Monday, August 29, 2005

cynical observations or life experience?

These are some things that I often think about. Its pretty much the voice of experience with these observations and they do seem very "Murphy's law", i know. Let me know what yours are! If you're breathing and you have a pulse, you have 'em!

Do not adjust your computers, thoughts are random and are listed strictly in the order that they were thunk.

* bras are stupid and must have designed by men (women would never torture their own kind)
*you won't get sick until its the weekend, or time for your holidays.
*your big bills will always be due before your next pay.
*when you plan an outdoor event the weather will be atrociously uncooperative.
*if you see a really great article of clothing or pair of shoes, it won't come in your size.
*you will always need to buy gas after the prices have been jacked up.
*after you pour milk on your cereal you will be somehow detained and ruination of the crunch is inevitable.
*when you think you are getting a jump on your tasks by throwing a load of towels in whilst multitasking, you will forget said towels and they will turn stinky in the washer, necessitating a second washing.
*your car will not fall apart until the day after the warranty expiration.
*if you are assured that medication side effects are rare, you will get them.
*if you decide to dine in the great outdoors, just know that the bees are only pretending to be busy amongst the flowers.
*line ups at grocery store -- okay there probably isn't a 'fast line'. . its just a shared mass delusion and even if there was, you wouldn't pick it!!
*never drive behind an old man wearing a hat. . . try it and you'll see
*women's figure skates are horribly uncomfy and must also have been designed by men to get back at us for stuff. . . maybe nagging, maybe being right about so many things, who knows?
*pots and pans will always be made to 'soak'. . cuz nobody wants to deal with those suckers right away.
*you will often get all the way to the store, put stuff on the conveyer belt, when you go for your bank card and realize that you don't have it with you.
*a child will never be as sick any other time as they are in the middle of the night!
*when you shouldn't get your clothing dirty, it will become soiled. . . you've gotta know that.
*hype often leads to disappointment.
*if your dog has peed on the floor during the night, you will step directly in the puddle first thing next morning.
*your nose will run when you don't have anything to wipe it with.
*if your spouse eats spaghetti and garlic meatballs for supper, you will pay for it at bedtime.
*speaking of bedtime, if you get over tired you will have insomnia into the wee hours like me. . . so, on that note. . .must get some shut eye.


Friday, August 26, 2005


I've been accused of having a midlife crisis!!! yes, that's right. . one of my long time co-workers thinks that i'm in the throes of one right now!! WAAAAAAHAAAAAA HAAAAA!
blame it on dancing -- bellydancing.

Yes, belly dancing is something that i'd been wanting to do for a while, but couldn't seem to find any DVDs out there in the stores and i felt just WAY too weird to think about going to some class in a neighbourhood association building, under the pallor-inducing fluorescent lighting. . *did i also mention that its very unflattering?!* worrying about looking like a bull in a china shop in front of everyone else. . attempting to make my hips swivel and shimmy and do other unnatural motions with my pelvis?! uh, no.

So, on my birthday, my youngest child had obviously been paying attention to my occasional murmurings about my desire to learn this sinewy, ancient dance style. I've always been partial to most kinds of dancing. . i've taken a few classes in my day. . and i'm fairly quick on the uptake when it comes to learning moves and choreography; best of all, dancing is FUN!! I've been shlogging it out for years with friggin' leg lifts that make you look like a dog peeing on a hydrant, stupid step classes where an automaton leads you through an hour of staring at your feet climb up and step down from a neon riser, mind-numbing weight training circuit machines the soul-sucking treadmills and elliptical trainers. . . Every time i was in the gym I felt claustrophic and wanted to run outside so that I could feel the fresh air and hear sounds other than the hiss and click of machinery and see sights that made me happy, not the 'stepford wives' lined up in a row with dour and dismal faces. Life's too short, man!!!

As i opened this gift on that birthday. . i looked at the title: Kathy Smith's "Flex Appeal" and at first i thought "Oh, another fitness video, GREAT." THEN i looked further down to see the rest of the title:

OH THE JOY!!!! I was ecstatic. I kept looking at the cover, noticing Kathy's nifty bugle-beaded hip wrap and coordinating filmy top. She smiled beguilingly. I was beguiled. . not with her, cuz i'm not 'that way'!!! but with the exotic craziness of being able to try something different and fun and who cares if i'm a 43 year-old grandma?! I will shake what my momma gave me and i will shake it well!!

Next day i worked my shift even more grudgingly than usual! I kept thinking, "i'd rather be bellydancing." Finally at mid morning break, i could stand it no more! I whipped off my headphones, logged off and ran down to the basement, grabbed the video, ripped off the plastic, popped in the tape and watched the FBI WARNING scroll down the screen with growing excitement!

I stood in front of the TV, in my work out clothes. . . no, i don't have any flashy stuff yet but I will figure something out! I anxiously transferred my weight back and forth from one foot to another. . then the music started. . middle eastern snake charmer stuff. . I felt like i was having my break in Marakkesh!!! Kathy and the dancers appeared on the screen, swaying and circling their wrists against a lush, velvety backdrop, pillars, potted palms. . . I WAS in Marakkesh!

