life's short", "here today, gone tomorrow", ' livin' on borrowed time', "when your number's up. . . " wow. . .its strange. . isn't it? People die all the time. . but how can we ever really get used to that? Someone I know instantly died in her car yesterday, but i look outside and the clouds are blowing through the sky, the sun is shining, cars are driving down the street, i'm here typing on the computer and its all so strange. I don't even know what to say - i want to put more words down but i don't even know what words to use.
there's something sobering about reminders of our mortality. . striking just the right tension between awareness of living life in the shadow of the knowledge that one day it will cease as we know it -- which right away opens into depths of philosophy, spirituality, eternity and questions of purpose - this is good to contemplate. yes, it is good. One thing that often comes to my mind is something i read somewhere that goes like this: People most likely won't remember everything you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. That, almost more than anything, surfaces in my thoughts, especially when it comes to contemplating how i'm living this life i've been given. I shudder to think of the many times I messed up, acted like a graceless, selfish pig and/or caused anyone hurt. I'm really glad that there is such a thing as forgiveness - the challenge is to ask for it. I don't know about you, but sometimes i'd rather rot than ask. . stupid, i know. pride rears it ugly head.
Tonight I'm listening to a 'teaching CD' with my husband and our friend, Glen. Looking forward to it. The CD series is entitled "Walking In Love". I've listened through the whole series. . wow! its a series of messages on what it means to 'walk' in love. . live your life with love. . what that looks like, what it feels like and the responsibilities it brings. Its excellent. . its tough medicine to take sometimes, because it calls you on behaviour, attitudes, it challenges you to deal with things you'd rather not deal with. . I love that . . i may not always like it. . but i love it and i need it.
So, I do realize that i am still supposed to post pictures from the recent festivities. . and I will when i get my daughter to send me those pictures!!! I have a roll in my camera now that's almost done. . might have to wait till it get it developed, then i can scan them and post those! I must get with the program and go digital. . .yeah, i'm never among the first to go with the new technology -- i'm lazy and not anti-technology, so much as procrastinating -- perhaps its more about prioritizing? Not to mention that I've always preferred to deal with 'word pictures' than picture pictures!
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
My left arm is sore. I had my flu shot today at Employee Health , got a tootsie pop for my troubles! I can't quite picture using this arm tonight (dance class). Dancing ain't just with the feet. I might even take a tylenol for it. People get your flu shots!! *a little public service announcement* After the jabbing, I attended a "Lunch and Learn" seminar on herbal/natural medications. Very interesting. I work in a hospital, so we have these types of staff events, grand rounds, learning seminars. I don't usually go to them, because I work at home, but I felt like going to this one. I think I'll make the effort more often. It was good. Told me all i need to know about the risks and benefits of natural substances, of which there seem to be far more risks. People who are allergic to ragweed shouldn't take ecchinacea! Did you know that? Willow bark should not be taken by those allergic to aspirin. Glucosamine, which I have been taking, is quite safe and is generally well tolerated by most people. I even learned how to take it and what the dosing schedule should be. I'm gonna see if it makes a difference for me. . my arthritic spine may thank me! It would be heaven to not have pain every moment of every day of my life.
Geez! you can't believe how sore that arm is. .*but don't let that put you off getting your shot!! that's one of the commonest minor side effects* Glad i offered up my left limb! I ended up taking 2 extra strength tylenol after all and having a nap. . every time i lifted the thing the pain increased. blah. . the tylenol kicked in and i went dancing after all. . glad i did - it was great, as always. cha cha cha!!!!
I'm starting to feel like maybe i should decorate my house for Christmas?! I'm off next week. . i'll get to it then. I want to wrap things up - so that i can de stress and enjoy the holidays. Gotta get in that kitchen and bake. . my family expects certain things every year. . and I'm happy to deliver! Christmas is such a time to celebrate!! I love it beyond the snowmen, santa, presents its become, i love it more than food, family, friends, etc. These are wonderful things, but I love it for the pure love story that it is. . God -- loves us, simple truth. We need him -- true - whether we believe that or not. Christmas is love. . it isn't Future Shop merchandise or Wal-Mart's toy department, its not turkey with stuffing or drinking lots of alcohol. Its just about love of the deepest kind. I love that, who wouldn't? Everyone i know grumbles about the stress, the commercialism, the debt, the rushing, the pressure. . so who wouldn't want to see things with new eyes?
I don't often watch Oprah. . but i caught the last half of today's show on porn-addicted men. . and to my surprise one of gospel music's 'biggies' - Kirk Franklin was sitting on the couch with his wife, sharing the extent of his pornography addiction. I mean I can't say i was in shock. . cuz anyone can fall prey to the smorgasboard of life's temptations, abuses and addictions. This guy though was singing about God, 'worshiping' Him, then getting his 'fix' of porn. Not the kind of example the world needs from 'the church' or "Christians". The guy's gutsy. He seemed very honest about his hypocrisy, not hiding it. His wife impressed me so much with her apparent grace and forgiveness. The statistics were staggering. . hits per day on porn sites, percentages of people 'consuming' porn, etc. I don't think the old "boys will be boys" cliche holds water here. The billions of dollars wasted every year - its shameful - what better uses could be found for this drain on the world's economy? That's only just the tip of the iceberg. . there are costs without dollar figures. . too many people are harmed by something that people wink and nudge away as supposedly 'harmless'. Maybe a trip to www.oprah.com will yield the info, if you're interested.Well, its been a mixed bag of stuff today. . I realize that i'm pretty random the last few entries. I'm hoping to be able to focus, but we'll see!
Friday, November 25, 2005
|I'm now standing on the edge of the week and getting set to jump into the weekend! YAY! Tonight is our work dinner/dance and tomorrow night is our nephew's wedding reception and dance! oooweeee this is gonna be a fun couple of days. I don't have much time now to 'talk', but i will come back with pictures, hopefully and a few details.|
Sometimes it does a world of good to get shined up and do something fancy, you know? It makes you feel like you're escaping the often grubby clothing of weekdays/nights, the monotony that sometimes or often anesthetizes us and its just nice to wake up and do something splendid! Oh, I hope the DJs are good!!!!! WOOOH!!!
bye for now!!!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I've been feeling strange about buying things this week, even though i need them - i don't like spending money on myself. .I work from home, so i don't have much in the way of a 'wardrobe'. . . I guess i live pretty simply. . i have far fewer clothes than my husband does. In fact, his clothing takes up about 90% of our closet space!! *though he buys his clothing by the bag at Value Village!!* With a couple of formal events coming up this weekend - 2 dinner/dances in fact - I was panicking!! a trip to the mall was unavoidable. blah.
In the interests of brevity, I won't expand much on the mall experience, actually 2 mall experiences - the first trip with KK (my youngest daughter) and the second trip was tonight, when I dragged Rob along with me, cuz I hadn't seen him very much lately and this was my only free night before the big events. Both trips were surprisingly stress free, aside from enduring the nightmarish Sears women's clothing department!!! Some seriously uncool clothing in that store - nearly gave me a polyester rash. Rob and I don't shop for my stuff together, so he tells me where he's gonna be and then we're both happy. I like to speed shop. . which he appreciates.
I'm actually the perfect woman for Rob. . i don't wear jewelry aside from my wedding bands and my eternity ring. . i don't get manicures or pedicures, i don't want lots of things, i seldom go to malls, i don't always need to be talking and i'll take out the garbage and do the yard work!
I've had to purchase things this week. . an evening purse , an outfit, dress shoes, dress coat, scarf and gloves. . I felt bad. . . but you know, they're all beautiful and when i put them on i feel like a million bucks and i didn't have to spend a million bucks. . though it seemed that way, cuz i almost never buy so much at one time like that!! I've always got that mindset. . "other people don't have anything, they're homeless, they don't eat." etc, etc. . I just figured. . as long as i only buy what i need. . and not buy more than i need and as long as I consistently help others in need. . i think that's okay. yeah, that seems right.
