Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ode to a Canadian winter

Winter, I feel that I must tell you something.
Since I have long since lost my sense of wonder with snow fort building,
eating icicles and tobogganing,
I have come to find you pretty much intolerable.
By the way, lots of us Canadians feel the same way, though I certainly don't speak for all those who have fallen under your frosty spell, who think they've befriended you, I see right through you and your wiles, Winter.
I will not gush about your beauty.
Not today. Today I am determined to tell you exactly what I think of you.
Spring is gorgeous and fresh, liberating.
Summer though sometimes smothering, is so much more easygoing and mellow,
Autumn, though lovely is always overshadowed by you.
Then, once the distracting niceties of Christmas and the new year are
used up and worn out,
We remember what you're really like and we don't want you.
Because you suck.

You take away our carefree and spontaneous feelings.
There is no more 'quick' about anything.
Everything takes longer . .
getting ready to go out
doing errands,
There are layers to put on,
This takes time.
We have to shovel snow.
We scrape it off our vehicles.
This is just annoying.
Your ice is slippery and you lash at us with your frozen rain and whipping wind.
You're so cold.
I don't like you.
In fact, the older I get the more I can't stand you.

You take away fun.
You make my nose run.
You make my teeth clack.
You make me wheeze when I breathe.
You make cycling mostly impossible,
(for which I despise you)
You take away the gorgeous sunshine and you substitute
brooding clouds.

You make getting into and out of the bath and shower unpleasant.
You make our rooms cold.
and our bedsheets freezing.
You breathe on the blankets.
You make furnaces a necessity, which only pleases the gas company.
You make us shut our windows and doors.
You turn us into homebodies.
We don't want to go out in you.
You always wear out your welcome.
Most of us only tolerate you for that 2-week interval between Christmas and New Year's,
by which time we are thoroughly sick of you and want you to go away.
But you stay
and stay.
You stretch out your icy fingers and smite our lovely plants.
We raise them up and you take them out with your sparkly blanket of death.

You cause us to slip and fall.
You turn our roads into skating rinks.
You turn walking the dog into a frantic, frozen gauntlet.
You are the father of all potholes, which are born every spring,
making driving less like straight lines and more like an obstacle course.
Turning our other 3 seasons into prolonged bouts of road closures and repairs.
You turn our eavestroughs into breeding grounds for ice daggers.
You turn our beaches into frozen wastelands,
and you squash our memories of warm sunshine.
You take away our picnics and barbecues.
Yes, even that feisty fireball seems to rise and set behind your curtain of ice.

You drive away flocks of birds, butterflies and senior citizens.
Who, in their infinite wisdom, avoid you like the plague
they all know
you suck!

At some point I'd like to fly, or at least drive away from you and your ice grip.
Become a stereotype.
A snowbird.
Top up my out of country health insurance.
Hide from you in the land of Dentu-Cream and support hose.
Get a wicked tan.
And laugh in your general direction.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

hot and not

here are a few little thoughts from my brain on what's hot and what's not

i may or may not confer hotness upon any of these things, just trendspotting.

So You Think You Can Dance / SYTYCD without Mia Michaels

reduce, reuse, recycle/ not caring about the 3 Rs

saving $/ wasting $

teen vampires/ teen vampires

looking younger when you're older/ botox, surgery and suddenly fat lips

H1N1/ H1N1 - blech.

'bucc', 'sick'/ gee whiz, neat

blindingly white teeth/ you guessed it. . . yellow ones

reality tv/ desire to vote ppl out of everything in real life

XBox/ Wii

any other hockey team/ Leafs

gift cards/ gifts that make you cringe inwardly

cyber/ face to face *this is so sad :( *

sliders/ giant, artery clogging burgers

scarves/ pen necklaces

castro hats/ bucket hats

getting Christmas shopping done early/ having to do Christmas shopping at all

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I'm wondering how comfortable I am with mystery.
There are things I will never know.
Why is death so capricious and random?
Why do the bad get away with their badness?
Why are the good given the shaft?
Why does the heart choose the way it does?
Why does the sun seem to shine upon some and the shadows never lift from others?
Why is justice so often miscarried?
Why can't people come back from the dead to tell us what to expect?
Why can't we see God?

God is a mystery.
God is
at home in paradox,
existing, working in and through
divine, human
architect, infant
one, three
love, judgement
almighty, intimate
creating the universe, matter and anti matter,
forces, light, elements,
intricate creatures, seen and unseen.
Maker of worlds unknown, far, far, far from our weak eyes
and our toy telescopes circling a tiny corner of the cosmos.
i could stop there, stupefied,
unable to comprehend.
mysterious greatness is all around
I look but can't see.
Why is my vision reversed?
Why do i magnify the trivial and trivialize the magnificent?
Mystery, I'm Helen Keller.
How can I make sense of you?
I can yell and flail my arms to strike out at you.
I can bump into you and not even see you.
You will elude me
and entice me,
frustrate me.

Goodness is sweet like honey.
It's no mystery.
It just is.
Why question it?
It's the quintessential feeling of being home.
It's aaaaaaahhh, like lying down when you're tired and feeling so perfectly at rest.
It is light, it's that gorgeous 'blindness' we get when the brightness of the sun is too much for us and we close our eyes
and bask and sigh.
So welcome.
So wanted and loved.

The origin of evil perplexes me.
It makes my brain and my soul hurt to think about it.
God is good.
He designed everything to be perfect.
We all know it didn't turn out that way.
How did Lucifer, his perfect creature change?
What was the catalyst for this thing, this evil that grew and gestated in his core? and how dare he infect us with it?
Some say there is no evil.
I am certain this is untrue and that is no mystery.
Blatantly present everywhere.


A few small words with so many billions of us crammed into them.
Trying to make sense, grow, live.
Trying to understand these hard to understand things.

Will we ever?

Of course not. . .

and that's okay.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


I love food.
I love everything about it.
I love to shop the market, love the grocery store, the gourmet shop, the baking supply store, the cheese shop, the butcher, the farm.
I love to take a collection of disparate ingredients and put them together
to make something beautiful and delicious.
I love fresh, in season, quality food. I love to develop its flavour. I love to serve food.
I love to make people happy with meals, desserts.
I might not always hit the mark, but I really try.
It's an ever increasing passion.

I love to watch chefs prepare food, this is a longstanding fixation. . from watching Julia Child on PBS in the early 70s, to Food Network's molecular gastronomists like Heston Blumenthal, the Rubino brothers from Rain, i watch and watch. . there is almost nothing I love more than seeing things stirred, sauteed, melted, poured, ladeled, browned, chopped, minced, kneaded and glazed.
I love to think of cooking.
I love to pore over my food magazines, cookbooks. I love to plan menus.
I try not to waste food, that makes me sad.
I get giddy thinking about buying a new knife.
I love my sharpening steel.
I love my copper bottomed, heavy gauge stainless cookware.
I love tongs.
I love my microplane grater.
I love smoked paprika.
I love grey salt.
I love thyme and parsley.
I love vanilla beans.
I love melting chocolate over simmering water.
I love fresh pineapple.
I love cinnamon and fresh ginger.
I love to work with. .
a fresh cut of meat,
a fragrant, piney bunch of rosemary,
fresh, ruby coloured berries,
a dense loaf of bread,
beautiful 'rainbow' carrots with lacy green tops,
golden paper-wrapped bars of french bittersweet chocolate,
amber jars of melon blossom honey,
blocks of pale yellow butter,
the most wonderful things I can afford . it makes such a difference.