From the beginning breathing. . to the arm and wrist movements. . i was totally reeled in. . i loved it! It was so calming and graceful. I felt very girly! I progressed to 'snake arms'. . which are funky and fluid. . then came the various 'hip' moves. Kathy taught well. . the ladies slid serpiginously. We did chest circles and shoulder shimmies. . which made me feel like a dance hall hoochie!!! i was sooo grateful to be alone. . trying to make your 'parts' do things they ain't used to doing. . . i'll tell ya, not too pretty. . more like a clydesdale trying to race at the Kentucky Derby! hilarious! worked down to hip shimmies. . 'ummies' (a little grinding - but very high class grinding), 'mayas', 'hip drops'. . i was learning it all!!! I looked like the hip snaking ladies on the Old Navy 'skirt' commercial!!! . . . da da da da "old navy's got new skirts now, (our skirts are super chic), our skirts are very flirty. . (our skirts are super chic. .) super skirts, super skirts, they're super skirty." I recognized the hip shimmies right away!!! and I'm doing them!!! I fought an urge to drive to Old Navy to purchase a 'flirty skirt'! I was impressed with my hips, but i had to go back to work.

I'm typing away, illnesses flowed in one ear and out the other, doctor's voices droned incessantly jamming medical terminology into my brain, but my little heart was saying "You know you wanna dance!" So, once i signed off and escaped my little prison chair and my solitary confinement quarters, I raced down the stairs to put the tape back on. I continued swirling and shaking. I was happy. I even did the 'advanced section'. . Would you have ever thought that belly dancing could drench you in a sweat?!!! well it does!!! i was positively drippy by the cool down stretch time. .

I excitedly told the girls at work about my glorious, groovy new work out! This is when the term 'midlife crisis' came up. . i don't care! they've known me long enough to think i've lost it and get away with saying it!!! Maybe I have?! i've lost something all right. . . BOREDOM with exercise and my work and my routine!!! I now look FORWARD to working out!!! I cannot actually believe this. . where has this epiphany been hiding out?! I'm only jazzed that i've finally had it!!! a bona fide lightbulb moment. I've always loved dancing. . . so why did it never occur to me that i could do this exclusively for fitness. . and forget about the donkey kicks and tae bo, turbo crunch, power 90 nonsense?! i finally got it!!! So, now that i'm beginning to actually dance and not knock things flying with my hips. . i am wanting to expand my horizons. . . and after an search. . . along came. . . ta da. . . . Brazilian dance with live percussion!!! Man!!! is this fun!!!! It took no time for my DVD to arrive. . and with equal eagerness i turned on that DVD player. Instantly the bongos and conga drums transported me to Carnivale!!! I samba'd all over my basement. . i flung my arms up and wrapped them around my hips and let my backbone slide. . . I have to tell you that this is addictive stuff here!!! more shimmying and a lot of profuse sweating. . and a lot of listening to the dance instructor bark in her charmingly high-pitched, breathless accent "fife, seex, seven, aight!! samba right and travel and hips and hips." Brazilian street dance is fast and exciting. . . belly dancing is slow and intoxicating. I'm hooked. yep, definitely hooked. Now when we walk the dog at night I've noticed that i'm even beginning to walk differently, I'll have to watch the swaying. . i don't wanna hip check Rob and make him fall off the curb!!! midlife crisis, my hips!!! I say midlife appreciation!!! YA!

Monday, August 22, 2005

what would you ask him?

What if you could have 1/2 an hour tomorrow with God in person, face to face?
You could see him. . no staring up toward the sky or the ceiling, trying to imagine someone other than some 'old man' wearing a white garment, sporting a flowing white beard. . .
You could sit down with him. . .at a table, on chairs, on a bench outdoors, on a good, big 'sitting rock'. . .have a coffee with him. . . maybe walk and talk?
If you reached out to touch him he would be touchable. . no more 'thin air God'.
How would you be with that? *doesn't matter whether you currently 'believe' in him now or not. . let's say that he does exist and he is right in front of you . .*
How would you feel?
Might you have some unexpected sort of reaction to being near to him?
Do you have questions you've always wanted to ask? questions that no one has been able to answer to your satisfaction?
Would you ask him those questions?

I halfway think that if i was sitting out on my deck and i was sitting in one of the chairs and God was sitting across the table from me, I have this feeling that i wouldn't have any questions once I laid eyes on him. . . i think that questions are for here and now, and questions exist because we're too small to know the whole truth, like a little toddler is simply not told many, many things because they don't have the capacity to make sense of them. I think he is the embodiment of every answer to every question and just being around him, i would probably forget every question i've ever thought of.

This is a bit of a tangent, but its about God too. . I have this theory. . it might sound bizarre, but because there are so many people in the world of all different sorts of skin colours and facial features, all different languages. . I think that when a person sees God, God has the ability to appear to that person the way that person needs to see him. Does that seem strange ? I don't think that God shape shifts or morphs his features or anything, but I think that he is so good at the 'doing everything at the same time' thing. . like listening to everyone at the same time in all those languages and being everywhere at once. . gah. . i can't understand how this is possible, but what do i know? So, i think that he is definitely able to be visually everything at once to the human eye, every human eye, he can appear black, asian, latin, caucasian. . maybe i'm nuts, maybe not. Did you see "Meet Joe Black"? Brad Pitt's character was the 'angel of death'. . and to every person he ushered from this mortal coil, he would appear in a way that was familiar to them, he would talk their talk, you know. . the Jamaican woman lying on the hospital bed in that spare, tiled room, he spoke to her in this perfect accent, using the kind of words that she would use. . calming her and reassuring her. . that's sort of what i mean.

