Monday, July 24, 2006

My baby on her birthday!

This is my 'baby' . She's 20 today!!! She's having a birthday party moment here with her niece. Eri! I have to pinch myself. . . I can't believe that 20 years have gone by. Can I be that old? Can she actually be starting her third year of university? It's wonderful, don't get me wrong!!! I have so many memories of baby Kalyn and little girl Kalyn and teenaged Kalyn. 20??!!!! Wow! Sometimes I feel like it's all been a fantastic blur! I'm writing in pink, because she LOVES pink and it's my favourite colour too!! Can you tell from my template?!!! LOL. She probably won't read this, cuz she's not into blogging, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KK!!! You are well on your way now. Adulthood, independence , career, first car (and payment!!) It's all unfolding. . .God is with you, your family is with you and all your friends are too!

Much love, Mom xoxo ((((((HUG!!)))))))
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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Opa and Nana spend time with Jimmy and Eri

Thought you might like to see some pics of us with our grandchildren! They light up every room they inhabit and they certainly have captured our hearts!!! (not to mention they have toys and books and such on every floor and in every room of our house!!)

Opa (Rob) on his birthday. James and Erica on his knees, having just blown out ALL THOSE CANDLES! on his "Ultimate Chocolate Espresso Cake"!! (made just to make him extra happy!) The candles lying here on the table have all had the icing licked off of them! James, well he's a man's man. . he is currently in a Johnny Cash phase and can sing Folsom Prison Blues in it's entirety, while playing a mean air guitar! He loves to play "Midtown Madness" vehicle chase game. . and WW II Flight Simulator. He searches out the Titanic coffee table book, lines up toy trains and cars. He has to have Opa throw him on the couch (from a decent, manly height), then he and Eri must have a 'horseback ride' through the main floor. He usually sets up his Hotwheels loop track. He has to make a trip to the backyard to play outside. Sometimes he wants to dance to fiddle music and he often helps Nana prepare food!

Eri and Nana (me) reading! Yes, she's wearing 'rose-coloured glasses'!!! She has these rituals that must be done every visit. . of which reading is a big one! There's also putting on make up, looking in the cupboards, checking out the fridge, chalking on the message board, chasing the dog all around the house, playing the piano , saying "Nana" over and over again and drawing happy faces.

The kids have a thing for chocolate milk and waffles with chocolate sauce happy faces. James likes 'gronilla' bars and Eri prefers anything that can be dipped into some sort of condiment.

Together, their fascinations include: 'ghostez', mummies, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Titanic, puppets, trains, the airplane museum, the 1800s, medieval times, drawing, our dog, KK's drum kit, the piano, makeup, wearing grown up's shoes, phones and the photo gallery on our fridge. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 17, 2006


I have cold beverages. Wanna come over for a visit? We can have berries and cherries. I may even make a rhubarb strawberry pie!!! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


tricky. . . balance is tricky.

It seems like life is designed to throw you off balance and a lot of living seems to consist in trying to fight against this tendency to pitch wildly in one direction or the other. Living can seem so pre-emptive, corrective. Think about it for a bit. Your daily life. How much of a balancing act is that?! Each part of you - body, soul, spirit needs balance and the whole 'you' needs it.

Basic stuff - eating, sleeping, being active. It's just so easy to screw these things up - never mind the other stuff! I feel like I don't quite have a handle on even the basics. I try to eat well, but I don't always succeed. I've wasted pennies making wishes to eat whatever and not suffer for it! I have not been given a supersonic metabolism. D'OH! I don't listen to my body when it tells me it's tired. I'm a notorious nighthawk. I'm even proud of this and 'wear' it as if it's some badge of honour! Silly, I know. It's true that I love the night. . it's when I feel at my best. It's my time. I happened to marry a man who's so much the same! So yeah, neither of us has the sense God gave us!!! GO TO BED!!! But I'm always pushing the envelope. . now it's turning around to bite me you know where! I have learned that I cannot stay up till 2 a.m. every day and expect not to suffer for it in so many ways. Being active. . . well thankfully I've more often tended to want control in this area than not. I really have fallen right off the other end though. I swear, I've had times in my adult life when I've gone "Jabba". . I do NOT want to move. . I wanna sit or lie around. I don't want to care about my muscles or my body fat to lean muscle mass ratio! Sometimes, in the past, I've said "Ptooey!" to fitness and thought of fitness buffs as obsessive and shallow. But now I do understand how necessary it is to move and get in shape and stay in shape. Balance.

Do you know what I'm saying?

Emotions, thoughts, spirit. . there's so much to balance and it's the heaviest stuff and it so easily tips the scale. I think it depends a lot on personality. I'm so prone to excess in every way. I don't just like things I must LOVE them! I am not touched by another's emotions or situations, I'm devastated by them. I don't often think 'meh' about anything. . I have to FEEL and the quality of feeling is, of course, intense. I cannot control my tears. I cannot control my tongue. I cannot control my thoughts. . they're always running fast and furious. I am not angered, I'm enraged. I'm not interested, I'm excited! Control? Balance? Help, I need help!!! I make myself crazy, and though I feel unrestrained and think I should be constrained, there rises this feeling of exuberance so real it's almost got a form, which I have to throw my arms around. Is that weird that I embrace my imbalance? It seems so much a part of me I think I love it?