So, i bought some clothing items and accessories! big whoop!!! Slow news day??!!!!! it would seem so.
I have been thinking so much in the way of jangled thoughts these days. . i can't seem to have enough coherency to put much into a blog. My dreams have been absolutely crazed. . like flipping brain channels all night long. . lions sleeping in bottom bunks, swimming pools turning suddenly into trenches and warfare, me getting shot while trying to protect a young child from the barrage of bullets, that's all that i can remember from last night, but every night has been bizarre. . i wake up and tell Rob and he just shakes his head and says "Honey, you've got some strange stuff going on." I feel weird as i check out the computer news headlines every day. . all this random stuff always there before my eyes. . 25 million people have been killed by AIDS since 1981. . avian flu in this country and that country, missing people, murdered people, suffering people. . governments shifting and turning. . sometimes there's just too much going on. . too much to take in. . Maybe that's why i have such a jumble in my head? It all seems surreal. . you know? It registers in my consciousness, but yet it doesn't penetrate through - i suppose because these things are happening so far from where i am.
Anyway, that was really mixed up, but possibly the shortest one i've written to date?
must get some sleep. . wonder what craziness will ensue once i get into that REM sleep?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Today I am willing myself to think 'happy thoughts'! The day is cold and shuddery, the naked tree branches look spindly and gnarled. Its not pretty out there! All the nice stuff is hidden by cloud cover and made droopy and drippy by the constant rain. My feet and fingers are cold. I keep having to cup my hands together, blow on my 'money makers' to warm them up so that i can keep working.
So, as I thought about the greyish, depressing quality of this day, I thought "There's a lot of things you can focus on that will make you feel like the sun is shining. So change your mind channel!!" Actually I'm gonna do some channel hopping to find some different kinds of fun, enjoyable scenes. Wanna join me?
"Im in my happy place, I'm in my happy place." I love this self-psych mantra. . its so funny and reminds me of the Juicy Fruit 'anger management group' commerical! The instructor 'tests' the angry guys by bringing forth a "Ken doll" with a guitar, who serenades the gang with the "Juicy Fruit 70s jingle". The guys are rocking back and forth, sitting on their hands, exhaling forcefully through clenched jaws, when ALL OF A SUDDEN the instructor snatches away "Ken's" guitar and smashes it repeatedly against the floor!!!! The first time I saw this I laughed for a good minute or two!!! MAN! that is funny stuff. See, wasn't that fun? Have you seen that ad? Have you seen others that make you laugh out loud?! Like the "Viking" one where the "Viking hordes" have to assume 'regular Joe jobs' because pillaging ain't what it used to be?! It is hilarious beyond belief to see "Eric the Red" grunting like a grizzly and operating a kiddie train!!
While we're on the subject of humour, there's something hilarious about seeing people's embarrassing accidents, etc. . losing their toupees in the wind, footballs in the groin, pets making a beeline to sniff a visitor's crotch. . its not nice to be the victim, but its so funny to see these little annoying types of things!! Its funny on video, but its even funnier live!!!!
There's nothing like your favourite sitcom to make you forget even the crappiest day! Thanx to syndication and/or DVD boxed-edition collections, you can always find something that will make you laugh. Everybody Loves Raymond, The Simpsons, Friends. I don't remember much dialogue from these shows. Some people i know can recite a show's worth of dialogue in one breath!!! One line from E.L.R. that I do remember with clarity is Frank (the show's patriarch) uttering this disparaging comment about speech giving. It goes like this: "Jeezaloo, I could eat a box of AlphaBits and crap a better speech!" Why does that stay in my memory banks?! I LOVE IT! If its a crappy day where you are now, curl up when you get a free moment to watch something that will make you laugh! Or maybe a good joke will be just the ticket? I don't retain jokes either, they slip right through my brain, like water through a sieve. It frustrates me. I only remember this because I just got it yesterday. Employee calling employer: "I'm sorry, but I can't come in to work today, I'm not feeling well."**heh, maybe it was a Monday in November?!!** Employer: "I'm sorry to hear that. What's wrong?" Employee: "I have rectal glaucoma". . Employer: (puzzled) "What exactly is 'rectal glaucoma'? Employee: I can't see my a*$ coming in to work today." I don't know why this struck me so funny, but when I read it, i laughed out loud!!!! Maybe because its so sassy and ridiculously 'unmedical' and people like me who work in the medical realm always find these types of dumb things funny!
I've just learned that the clouds are here for the duration of this week. GREAT. I'm gonna need lots of ammo to combat the imminent November weather depression. So, I think i need to go through a few more things just to make sure I'm well armed!
Here are some mood lifters that work for me:
Comfort -- Clothes still warm from the dryer. They smell great. . they make you feel cozy, they warm you up. A great couch you can sink into (i have yet to possess one, but I hope to one day!!!) Lying down when you're dead tired. That's a definite 'AAAAAAAHHHH' experience! My theory on comfort is that every grown up in the world is always trying to seek out ways to feel like they're little children again, even infants!!! How do some grown ups sleep? In the fetal position! What do they call their sweethearts? Babe, baby. What do they want when they're lonely, sad, tired, etc. . a hug and a kiss, a verbal reassurance, sometimes people will even rock themselves back and forth when they're upset! What kind of chairs do some people have in their homes? rocking chairs! What do some people sleep in? heated water beds! Just a little observation!!! There are some people out there who will even pay someone to treat them like a baby, in giant 'nurseries', with giant baby accessories. . . oh boy! Okay that's enough about that!!!
Great smells work!!! Food, hair products, bath soap, laundry being laundered -- a big, long sniff of something fantastic is a transporting experience. *Notice I did not say 'snort" for anyone unknown to me who may happen upon this blog and instantly misconstrue this!* Crappy weather? Depressing even? Go smell something nice!
Taste -- depends on the mood too. . but can definitely help, as long as you don't go too nuts. Chocolate, fresh popcorn, a great plate of spaghetti, a cool little mint, something fizzy, a nice, tart/sweet apple, some nachos, a great mug of something hot. . tea, coffee, hot apple cider. . . mmmmmm. . .
Great memories! Nothing like doing an instant replay in your mind if you want to relive a particularly good moment. . maybe visualize something you've always wanted to do. . . *keepin' it clean, people! keepin' it clean!* how about thinking about a place you've always wanted to see? I've dreamed of going to the U.K (which means more than just circling London, waiting to land at Heathrow to connect to elsewhere), Egypt, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and lots more!!! I've pictured seeing my name on a book cover, I've dreamed of having my own little baked goods shop. I often relive my wedding, or the births of my children, my grandkids funny sayings, great vacations, funny situations. Good memories are just like 'uppers'! (not that I know what uppers are like!!!!) I'm really having to cover my you-know-what here today!!! Just making sure to clarify things.
Music. . . it has magical properties. Perfect for promoting happiness!! It does so much but I'm gonna focus on the happy side. It makes me wanna dance, it makes me feel positive and empowered, it makes me laugh (if its crazy lyrics like maybe BNL. . "Lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did. . " I LOVE that song! Fiddle music instantly elevates me, stirs me up and makes me smile, gets me up on my feet. How about James Brown if you need a lift?! wow! he'll do the job! Kool and the Gang. . "Jungle Boogie", "Ladies Night". .they were just so cool. . "Saturday Night Fever"!!!??? That's a disco boost. "Walking on Sunshine"?! yep! love it! I even like "Good Morning Starshine". . . because Rob loathes it and because its sheerly preposterous lyrics "glibby gloop, gloopy, nibby, nobby, newby, la la la, lo lo. ." make absolutely no sense and are certainly the audio remants of someone's drug-induced mental haze! Not to mention it reminds me of The Simpsons' Mr. Burns after he was injected with Morphine, during one of his crazy 'bodily overhauls' after which he would wander around in the woods, pupils dilated, addled and confused, softly murmuring "I bring you peace. I bring you love.", immediately following which he burst into a bizarre rendition of "Starshine". . Yes, music does all this and lots more!!