I have questions, specific ones that pertain to the life i've been living. . like why did only 2 out our 5 children live? Why have i periodically gone through such dark times? Those kind of questions . . they have tons of cliches that might serve as answers but i hate cliches. For the most part i have just learned to live without the answers. I have learned to live with the mystery and have had to accept that life is like that. I have faith, I think that God is other than what I am and i am okay with not knowing now, but i still wonder.

I have questions about the Bible, like in Genesis, when Cain killed his brother Abel, he fled to another land and met people and got married. . Where did these people come from? Up till then i thought there was only Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel. . Was there really only 1 set of people on the earth when the whole thing started? or was there more than 1 pair of "Adam and Eves"? again. . that's my dumb idea. I'd ask "What about the dinosaurs?" I wonder about Neanderthals. . . I always thought that the first people were just like us. . smart, with it, but there's the whole 'cave man' thing. .were Adam and Eve cavemen? I don't understand how to reconcile things like this.

I'd like to ask God why does the universe exist in its vastness, if this 1 planet is the only place he chose to fill with life? what is the purpose of all the rest? things for us to discover? things to look at and wonder? If so, that would be kinda like building a mega mansion and having the family live in 1 closet. What might await us? where exactly is Heaven? Does God know how hard it is for us down here to believe a place we've never seen? Is Heaven the rest of the mansion. . .is life like living in the closet and death and going to Heaven like finally getting to see the rest of the place? How come everyone won't get to see it? why doesn't everyone want to?

I have questions about evil. . where did it come from? how did it begin? why is there a devil? how come he is what he is? why does he do what he does? why does he hate goodness? why does he use us to try to battle against God? Why did God make this earth and those people if he knew ahead of time that they would reject him and pierce his heart with grief? I wonder these kinds of thoughts. A lot of people i think ask the standard questions like "Who am I?", "Why am I here?", "What's the meaning of life?", "Why do bad things happen to good people?". . . yeah. . those are good ones. . real ones. Would you ask him those questions?

I think of the scenario, me and God face to face. . i hope that i'm not oversimplistic or naive when i think of him sitting on my deck just to answer my questions? I know that he's the creator of thunder and mountain ranges and oceans deep enough to make the sunkenTitanic look like a dollar store plastic toy. . so you'd think i'd be more likely keeling over in a sensory overloaded faint? maybe. . probably, but if i did, i'm sure he'd help me to my feet and sit me down and we'd have our half hour for questions, or maybe we wouldn't even have to speak? we could just take in the fresh air, watch the chipmunk dig yet one more hole in my yard and we'd smile because he's just so cute.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

21st century living

You know, I seldom watch ABCs newsmagazine "20/20". Years back Rob and I both watched it pretty well every week. I'm not really sure why we stopped. Hugh Downs, Barbara Walters, the guy with the moustache (sorry, his name escapes me). Good journalism, i thought -- issues, current and compelling, some marshmallow fluff to lighten things up a bit, some celebrity profiling, nice mix.

The reporters have all changed. Forgive me, I don't even remember their names! For whatever reason, i began to watch last night - intrigued by the trailer commercials. . . Rob joined me shortly after it began.

The lead story was the disturbing story of Marc Cohen, told in his own words - strangely, his wife is one of the anchors on the show and she not only covered the story, but was interviewed in the piece!!! *how strange that must have been for her?* For those who haven't heard of this man, he had a huge hit with "Walking in Memphis"some years back. Approximately 2 weeks ago he was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking, while he and his band drove home post concert. Amazingly, the bullet that found its way into Mr. Cohen's head was precisely 1 cm shy from entering the singer's brain, and about an equal distance from rupturing his eye. The CT scan showed the evidence. He is recovering beautifully physically, but does seem to be suffering from intermittently-triggered post traumatic stress -- who wouldn't be?! They did apprehend the shooter, who had a lengthy list of offences. I thought he had that typical 'criminal look'. . the wild eyed gaze of a caged animal, the swagger of evil conceit. . made me shudder. He looked just plain bad to the bone.

After that scary story we were then treated to two small, related pieces on spying.
Spouses spying on spouses. .
Parents spying on children. .

Spyware isn't just for spies any more. If you suspect your spouse, all you have to do is go to a store and they will hook you up. Cameras, disguised as innocuous, household or everyday items, bear silent witness to all the things you'd probably rather not see. E-blaster and other such computer software keeps track of every keystroke, every email, every site hit by the "suspect", logs, lists, online purchases. . it documents everything. In the U.S. there's even a reality show called "Cheaters" which obtains video proof of infidelity and shuttles the wronged spouse to the scene of the tryst, to catch the adulterers in 'flagrante delicto'. . . just what everyone wants to see; live marriage disintegration, raw heartbreak at the moment it happens, rage, humiliation, pain. . what's happening??? Did you know there are 'alibi' websites. All you do is register, log on then ask someone to provide you a plausible alibi to convince the one you want to dupe, that there is a legitimate reason for you to be called away, or for you to miss an event or be absent from home. . . the alibi provider will text, email, call, whatever you need. There is also a company that will provide a 'sonic decoy' for your every deceitful need. If you need your spouse to believe that you are 'stuck in traffic' all you do is select "traffic jam" which will provide the background noise to corroborate your lie. Can you believe that people make a living providing this stuff?