Life does throw a lot at us. We're all notoriously out of balance. . It's hard to remain centered. Society sends out a constant barrage of messages and images - makes us teeter and topple. Sometimes I think about this and I get mad. It's hard to remain unscathed, unaffected. Maybe monks can remain unaffected. Maybe hermits. Maybe those who have switched off and opted out. If i think of things globally i feel 'sullied and unusual' (thanx for that one, Captain Jack!). Such wild swings of the pendulum. Opulence, hideous poverty. Greed, grace. Lush, barren. Industry, indolence. Sometimes I'm amazed that the planet can still turn on it's axis, cuz it's so off! I can picture the developing countries as if all those people were on a teeter totter and us in the West, we're holding them up in the air and they're screaming "Let us down, Charlie Brown!" and we are so 'fat' we can hold them up without even trying. We're sleek and unconcerned. We don't hear them and we tip it our way and hold it there interminably. Balance?

Spirit. . what is that? what does that mean? This is probably the biggest area of humanity's imbalance of all the areas that exist. So much to say, so much to say. But how to say it? To me, spirit is the thing you're missing. . the thing you can't fill up, the thing you can't buy, the thing you can't put your finger on, the thing that nags at you in your quietest moments, the thing that's missed when everything else has been checked off. Spirit is the thing that won't let you be. You can do anything and everything to ignore it. You can try. Some people even make it all the way to the exit ramp procrastinating, avoiding spirit's quiet certainty. Spirit is who you are supposed to be. Spirit is your vital connection to The One and there is only one and if you've read my stuff before, you know I'm saying it's God and I would not put this out there if I didn't believe with every cell in my body this is true. People are really good at avoiding and replacing, making do, bypassing. I know and I did. I'll let you know something if you don't know. This one area, spirit, it's the one that makes people nuts, it makes them go off in a million different directions, following this philosophy and that idea, and the other group and every shifting wind that blows. It's also the one area that makes people angry, the one that makes them roll their eyes, the one that divides them, makes them change the subject, makes them tune out. This one area is the key to balance for every single thing, every area of life and living.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

good book and a bowl of cherries

Rob's playing his friend's Tele in the basement, messin' around with pedals and effects. I'm up on the couch reading Carson McCuller's "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". I had a hankering for cherries, so i'm into a bowl of them now. They're a rich maroon colour and they're good and sweet, smooth-skinned and juicy.

I'm just getting into this novel. I love the way it's written:

"He began to name over parts of his coming meal. When he spoke of food his face was fierce with gusto. With each word he raised his upper lip like a ravenous animal. 'Roast beef with gravy. Rice. And cabbage and light bread. And a big hunk of apple pie. I'm famished. Oh, Johnny, I can hear the Yankees coming. And speaking of meals, my friend, did I ever tell you about Mr. Clark Patterson, the gentleman who owns the Sunny Dixie Show? He's so fat he hasn't seen his privates for twenty years and all day he sits in his trailer playing solitaire and smoking reefers. . ."

"He watched the game of his friend and felt the mild, quiet afternoon merge with the darkness of evening. The firelight made dark, silent waves on the walls of the room."

"He waited for the black, terrible anger as though for some beast out of the night. But it did not come to him. His bowels seemed weighted with lead, and he walked slowly and lingered against fences and the cold, wet walls of buildings by the way. Descent into the depths until at last there was no further chasm below. He touched the solid bottom of despair and there took ease."

This story, set in the 'dirty 30s', deals with racial tension among the residents of a mill town in Georgia. I'm really enjoying this tale and I'm staring at a bowl full of pits and stems here now. Time for a refill!

Are you reading anything good at the moment? I'd love to hear about it!!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

canoeing the Grand

Robbie and I enjoyed a good couple of hours on the surface of the Grand River yesterday. What a treat. First time we had the canoe out this season. We hate to look in the backyard, see the canoe unused, waiting for us. Sadly our schedule doesn't often allow us the time to get out there.

A bit of coolness. . As we drove, we saw this truck pulling a HUGE canoe, unlike any other we'd seen. Turns out it was a replica of an old 'voyageur' canoe and this was her maiden voyage. 10 eager people jumped into this gorgeous bark, to which we deferred departure in order to allow all the ladies on shore to video this auspicious launch (complete with champagne!) without us in the picture. They were so excited! The man who had laboured restoring this baby was calling out the rowing 'assignments'!! They paddled vigorously into the deeps. . and we pushed off and paddled in the opposite direction. Rob was in the rear and could better see them - they lasted all of 5 minutes and they were out!!! We wagered guesses. . did they take on water? was that just to say that they did it, and then they disembarked to party it up? We'll probably never know, but it really piqued our curiosity!!

