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. .