Also profiled were several parents who had installed cameras in their teens' bedrooms, to 'monitor' their activities. One parent was a single mom who often had to work late, who watched her son every 10 minutes. . . her child was a conscientious, good kid of 13 who resented the intrusion and didn't understand why it was necessary. We found this creepy. A dad was profiled, who had installed e-blaster software for his daughter's computer. He monitored every single keystroke, every incoming and every outgoing communication. His daughter was very uncomfortable with this invasion of her privacy, yet she confessed that her dad is a good guy who is scared to death that online predators would somehow find her whereabouts. Yet another dad had installed a GPS in the car that his daughter used. He tracked her all the time to see where she was going, how long she stayed at each destination, even the speed with which she drove. She was mad, she didn't trust him because she wouldn't trust her. We did see some of the reasons why this kind of spying can be helpful. . kids repeatedly stealing from their parents' purses, kids getting into the liquor cabinet, getting drunk, even throwing up on the kitchen floor.

Cheating, spying, no trust, no faith. What a mess. Is all this a solution?! ugh. . left a bad taste in my mouth.

Last little gem in this strange show was a piece which profiled women who marry lifers. . men in jail, men on death row, murderers, thieves. One woman said that she liked a 'manly man', someone who was mysterious, a 'bad boy'. wow. . . these women, what are they smoking? Most of them cannot consummate their marriages. . depends what state allows conjugal visits. They have no one to live life with, do the every day things with, no one to talk. Okay, maybe i'm missing something, but we're talking murderers. . . women who 'fall in love' with them and marry them!!! What possible appeal exists here??? Who could hold the hands of someone who used those same hands to kill someone else? I know I'm asking as if you will have the answer! Who does? What a very bizarre segment that was and i don't even know how to think about that.

I liked the 'old' 20/20, the one with Baba Wawa and good 'ole Hugh. . and some fluff to balance the 'in your face' stuff, bring back the weight loss tips, Dr. Tim talking about modern health care, BW interviewing a politician or a film maker. . am I being an ostrich? I find this world a scary place to inhabit. . . don't you? I hate watching the news and i don't think i'll bother watching 20/20 again. . . i would prefer my eyesight to be a little more fuzzy. . 20/20 vision is unsettling.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

before the rain

the darkened sky broods overhead and the wind powers through the tall oaks in my backyward. . . woosh. . the pliant branches sway and bend. The windchimes clang lightly in the twilight. The wind blows then recedes, shifting and ruffling the glossy, thick-leaved vines that drape over the deck trellis. Crickets are squeaking, motorcycle engines whine in the distance. The air feels saturated and the breeze is brisk and cool. A siren pierces the soundscape, then fades in the direction of someone's trouble. A faraway train whistle joins the cacophony . . .these are the sounds of living.

I see bird silhouettes just above my neighbour's roofline. . .strips of deeper blue slice through the cloud cover in the distance. The moon is full but hiding. Acorns pelt the wooden deck. Geese do a flyby. . their distinctive cry is all Canadian.

The rain seems imminent, but hesitant. Night has fallen fully and calms where it touches. My heart rate slows slightly and my breathing deepens. Every wind swell stirs the thousands of darkly green leaves that tremble above me . . . . waiting

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

well then

Hey all! As usual i'm blogging late. . Rob's rolling fresh, new paint onto the same cupboard that cracked my skull!!! so i'm stayin' away from that particular one. . we don't like each other!!! heh heh. . . I visited my friend, Pauline tonight - we are enjoying each other's company for Canadian Idol watching every Tuesday night!!! WEEEE!!! We had popcorn, which we both seemed to like shovelling into our gobs like it was goin' outta style, also both confessed a predilection for licking the salty, buttery-flavoured oil from the sides of the bag!!! Pauline told me of a work friend who asked her how she ate her popcorn, and P then went on to demonstrate jamming an entire handful of the crunchy nuggets into her wide-open mouth, using her palm to push it all in! It was hilarious to see someone demonstrate the private way i eat this stuff. . was she a fly on my wall?? So, when the popcorn was done, we got talking about blogs after C.I. was over. . . and yeah, we had a good talk as always. I learned that there are those who might visit a humorous blog post (i.e. one of mine) that doesn't mention God every second word and immediately the Christian 'snobbery' rears its ugly head and judgement seeps in and does its erosive job.

So, i'm writing with a bit of heaviness in my heart and a sigh exhaling from my open mouth, which I almost feel as if i could sigh enough, a bit of the heaviness would escape with each exhalation. Its not working. . so i'm gonna write this.