Movies and books: There is nothing like a good story, which also is a really escapist thing for those wanting escape! This is another one of those instances in which grown ups want to be like little kids. Instead of their parents telling them a story, they read their own, or they watch it on a screen. We still love our stories! I wonder if movie rentals go up in November? or book sales? it would be interesting to get the stats.
Well, that feels a bit better already! Mind over weather. . happy, happy, joy, joy! Glass half full. Don't worry, be happy. . November will pass and then the fun REALLY begins!!! (for all you Canadians, you KNOW what I'm talking about!) BRRRRRRR!!!!
Friday, November 11, 2005
I am a granddaughter of WWII. I think of my grandparents today. They are no longer here with us in body, but my memories of them will never fade. They lived the war. . they survived and I am alive now because they lived. My grandfather was a soldier. . he fought for the liberation of Holland. He shook Eisenhower's hand when he departed for Europe and he listened to a pep talk for the 20,000 troops aboard his ship home, from none other than Churchill himself. He witnessed things that he wouldn't tell us. In my later years my grandmother told me the 2 reasons for his discharge from duty: 1. A large chunk of his leg was claimed by shrapnel. The crater left had not escaped my notice. When i was a little girl I remember asking : "Bop, what happened to your leg?" I don't exactly remember his reply, i think it was something like 'Oh, that's just a souvenir from the war.' He brushed it off. It always bothered me to see it, even though he tried to make light of it. 2. His fox hole partner was decapitated. When I heard about that, i tried to imagine what it must have been like for my grandfather to be hunkered down in that hole with his partner. I wondered what their particular job at that time was, what weapons they may have had. I wondered what they talked about. I wondered how nervous and afraid they were as they heard the sounds of war all around them. Of course I wondered how horrible it was in that dreadful moment and in the moments that involved my grandfather exiting that hole in the ground, leaving his partner and running for cover and sustaining his own wound. All these things I have to imagine, because these things were too painful for him to tell us. My grandmother didn't elaborate very much. I think it bothered her too to talk about it in any great detail. I wish I had asked more. I wish that now. . . as a middle aged woman, I wish that i could ask them so much. It saddens me to realize that I only knew a really small part of who they were.
For me, Remembrance Day, well its all about WWII, because I have a personal connection to it. My grandparents lived it, their children lived in the shadow of it, and I lived in the clear. My husband too, has this experience - being a child whose family lived through this war. His Opa dying in a Japanese-run labour camp, his Oma and his mother and uncles all separated, interred in several Japanese P.O.W. camps in Indonesia. How traumatic, how difficult, how strong they had to become to survive.
Rob and I have an intense shared "generational' thing. We are from the same generation, our families were war families. We have this need to stay connected to this time in history, i think because its part of our families' legacy and experience. Some of our favourite things to do involves checking out museums, historical sites on our travels, watching documentaries, movies. We have a huge interest in aviation history. . . which is something we both just seem to love so much. . and now our little grandson seems also to share this love. One of our favourite family places is the "Warplane Heritage Museum" in Hamilton, Ontario. *see link below* . Here you can climb into the cockpits of these vintage planes and imagine for yourself what it must have been like for the pilots and crew. On our last visit i even got to work the tail flaps and move the stick of the CF100 fighter. I felt the claustrophobia as the volunteer slid the canopy over my head. Everything's so close in that cockpit. The gauges and buttons, wow. . I really recommend this place to anyone who has an interest, or would like to cultivate one. The Lancaster bomber seems to have this special allure for our grandson, James. I have to admit, we also do find it quite special. You will see 1 of only 2 flying Lancs in the WORLD at the Hamilton museum. (I've had the privilege of sitting in one of the bomb crew's seats in the Lanc. . and it was something else. . my imagination was just running wild being in there.
Here are some links for some of the places we have visited, and wish to visit in the near future:
http://comdir.bfree.on.ca/cmhm/index2.html Canadian Military Heritage Museum
http://www.warplane.com The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario
http://www.aviation.technomuses.ca The Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa, Ontario
http://www.warmuseum.ca Canadian War Museum Ottawa, Ontario
http://www.lancastermuseum.ca The Lancaster Museum - Nanton, Alberta
And here's a link to the WarAmps of Canada. . which has a fantastic video and DVD series called "NEVER AGAIN!". I have watched a marathon of these videos today on TV. They are very well done.
http://www.waramps.ca WarAmps Canada
I watched the ceremonies televised from our nation's capital this morning. A recent mini trip of ours to Ottawa this past spring made it so real, to see the cenotaph again, the tomb of the unknown soldier, the gigantic, statuesque monument to the great wars. The 2 minutes of silence was preceded by howitzer blasts, "The Last Post" and was followed by more canon blasts and "Reveille". The symbolic guards at the compass points of the monument seemed almost like statues. The faces of the assembled veterans. . . every line and wrinkle earned, their eyes communicating the memories turbulence and trauma that was uniquely theirs. . . haunting to see. I watched the laying of the commemorative wreaths from every conceivable people group in this land and the embassies of many others. . . I was struck by the importance of ceremony, remembrance, symbols, gatherings, parades. People need this. I watched the veterans' parade with gratitude and emotion. The salutes, the allegiance to flag and regiment, the purpose, the pride. I witnessed the Harvards fly by. . . 1 plane peeling off from the others, symbolizing those who were lost. What a day this has been. Solitary reflection and lots of remembering.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I love this East Hamptonite! She inspires me in a culinary sense, but not strictly in that sense -- I'm drawn to her boundless generosity, her huge hospitality gifting, her considerable prowess with raw ingredients and her imaginative use of these ingredients. Here: check out her website!
You know, when i think more about why i won't miss her shows, i think its because I wish she was my mother!!!!! *psychoanalysis needed here?!* She so huggy and bubbly and everything i would think a mother should be. Plus the woman can cook!!!! MAN! There are other able cooks on the http://www.foodtv.ca Food Network. There's Jamie Oliver, with his frenetic bashing of raw goodies in his mortar and pestle and all his Jamie phrases *pukka tukka*, *easy peasy*, *Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt*. Gotta love this guy. . but I feel almost like I need a Valium after watching him. There's Nigella Lawson, another Brit who's handy with a cleaver. . but she sort of intimidates me and annoys me with her over the top descriptions of her ingredients. . "chartreuse shards of greenish goodness" *BARF* I think she's either a frustrated writer or perhaps a reformed porn star. She seems to play a bit too much to the camera with her 'va va va voom'. She's like the Jessica Rabbit of the kitchen?! does that make sense?! Don't enjoy that. . probably cuz i'm a woman! I wanna say to Nigella. . just cook for me and stop suggestively licking food off of your fingers!! And then there's Emeril Lagasse!!! Oh boy, what do i say about this guy, except BAM!!!!! food and toothpaste both seem to elicit this frightening response from this 'dees, dem and dose' Noo Yawker" I feel like instead of wielding a pastry bag, he could just as easily slip on some brass knuckles!! I cannot watch Emeril (though I do love the 'morning grooming' commercials in which he thoughtfully takes himself and his toothpastey toothbrush in a cab across town, to a remote location, where he can responsibly BAM to his heart's content without waking half of Brooklyn!) And there's also Mario Battali. . . okay, this guy - he's a true gourmand. . . loves his own cooking a bit too much, there Mario? He looks EXACTLY like the "comic book guy' from The Simpsons!!!! Spitting image!!!!! Rotund, like a Santa Claus with red hair, beard and a pony tail. . he even wears red clogs!!! Needs Clinton and Stacey really badly!!!! I know i'm being a bit superficial here. . . sorry about that. He's a regular on "Iron Chef America", which i only glance at because its a bit bizarre. . . they work with really, really 'out there' ingredients like sea urchins, eel, etc. BLECH. Mario also has a show which shows him eating his way across America!!!! Literally!!!!! Mario! how many points in that mountain of manicotti?!!! geesh! He's a great chef though. . . he seems to have an exquisitely sensitive palate and nose, this guy can go into some random restaurant kitchen and tell you if there's truffle oil in some else's 20-ingredient sauce!!!! Its so funny, he does 'the taste' then he smacks his lips and tells the camera everything that's in it. Yeah, he's that good!