You can't make bad food taste good, but you can make great food taste amazing, if you respect it, respect the gift of the ingredients, respect the preparation techniques and respect the people you will be serving.

I don't really enjoy eating at restaurants. . I feel too removed from the process, I don't know what they're doing to the food. I don't know what kind of ingredients they're working with. Do they care about quality? Are they fry happy? Do they nuke everything? Do they use frozen, canned, packaged? Do they care? Are they handling food safely? There are too many unknowns. Makes me angry when people don't care. I'd rather go hungry. I want to go into their kitchens, their walk in fridges, their freezers . .or maybe I don't? Cooking at home is the way to go. . unless you can find those people out there who love good food, who can do it justice.

I spend pretty much every day daydreaming of recipes, ingredients.
I work at my job, but my mind is always dreaming of running a shop,
baking, serving, catering, planning events, talking to customers. .

Who knows, some day I might take a giant risk and go for it?!
In the meantime there are cookbooks to collect, food to make, new ingredients to try.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

you, me, us.

do you feel like you've reduced yourself to a mere Tweet? status line?
do you feel like your contact with others is changing,
becoming more hands off?
do you feel strange when it's real?
do you feel like we are all heading down this 21st century path in parallel tracks,
with less and less intersecting?
less connecting.
feelng less authentic.

'keeping in touch' never felt less like touch.
never felt less kept, just the opposite.
shifting, moving away, with only illusions of being joined
by flimsy, breakaway ties,

no one has time.
everyone is busy.
'we should get together' comes out of everyone's mouths,
but is becoming more of a vague sentiment.

no one reads
everyone skims.
things have to be said in less time because no one has any.
wrds r chngng, ppl.
phrases are disappearing, btw.
c u L8r, English language.
magazines and newspapers are vanishing.

phones are becoming unlike anything we've known before.
they follow us everywhere,
but nobody talks.
rapid fire abbreviation codes.
thumbs are wearing out.
there's nothing wrong with technology.
We humans have a big problem with moderation.
i think we have a problem, period.
boundaries are disappearing.
wireless,instant, everywhere.
faces all staring at screens.
hands on keyboards.
we have stopped dreaming and doing
and we pretend.
we take endless quizzes, we play games,
we pretend to be farmers,
we pretend to run cafes,
we pretend to garden,
we display our lives in picture albums,
video clips.
we think we know each other
but we are losing our way.
we are losing our ability to think
google thinks for us, tells everything we need to know.

we are losing our patience.
everything has to be high speed.
search, scroll.
we are simultaneously awakening and falling asleep.
our creations are holding us captive,
and we are so willing.
it's so easy to sacrifice live interaction, if we want.
and we do.
we communicate on our own terms,
when we want,
how we want,
with whom and
for how long.
what's happening to us?
are we losing our essence? is living becoming virtual and spiritless?
is the mess and drama of each other being distilled into YouTube clips?
is human need and cry being made into 'cause groups' to join?
undemanding, sterile and manageable.
Can we do something that costs us something other than money?
Can this spell be broken?
Can we learn to live with technology without being sucked into it's vortex of unreality?
Can we still hear and see each other?
Can we bring back face to face?
Can we get back to meeting and joining?
Parallel is not so good for us.
We need to cross.
Sometimes we need to crash and break down
to notice each other.
Real will always be better than unreal.
Real isn't always good.
It isn't always pleasant or tidy or easy.
But it is what we are. .

Thursday, September 10, 2009

El Paso

When I was a young teenager I used to lie in bed at night listening to Rockin' Robin's show on FM 108. He played the Diamonds, the Big Bopper, Sam Cooke, Little Richard. I adored 50s music. There was something about it, I don't know why it appealed so much to me.

Sure there was goofy stuff, Jan and Dean's "Baby Talk" was just ridiculous. "Purple People Eater" was pathetic, "Kooky, Lend me Your Comb" was worse than lame, but somehow even these novelty songs were weirdly entertaining. There was the syrupy stuff like "The Last Kiss", which made me all misty, "Tell Laura I Love Her" which made me cry and need to reach for the tissues and "Patches" which also had a similar effect. There were the dance craze songs like "Watusi" and "The Stroll" that told you how to do the dance right in the lyrics, kind of handy, I thought. I loved the spare, basic,catchy stuff like Buddy Holly's and I pined for true love listening to the lush song tapestries from the Platters. Among my favourites were the story songs, and my favourite among them was 'El Paso" by Marty Robbins.

The sweet guitar picking intro, the bouncing bass, the lilting Mexican melody, and there was Marty's golden voice, swooping and soaring through all the verses of a cowboy's painful, one sided love; transporting me to a place I've never seen, the badlands of New Mexico, the Rio Grande, cutting it's swath through rugged land. I pictured a hill overlooking Rosa's cantina in El Paso, horses tied out back, waiting. I saw this cantina as a rough, wooden watering hole where a cowboy fell under dancing Felina's spell. And in this cantina Felina flirted brazenly with a wild, young stranger. I thought of how this pained her cowboy love, spurring him to question the stranger's intentions, and killing him before he was killed himself. I saw him stealing a horse and riding for his life. I thought of Felina's shock and sadness. I wanted to smack her for being so casual with his heart. She didn't deserve such love, but she had it.

As I listened to this beautiful story I knew that I wanted someone to love me like this cowboy loved Felina, without bounds and without conditions, accepting even my badness and still loving, unable to live without me. I wanted the kind of love that would not be quenched by threat of or arrival of death. Maybe because I'm a girl I daydreamed like this and maybe boys would just think about the cowboys, horses and six shooters? Romance is something I sigh about still and say "awwww" about.

Decades later, when I listen to this song I still feel swept away to Texas. I still see them, the cowboy lover and his beloved, faithless Felina. My heart still goes out to him and I'm still mad at her, but I no longer wish for such love, I am blessed enough to have it. So blessed.

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina,
Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
My love was deep for this Mexican maiden;
I was in love but in vain, I could tell.

One night a wild young cowboy came in,
Wild as the West Texas wind.
Dashing and daring,
A drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina,
The girl that I loved.

So in anger I

Challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.

Just for a moment I stood there in silence,
Shocked by the FOUL EVIL deed I had done.
Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there;
I had but one chance and that was to run.

Out through the back door of Rosa's I ran,
Out where the horses were tied.
I caught a good one.
It looked like it could run.
Up on its back
And away I did ride,

Just as fast as I

Could from the West Texas town of El Paso
Out to the bad-lands of New Mexico.

Back in El Paso my life would be worthless.
Everything's gone in life; nothing is left.
It's been so long since I've seen the young maiden
My love is stronger than my fear of death.