All right. . . where is it written, or has it ever been written that people who love God have to be 'one channel'. . all God, all the time? Who says that a person who loves God must bludgeon people over the head with Bible quotes and little religious homilies for every occasion? Who says that Christians must always have an angle, looking for that opportunity to 'get' people. . capture them, preach at them? Must a follower of Jesus talk in the weird dialect of "Christianese" and say things like "Blessings" or "Hallelujah", "Praise the Lord!", "Father God", "Yes, Jesus!", "Amen"? I'm actually starting to really get annoyed with this kind of talk, cuz its thrown around and trampled upon like sidewalk salt in winter. . . so much. . . too much. . . these words seem to have lost their meanings. . . i cringe and wince with sayings like "God told me this" or "Let go and let God" (a particular UNfavourite), "When God closes a door, he always opens a window". . i'm sorry, i can't say these things, they just don't flow from my pen, my keyboard nor my lips. .i can't even believe them. Does this make me some kind of inferior, substandard Christ follower? Must a person who loves God act like this and talk like this, cuz if that's what loving God is all about, i guess I don't want to love him. Thankfully i know that is not even remotely close to what being a godly person is. I've got to pause here for a second. . . I do not want to speak out of turn or be speaking for myself when it comes to such importance.

If i write something, anything. . if i chose to talk about my poodle who throws up on the basement stairs and licks it up again. . or if i talk about cracking my skull on a cupboard and liken a botched paint job to primates smearing feces on my walls, or if i chose to talk about the velvety night sky or about a beautiful girl whose parents are struggling to come to terms with her death. . geez. . i write what i feel. . i write about what touches me. . i write for the sheer joy of putting words together because i love them so much. If I am a the 'real deal', doesn't God live in me? and doesn't he come out in what I say? even if its not blatantly, dogmatically, pragmatically, theologically coated???!! this makes me think of M&Ms. . don't ask me why, cuz i'm kinda upset, but i guess the 'coated' part. . . M&MS might be coated in candy, which is fun and crunchy and colourful and light. . but there is still chocolate to the core and the candy shell isn't all there is, even though that's the first thing you see!!! So, if my blogs are sometimes like the candy part of chocolate covered candy. . . they are still chocolate. Am i bonkers? Is there some anoxia happening in my brain now? okay, deep breath. . .

I know that most of you are probably wondering "hmmm, why does Kathy have this bee in her bonnet?". . .not to mention that she's mixing her metaphors!!! and I say to you. . its not you, its me. . okay, maybe its one bee. . . but I hope that this makes sense. The bee will know what i'm saying. . and hey they're entitled to be a bee and bees sting and it hurts. . . but bees will be bees.

I feel more unworthy than i could tell you to even bear the name of Christ, to the point that i even hesitate to call myself a Christian. . . but indeed I am following him and he's gracious enough to me to allow me to. I don't expound pious platitudes in my blog and if i ever did, i'd expect some 'smacking' SNAP OUT OF IT comments from you guys! I'd sooner pack it up and call it quits than turn into some superspiritual, hyper-religious *read 'boring* unreal, plastic, poor excuse for a human being. We're all in this together fellow babies (as Dr. Johnny Fever would say! - W.K.R.P in Cincinnati - your blast from the past). . . so let's know each other and read and write and be full of joy and share and be in community without cliches, force-fed Bible doses or weird phrases. This is an M&M blog for sure. . and what's wrong with that? I love M&MS!!!!! don't you???

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Plastic wrap to the rescue. . .

One day not too long ago i picked at a loose seam of my kitchen wallpaper. . . OOPS!!! i tore some off. . .i kept tearing. . now i've done it - no turning back cuz i'm tearing off more and more and it looks good and ugly now, i am now commited to the process of change . . .ooh that means work!! I knew it was time. . i guess i had been in a state of lazy denial. I kept talking myself out of it, so I put up with the 'little house on the prairie' wallpaper, little wee brown flowers. . looked like Laura Ingalls church dress! WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I BOUGHT THIS STUFF?! When we moved into our little 'fixer upper' house 22 years ago, the entire house was just disgusting beyond words. . but we were young, it was affordable and our little Linds was 9 months old and our apartment was exploding with her toys and baby paraphenalia, we needed a house! We used to walk past the little house ALL THE TIME. . wishing and praying and hoping that we'd move in there one day. . and we did!!! When we went to sign the papers at the lawyer's office, we got the goosebumps. The former owners had the same names as we did!!! We looked at each other and said "This was meant to happen". We moved in and began our never ending renovation odyssey. I think that Lindsay was about 3 i had put up with the kitchen long enough. . we transformed our 1950s red and white kitchen into an 80s 'country kitchen' with wood and wallpaper, we sprung for a new counter and new flooring. We were so excited to have something nice. We had stripped the cupboard doors, and found this bizarre wood grain, the likes of which we'd never seen, however i wanted natural wood and we were too poor to buy brand new cupboards, so we lived with the SILLY , icky wood grain.

We got busy raising our girls and went on to fix many others things that begged to be fixed. But it was great, cuz we were working hard together to make it better. Draw any spiritual or life-lesson parallels you'd like here. . i always tend to see everything like that anyway. Yeah, i know, spiritualizing house renovations. . what can I say? I can spiritualize garbage day!!