Anyway, other 'food personalities' are some of the reasons why I love my Contessa!!! She doesn't annoy me or agitate me. I don't need to take mood stabilizing drugs after watching her show. . i don't feel intimidated by her. . she comes across as this fabulously nurturing, chubby, sweetie pie of a cook!
My family makes fun of her. . They call her "The Big Con". . (a jibe re. her 'well-upholstered' body) But as KK's' boyfriend Joel says "Hey, you can't trust a skinny cook!" Right on, Joel! I may have already talked about this a few months back. . . if i have, just humour me!!! I print out her on line recipes, cuz her cookbooks are $53 a pop!!!! too rich for my blood. . . On some of the first print outs, Rob had scratched out the "Contessa" at the top of the page and had scrawled "FATessa!" Oh! the nerve!!! But he has to admit that her recipes are fantastic!!
Now she does have a few 'tendencies'. . one being her lavish pouring of cream, her extravagant volumes of butter, olive oil, eggs and sugar. I do feel the need to book in with the Cardiologist, just watching the various fats get plopped into the Kitchen Aid mixer! Boy, its kinda disturbing. Her favourite phrase is "How bad can that be?" PLENTY, BAD WOMAN!!! But she does make me want to whip up a batch of brownies and eat them all myself!!! *no, i wouldn't ever really do that. . but i might have a few!!* And yes, she's a bit of a boozehound. She often demonstrates the making, mixing and consumption of various cocktails. She's got all the accoutrements, the corkscrew, the blender, the shaker with the holes on top, the pitchers for the sangrias, margaritas and other "Jimmy Buffet-worthy" beverages. Today, she made French Onion soup. I couldn't believe it. . .. the soup was made with 1. cognac. 2. medium dry sherry 3. chardonnay.???!!!!!! HUH?!!! sure there were some onions and stock, but who the heck would notice? They'd get tanked after one bowlful!!!! Her boozy ways do not go unnoticed by Rob, who says that she must immediately start downing all the 'demonstration cocktails' once the cameras stop . I say, "Give her the benefit of the doubt, come on!"
Never mind, I love you, Ina! Or at least I love your TV personna!!!! I have learned how to chiffonade basil, make pesto, strip thyme stems of their leaves, I have learned what a 'half sheet pan' is and how to make brioche. I have drooled over all the pretty, pretty baking!!! I have learned to decorate food with the foods that are in it. I have learned how to elegantly and imaginatively set a table. You've taught me how to make garlic, lemon and herb roasted chicken and how to slice it. . not to mention granola, orange yogurt, outrageous brownies, croque monsieur (French ham and cheese grilled sandwiches), brussel sprouts with pancetta, tabbouli. Oh, there's much, much more. . but that's enough. The people who read my blog, *i think their patience wears thin with my wordiness!!?*
Ina Garten IS "The Barefoot Contessa". Her shows make me happy. Her warm smile makes me smile and her recipes are excellent. She has made me a better cook. Well done, "Connie" I love ya!! You are my culinary heroine!
Saturday, November 05, 2005
I wasn't hurried for once. I deliberately drove the speed limit for the first time in i don't know how long. I actually felt calm behind the wheel, which seems fairly foreign to me!! The CD was going and the music was almost in synch with the windshield wipers. . i love when those serendipitous things happen. ". . . . and how could such a thing shine its light on me and make everything beautiful?" The irony of the words, i could see no light shining except maybe the glare of garish traffic lights, all smeary in the drizzled glass. . i thought about light as i drove in the dark. the simple acoustic guitar and single voice matched my mood. .
I listened and drove. . . "and you should hear the angels sing, all gathered round their King. . more beautiful than you could dream, I've been quietly listening i can hear them now . . . "
I could see this scene in my head - it seemed like something from Lord of the Rings. . you know, where the crowds gather around newly-crowned King Aragorn, all pressed in - their respect and gratitude emanating towards and encircling him, like some invisible crown, more valuable than the one they placed on his head. I pictured something grander than even this, something beyond heart stirring, something holy - a King. . angels I pictured the sound of legions of voices, surrounding this king. . . a hard to describe, supernatural sound. The King. . i thought of a king so different from any other and i thought "Yes, everyone should believe in a such a king. A king is good. A king is strong and just. A king will make everything right again. It may seem medieval, archaic at this point in history, but it feels right to me.
I had this feeling. . like something I can't even say. Was it the music? Was it the image unfolding within my mind? Was it the melancholy weather? Was it just that i was quiet and I was listening? Was it everything converging?
". . . how could such a king shine his light on me? and make everything beautiful? and i wanna shine, i wanna be a light, i wanna tell you it'll be all right, and i wanna shine and i wanna fly, just to tell you now, it'll be all right, it'll be all right, yeah. cuz i got nothing of my own to give to you, but this light that shines on me, shines on you. . . and makes everything beautiful again. .. it'll be all right. ." I wanted all this too. . the words were just too perfect -- I want to believe them. . . i do believe.
I felt so wistful as I drove down King street, which i thought that was so unbelievably appropriate. This moment was like . . like when you're driving down a dark highway and you're driving through this rolling, thick fog. Its hard to see, you keep going. You pray that you don't drive into anyone, you hope you don't drive off road and get ditched. Its difficult going, stressful. All of a sudden the fog rolls right out and you're in the clear!! Its so beautiful and you relax and unclench your jaw. . you breathe. The hidden becomes clear for a beautiful moment. . but as quick as your visibility became perfect, it fogs up and blurs again; but you keep going, because you want to see again and you want to be in the clear at last.
I wasn't expecting to be able to see better on a day with such limited visiblity. I didn't think a quick drive across town would result in a peek behind the curtain, but I'm glad it did. As for my intended destination. . it was just an expensive, pretentious disappointment! a gilded carrot on a stick. I had thought that was why I had jumped in the van. . but I really think it was just so that i'd have that glimpse of God and maybe to run an errand for him while i was at it.