I had to paddle from the middle of the canoe, as my moulded plastic front seat broke on one side . It threw off the balance a bit with me seated in the centre. I couldn't really get a good purchase of paddle into water cuz i was sitting at the widest part of the thing! Made the job a bit tougher than it is normally. This worked out fine paddling downstream with the current, wind at our backs. We talked and gazed at the gorgeous riverside homes with their private docks, launches, etc. All of them nestled high above water level, their back properties built right onto the rocky walls which line the waterway. Beautiful. Our paddles dipped and occasionally brought up strands of vegetation. There's something about being on the water. . its hard to describe. Really calming. We kept going, past the island that splits the river. . stayed well left of this - its quite shallow and turgid to the right of this habitat for herons and ducks. We rowed on and on, past the golf course - spying so many golf balls on the rocky bottom of this shallow stretch.

We went past the little waterfall on the left. . listening to the splash of the downpour, watching the water course downwards and dilute the algaed shoreline. We saw two large area of weed-choked shore, with a clear path through the middle. . we stayed the course and got through this bottleneck, only to end up stuck fast in some weed that seemed to be just surface stuff. We were thinking that we'd slice right through it. . . not so! It was like padding into cement. We had to push our way out backwards. Thank God we broke free from this stinking, matted trap! We were in uncharted territory and it was cool. I noticed the exceedingly long, thick stranded plant life on the bottom. . how it lay down and grew in the direction of the current. . every single strand of it. . there were no rebels -- each one conformed - as if they had a choice in that strong undertow. That was a truly 'go with the flow' visual. I thought spiritual thoughts. .

Finally I said to Rob that I'd like to turn back. . he agreed, so we reversed and began the return trip. Things were great. . the river was calm and easy. I watched the wind shift and touch the water's surface. There was a single touch point from which this fantastic, flowing pattern appeared before my eyes. . almost like watching the proliferation of ice crystals on a cold windowpane. . it was rapid, sweeping toward us and continued underneath us and beyond. I'd never seen that before. It caught my breath for a moment. As we rounded a bend, carefully staying in the middle of the watery expanse. . we encountered a sudden, furious, hard-driving, stiff wind; against the likes of which we were completely powerless to advance. We paddled hard, my biceps burned from the strain. . my legs braced against either side of the canoe as it tossed on the waves (yes, waves on the river - i'd never seen those!) We managed to steer in such a way as to cut across horizontally - and things got pretty tippy. . we were over the deeps and i was not wanting to go in! I leaned to the right to get better oar/water contact. . not a good idea!!! instantly destabilized us. . Rob yelled out "Don't tip us!" I corrected position and he shouted: 'Keep rowing!' I tried. . I grunted with the effort. . If the weeds had felt like being stuck in cement, rowing in this wind felt like nothing i can describe!! We finally caught a break from the wind and got back in the right direction. I could see the docks!!! Hallelujah!!! Watching us from the nearby, hilly shore was a couple and their child. . their rental canoe lay face down on the grass. They were waiting to be picked up. As we neared them, the woman called out "Why bother?!" Had to admit, she was right. We joked and laughed back and forth. We were able to paddle, though it was still difficult and after taking way longer than usual to get back. . we got stuck once more, in some sucking, quick-sandy mud near the far dock. More back paddling through the fetid glop. . such a disgusting odour!

Man! was it nice to get out of that position, stretch the legs and have some relief from that intense work!!! The Grand threw us a real challenge this trip, which we appreciated and learned from. Its NOT always smooth paddling, when you get stuck you've gotta go back to get out of it, your hard work and direction may suddenly be challenged and even changed and you have no choice but submit if you wish to keep from exhausting yourself, or falling in deep and last but not least, being up against a powerful force makes you realize how small and powerless you really are!!! I didn't bank on a spiritual lesson. I envisioned a sweetly sublime row out and back. Instead I got a 2-hour lesson in humility, weakness and how to go with the flow. A short while after we got home and sat down, the fatigue set in. . but it felt good in every way.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Canada

Happy Birthday, Canada!!!!

You are my home and native land.
I love your rocks and trees and water. . some people may joke that's all you are, but we know better!
I love your mountains. . they make me feel so small and fill me with awe.
I love your oceans and your lakes, your rivers - life giving and sustaining.
You are diversely and beautifully cultured -- so many nations in one. We all belong.
You have enduring symbols, heroes, icons, celebrities, sports -- Banting, Trudeau, the maple leaf, the beaver, basketball, the loon, Tommy Douglas, hockey, Tim Horton's, RCAF, The Great One, Canadian Tire!!
You're self-effacing and modest.
Your heart is peaceful.
Your social programs, though certainly flawed, are so appreciated.
Your politicians, though clay-footed, govern and advocate for all of us.
Your democracy and freedom - though lacking fanfare and trumpeting abroad - is precious and too often underappreciated.
Canada. . i don't tell you often enough how much i love and appreciate you!
I love your 'flavour'. . not too strong, not too bland. . to me you're just right.
I love your tolerance, but please do guard against being so completely open that you don't stand up for anything, especially your own founding principles.
I was born within your boundaries and will most likely end my life within those same boundaries.
I've traveled to other countries. I've seen their beauty and experienced their flavour.
For me, there's nothing like coming home to you.
Canada, its an honour to be one of yours.