So, back to the 21st century here. . the precious Holly Hobbie kitchen is rapidly becoming history, the lace garage sale curtains have landed in the garbage. . sometimes it feels good to get rid of old, worn out stuff. I want the new kitchen to be sleek but warm. My friend Linda says that your kitchen is the heart of your house. . so ours is having some 'open heart surgery'! I dreamed this up on my own! I'm hoping that everything works out?! The walls are a warm brown, with wooden wainscotting, the trim is fresh white. . buhbye almond!!! The flooring will be taupe or dark grey, preferably something resembling slate. . brushed nickel door pulls and knobs, fixtures, all that. . the wood ceiling stays, cuz Robbie and I made it and its gorgeous. . new light fixtures, something funky. . Dark bamboo roman blinds are on order. High gloss mini tiles (probably dark brown) for the back splash, i've never had a back splash before. I'm jazzed about that.

We began the gargantuan job. . . and we soaked the walls with a power sprayer, we sweated and scraped that retarded backing off the walls, it yielded 1 centimeter at a time and left behind tacky, stubborn glue. . which we had to scrub off the walls with steel wool, underneath all this gunge, we encountered the peeling grossness of ill-applied latex over oil basecoat *which made us think dark thoughts against the painter, whomever it might have been -- possibly one of our namesakes??* GAH!!! What a hideous job. . we slaved at that. . So, after patching and sanding, etc. . Rob rolled on a linen-coloured base, how beautiful!!!!

Here's where it gets interesting. . .

I'm "Ms Confident" . . i decide to make a glaze. . which was easy and gloopy, and very fun, kinda felt like a kindergarten with the fingerpaints! Rob's watching, he decided to stir. . i measured. He was getting set to go out, cuz he did the base coat, the faux finishing was my department. . i was cool with that. . fair's fair. "Start behind the stove" sez Rob. . of course, i thought, smart. . . little did we know! I dunk my lint free rag into the brown goop. . . I hunker down behind the stove and begin swirling the glaze onto the pristine, pale wall. UH OH. . . . that doesn't look good. . . I tell myself that its okay, i'll get the hang of it. . I do some more circular motions with the glaze. . . I'm starting to get that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach. Desperation sets in. . . i'm swirling, and Rob's looking silently over my shoulder. oh this is not good. . . I begin to get very upset and even panicky. . my vision, my lovely vision is becoming a chocolate brown nightmare!!! I'm asking Rob to consult the internet site i have bookmarked. . he's re-reading the directions and then he tells me "oh, use a damp cloth, Kathy." Okay, i get another cloth and dampen it and AHHHHH its taking the flipping glaze right off the walls in garish, smeary white circles. Okay, now i'm freaking out!!! I decide that we must move to another technique. Rob's looking up 'frottage'. . . which we'd done before (roll on your glaze, take it off the crumpled plastic wrap, paper, whatever). So, Rob comes in to help me wipe the stupid, crappy circles off of the wall. . and I get up quickly and CRACK. . . my head meets the pointed end of the overhead cupboard! I yell "JESUS!" *I really wasn't swearing. . it was the first word that came out of my mouth! in a reverent painter's cry for divine intervention??* as if i half expected him to have some sympathy for my plight.. . . more than likely he's laughing his head off watching me sitting on my rear end with my painty gloved hands up in the air to keep from touching other objects. . i'm bawling my eyes out from the pain of my throbbing head. . and Rob's got to lift me up. . and I'm saying "I'm such a moron. . . i ruined your painting. . . i suck. . " Rob's consoling me and tell me that I don't suck. . Then I wail in my high-pitched 'crying voice' : "This looks like monkeys came in and smeared sh*@ all over the walls!!" The horrid half circles of smeary brown paint teased my "Ms Confidence" and chased her away. . . Rob says "Well, i wasn't gonna say anything, but I'm glad you think so." . . . i can laugh about it now!

Thank God for back-up plans and for plastic wrap!!! We wiped off as much of the mistake as we could and Rob decided to help me do the whole thing. . i love him!!! and together we corrected the boo boo, so that you would never know it was ever there. . . ahhhh, that's better. We rolled the glaze on and dabbed it off with giant wads of Glad wrap. . . oh, the Man from Glad would be a bit peeved to see such waste, but still i think he'd be proud of us! You know what? the kitchen walls look fantastic!!! I had to take some extra strength tylenol for the big lump on my noggin but the walls, the walls are amazingly, goldenly warm brown. . they look like they have this 'texture'. I love them. . I can't wait to do the rest of the room!!! p.s. my head still hurts, and when i touch it i laugh out loud thinking about monkeys.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Now this just came outta nowhere really, i was just thinking about bananas for some reason and this little 'quiz' just starting coming to me. So, If you're ready to take the quiz, just answer every question in your mind, or out loud if you like!


1. Will you eat the bruises in bananas?
2. Do you employ the 5-second rule for food droppage?
3. Can you leave a mess alone and not clean it up right away? *regardless of who made it*
4. Can you drink other brands of your favourite beverage if yours isn't available?
5. Can you receive a doggie kiss without "pulling a Lucy"? (have you all seen Charlie Brown?)
6. Do you notice and/or feel the urge to correct misspellings, bad grammar or poor punctuation?
7. Can you eat food you don't prepare? As my friend, Pauline would say "You don't know if the
person was picking their nose or scratching their arse while they were cooking."
8. Do you iron your clothes? all of them? some? none?!! Please don't say you iron your towels!
9. Do you need to control the remote control?
10. Do you care if your foods mix on your plate?
11. Can you take holidays with other people?
12. Is it easy for you to break your routines - if you have them that is!
13. If you receive subpar service, do you speak up?
14. Do you get annoyed if the wind blows your hair?
15. If you leaf through money and you notice an upside down or backwards bill, do you correct
it to match the rest?
16. Do you eat the end pieces in a loaf of bread?
17. Do you like the feel of sand between your toes?
18. Would you use an outhouse or Port-A-Potty?
19. Do you flip out if someone enters your house with their shoes on?
20. If a visitor's child spills something on your carpet do you take it in stride?
21. If your salad has bits of rusty lettuce, do you eat them? (that's like the banana question, i
22. Will you eat cheap chocolate?

