Monday, November 27, 2006


Isn't it true that when you look for one thing, you often find other things you didn't even know were missing until you rediscovered them?

As usual, we cram everything we can into our days off work - like everyone else on the planet! Saturday was quite the run errands, get all the stuff done you've been procrastinating waaay too long kind of day! It felt good to clear out so much clutter, dispose of some, rearrange some more and have a real sense of accomplishment. I feel more together now, bills are paid, closets are cleaned out, ditto for cupboards, entire rooms too!!! Rob took a sledge hammer to an old, cement double laundry tub. It was original to this early 1950s home and he had envisioned a use for it once upon a time. Well that time never came and though it stored vertically and acted as a strange, makeshift shelving unit, it was a huge annoyance for me and once in a while i'd start in on how i wanted that ugly lump of a thing GONE!!! I got my wish yesterday!!! yeeeee hawww!!! I have SO much room my in the laundry room. I pinch myself every time i step in there! While Rob was hammering away at that, i was up to my elbows in tissue paper, gift bags, seasonal decorations and a bunch of really, really odd things. . . . a plastic 'singing' flower *don't ask!* a rainbow light bulb, 2 pair of cheap swim goggles, some gigantic clam shells from one of our trips, old sheet music, ironing that is waiting to be ironed pffffttttt, like i'm gonna do it!!!, a desk top fan, some egg crate foam, a paper star with my oldest daughter's written name, surrounded by lots of little stick-on stars, a crazy eyeball necklace stone (with no chain). This kind of stuff makes me crazy.

All the spontaneous purging came about because i had been so ahead of myself with my Christmas shopping. . that i'd forgotten some of the locations of my various stashes!!! It took me a few hours, but i eventually did find the 2 small things i had wanted to find. Do you guys do the same thing? You start on one task, which kinda branches off and you follow up on a another sub task, at which time you then do a sub sub task. . well, you get the picture. This is how i work. I get so easily sidetracked. . . don't give me a job sorting through anything sentimental, cuz tasks go right out the window and i go right down memory lane, and there's certainly kleenex involved. Rob doesn't get that. . he just does one thing until it is done. This is something i admire greatly, but cannot do!!!! heh heh. . . oh well!

He gets sentimental these days with his 2 'babies'. . our van and HIS new truck. . . which, between Rob and our youngest daughter, KK has been dubbed "Shifty McDodge". . . *yes, its a standard* They're both getting after me cuz i haven't driven it it. . . maybe i'm a bit rusty with a stick, but i know i can do it. . just like riding a bike? (except with a clutch). I'd better take it out for a spin soon, get those 2 off my back! Anyway, on one of my subtasks I happened to glance out the kitchen window to see Rob in the driveway, smiling away, hosing and scrubbing up those 2 vehicles. (I called KK to the window and said to her. . "Look at your Dad!" We LAUGHED!!! He looked very 'man' happy. . you know that man thing with vehicles being more than vehicles. . they have names, personalities -- he's not really extreme like some guys who wash and Armour-All their tires. . . but he loves them significantly more than i do. *makes me smile at the difference between men and women!*

It's been a great weekend. .all that organization, gorgeously warm weather, family dinner, making cookies with the grandkids, market jaunt and musical fun thrown in the mix too!!! but it's 1:10 a.m. now, I have work in das morgen. . . and i'm kinda pooped - gute nacht, meine kinder!!! this is me, signing off -- over and o u t !!!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

sensitized, saturated

I had such a day on Sunday. It was a day of love. Every activity, every word, every touch was a little brush with love, so many small chances for me to repeatedly feel how real love is. A lot of days go by without this kind of impact. I guess those days i'm more numb to it, i take it for granted. Its almost impossible to really analyze how things work together to make me pay attention and teach me something i thought i already knew. Of course i know about love. Of course i love people, i love God, i love my dog, i love lots of things. Sunday was just one of those beautiful love-saturated days. I started it off by listening to message about prayer, then things just rolled on from there -- a big family feast preceded by days of thought and preparation, hugs, kisses, reunion, departure. There was playing music and singing for others, travel, coming home and watching an achingly sad family story on tv. . . All I could think was lovelovelovelovelove as i used tissue after tissue to wipe away my tears at the close of the day; watching the story of a wife who lost her best love and friend. It just all hit me. I guess the day's memories and people and words were all in my mind as i sat in the dark with my own best friend and sweetheart and watched this 5-week-in widow and her 4 children, their grief so fresh on camera. . the images of them with their dad and husband before his death. . I could not stop crying. . i couldn't believe how broken i felt. I didn't think i could stand it. Thankfully the story ended before i dissolved!