As it turned out, i found another shop that felt just like going home. . it was beautiful and welcoming and affordable and so appropriately called "On a Whim", which is exactly why i went there. . .and spotted a beautiful, milk-white filigree candle jar, encircled with angels *wow*. . . I had it wrapped up for my grieving friend and dropped it in her mailbox on my way home down that same road, listening again to that gorgeous song, which didn't give me that kind of vision the second time but did give me the goosebumps and a feeling of gratitude.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
i'm beat. i just noticed that i'm 1 post away from 80 posts on this blog. . I'll have to think up something special for the next one!! Tonight was a dance night. . and i always find that i'm pretty fatigued a couple of hours after class. Wore my belly dance outfit to class tonight! (i don't take belly dancing classes - yet! -*i'm teaching myself b.dancing* this class I'm referring to is a 'mixed bag' -- lots of variety) and NO i wasn't showing too much skin!! I wore a camisole to cover my belly - cuz i was shy! awwww!!! I did my eye makeup like i saw on one of the nicer tv 'makeover' shows. . It was easy and looked so nice. When i put on the gold-coined head piece i felt like a completely different person!! I should have taken a picture of that!!! duh! another time. . A whole bunch of the girls dressed up - cuz we had many away on Halloween night (taking their kiddies around trick or treating). It was fun. I felt pretty strange going outdoors in the full outfit, wearing flip flops! Every step i took i jingled!!!!*coin hip belt and ankle bracelet with bells* I felt weird driving the van dressed like that!! All i could think as i drove was "Now don't speed, cuz you don't wanna get pulled over and explain this!" What fun it was though, to get all prettied up and dance in my bare feet with 2 gypsies, a hippie, a couple of ladies with feather boas and 'deelie boppers' on their heads, a black and red jumpsuited lady with a cute, red 'flapper' wig. . and a bunch of other wussy girls who didn't dress up at all!! Its way more fun to dance in costume!!! It really is! I don't think i've ever had this much fun, fitness wise anyway. Its a bit intimidating to sign up for something on your own. . but its been very rewarding and I have met many new and wonderful women!! They all seemed quite fascinated tonight with my get up and wanted to know if i could teach them something. . so i taught a couple of the girls how to do 'snake arms' and hip shimmies. They were giggling!!! It was cute.
I continue on non-class days to keep working on 'the moves', instructing myself, with my DVDs; still, its not easy and i have so much to learn, but isn't that life? Its great, isn't it? . . .life, that is.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
This little thingie tonight is about words and phrases that have outlived their usefulness, maybe never had any? anything that is annoying, perhaps lifted from its cultural context and its use elsewhere is just dorky. . that kind of deal. So, here goes. . . and this, by the by, is a reader participation dealie! So, get your thinking caps on and post your own selection of worn out, sorry, lame, irritating and generally tired words, sayings, slang. .
1. "catch ya later" * oh boy. .
2. Snoop Dog vocabulary *i have had up to izzle with the fizzle* I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT
I'M SUPPOSED TO HAVE SAID HERE! SO IF I SWORE, DON'T GET MAD!!! This guy's inscrutable. . .
3. 'dude' *gag
4. stoked *double gag
5. the improper use of the word 'so' -- 'Friends' went off the air everyone!!!
6. 'touch base' * i have these baseball images in my head whenever anyone says this!
7. Speaking of baseball. . can we get rid of "Hey batta batta, sssssWING batta!!!"???? BLECH!
8. "having said that" *really, really . . . grrrrr!!!
9. 'in terms of' *double grrrr. . . deep six this one!
10. 'on the flipside' ugh. .
11. 'blow me away' (dated, man)
12. 'on the same page' *picturing a business ledger here. .
13. 'boo yah'. . . i HATE that! It makes people sound like cave dwellers
14. 'hot' can't we go back to saying that women are beautiful and men are
handsome? This just sounds so smarmy. . .
15. 'rock my world'. . . cheese curds. . .
16. 'slammin'. . . that just sounds so violent to me YIKES!
17. 'like, you know'. . . maybe not every says this one. . but i have a neighbour who says
this entire phrase approximately every 20 seconds.
18. any use of the word 'candy' paired with body parts: eye, ear, arm -- tacky..
19. 'my bad'. . . the abuse of grammar!!! oh, poor grammar. . .
20. 'at the end of the day'. . . D'OH!!! (hey, maybe d'oh's another one for some ppl?)
Back to this #20 phrase. . . I absolutely cannot stand it. . it is SO overused. I cringe, and
furrow my brow when i hear this icky phrase.
Okay, now its your turn!!! I can't wait to hear what you guys come up with!
Hey, here's a wee bonus for you, two HILARIOUS phrases that I picked up in my travels. . .
"as confused as a baby in a topless bar"
"he thinks he's the dog's danglies"
heh heh. . . those make me LAUGH!
Sunday, October 23, 2005
The wind blew my hair all over. It felt great to move my muscles. My lungs were drawing in that cool air. Several people had their fireplaces going. . I smelled that gorgeous, burnt wood smell all the way along. I passed the old, stately homes, took in the look of the changing trees and enjoyed the display of burnt orange, red, yellow and warm brown. "How fantastic is this?" I thought as I continued my walk with purpose and anticipation. Time disappeared, I don't wear a watch, so that makes it easy! I walked by the empty outdoor bistros and the busy java joints. I ATM'd first, then set out in the direction of the 100+ year-old farmer's market building in the centre of town. I trolled the people-packed aisles, poking my head in at the display cases filled with meat, baked goods, cheeses. I settled on some foccacia (herb flat bread), some asiago cheese, then headed to the outdoor stalls, full of earthy-looking offerings. I nabbed 'carryable' things since I have no cart. Baby zucchini, 2 bunches of gorgeous, fall-coloured flowers, which drew comments galore from every shopkeeper I visited on the rest of my trek! I clutched my floral prize in the crook of my left arm, while all other bags swung jauntily from my right hand for the first few blocks, then seemed to hang progressively more heavily with every purchase - which I tried to remedy with bag and load shifting. Actually most of the weight was my purse, which was slung across my right shoulder - it definitely bogged me down. . i hate purses. *I was a 'backpack' girl for the longest time until my youngest daughter bugged me so much about looking like an overgrown teenager*
I managed to visit the chocolate shop, the stained glass store, the lingerie store, the home decor shop (where i nabbed some cute ghost candles and teeny decorative pumpkins) and threw in a stop at a 'junktique' store - could have done without that. . . blech. .
Walking home was good, a bit tiring but a good, well-earned fatigue that comes from fresh air and exercise. The rest of the day was spent doing house work, hanging with my daughters and grandkids. . working on the last bits of kitchen renos with Robbie! Pictures are forthcoming!!!
Tonight we made the trip to bring our youngest back to uni in the early evening. . when we got home we headed for the recliners to watch some TV. It was rerun city, so we flipped to see if there was anything worth watching. We landed at TLC and were transfixed by the stories of 2 families struggling with all the things we just take in our stride. . . breathing, eating, talking, having skin, a face . . .. living. Julianna was a sweet, honey blonde 2 year-old who was born without a face, Johnny was a 36 year-old man who had been born with an excruciating skin condition. We watched segments of their tortured lives with shock and compassion and tears (okay, the tears were mine!) I could not believe the things they were called upon to endure. I felt so strange. . why am i living this privileged life? I can do anything i want. . but often don't. I can walk downtown, Johnny couldn't walk at all. I can talk and eat and hear - Julianna has surgery after surgery to be able to do those things - 'eating' for her is liquid tube feedings. We had beautiful, 'normal' babies. . these families had severely abnormal infants with all the attendant suffering, stress, heartache and uncertainty that accompanied them; but they took it all and they shone. What a contrast. . our lives and theirs. It was really sobering to watch, but I suspect that as the days pile up in the near future, their stories will be filed in the recesses of my mind; that's what always happens. I only hope that I will make a conscious effort to live well and appreciate the life that's been given to me, not wasting or squandering it. I'm sure Julianna and Johnny would do that if they were me.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
People often blog about religious things, I do too. I'm often wondering how they really feel. Some blogs I've read have been lots of Bible verses, or lots of assured confidences with lots of words like: "blessed", "church", "Bible study", 'worship" - which are all great words, but I'd also like to read words like "not sure", "struggle", "why", "how", "help". .