So. . . wasn't that fun?! Well. . . . are you an official fussypants?!! I'm not gonna make you add anything up or not. . you know if you are!!!

I am for some things and i'm not for others. . . i iron as little as possible, i hate the wind blowing my hair and i hate sand in my toes. . i hate cheap chocolate. . i don't mind if ppl wear their shoes in my house. . its actually better for the carpets than bare or sock feet! (according to my carpet cleaning guy). . i don't flip out if a child spills. . i won't eat bruises in bananas or rusty lettuce! ICK! Idon't like the ends of the bread! i speak up when i receive subpar service. . i can leave a mess for a time. . if nobody's coming to visit, and i love doggie kisses, but not on the lips!

Monday, August 08, 2005

another year. .

yes, another year has begun for me . . it stretches out like an unexplored road. I'm eagerly optimistic about that and grateful for all the decades gone by! It was a celebrating day today, with chinese food, birthday pie, pink balloons, birthday banners and my wonderful family. . our poor little house was bursting at the seams! Several young nieces and nephews, grandkids. . . doing art work at the dining room table, screaming with laughter and bouncing around inside the play room tent. . the 2 babies eyeing each other and sharing a soother! it kinda felt like a day care!! the oldest ones drawn to the drum kit and the djimbe, their long "rocker" hair hanging in curtains over their eyes. . boy, Auntie Kathy fought strong urges to lure them into the room where i keep the dog grooming scissors! the adults all yacked and read magazines and i got to open my gifts. . things i've wanted but could never find. . that was SO great, I can't say! A smooth, marble pastry board, which is surprisingly cold to the touch even at room temp, so yeah, that's gonna roll a mean pastry!! The sucker's HEAVY!!! gotta lift with your legs! I also received some squeeze bottles (for dessert decorating). . . yeah - so simple, but so sought after for months now!!! Got some gorgeous wall plates for my 'in transition' disaster zone kitchen.. . i can see it finished in my head! A decadent Rosalind's gift cert, with which I should be able to snag some lacy and or silky item! Some beautifully arranged flowers, mushy and silly cards, some spending moola and get this. . . something i've been dying to get my hands on. . . . a BELLY DANCING VIDEO! ooh la la. . . can't wait to gyrate! don't worry, that's about as saucy as this is gonna get here! I bet its a fabulous work out for the abs ? I'll clear a path around the hip area to prevent flying objects and NOBODY and i mean NOBODY had better be peeking while i'm trying to learn. . .cuz i'm just gonna look like a doofus and i won't have any cool-looking finger cymbals or tiered skirts with little bells on them. . i might even get a laugh eh??!!! perhaps i should cover up the basement windows?

wow. . mid 40s. . i feel the years but i don't, do you know what i mean? i like their effect. . i like how they work to wise me up and calm me down ( i'm now only occasionally hot tempered and hopefully only occasionally stupid!). I like knowing who i am and what i'm here for. . its makes things so much easier!

Of course on the playlist for the party meal was the Beatles version of Happy Birthday!! What would a birthday be without this cool, little rockin tune?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

night time

you know, i love the night for so many reasons.
the cooler air is such a relief from the day's intensity
the velvety bluish blackness of the sky - isn't it so gorgeous? it appears almost touchable. .
the winking stars - they look so teeny, its hard to believe they are dying or dead planets! harder still to realize that the light we see has taken so long to emanate from its source, that the source may no longer exist?!!!!
the luminous moon -- there's something about that orb. . its serene and austere, not a scrap of life on it, freezing cold, even so, it seems we've assigned it a warm personna! So much more mellow than that hyperactive sun, it shines benevolently upon all the lovers in the world, yet takes the rap for all that craziness among the 'lunatic' fringe! strange, eh?
the night time stillness, you can almost feel it. . even strain to hear it. .
the sleeping. . . ahhhh, love sleeping.
the way light glows in the darkness, its comforting. . allows us to 'tame the beast'. . . if all was total blackness, i don't think i'd be so rhapsodic, more likely terrified!!!
Still, I feel like the night time is my time. . i was born after midnight !!!there's a reason i'm this way!!
I even married another night person and had 2 night children! (though 1 of our daughters has little kiddies, so she's had to cross over to the 'other side', but she'll be back. . right Linds? *wink!*)
I love to drive at night, i love the glow of the instrument panel on the dash. . i love the way the headlights and running lights cast those helpful pools of light onto the darkened asphalt. i love the sound of djs voices at night on the car radio. .
I love to walk at night, love to hear the echo of my footsteps. . walk over my street light shadow on the sidewalk.
Its so cool how sound travels at night. . . speeding trains and jets flying overhead can sound like cataclysmic events!!! thunderous!
I love to be outdoors at night -- its magic. I like the smells of night, the loamy earth smell, the damp, dewy florals from roses and honeysuckle vines. . .now with no competition from the busy daytime vehicle exhaust, they lightly perfume the air.
I can think at nightl, its like my brain 'sighs' at night. . .
I can breathe at night. . the day's chaos and 'forced labour' ha ha . . has ended and i'm free!