I saddled up and away I did go,
Riding alone in the dark.
Maybe tomorrow
A bullet may find me.
Tonight nothing's worse than this
Pain in my heart.

And at last here I

Am on the hill overlooking El Paso;
I can see Rosa's cantina below.
My love is strong and it pushes me onward.
Down off the hill to Felina I go.

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys;
Off to my left ride a dozen or more.
Shouting and shooting I can't let them catch me.
I have to make it to Rosa's back door.

Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side.
Though I am trying
To stay in the saddle,
I'm getting weary,
Unable to ride.

But my love for

Felina is strong and I rise where I'd fallen,
Though I am weary I can't stop to rest.
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle.
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.

From out of nowhere Felina has found me,
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for,
One little kiss and Felina, good-bye.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

i'm a mutant

Genetic mutation linked to need for less sleep

13/08/2009 4:28:54 PM

CBC News
People who are able to thrive on just six hours of sleep may have a genetic mutation to thank, researchers say.

In Friday's issue of the journal Science, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, reported that a mutated gene not found in their relatives seemed to allow a mother and daughter to wake up refreshed by 5 a.m. after going to bed at 11 p.m.

Short-term and chronic disruptions in length of optimal sleep can have serious consequences on physical health, including cancer and endocrine function, as well as cognition and mood, said the study's senior author, neurology Prof. Ying-Hui Fu.

The finding offers a chance to probe the regulation of sleep quality and quantity, but is likely to help people with insomnia, she said.

For most people, eight to 8½ hours of sleep are best, but others function well on six hours.

In the study, the team found mice genetically engineered with the DEC2 mutation also slept less and recovered faster from sleep deprivation compared with normal mice.

When the mutant mice were hooked up to brain-scanning instruments, their brain wave patterns suggested they were well rested even though they had slept less.

The findings point to differences in the sleep needs based on a person's genetic makeup.

Work hours, leisure time activities such as exercising and watching late night TV as well as light and noise levels are also known to affect how much we sleep.

"The question 'How much sleep do we need?' is not only of practical interest for obvious societal reasons, but is also of major importance for understanding sleep function," Hyun Hor and Mehdi Tafti of the Center for Integrative Genomics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, wrote in a journal commentary that accompanies the study.

Hor and Tafti said while the mutation is probably rare, the finding offers new approaches to studying the effects of sleep on human health.

I have always been a mutant
and now my strangeness has an official seal.
Some people, it seems, just need less sleep.
I have never been someone who has gone 'early to bed'.
I love the night.
I was appropriately born at 12:51 a.m.
6 hours sleep for me is lavish,
i usually get 5.
Sometimes i get less.
Even night owls have to be careful not to push it too much.
If i do and consistently get less for too many days in a row
i end up feeling so terrible -- weak and faint.
But I usually know what I can get away with.
When i was a kid i was always the last one asleep,
at home,
at camp,
at sleepovers
I could wander half the night, trying to 'become' tired.
the sandman and i weren't on good terms.
I didn't understand why i was like that.
Now I do. . I'm still the same,
nothing has changed.
Me and the sandman have an understanding.
he doesn't visit me until he's taken care of all the larks first!!
it seems to work out just fine.

I can't say this bit of news was very 'new' to me,
but its somehow comforting to know that i'm a genetic mutation
and that's okay!
'morning, all!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

don't want to

i want to write
but i don't want to
it seems like such an effort
where has that spark gone?
i'm not very good at blogging about current events
or topics of interest.
i have no aspirations to blog about cooking through a cookbook,
though that certainly worked for "Julie Powell"
i'm not handy with incorporating media in my posts
i'm not slick, trendy or savvy.
i just write when i feel like i want to write.
and lately i am not moved to do so.
i'm uninspired and tired.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

learning lessons

i've got this cool magazine cut out on permanent display on my bulletin board.
It shows a picture of a fluffy looking couch.
This is the caption:

and squishy,
like you're going to be
if you don't

For ages I ignored this thing i cut out
I knew it was right,
but i had a million excuses. . .
i work full time
i'm tired
i don't have time to exercise
i don't feel like it when i do have time
its not fun
i have asthma
i have degenerative arthritis in my upper and midspine
i have a protruding disc in my lower spine
i'm getting older
the gym's class times aren't convenient
my gym closed
i need to be motivated by someone else
no motivation
my dance class folded
i miss it and i don't like anything else

I discovered something important
excuses are ridiculous

i can motivate myself
i DO need to get up
i don't want to be big, soft, or squishy
i don't want to be limited, despite my limitations
i will not be held back by them
they are not the boss of me

things like eating properly and exercising are not things anyone can really afford to think of as optional
i have discovered that since i HAVE to do these things
i might as well pick things that are fun

i discovered something else on the way to having fun
sometimes despite being fun and rewarding
things that require consistency, effort, exertion, dedication and discipline
are not fun at first.
when we bought our bikes last year, we took them out for that first spin
i thought i was going to die after 2 blocks.
my legs burned
my lungs hurt
i begged to go back home
so i could collapse
i did.
right on the living room floor
flat on my back

things didn't seem to improve much on subsequent rides.
hills were my nemesis
my city is full of hills
its easier to name the streets that aren't giant hills
than it is to name the ones that are.
great going down
hell going up
walk the bike up
lungs bursting
legs burning
feeling like i'm going to puke
I thought my asthma was to blame for my lack of ability to go up hills
it kept triggering
i'd honk
and cough
and wheeze
Rob said to me one day after a brutal ride: "I think your bike is too heavy. Try riding mine for a while."
The angels sang. .
I felt like i was in bike heaven
it had shocks
it had a light frame
i was using the wrong kind of bike

After that lovely epiphany my husband went out and bought me a bike like his
I adore it.
and him.

Then we began to get serious.
Getting out.
Checking out the trails.
Finding routes.
There were only so many places that were flat.
We had to make our peace with hills.
We tried to choose the easier ones.
Just kept going out,
Clocking kilometers.

winter came
we got l a z y
we did nothing
we had no back up plan.
i had my many fitness DVDs. . but they weren't nearly as exciting as being
there was no destination
there was no beautiful scenery
just counting and loud music and drudgery
winter chub, that Canadian phenomenon
i was becoming just like that fluffy couch. .

when we started up again for this season
it was like starting all over
winter robbed all of our progress
we let it
no endurance
burning legs

i've learned that you cannot ever stop
you can't think that you can afford to.
or you'll be sorry
i've also learned that you must plan when circumstances change
if you can't do 'this',
do 'that'
but do something! (heading out to get a pool membership, so all that conditioning does not disappear through the fall and winter)
Now, we look for every opportunity to get out
a short ride for us is now at LEAST an hour.
yes, its hard work
yes it takes a lot out of you
but it gives a lot back to you.
its such a feeling when you've just given it all
wrung yourself out and climbed tough hills and gone LONG
and you THINK its gonna kill you
and your mind tells you things
'you can't do it'
'its too hard'
'you should stop'
and sweating
and feeling like you can't go on
to see your 'reward' up ahead. . .
a beautiful, huge hill
going DOWN.
ahh. . . its amazing.
you get to fly
into that delicious wind
you don't have to do a thing
gravity does all the work for you

when you go far
you learn that you can farther every time
2 hours
3 hours
4 hours
15 km becomes 20
then 25
then 30.
you learn new routes
you see new things
you get faster
you shave time off your rides
you go faster
you stop complaining
and start enjoying

you sleep like a rock
you 'earn' your *food* treats
and you really ENJOY them!