I want to see you. I want to look beyond Bible verses taken as 1-a-day vitamins, swallowed without thinking. I want more than that. I want us to have a continuous dialogue, communication. I don't want you to remain in verses on a page, i don't want to think of you stuck in some building or limited to rituals or rules that flatten you or make you seem boring or make being with you like some duty or chore, some weekly traditionalistic fix. I want anything but that. I want the real, undiluted you. I can't get behind anything else. Help me live. We both know how much i owe you but i forget how large my debt load is. I love that you don't throw that in my face, but you speak to my spirit and i feel it there and my mind tells me that i can't repay you, but you tell me that I don't need to - its been taken care of. Isn't that what everyone's looking for? I want to depend on you, i don't want independence from you, i want to be totally dependent on your grace. Help me, its so against my nature.
Friday, October 14, 2005
So, let me make a word picture of Rob -- right now he's down in the rec room jammin' on his guitar and singing away!!! I love it when he does that! He likes to do that late at night - provides me with some great bloggin' tunes!
I met Rob when he had just turned 16. woah. . . he's 44 now!!!! AI YI YI!!! I cannot believe that we are that OLD. Summer camp was the place-- everyone's just a hormone in running shoes. . trying to see who's gonna 'go out' with whom. The previous year I had a busy 'dance card'!!!! oooh la la, i was a floozy!!! stringing 3 guys along at the same time (it helped that 2 weren't campers, only visitors of other campers). I didn't even notice Rob that year! I remember his dorky friends, who strode around the campground wearing these 'robin hood' hats with these tall, arcing feathers that bounced crazily when they walked. I regarded them with what can only be described as disdain. *They had those giant L's on their foreheads!!!!* I guess Rob was guilty by association??!!! heh heh. .
When winter came along that year Rob caught my eye at this divisional church gathering. . i was in this speaking competition - his band was playing. There he was!!! right on the platform. . . this tall, skinny drink of water. . . feathered hair a la 'Bay City Rollers'. . blue eyes. mama! what a hunk (we said that in the 70s). Now it was his turn to ignore me! Can't say I blame him, as I was wearing a turquoise, chocolate brown and cream-coloured, striped velour tunic top, not one of my best fashion moments! I didn't even get close to him, for all the people that were there!!! I moped all the way home. Life went on. .
That summer I finally met him, Rob, the guy I would marry. I have no idea how on earth a 14 11/12ths year-old girl could POSSIBLY know that this boy she was crushing on would be her husband several years later. Indeed I knew. I didn't tell him that for quite some time. . scare the poor guy off or what?!!! "Hi, you're cute. . I know that we're gonna get married." Chalk 1 up for female intuition.
*Rob is tall. That was a big thing for me. . since I always wanted to be able to wear heels and still have my man be taller than me!!! I had dated a couple of shorties, and i got tired of slouching and wearing ballerina flats.
*Rob has beautiful blue eyes. Well, I think they're beautiful - and yes, women can certainly say that men are beautiful! why not?!
*Rob is a gentleman. I noticed right away when we started dating. . he would hold doors open for me, he'd open the car door and shut it after i was seated. He would walk out the outside always and when we crossed the street, he would switch so that he was on the outside. His mom taught him these things.
*Rob is exceedingly patient. How handy for me since I am quite the opposite.
*Rob is very 'relaxed'. . . one of his favourite things to do is sit in his recliner downstairs and watch TV. When we walk I always tend to end up 'pulling' him along if i don't slow down. . i find this sooo difficult!!! We've definitely got our 'oil and water' things. Speed is one of them.
*Rob is shy. Yep. . he's not the most talkative guy you'll ever meet. I had to really get his attention at camp that year of our meeting. The custom at the time was to steal people's Levi tags from their jeans - I tried my best to steal his - which never did end up happening - but it kinda got his attention what with me groping his butt and all. .
*Rob is hilarious! He does crazy, silly things sometimes. . he's like this giant boy. He has spikey hair (which i love). He wears a beaded choker, and earring in one ear and wears skater shoes. About his silliness. . one of his ongoing things is putting his hand, palm side up on any surface on which it seemed likely that i would sit. He's got me so many times with this maneuver. . i'm kinda wise to him now (should be after 28 years !) He will say random goofball things, like "OOGA BOOGA". . . for no reason at all. He will poke me just to bug me or try to 'do me in'. . which meant tickling me until i almost became incontinent. . which i truly hated. He stopped that many years ago *thank God!*
*Rob is musical. He plays the cornet (a style of trumpet) really nicely. He thinks he's no good. . i think he has fabulous tone. He plays the guitar , again I think really well. . he started when he was about 12 on this old guitar of his mom's - taught by this cool French Canadian guy who was a resident in the seniors' home his parents ran. "Ghostriders" was among his first songs! Rob sings really well. I love his voice, it has a ton of power and he has a lot of passion for what he sings, that's just so cool. He makes a great song writing partner too!!! I do the words, he does the tunes. . thank God. . since I can't write a tune to save my life. A while back, he recorded a song at this travelling booth at "Sportsworld" and he gave me the copy of it for part of my birthday present, which i thought was so romantic. . until I heard it!!! It was called "Since I Don't Have You" I thought "WHA???! Is he trying to tell me something here?!" . . turns out he just liked the song!!! I razzed him for a long time about that one! He did sing to me at our wedding. . i dissolved into tears, OF COURSE.
*Rob fixes things. He does it for a living now -- Rob is THE handyman of all handymans. He builds anything i ask for. . shelves, desks, book cases. . He does plumbing. . he does electrical, he fixes our vehicles, he fixes appliances. When he was a kid he took stuff apart to 'see how it worked'. . then he would try to put them back together. No one in his family knows where this came from, but his Mom says that it must come from his Opa Roed. He even looks like his Opa -- tall, with deep-set eyes, strong brow line and features, long face, long limbs. . he's definitely a Roed - and he has the Roed SHNOZ!!! but that's okay. . i have one ear that sticks out more than the other one. . so there!!! *he does tease me about this!*
*Rob is a great dad and granddad!!! When the girls were newborns he would walk the halls with them when they cried. . he'd change diapers, feed them bottles when they were weaned. . a real hands on Dad. His fave activity with the babies was nap time. . He would say to me "I think the baby is sleepy." to which i would say "ya think?!! He'd get a receiving blanket and put it on his chest, snuggle the baby against his heart, wrap another blankie around the 2 of them and he'd put his own head back and the 2 of them would fall asleep, while me the SUCKER would do dishes or laundry. . . oh man!!! He knew the secret! relax. . stop running around like a crazy person - things will wait. . our daughters are babies now, but they'll grow up and then they won't need me any more. He's right. I'm sure the girls are thrilled with their Dad. . he's a good combination of silly and strong. He'd try to get them to learn all about 50s music by quizzing them incessantly. . "Who sang Peggy Sue?". . Lindsay was a more willing participant. . she'd reply "Buddy Holly". . KK would always just say 'I can't know that, Daddy.' He'd play guitar for them at night before bed. . and he'd let them make up their own silly songs as he plunked out simple chords. . This is where KK would shine, making up imaginative songs about tigers and such. . He always sang the "Smack your bum" song. . which made the girls laugh! He'd imitate Guy Smiley from Sesame Street. . . the game show shpiel. . .SO FUNNY! made the girls squeal with laughter. Only imitations i had in my bag of tricks were Scooby Doo "RRRAY, RAGGIE!" and a weak Elmer Fudd "Ooooh, that wascally wabbit!!!" I had to face it long ago. . i'm the foil, Rob's the comedian. Now we've started a whole new round with our 2 grandkiddies!! Opa is cool! Opa is fun! They love Rob!