Yes, the story ended and the day was ending too. . but my thoughts kept going. I could not stop thinking of how beautiful everything is because of love. I felt unusually sensitized and tuned in. I knew it wouldn't last, but i savoured it. As all of this settled in I felt an almost desperate awareness of the importance of love in life. It welled up and over, breaching the walls of my heart to fill my spirit. Love everywhere. . in my house, my grandchildren's handprints on the landing window that i can't bring myself to clean, their childish scribbles on the message chalkboard in the kitchen, the door jamb in the bathroom notched with dates, heights - my girls growing up. . photographs of their babyhood, their school years, little dresses and shoes in keepsake boxes, clumsy, beautiful little gifts from them, my now-dessicated first corsage from Rob, love letters. Love then and love today in the lingering smells of a happy dinner, love in the echoes of music in my mind, love in the thoughts about praying and God longing to hear me speak to him. Love in hellos and goodbyes, love in warm hugs and kisses, love in loss and tragedy. Love in everything, love everywhere.

Its too powerful to be a mere emotion, its too personal to be impersonal, too beautiful to be some random, roaming force that decided to settle in our collective bosom. . and too pure to have its origins in us. Even in its absence - even in dark hatred, love's absence is a gnawing, gaping hole. Is there anything else like this? All of this weightiness seemed to settle over me on Sunday. It seemed almost unbearable, but at the same time the heaviness did not feel crushing. It was more like it held me to the truth of Love, like a balloon weight holds down a helium balloon that untethered, would glibly float and never remain grounded.

On Monday i didn't feel this way. The weekday had begun to crowd in with all its demands and deadlines, its chores and busyness. Still, even in the mundane i know that there is no less love, not an ounce less. . .

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


i love to create. my creativity runs along certain tracks, which is, i guess, what makes the creative force within me specifically mine. i love how this is true for everyone, whether they think that they are 'creative' or not -- they are.

i'll share some of my thoughts, if you'll share some of yours. . . okay?

I love to be in the kitchen. I feel very natural there. . like its my place, my thing. My childhood sandbox was an imaginary diner, i had lots of pretend customers. My Easybake oven was my first experience with heat and my sisters were my guinea pigs, when it came to my learning how to make actual meals. . . God bless them, they survived!!!

For me, my kitchen is a place to bring what nature provides in and then create with these provisions to give to others. It makes me happy. I feel joy. I never think of creating something in the kitchen as a 'chore', i never view cooking or handling food as a task - i think of it as a sensory experience and a chance to give. Physical food is life and treating that food with respect and care is a great thing. When i think of all the wonderful things there are to add to food and do with food - i find myself totally inspired. Why settle for something to just fill the hunger gap, when i can incorporate the best and freshest ingredients to create layers of flavour, and texture and colour. I love the sounds and smells of working with food, i love the challenge of mastering a technique, teaching myself, experimenting. I think about creating things all the time. I look at the raw components and think "What can I make with this?" This is one part of my life that never switches off. that's what i've wanted to say about creativity. . . . when you have things that so interest you and engage you -- you couldn't switch them off if you tried, that's something you're meant to do!

Another thing that's always been with me is an undying love for words. I don't like them, i don't think they're okay. . . i really love them. I can't remember a time in my life when i didn't. I can express myself verbally to a degree, but i feel like when i write there is nothing i can't say. I've gone from stories in grade 1 to blogging right now. . with so many stilted, bumbling, affected attempts at expressing myself in between. But its always seemed to me that the words forgave me if i didn't do them justice, which makes me appreciate them more. I've spent time writing when i feared that if i stopped the flow it wouldn't come back again. . i've had times when i felt a strong urge to pick up a pen and have been amazed with what spilled onto the page. I've learned not to force. I've learned about dry times and abundance. It makes me cringe when i look back on some of my stuff, but some of the more special things help to atone for the flops. I feel lucky if i can come up with a memorable phrase or 'the perfect sentence'. Its about being fearless and being okay going out there, knowing there's as much of a chance of screwing up as there is of making something wonderful. Creating is about being open, receiving all of life around and within and as those experiences mix with your personality and steep in your soul (emotions, will, mind) they come out as this creative energy. This process can't be rushed and can't be faked, though i've tried to do both with miserable results. Its all so mysterious and exciting!

i really love creating celebration in every day life. . i love to decorate and put thought into little, wonderful details that make the whole thing that much nicer. i love to shop for current or future festive occasions. . it really excites me when it all comes together and makes others feel good and happy. . i feel really fulfilled.

i'm trying to understand that creativity is being able to integrate all the parts of my life that i might tend to compartmentalize. I think that i impede my creativity. Maybe i'm limiting the flow from what could be a surge to a mere trickle. . i get used to less and don't ache for more because i've settled and gotten apathetic. Switching off parts reduces the whole.

when i think of inspiration, there is just so much that can do this. some of the most basic things that inspire me would be just the material world itself -- the elements -- earth, water, air, fire. . i feel love within me when i look at the world, love for its maker, love for its beauty. i want to touch these things, photograph them, smell them, be in them. . (well, maybe not fire?!!!!) In these things I see God and feel his presence. I feel at home in water. . another long-time love in my life. . . water. . water. . how much more could i love water?! I have a lot of water dreams and depending on my psychological state at the time, the water can be raging, flowing or still, deep or shallow.