i've learned the paradox of energy expenditure
you think you don't have enough to spend
but when you spend what you have
you get more
and more.

thank you, magazine ad cut out
thank you for telling me to
get up.

it took me long enough
but i've realized
that you're so right.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

the f word

no, not THAT word.
the word I have in mind is considerably less popular.
i think its safe to say that it isn't popular at all
because it requires so much from us.


this word is like a burr in my saddle
a splinter under my skin
it refuses to leave me in peace
it hounds me
i stubbornly put off yielding to it.

when you need to forgive and you don't
you suffer to a ridiculous degree
such a degree that you'd think that you'd want to say 'uncle' already.
still you cling to your right to ruminate
and you and everyone around you suffers
when something trips the switch and sets you off

why hold something so destructive?
is it really too hard to surrender to forgiveness?
it isn't.. .
yes! it is.
pride won't bend
oh, why won't it bend?
i've been hurt.
i'm justified.
i have a right to be angry.
i am angry.
how can i forgive people who pretend there is nothing to forgive?
how can i forgive when they're not sorry
and I'm left with all this damage?

I'm not God, after all.

God has a metaphorical 'sea of forgetfulness'.
Which in my mind could also be called the 'ocean of forgiveness'
Its capacity?
When he forgives, its as if he tosses the offense into the depths and it never surfaces again.
He doesn't forget because if he did, he wouldn't be God.
He knows what's in there.
But he knows how to forgive.
He can leave it there and never bring it up again.
Maddening thing is, he forgives those i can't seem to forgive
and he expects me to do the same.

I have a 'puddle of i'm not going to forget-fulness'.
Everything i try to throw in there piles up.
I can still see it.
and i do not forget it.

it goes against all my inclinations.
but my inclinations are all inclined wrong.

i want it for me
but i don't want to extend it.
and there it is,
laid bare and obvious.
this will never work
a puddle will never do.
limited capacity is nowhere close to adequate in the face of that maddeningly gracious infinity.

This quote from the book 'The Shack" by William Paul Young, I can't say i love it, but it certainly got my attention and its on my mind...a lot.

". . . I'm stuck, Papa. I can't just forget what he did, can I?", Mack implored. "Forgiveness is not about forgetting, Mack. It is about letting go of another person's throat."

Monday, July 06, 2009


sometimes when you really hope something will change you may see possibility where none really exists.
Then you have a moment where you realize the truth.
no change is going to happen.
and you feel like an idiot for thinking that it even could.
and you're angry
and you're sad
and something in you just snaps.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Luke 11:33 "No one lights a lamp and hides it or puts it under a basket. Its put on a stand to give light to all who enter a room. Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul, but an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into the darkness. Make sure that the light you have is not really darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you."

I read this last week and I've though about it quite a bit.
Tonight I discovered that the first thing God says in the first chapter of the Bible is 'Let there be light." and in the last chapter of the Bible, God IS all the light anyone needs. There is no more use for the sun, there is no dark, so nobody needs lamps, candles, lights. . No more dark?
But its all we've ever known. . living with light and dark.
No more use for the sun?? God will be all the light anyone needs.
What kind of megawattage does He give off??!!
None of us can look directly at the sun.
It is too much for us.
It will fry our retinas,
blinding us.

Revelation 1: 12 *John was praying, this is what he wrote* ". . .suddenly I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast. When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven golden lampstands. Standing in the middle of the stands was the son of man. His eyes were bright, like flames of fire. His feet were as bright as bronze, refined in a furnace and his voice thundered like mighty ocean breakers. He held seven stars in his right hand. His face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead, but he laid his right hand on me and said: 'Don't be afraid!"

Somehow all my puny thoughts about God seem so childish.
I can't imagine such contact.
I'd faint too.

He IS light.
I can only reflect dimly.
He's like a football field full of klieg lights. .
I'm a penlight.
He's a raging infero.
I'm a birthday candle.

A voice like ocean breakers, trumpet blasts? I've heard the noise of several trumpets playing triple forte. .ear splitting. I've vacationed ocean front. . i've heard the pounding of the waves in a storm. . such power.
A face as bright as the sun?
The sun gives off the equivalent in light of 4 trillion trillion (yes, double trillion) 100 watt lightbulbs.
Its core temperature is 15,000,000 degrees.

I'm more than amazed by thoughts of God's light, his power.
But even more amazed by this question:
Why love?
Why love us?
Why does such greatness love such disobedient, troublesome, ungrateful, irrational, childish creatures?
I don't know.
But I'm so glad.

The thought of such power unbuffered by love is scary.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

1 observation and 2 thoughts

i work in a hospital.
The main lobby has a little chapel, sandwiched between Tim Horton's and the public washrooms.
its a nondescript little room, all beige and earthy, maybe 8 feet x 8 feet.

i like to take my breaks there.
I go in and shut the door
i feel like i can finally breathe.
there are no phones ringing.
no computers.
no demands.
no endless tasks.
There are several pictures on the walls, i can see them in my mind. . the floral still life. . the winding path with grecian trees, the cloud 'angel' picture.
There is an old communion table at the front of the room, lettered with these words: "Do This in Remembrance of Me"
There are chairs enough for a small army, lining the walls, empty.
and there's a Bible in the centre of the table, flanked by boxes of kleenex.

observation 1:
The most well worn page in this Bible is, Psalm 23. Its grimy and smudgy. . and tear stained. Its almost always turned there when i come in. I love that. I wonder how many different people have looked up maybe the only thing they know: The Lord is my shepherd. .

thought 1:
as i had trouble trying to focus and not think of work, not hear the noise outside the door, trying to pray, i thought of writing one honest page per day.
I could not stop thinking of that. . . one honest page.
So, this is what i've started to do, write to God one page every day.
A way to 'pray' that helps me focus and corral my thoughts, which go wandering off in every direction.

thought 2:
this morning as I wondered why it was so hard to 'hear' God speak to me, I know the disconnect is on my end, I thought about how hard it is to talk to people when they're sleeping. You call their name over and over and over, you try to tell them something -- nothing. You say their name a bit louder. You shake their shoulder. . they mumble and mutter. .still not waking. You're speaking to them, they're fast asleep. hmmmm. . . am i asleep? i think so.
I think a most of us are.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I'm not sure I've ever uttered the 'word' "arrrrghhhh" actually, but i'm feeling like it.
I'm frustrated.
Its tough for people like me
who like food.

Right now its a really good thing that I am not in the company of one of those "I don't have a problem with my weight" kind of people.

The way I'm feeling right now, I'd have to sit ON my hands, to keep them from going up around their neck.