*Rob doesn't dance well. . d'oh!!!! i'm immensely sad about that - cuz i've long had these visions of us floating across the dance floor, ballroom style, or discoing (yes, I used to drag him out dancing with me in disco's hey day!! he was a good sport!) Unfortunately he's kinda got 2 left feet. . our couples dancing consists of us hanging onto each other and just kinda step shuffling around in endless circles. . but there's no one i'd rather shlump around with!
*Rob is colour blind. . to him, white is pink and vice versa, etc. He cannot distinguish shades at all. He once bought this pair of bottle green cords. Even though we'd only been dating about a year then, i thought this, given his dislike of the colour green, was really strange!! So I asked him why he was wearing green pants. He said "They're not green, they're navy blue!" I had to get our friends to tell him, cuz he refused to believe me!!! that was HILARIOUS! I called him "Mr. Greenjeans" forever!!! (anyone remember Captain Kangaroo?!!!)
*Rob makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world!!!! oh yeah!!! I taught him once, and he just took it from there and elevated it to an art form! No one in the family dares to attempt these delicacies.
*Rob laughs loudly enough to wake the comatose!!! He slaps anything convenient, often the floor, as he will fall out of his recliner if something is funny enough.
*Rob collects 'dinky cars' and mechanical toys. . He has thousands of these. They're everywhere in our house. . I even have to sleep beside a display case of the things. . He used to assemble model cars and sometimes model airplanes.
*Rob's a night hawk - just like me!!! We are so much alike this way. . its weird - almost as weird as our shared love of 50s music when we met. . He thought when I told him i also loved 50s music that I was just saying that to impress him -- when he came to my house for the first time and saw my album collection his eyes popped !!!
*Rob is a movieholic - we have watched countless movies. . they've all become one big cinematic blur to me! but i'm almost as much of a buff as he is. .
*Rob is a great husband. He knows when to say "Yes, Dear" and when to say "No, that doesn't make you look fat." and the ever famous husband line: "Yeah, I heard what you said."!!! He never swivels his head to look at some other woman, if he does turn his head its cuz there's a classic car going by! He knows that dealing with me is sometimes like walking across an emotional minefield!!! and he seems to know what to do if a bomb goes off!!! Rob never puts me down and always builds me up. I find it hard to believe sometimes when I look at old pictures that we have an almost 30-year history!!! Are we those kids??!!! Is that possible??! I still remember that first night at camp when we seemed to 'click'. . and it was almost 'lights out' - curfew and we had been sitting on the old well cover by cabin 7 *out of bounds!!!* talking and sitting so close together. . we had to head back and he took my hand and held it as we ran. . my little teenaged heart did this back flip and it was just the best feeling ever in my life!! We still hold hands and now we're grandparents!!! ahhhh!!!
So, now you know a bit about Robbie! (which is what i love to call him). I do apologize for my rather lengthy posts, ppl!! I just cannot seem to ever, ever keep it short- especially when i write about things or people I care about! I think that i will post about my other family members. . but some other time. . its late!!! (again!)
Thanx for your extreme patience with my long-windedness!!! You guys are awesome!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
*words -- i have no words to describe how much i love these arrangements of letters.
*music - it must be playing at all times!
*cute, small things --baby people, baby animals, miniature objects - when i see them i usually use my 'high voice' cuz the cuteness just turns me into a dork.
*smells -- i'm just addicted to wonderful, good smells - they make me so happy
*cooking -- i am happy when the stove top is cooking away and the oven is loaded up with delicious things. I love fresh herbs -i love delicious cheeses, i love breads, i love chopping things and stirring. . i cook with my hands, but my whole self goes into the process.
*baking -- makes me even happier than cooking! this is a lifelong thing of mine!
*writing -- wow, there's just no feeling like writing what's on your mind or in your heart. . its a religious experience for me. . another lifelong thing. .
* crying -- i love to cry, which is good cuz i'm very often teary and sniffy. . i'm not exactly sure why my emotions are so close to the surface - they just are -- i guess i could ask 'why is the sky blue?'
*laughing -- yeah, another of my very favourite things!!! its right up there at the top!
*spending time with my husband -- he's the greatest. I can't imagine life without him -- in fact, that wouldn't be life for me. . there's no one besides God who knows me so well and still loves me!!!!
*my children and grandchildren -- they are so wonderful and they make me so proud -- i get depressed if i don't see them often! i can't imagine not being a mom and a grandma!
*singing -- i love to sing -- this also is a joy thing. . really wonderful - especially love to add harmony - wing it as i go along.
*hugging -- this is just the most wonderful thing -- all warm and close to someone else. I know not everybody likes this and that's cool -- but I do!
*spelling and grammar -- yes, i'm a geek -- i have always loved anything to do with writing, and these 2 tools are key! I was among the last standing in classroom spelling bees. Incorrect spelling and sloppy grammar baffles me.
*dancing!!! -- love dance class. . love learning new combinations and steps. FUN!!!
*COWS -- i love the way they look and i love to drive into the country, pull alongside a field of cows and just watch them. There's something calming about being around them - i'm not sure what it is. . i guess its that they appear serene - i think my BP must drop when i watch them.
* pumpkins!!! these orange spheres have always fascinated me. I love to see pumpkin patches -- its like they're all in this big 'bed'. . all cozy among the vines and gigantic leaves. I also love to eat them in pies, loaves, cookies, i love to roast the seeds with salt.
*reading books!! -- again - writing, words, spelling, grammar -- books have it all!!! they rock!
*going for walks - i love to do things that involve other things - walking for instance provides great scenery - yay! it also provides many great smells! woo!!! good exercise - love to move it! doesn't even seem like exercise cuz there's so much to experience at the same time.
*taking pictures -- i see photo ops everywhere i go. . i especially love taking outdoor pictures and i love cool buildings, structures, etc. archways are cool, gates, linear things, rows of fence spikes, boards, shadowy doorways, winding stairways, fountains, there's never enough film!
*colours -- wow are they gorgeous or what?!!! shades. . so many variations - chartreuse paired with dark purple is magic, warm brown with orange, pink and dark blue, yellow and pale green, i love aubergine, cinnamon, gold, copper. . jewel tones are fabulous!
*swimming -- i love swimming - laps, not just splashing around -- breast stroke rules! also like the Australian crawl (side stroke), cuz almost no one does it! I don't remember a time in my life when my heart did not palpitate at the sight of a pool or a lake! Water in general makes me feel calm. . i have had a lifelong love affair with water! i love to be on it, in it. . around it.
*movies!!! -- Stories with visuals, how perfect! i love a good story. . a funny one, a sad one, a suspenseful one. .
well, that's certainly enough for tonight! Speaking of movies, I've got one to watch with Robbie! (Kicking and Screaming - with Will Ferrell)!!! It'll probably be silly, but geez that guy's so funny. . he makes me laugh hysterically!!
What are some of your favourite things?!
Sunday, October 09, 2005
I'm also thankful to farmers, they keep us alive. . no way around that. If not for their toil, their work, their knowledge -- we'd all starve.
I'm thankful for truckers and freighter captains and pilots -- they keep us alive too! Without them bringing all of our stuff to our stores what would we do?? I'm thankful for employers, without them we'd have no jobs! how would we live without income? I'm thankful for government (even though we Canadians are very critical of our system -- the thought of no system is frightening) I'm grateful for our country. . . i love this corner of the world. . i really do. Its beautiful and spacious, its free from tyranny and its so good to be able to call it home. I'm thankful law and order - anarchy and chaos sucks. I'm thankful for people -- there are so many people who mean so much -- i'm thankful for their lives and their love, their acts of kindness and their generosity. What would life be like without others to live alongside of? I'm thankful for the world and its wonders. What can i say about it? Its gorgeous, even under our mismanagement, its beautiful and stunning and full of the elements of life for us. Where else could we live but here? (I'm not picturing us colonizing Mars any time soon! though there is silly talk of it). Where else could we live? I'm thankful for really basic, elemental things like air, water, earth, fire. I'm thankful for things I can't see, like atoms, molecules, etc. I'm thankful for galaxies and constellations. . thankful for our furnace-like sun/star; without which we would be frozen solid and for the moon which pulls our tides and helps us to mark time and looks great when its full and bright . I'm thankful for animals and plants and the food chain! Geez. . . when i start thinking of all the things there are to be grateful for, where do i stop?