I'll stop there. . but I really would love to hear what some of your things are. . do you love to create? and if you do, what do you love to do with your own creative energy? How do you best express youself? What/who inspires you??!!! tell me!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

some great finds!!!!

All i set out for this morning was a walk downtown to the market and I ended up finding some fabulous, little things that made me so happy and these little things merged into even more happiness as the day went on, but i'll get to that. .

The sun was glorious today, made all the difference to my too-long-without-UV rays spirit. .
The tedious work week was behind, the freedom of Saturday was before me and that alone felt really great. On weekends my mind can be light. I get a break from the constant, daily bombardment of medical terminology. Being a medical scribe for my city puts me in a strange place. I literally handle people's distress, their heaviness and panic with my fingertips. If it could just stay in my fingers , but it soaks in and affects me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Weekends, I don't want to think. I throw off memories of accumulated sorrow and disease and trauma. Friday evenings, I crash. I know you're all probably the same. . the end of the week you're tired of routine, of job duties, tired of structure .. . am i right?

I like to sleep in a bit on Saturday mornings, then I get my walking music ready and i dress for the weather and go to the farmer's market. I love to have a 'soundtrack' playing. It elevates a walk to a whole different level. Now, if there was a place where you could put in your order for the ultimate autumn Saturday, this would be the day you would want. Chill, not cold. Clear, fair sky with just enough white cloud to please the eye, all the better to contrast the brilliant sun. I like to walk quickly, it gets the lead out and makes me feel alive. As i covered ground i noticed that some of the trees were still unwilling to part with their leaves, though enough fell for ambience and it wasn't lost on me. I rounded a corner and passed a huge, old mansion - slate gray trim, limestone block, dark and stately. Most of its landscaping was equally muted, with the exception of a large, ridiculously red bush - purest crimson. I could not stop staring, it made me feel so great.. .. and i wished so much that i had my camera to show someone. I hope that you can picture this anyway. This city has such beauty. I love the heritage buildings everywhere, almost like living in 2 centuries simultaneously.

Of course i had to stop on the bridge. The sun glinted off the water's surface, drawing attention to the swirling river below. Even though its a homely shade of brown I love to look at it, just because its water and it calms me. Another couple of blocks found me at the first market stall looking for something good and it wasn't long before i had bags of leeks, peppers, pears I bought a remembrance day poppy from a blue-uniformed cadet, purchased a giant Jonah Gold apple for Rob from a cute vendor who called me 'sweetheart' - which made me smile, though i put it down to the pink, girlie coat i was wearing and i headed indoors for some fresh buffalo mozarella and focaccia. That was enough for me. I had every intention of being good by avoiding the chocolate shop across the street. . but i think they have a tractor beam and i found myself there in under 2 minutes. I was slightly ashamed that my resolve was so crumbly, but the mint meltaways proved too powerful.

As I made the reverse trip i passed through the square in which 2 huge, old presbyterian churches bear architectural and geographical witness to a falling out of the nth degree. . . occupying land kittykorner to each other, the fractured congregation could remain a stone's throw, yet so far apart. It must have been so weird back when the split happened. Every time i see the spires, all i can think of is disunity and rivalry. Knowing their history, today I found it hilariously childish that each would have a competing fundraising bazaar on the same day, starting and ending at the same time. . I took a notion to attend the 'mother ship's sale and found some of the coolest, little bargains ever!!! salt and pepper shakers for 25 cents!! cool, wooden ones - i have been searching everywhere for some that i liked!! I found a gorgeous, antique-looking glass bowl for 75 cents!!! and some other items that i cannot say. . because they are Christmas gifts for my oldest daughter, who reads this blog!!!! All i'm gonna say is that they were insanely good bargains and they will make her very happy!!! (I even got some for myself, which thrilled me to no end, but which also must remain secret -- shhhhh!!!)

Just after I reached home with my bags of treasure, Rob and KK came home with great news -- our 9-month search for a second vehicle is over!!! We are proud almost owners of grey, 5-speed Dakota truck, to be picked up in just a few days. Glory be!!! Lindsay and the kiddies appeared on the scene just before we went to get the groceries - their timing was perfect! The full moon seems to make Erica extra feisty, at least that's her mom's theory!!! So, she was quite the little handful today - outdoor voice non stop. . oh, me nerves! The cherry on the top of this day would be Rob's blessed Leafs winning their game tonight. Hallelujah! We just spent a tense couple of hours watching MI III. . and what a slam-bang rollercoaster ride that was!!! Fantastic movie to end an especially great day. You never know what a day will bring, do you? But when it turns into an 'everything's comin' up roses' day that brings smiles and happiness - how great is that?! We all need those days once in a while and when they come along they're magic.