You know, the kind of people who say things like:

"I forget to eat sometimes"

*are you flippin' kidding me?*


"I've never had a problem with my weight."
(of course, you haven't)


"I don't have a sweet tooth, I almost never eat dessert"
(is this even possible? its downright suspicious -- how can such a person be trusted?)

or the thing that really makes me wanna hit them:
"I can eat whatever I want. I just burn it off."


I'm having a ridiculous day in which everywhere I go there are THINGS I WANT TO INHALE.. market this morning. . bought my grandchildren giant cinnamon buns with icing. . I did not succumb to these evil rounds. But they smelled so damned cinnamony.

Then my grandson wanted to visit the church beside the market. . the one that sells PIES and APPLE DUMPLINGS WITH WARM CARAMEL SAUCE every week, to raise funds. Naturally, he wanted to check out the basement, where they SELL the dangerous items and he wanted a glass of juice. Deal is you get a beverage with the purchase of one of these sin bundles. frig, frig FRIG!!! Idiot me buys him one, which he hated. . and wouldn't eat. and this is why he's so thin. So now I was really crumbling. the smell. . oh my gosh. .the look of that golden thing. . I scooped out and ate the apple from inside its pocket of pastry and salvaged a deteriorating situation. But that wasn't the last of it. I then took him to the chocolate shop, where the most curious thing happened.

I picked up a bag of chocolates for Lindsay and Mike, I told myself, and a couple of little 'chocolate pizzas' for the grandkids. I was surrounded by hand made chocolates, roasted nuts, candies -- by now I was really messed in the head. I fished out my new wallet and being new, the card holder pockets were a bit stiff. I tried to get my card out. . it was wedged in so tight i couldn't. I only pushed it further in with each attempt to get at it. The cashier gave me a paper clip. . and watched me as I fumbled. I then asked her if she had anything pointy, she handed me a pen. I tried to pen the thing out. No luck. The cashier giggled nervously. I finally looked up at her and said "You'll have to cancel that, I can't get at my bank card." When I asked her if that had ever happened to anyone else, or was it just me, she grinned and said "No, just you." James wasn't too disappointed, he was only thinking about his cinnamon bun anyway. It was actually kind of hilarious.

You'd think I would have been in the clear after all that. But no.

We went back to the Arts Centre to meet Opa, who was waiting for Eri to come out of her ballet lesson.

While I had eaten sensible bran flakes and fruit for breakfast, Rob hadn't and he wanted to go to Tim Horton's for a bagel and a coffee. The kids of course chimed in their wishes for "chocolate mint donut and a chocolate milk".

Tim Horton's is of the devil.
Cookies, donuts, eclairs, donuts, tea biscuits, donuts, fatty fatty muffins and donuts.

Rob ordered his brunch, the kids had their donuts and chocolate milk.

I had a diet pepsi.. . .niiiice.

but I stole a teeny pinch of each donut. *tiny, miniscule* I did not lose control with my mouth, but my mind was already gone. At this point i was convinced that the entire city was made out of sugar and dipped in chocolate.

We got home and what did I flippin do next?? I made some squares. . i'm not even kidding you.
Butter, peanut butter, butterscotch chips, marshmallows, coconut, rice krispies. Deadly. I quickly got the squares in the pan and hid them in the fridge.

I made an organic spinach salad with fat free raspberry dressing, cooked some mushrooms in broth, had a piece of lean, grilled chicken leftover from the other night and a small, whole wheat english muffin, toasted with 1 measured teaspoon of non hydrogenated margarine. It was good. I went out to do some gardening. Distraction is good, yes. . very good. I needed to stop throwing myself under the food bus.

I'd sent the cinnamon buns packing with the grandkids, I had eaten only the apple and not the dumpling. The chocolate store fiasco kept me on the straight and narrow and I ended up having a 2 cm. square piece of square and then desperately ran to the freezer for a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich, which I wolfed down guiltlessly as I promised myself that it was better than the squares. . and you know it really was good and it really was better.

I then went downstairs and like a sicko, I watched . . . The Food Network!! What the . . . . what is WRONG with me?? I felt like i was having a bona fide meltdown. How can I reconcile my old nature with my new behaviour?? How can I be me if I don't bake? Why can't I be liberal with the olive oil and the butter, why do i have to measure things and count points? Why can't I be normal? Why is the world full of delicious garbage to eat? Why is every second commercial on TV about food? and every first commercial about someone with no weight problem? What kind of skewed message are the propagandists pushing anyway??

This is an epic, rest of my life drama. . and I need to get a grip!!!

I made some supper. . low fat, whole wheat mac and cheese. It was really good.
I ate 1 cup's worth. BLAH. I don't like 1 cup's worth. . i like more.

I'm seeing the pattern as I write it all down. . INSANITY! sanity. . INSANITY! sanity. Thursday night I was jubilant, high on control, happy -- like I could KICK FAT'S BUTT!! Today, I'm the one being kicked. ^&#$%^^%$ !!! pardon me.

I'm going to go for a walk now. As I get into this sixth week of 'health improvement' and vanity boosting, I realize I'm always going to be living with this familiar tension. The 'honeymoon' is over. . there will be days like this and they are usually on the weekend. I'm not sure why this is so. My Monday - Thursday resolve seems to evaporate when the sun sets on Friday nights. I am not without weapons of my own. .and working out is definitely going to be my weapon of choice. Maybe this is going to be my great equalizer?

oh great. .

i'm getting hungry.


Thursday, May 21, 2009


I was thinking today, as I was mending a favourite pair of worn workout capris.
Thinking about mending.
Does anyone mend any more?

I could have easily thrown the capris out. I didn't.
I've mended them before. But today I mended them again because I really like them.
I thought some more.
This question is far deeper than it seems on first thought.
Mending is more than sewing.
Mending is for more than things.

Of course its easier to look at flaws and toss.
Socks have holes?
Throw them out and buy more.
Your vacuum cleaner doesn't work any more?
Put it on the curb on trash day and get another one.
Shoes worn out?
buh bye. . in the garbage.
Zipper broken?
useless, it goes in the bag.

There are two things going on here. .

1. Things aren't made to last any more. They're made to throw away.
Much more profit to be had making disposable items than in creating quality goods.
Cars don't last. Houses go up in no time and fall apart. Appliances give up the ghost. I have a perfectly functional 1950 Westinghouse oven. . yes my stove is 59 years old and all we do the odd time is replace a fuse. It amazes me. Be even more amazing, Kelly Ripa and Electrolux, i dare you. If I went out and bought a brand new oven tomorrow, I'd be lucky to get 5 - 10 years out of it and those years would not be without servicing.

2. We have no patience to fix. We're so ready to give up. Throw away. We didn't make the thing, we have nothing invested in it, we did not create, we did not design, we simply consume and discard.

This propensity of ours for using and tossing has crept into all parts of our brains.
We hit a snag. . we want to pack it in.
We have a rough patch, forget about it. . cut losses and move on.
why bother?

This alarms me.

Old fashioned isn't always bad.
Sock holes used to be sewn back together.
Zippers were replaced.
Vacuum cleaners were serviced.
Shoes were re-soled.