How do you feel about the night? are you a night person or a morning person?
If you like the night, what do you like about it?
Do you hate waking up every morning? are you grumpy?? (i find it torturous!!!)
OR do you spring up from your bed singing and jumping. . . up and 'at em, RISE AND SHINE and all that hooey? all that stuff's foreign to me and seems not to be in my DNA!?
maybe i should take up coffee drinking and get that artificial boost in the a.m.? join the rest of the world in its caffeine-induced alertness?! nah. . . i'd rather stay sleepy and hope it will gradually wear off. . . which it invariably does by around noon!!!! heh heh. . .

its time to say 'goodnight'. Notice how nobody ever wishes you a 'badnight'? there's a reason for that! (actually lots of them listed above!)

Monday, August 01, 2005

disposable gotchies and maalox

oh man. . . i spent 1/2 hour watching ABC News. . . the "American feed". . . which is weird cuz usually in this country (Canada) our stations sub their own ads. . . anyway. . I learned some things in between commercials, like its taken over 1 billion dollars to 'fix' the space shuttle, i won't even touch that one now! and Atkins corporation *the eat as much gloopy meat and cheese as you want people* has declared bankruptcy. . . their product sales are down 50% - but in their hey day they bankrupted Wonderbread, got the Florida Orange Juice Growers mad enough to file suit and riled up pasta producers to the point that they launched a "Pasta Fights Back" campaign! People are nuts when it comes to losing their chub. . . They even talked about a book called the "3-Hour Diet". . . you eat food every 3 hours. . nothing new. . ppl have been talking about this for a while now, but its climbing up the best-sellers list. I could certainly handle eating every 3 hours. . but i can't say i'd always eat the right things. . So, that's what was on the "news", but it was the commercials that were driving me bonkers!

Drugs! The only non-drug spots I saw were for 3 different "wrinkle creams" that promised to 'de-crinkle' my skin and save me from going under the knife! yes, they actually used the word 'de-crinkle'! at least when they claim to have ingredients like "Boswellian"??? or copper they are attempting to sound scientific!! Then there were the denture products spots. . makes me want to wear floss necklaces so that there's no chance of me losing my teeth. . that would be traumatic! i love them!!

So, i kid you not. . these are the other commercials I saw in 1/2 hour:

*Maalox. . . poker players surrounded by salsa and nachos assured me that its 3 x more effective than the 'other brand'. . the cartoon maalox container even whupped the other brand container's *$@
*Lunesta (some mysterious drug that was advertised with a luminous, animated butterfly flying from darkened house to house - nothing else! I thought "sleep aid". . . but i'm not sure? it told me to 'ask your doctor')
*Phillips tablet laxatives. . they don't cramp like the competition does! (i spell checked this sentence to make sure the "m" was in the proper word)
*Some new prostate drug for men who keep 'going and going and going'. . geez. . i had to hear this man talk about his pee pee problems and i got to see an animated picture of his prostate and bladder. . . that was a treat.
*Daily aspirin to prevent heart attack risk - an athlete doing the butterfly in a swimming pool. . . come on! show somebody who's older, overweight and out of shape and you come close to the majority of heart patients who need aspirin therapy!
*"Cholesterol" vitamins by One A Day. . . i wasn't really paying attention why we need these?
*Ezetimibe to treat your elevated cholesterol . . . side effects may include nausea, vomiting, headache.. . dry mouth. .
--- excuse me, i'm slapping fruit flies in between points here! i'm hurting my own palms more than i'm getting rid of them! ---
*Nexium for acid reflux disease. . . how many 'diseases' can we have?

So, yeah, i kept thinking of the Huey Lewis song "I Wanna New Drug"!!
I also thought. . wow. . almost all of these conditions are stress related.

While i'm in the 'personal products' zone. . there's 'Tena' brand disposable undergarments. . . this particular commercial isn't an American one, I don't think? and i didn't see it tonight, but its been aired here in Canada about a year ago. . . "Forget Your Troubles, Come On Get Happy" swings in the background as elderly women dance and twirl and laugh over lunch al fresco. . . then the part that my husband Rob always shielded his eyes from was the image of a grey-haired woman seated on her bedside, pulling up her diapers over her dainty feet!!! He would always say "OH, MAN!!!" Next thing you know, this commercial was pulled and there's a new one with a scat music background. . . pregnant women, young, athletic women doing yoga, a pair of lithe legs dancing with her "Tena" gotchies showing, which look surprisingly chic! WHA?! . . new image. . for the young, sophisticated incontinent, there's Tena. Hey! maybe i should write commercials?!!! GAH!!!

aaanyway. . . just a little observation. I guess the 'drug' and 'delicate issues' commercials are a nice break from the constant food commercials!!!! I didn't even cover the 'feminine products'!!!! which is crazy!!! *i guess i was watching during a 'geriatric time spot'???!!!* cuz they weren't talking about wings or extra absorbency. . . thank goodness!