I thank God for it all. . . cuz I think He's behind it all. I'm thankful for great music and great smells and great feelings and great tastes and greatness in general! Little things and big things. . .I'm counting all those blessings. . My friend Peta often reminds me to count my blessings - especially when things aren't going so well. She's wise to remind me and I always appreciate the reminder. I even thank God for adversity, which really does grow character and test and refine me. I don't thank Him for bad stuff, but I thank Him for how He can help me when I'm knee deep, even neck deep in it.
I'm grateful to be able to feast and celebrate. . but I'm torn because I read of disastrous quakes that snatch away people's lives. . and I watch destructive weather systems that wreak billions of dollars worth of damage - flattening communities, bringing instant poverty to untold numbers of people just like me. Why do i escape this? Why am i okay, while others go through misery? I guess the thing is we all have our turn - nobody's immune.
So tomorrow I will cook a lot of food, I will serve it to my family and I will enjoy every bite of it, I will be grateful for the people I share my life with and most of all I will remember to thank God for all the ways He gives and gives and gives again. . He's awesome and that's a fact. I write this to say "thank you" to Him and I also write it to say " thank you" to all of you for reading my thoughts and for all your interactions with me since I've started this blog. You are also awesome and that's another fact. I feel very mushy and full of joy! I guess that's a side effect of counting my blessings!?
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! and if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving in your country or if you do and its at a different time of the year. . . take a moment to feel gratitude and count your own blessings. . you'll feel better for it.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I have a lot of things i could write about, but since my thoughts are drifting to matters of rest, i thought: Why not write about sleep? *does anyone know if we're supposed to put our thoughts in quotes?*
My daughter just told me to have a good sleep, I wished her the same. Of all the glorious things that life has to offer us, I think that sleep is right up there in a top 10 list, if there is such a top 10 list of life experiences. If there isn't, I could easily make one - but maybe another time - this is strictly about old 'shut eye'.
Wow, talking about sleep. . where to start?
I think that sleep is a mystery. I know all the reasons why we do it, i know that our 'operating system' goes to 'auxiliary power' for the duration, i know that dreams are all the things that scientists tell us they are. . but to my mind the whole process is mystical and even spiritual. Sleep is when we are at our most vulnerable, off guard, down for the count physically and mentally. . . it is also when we are most honest i think. A person can't pretend when they're sleeping. Their deepest thoughts manifest in their dreams, their ambitions cease, their work stops. . their childhood often surfaces. . . its a mysterious, foggy, marvelous thing.
Fetuses sleep - is it sleep, what they do while they are gestating? I'm not even sure!!! I've always assumed so. Maybe I'm wrong? But let's say they do, cuz let's face it, after the tiring birth ordeal, trying to sort out the gnawing happening in their gut that makes them screamy, growing accustomed to expelling waste and having to feel it, and having to feel in general. .( what sensory overload must be theirs?!!!), a good part of each day in their newly minted lives is all about sleeping -- 18 out of 24 hours' worth of it. Sleep = growth. Sleep = brain maturation. Sleep = a break from this crazed place they've popped into!
Children sleep - though they don't want to admit it!! Older babies and toddlers like napping. . they need to be napping! Parents need them to be napping!!! But young children - you even try to suggest that they need to go to bed, they get ugly, man! They've been around long enough by this time to know that if they shut their eyes, they're gonna miss something!!! They seem to live so much in the day that they're not even thinking of another day coming along that may also be potentially fabulous. . . they don't want this one to end!!! They employ many methods to stave off the sandman. . . stories, drinks of water, monster check, playing past lights out, getting out of bed, sneaking downstairs... personally I think these children are nuts! I loooove sleeping so much, i'm ready to 'drop and give you 40' *winks, that is* any time you suggest it! (if i don't have any caffeine in my system and if i'm not having a bout of insomnia, that is)
I used to have trouble falling asleep when I was a kid. . .that hasn't changed much really, ever. I shared a room with my sisters for many of my growing up years - i was always the last one asleep. I used to keep them awake much longer than they wanted to be. . .just so that i would have someone to talk to. When it was summer time and mosquitos had gotten into the house - they always droned in my ears and bit my flesh while everyone else in the house seemed to snooze contentedy. I could never figure this out. I had trouble shutting my brain down. . i still do. I would walk the floors at night as an 8 year-old kid, I do it now in my 40s. . . clock ticking, me tossing and turning or padding around the house in my nightgown. No matter where you put me. . . camp, sleepovers, holidays, vehicles. . .i can't seem to fall asleep. . it takes me forever -- everybody beats me to it. Maybe I just don't require as much sleep as others? I had nightmares then and I have them now. I was often afraid of going to sleep because I didn't want to dream those terrible dreams!!! I had a paralyzing fear of monsters, ghosts, the dark, things, shadows, odd noises, being alone -- I slept on back into my teens so that i wouldn't be surprised by anything or anyone. I would never let my limbs dangle outside the confines of the bedding. I had to do closet checks and under the bed checks. . geez louise, I'm a head case!!!!!
When I was really young i knew that I was finally falling when i would feel like that feather in Forrest Gump. . remember the opening credits? the feather drifting down, down, wafting in lazy circles. . . I actually saw a feather identical to that the other day as i was climbing my stairs to go back up to work. I looked out my landing window and spied this fluffy, white feather just rocking in the breeze. . i smiled. Another way that I knew i was falling to sleep, was my limbs, even my whole body suddenly jerking. . now I HATE when that happens, cuz it always startles the crap outta me!! But its always a bit exciting, because I know that my brain is finally letting go of the reins!!!
I'm getting lazy in my old age, despite battles with insomnia and too much thinking!!! *I can't even have music up loud enough that my brain hears the words, otherwise I will remain awake!* The older I get the more I love to sleep. . . I love to nap - when i work i have 'power naps', in which I dial up the timer to 15 minutes and sink into my lovely bed and zonk out until I hear the ding. . . which is most bizarre. . . cuz you know, Robbie and I have this alarm that shrieks in a manner like the shower scene music from Hitchcock's "Psycho". . . yet I never hear it. When our girls were little if they just whispered "Mommy". . I would wake from a dead sleep to go help them! I've always been unable to hear alarm clocks of any sort. . wind up jobbies, screaming mimis, loud music-playing dealies. . . can't hear them. When I was in high school my father had to shake me awake. . . if that didn't work, he'd get the lids from the pots and pans in the kitchen and bang them together repeatedly. If he was on the wrong shift, I was screwed. . . i often ran late!
So, I think that I can definitely see the shift happening. . I am beginning to like sleep more. . . so that means that I'm beginning to age, as we all know this means that give or take 30, maybe 40 years . . i'll be just like a baby again. . perhaps sleeping as many hours as they do, probably gumming pablum like they do, and wearing giant pampers. . oh boy. . . you know - i don't even want to go there!!! *i'm laughing!!!** anyway. . i'm all draggy and sleepy. . if there are any spelling mistakes, you'll know that at 2:30 i cannot guarantee coherence. I can't wait for 'touchdown'. . . which is what I call it when my weary head gets to touch down on my waiting pillow. . at which point I always say "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh". .