I think people thought that they might not be able to get another,
so they took great care with the one they had.
Preserving, conserving, protecting, maintaining.
Even when fixing was not possible and there seemed to be no use,
they got creative and found another use.
They valued.
They were more patient.

We live in a disposable world.
You name it, it can be disposed of.
No mending necessary.
can be discarded
thrown away.

How can we stop?
How can we change?
I want to believe we can.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I've realized something.
I really need to learn about respect.

I've been under the impression that I've been a respectful person,
but I catch myself all the time, losing my cool, making snap judgements, assuming,
keeping score of rights and wrongs.

Lack of knowledge is a problem.
How often do I resolve to invest my time in knowing?
Not in knowing for the sake of ego building,
But in knowing people.
I think where I find myself lacking respect,
I am most often lacking knowledge.

I don't know people well enough.
Don't know what they've experienced, don't know what they've accomplished, don't know their struggles, their joys, their fears.
Its too easy to go through the daily thing we all do and see people
but never really see them. Do you know what I mean?

I am not well known.
People don't know what I've experienced, accomplished.
Don't know my struggles, joys, fears.

I might not be easy to know.
I might hide, I might not trust. Maybe I'm afraid.

Why don't I know others? Why don't others know me?
Do I care? Am I cared about?
Do i take the time? Is time taken with me?
Ever regret caring? taking time? It doesn't always work out does it?
Sometimes the more you get to know someone,
the more you wish you didn't! Can you relate??
But so what? Why judge whether someone is worth caring about or worth my time? worthy of respect?
Who do i think i am, anyway?
As if I can dole out respect like a benediction upon the lives of others.
As if I can respect capriciously, selectively. .
we do this.
i do this.
and miss out on building character
on trusting and respecting God to help with the really tough things in life,
investing (i don't mean money)

Wow, is it ever difficult to have respect for someone who has hurt you.
Lash out. Run away. Pull back. Must self protect.
Is it possible to step back from the hurt and still respect some aspects of that person?
Yes, its possible, but no, not palatable.
Can good be seen if its mixed in with the 'bad'??
Or does the bad stand out so much, the good is overlooked? - like disclosing tablets chewed after brushing our teeth. .all the good brushing is obvious, but goes unnoticed. . all we see is the bright blue evidence of the bad, of what we didn't do right.

How do we make sense of our own dark and light? We're all mixed up.
We love and withhold love.
We bless and we curse.
We respect and we disrespect.
We're messy and mean.

I find as i live my days that there's a fine, fine balance in living.
A balance between listening and speaking.
A balance between being knowing and being known.
A balance between your inner and your outer being.
We all walk around every day with balance issues.
The imbalance causes all sorts of problems.
Too weak here, not strong enough there.
Too strong here, too weak there.
Off centre.
Big head, small heart.
Too much dis, not enough re

I've realized something else.
Although I never seem to learn, I really do want to.

Friday, May 01, 2009

mejor amigo

my best friend

I was 14 the summer of 1977,
one month shy of 15.
I had a chip on my shoulder and a soft heart, waiting. . .
for him.

I wasn't going to go to camp that summer. I can't remember why.
At the last minute I enrolled as a music camp student.
I knew most of the others, we had been going there together year after year.
We walked across the field towards the boy's side of the camp. . . and there he was, the boy I saw last winter at the youth day in Brantford!

He was tall and lanky with Bay City Rollers hair and beautiful blue eyes.
I had come to youth day in our church mini bus with Mrs. Howlett, our guardian, who had a habit of squeezing my ribs until they were blue and making me give speeches and sing solos. The day played out, i have no remembrance of the speech i gave, but i remember feeling so conspicuous at the podium wearing my cream, brown and turqouise velour turtleneck, i was having a bad hair day, i wondered if he noticed me? *he hadn't!! ha ha!*

I remember trying to stay in his sights, but not really succeeding. He was hanging out with the people in his band, talking and laughing.
We had to leave and I still made no connection. . i moped all the way home,
sitting in that bus with that bunch of twirps.

Now, here he was at camp, this was my chance!
Luckily I knew one of his friends and several of my friends knew his friends, perfect!
He turned out to be extremely shy
so I had to make the move, trying to pull the Levi tag off his jeans at the canteen one afternoon. *it was a popular thing in the mid 70s. . don't ask why* I didn't get his tag, but I got his attention. . I guess so! grabbing at a stranger's butt. From there we started to talk and laugh.

That evening we all hung out by the swingset next to the girls and boy's washrooms.
I told him that i thought i heard something in the bushes out back.
I wanted him to kiss me and I don't think it had occurred to him to do so.
So I showed him where it thought the 'noise' was coming from.
He looked at me and I looked at him and he suddenly got it.
We wandered down to the well next to my cabin and we sat and kissed.
Curfew sounded and we thought we'd better make a run for cabin check in.
He grabbed my hand to run together and I had this thrill in my heart i'd never felt before.
That was it, I was smitten. . he was too, he told me later. . after an awkward morning at the flag pole where I was not looking at him and he thought I had changed my mind.
I just hated mornings and wasn't awake yet.
We spent the rest of the week hanging out as much as possible.
His cabin counselor saw us together the last day of camp, told us "It'll never last. Its a camp romance." I didn't believe him.
Time came to leave camp, I had no idea where he lived, whether i'd ever see him again. . he gave me his address, i gave him mine.
My parents took me home.
I cried the whole way.
He, as it turned out, slept all the way home.

How I could know after one short week that I would marry this boy?
But I did. I had no doubt. Didn't tell him for a long time though!
I told my girlfriend when I got back to school that September.
She thought I was ridiculous.

Today is our 28th wedding anniversary.
He still makes my heart jump.
I adore him.
32 years under our belt now.
I've lived with him 2 1/2 times longer than I had lived before meeting him.
the longer we are together, the more he means to me.
I guess you could call us oldly-weds. .
and sometimes it feels like a few decades have passed by,
other times it hardly feels like a few years.
I was never afraid for one minute to commit to marrying him.
We were just babies when we got married.
Our families, to their credit, never said we were too young.
They never said that we were crazy.
Maybe some people thought we were!! Okay, they probably DEFINITELY thought we were!! All I have to say about that is we outlasted a lot of them!

We've gone past buying 'things' for each other to mark this special day.
'I love you, so here. . here's some jewelry, here's some money.' That doesn't seem right. and we don't need to make the card companies any richer in order to tell each other 'I love you'. We can and do say that every day.
I feel like I was just a baby when I found this 'treasure' and i feel so rich knowing him.
This is a happy day. .

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

didn't ring true

I had a blog post sitting in draft since Tuesday. . something about scratching the surface
i gave some awkward examples of how i do this in life
when i re-read it, it seemed like such b.s.
there was no heart in the words --

I stay on the surface in lots of ways,
use only a small percent of my brain
don't always take the time get to know others
i put things off, thinking i'll get around to them
try to do too much and don't do anything very well
i hear but maybe don't listen
special things happen and i don't often see them.

I get clipping along, on the hamster wheel
and I go on and on and on,
not really thinking,
then i'll get tired and ask myself:
"What is all this for?
Why am i doing the things i do every day, every week, month, year after year?
What does it all mean?"

I guess I could think of these questions like the pop up reminder windows in my Outlook calendar. . "IMPORTANT MEANING OF LIFE REALIZATION MOMENT IN 15 MINUTES. . 1. OPEN 2. SNOOZE. 3. DISMISS."

I know in my heart that i exist because God gave me life.
I know he's a genius, I see him in the world and all that's in it and beyond it.
I make sense of my meaning as a human in the context of God's saturating presence in the universe and in my heart at the very same time -

As I get all angsty and self involvedly questioning about making sense of what I have experienced, i stop. . still entangled in my own flaws and those of others, losing the sight i've been given, a bundle of imperfections. . .and i read the paragraph directly above this one.

I know in my heart...
I know he's ...
I make sense of my meaning as a human...

Not dismiss
Not snooze
But open.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

30 years on

a tale of two pictures.
2009 and 1979

woman me
child me

i found the grad picture when i was cleaning a closet last week.
It really upset me.
Surely this fresh faced girl with the "70s Show" hair isn't me??
17 and not a line on my face.
47 and no comment.
I have this thing about aging.
I don't want to do it, but age doesn't care what i think about it.
30 more years from now?
I won't be posting pictures.
There's something undignified about losing youth.
But at the same time, age and experience can really develop character and wisdom.
I feel wiser than i did when they took this picture,
but I still feel very unfinished.
I have fading memories of being 17.
When I'm 77, i'll have fading memories of being 47.
hmmmm. .
deep breath.
I am trying to keep it all in perspective.
Its weird,
and wonderful, i guess?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

what's happened to songs?

i've been alive long enough to notice that songs are different than they used to be.
the tunes are different. the words are different. they feel different, not good different. I'm not stuck in a golden time warp where everything must be tra la la in the grassy, sunlit meadow. Life has shades, some are dark. Songs are great expressions. But something is going wrong. . has gone wrong. I had a mind to compare the flowery lyrics and treacley tunes of eras past -- and they were beautiful, romantic, idyllic -- then try to contrast these with the unvarnished, jaded even violent lyrics and aggressive melodies that have emerged. But i wondered where to start. A few decades ago? a century? further? I couldn't do it. I thought a sliver of a sample would be too little to back up my assertion and anything larger would be too tedious; like trying to capture a picture of something gargantuan with a cellphone camera.

I'm not sure its possible to separate song and music from the experience of human existence, language, being. No, I don't think it is.
Music and us, we're inseparable. Words and people, impossible to part them.
We evolve, songs do. We transcend, they climb with us. We degenerate, they deteriorate. I've noticed we're not transcending. I'm not even sure its possible for modern humans to do so any more. We think we know too much. We are advancing in enormous leaps and simultaneously falling backwards with shocking speed. Nothing seems to phase us. How difficult is it for us to be quiet long enough to breathe and think of more than playing, using and acquiring?
Can we appreciate, feel grateful?
Do we know how to own our smallness in the great vastness we have yet to acknowledge?We are too big for our britches.

and because of all this, I think music has been suffering along with us.
I do think so.
We have lost something(s).
lost.. .
going. .

music as barometer, mood ring, mirror. .
i think so, yes.
everything we experience, comes out in the songs. .

modern/postmodern tug of war
generational struggling
fears for the future
concerns for the present
spectres of the past
echoes of romance
love, all bruised and roughed up

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Most of the warriors

"Most of the warriors I know have settled down to gardening and reading the Times.

Most of the warriors I know have unsaddled their stallions and built fences in their backyard.

Most of the warriors I know have died before their times and are forgotten,

save in the memory of their sons and the dreams they seldom share;

finally content to stare at people without passion."

source unknown by me. .

*this speaks to me on a couple of levels. .
1. as a human on this earth - thinking of how easy it is to be selfish, not
truly caring about what happens beyond my small circles.
2. as a person has lost faith in 'church',in myself and i guess even in God?
I love him, but I seem to have lost my fire, my feeling that i can be a

Sunday, February 08, 2009

keepie uppie and other shenanigans

Family lunch today was hilarious.
The grandkiddies were over as usual. Their mom and baby sister were taking a break.
Mom had a headache.
Opa and great grandma got some Swiss Chalet chicken for take out and picked the kids up and brought them to our place.
Dinner was the usual pleasant chaos with the children.
Ants in the pants, not wanting to eat their food,
fidgeting and general sillness.
Maybe it was the full moon,
don't know. . they just seemed extra hyper today, especially Erica.
This always stresses Auntie KK. . Opa and Bala (great grandma) seemed pretty zen
and undisturbed.

After lunch James wanted to play Wii. . so everyone went downstairs.
Eri wanted 2 of her birthday balloons from yesterday's party to play 'keepie uppie'.
I love playing that, so her and I did this for quite a while.
Eventually I suggested we try to play this while kneeling. . made it more silly and
Then I said, let's lay down and try to play it that way.
We crawled like worms along the floor. . it was too hard, so then Eri asked:
"Nana, let's get a balloon and you can blow it up and make it do the fart noise."
When it comes to blowing up balloons and letting them go, I'm like a giant child.
I LOVE that absurd noise they make and the crazy loops they do in the air.
I told her to go upstairs and get one.
She giggled all the way.
We were positioned behind James, Rob and mom, who sat in front of the TV, with their silly Wii British car racing going on. .

I blew up the balloon and made silly faces with each breath.
Erica could not stay composed. She was laughing like a nut case.
I looked at her and whispered: "Should i let it go now?"
She gave me the go ahead and i let go.

The balloon whizzed around like a flying whoopie cushion. . and landed with a sudden, slight plop near Jimmy's feet. If the sound alone wasn't hilarious, their reactions made it even funnier. .
I just about peed my pants laughing.
Mom let out this "Ohhhh!!" and James, who had no clue what we were up to,jumped in his seat and said "Heyyyyy!" Erica was screeching. .

Rob lay on the recliner and opened one eye.
KK read the People magazine in the back corner.
They didn't get it.
Anyway, we did this several times, and each time we laughed like idiots.
Then Eri decided that we should launch the fart balloons from up on the stairs, directly over their heads.
I told her to get two more balloons and we'd let a few go at the same time.
I made my goofy balloon blowing faces,
she howled with laughter, which made it hard for me to blow them up for laughing, this made her laugh more. . we were out of control.

We had many more successful bombing 'attacks' which startled James and Bala every time!

James then wanted to get in on the game, and as he put a balloon to his lips,
Erica warned him sharply: "Jimmy, that's got Nana's spit all over it!" and he dropped it fast. That pretty much put an end to that. .

He went back to his Wii. . Eri and I got out a puzzle.
We worked on that for a while. . lying on the floor.
I put my head down on my outstretched arm and said "I'm sleepy" and yawned.
Eri started singing:
"Rock-a-bye bay. . .big girl, on the tree tops. When the wind blows the cradle will rock. When you sit in the cradle it will break into a fousand pieces and you will come crashing down, pieces and all."

I laughed for 10 minutes, solid.

Friday, January 30, 2009

crazy food memories

i had the jar in my hands last night
and then I looked at the 'nutrition facts' label
and put it back on the shelf.
*E.D. Smith Lemon Spread*
Brings me back to memories of eating buttered toast spread with this tangy
lemon gloop.
I realize now that this is prepared lemon curd filling
At the time I cared not what it was called, i just liked it.
I have a special place in my tastebuds for anything lemony.

When i was a kid I used to practice eating lemon wedges
without pulling a face.
I thought this was an amazing feat which I
would demonstrate to my sisters and friends.
They were quite underwhelmed.
I went through this intense phase of lemon eating in grade 4.
I remember standing by our neighbour, Mrs. Clemente's backyard trellis/gate,
sucking on a ridiculous lemon,
inwardly cringing and trying to keep a straight face.
She looked at me and remarked:
"You know dear, eating those will stunt your growth"
I looked down at her and smiled.
She must have been 5' . . i had a good 5 or 6 inches on her at the time. . and grew to be 9 inches taller by grade 7.
Or perhaps she was right and if i hadn't gone through
my lemon phase, i would might have been 6 feet tall??
I guess i'll never know!

This whole thought train started me reminiscing on some of the strange foods we used to eat back then.

Fruit Float -- this strange and chunky tinned fruit slush got mixed with milk and formed a layered 'pudding' in which the 'fruit' rose to the top. we loved it. . not sure why?

Whip 'n Chill -- now this was amazing stuff. . little packet of dried powder you shake into milk and beat into an airy mousse. Chocolate and strawberry were the best. Vanilla tasted like preservatives.

Tang -- good enough for the astronauts, good enough for us? I have no clue what was in this powdered, freeze dried, koolaid on steroids, i'm sure loads and loads of sugar, but it sure was yummy. My granddaughter, Eri, is almost five. She already lectures the lot of us on eating 'helfy' sugars. They're teaching junior kindergarteners about fructose, glucose and such. Very cool. She'll be considerably 'helfier' than her Nana.

'Sharpie' cheese tubs -- our father was especially keen on this aged cheddar spread --- i don't recall liking this very much. . smelled like gym socks - i had no palate then.

speaking of our father. .
this man would make himself raw spanish onion and liverwurst sandwiches, then get us in a head lock and breathe on us. .

Kraft pizza in a box. . this little kit came with a packet of dry dough mix, a tin of pizza sauce and a sachet of powdered cheese. . very popular in the 60s and 70s. . why?? it made the yuckiest pizza IN THE WORLD!!!

Alphagetti - tinned alphabet pasta in tomato sauce. oh geez, what Canadian kid didn't grow up on this stuff?? toast and alphagetti was practically sacred.

"Wagon Wheels'. . disgusting biscuity circles with chewy marshmallow middles, enrobed in a waxy, tasteless chocolate coating. . lunch box staple of the early 70s -Truly despicable.

"Peter Pan" puffed wheat cereal in a bag. . .yeah, a feed bag!! This stuff, i thought, was only fit for horses. it had a strong, malty kick. *shudder* Our mother insisted on buying this because it was always on sale. Gee, I wonder why?? Perhaps because NOBODY FRIGGIN' LIKED THIS STUFF??!!! No amount of sugar in the world could help this taste good.

"Jiffy Pop" popcorn. Shake this foiled wonder over your stove burner and watch it puff up like a magic, silver turban. We seldom got this, because it was 'too dear', but we always begged for it.

speaking of popcorn, there was this stuff they sold that came in a plastic double pack. . the one side contained popcorn kernels, the other side contained this glob of flavoured coconut oily margarine that you squeezed into your pot, and popped the popcorn in. Oh my gosh. . i'm starting to think my entire childhood will land me in the heart clinic by the time I'm 60!!

"Lolas". . triangular frozen 'popsicles'. Cut the top of the waxed cardboard container and push up from the bottom. I loved the purple ones. .

Swanson frozen TV dinners. . heat in the oven, peel back the foil and eat your salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, corn and fruit cobbler. These were a considerable step up from the frozen fish sticks and french fry suppers our father would 'make'.

'Pimento loaf'. . luncheon meat studded with little dots of pimento. . used to poke them out and look at all the holes. So fun.

"Premium" soda crackers are still around, but what makes me remember these was the way we ate them -- slathered in butter, then sandwiched together to watch the butter extrude through the cracker holes like little worms. Why in God's name would we butter these already loaded with shortening crackers?? This worries me. We were such ignos.

"Sarah Lee" frozen layer cakes. .oh my gosh I'm such a sucker for sweet things, esp. cake and icing. These were little rectangular cakes that you sliced and ate. There was a little liner of waxed paper on top of the icing. We'd fight over licking the icing off the paper. It wasn't pretty. Sometimes we ate these frozen if we were too impatient to let them thaw.

ah well, the only thing I sincerely hope is that our years of eating utter crap are somehow atoned for by the all the fibre, probiotic yogurt, organic flax eggs, quinoa, whole wheat bread, lean meat and truck loads of fresh fruit and veg I now consume. Don't be fooled. .I have a pumpkin cheescake sitting in the fridge right now. . there's a jar of Nutella in the cupboard and a bag of chocolate peanut butter bites beside it.
*My inner child is alive and well*

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

change is certain

its funny how i can be amazed by the constant changes in life
not sure why i find that amazing.
Isn't that what life is? change?
its also funny how i can also be put in a trance by 'same old, same old'
lulled into thinking things can be old
when every day they're new
maybe its a simple matter of being tuned in?
maybe its a simple matter of looking around?
looking up,
remembering how things have been
then observing how things now are.
looking forward to how things can be,
will be
or maybe dreading?
depends. . .

these are uncertain times
but haven't times always been so?
and moving
under us
around us
disrupting our illusions of stability
'was' is always evaporating
'is' is always evolving

what is uncertainty
but looking for the certain?
good certain..
not always finding
and fear skulking
and hope longing to spring
apathy desiring to smother
faith ready to leap

pursue change
or run from it
fear it
and crave it
handle it with fingertips
or embrace it
feel powerless
feel indomitable

how often do i go back and forth
between these?

this is how i'm feeling today
tomorrow is subject to change

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

everyone's talking about it. .

In January people start feeling remorseful
about how much food they ate
and ate
and ate
and drinks they drank
and how late they stayed up
and how little they exercised
(shopping doesn't count)

Its strange how celebrating makes us eat like pigs
and spend money like sailors on leave

So now many of us are 'smartening up'!!
Myself included.
Being good.
Eating regularly
and more nutritiously.

You know, I feel better already.
I'm eating well. .nice, healthy food.
I'm not buying endless bricks of butter for all
that baking
and there are no more cookies, squares, treats left around the house
thank God.

maybe i should pay more attention to all the cardiologist's reports we process at work and really THINK about making sure that I never end up needing their services.

Happy resolving to all of you resolutionists!!! I resolve to make being healthy a neverending pursuit - no more rollercoastering.
*i hate rollercoasters anyway!*