Monday, 21 July 2014

The Edge is Better than Nothing

Husband and I are going away for a couple of days this week.  We will leave the office mid-day and go a little north to Collingwood where we will swim and feast and relax for a day or two.  He has some business to attend up there, but I am hoping it will be minimal.

I'll take a book [re-reading The Red Tent again, while I owe the library copious fees], and some knitting...  My computer of course.  I hope the weather is hot and sunny so I can spend a lot of time in the water...  Another pool, this year has been a year of swimming in pools.

I love to swim in lakes, but so far none have come my way.  No forests either.  Maybe a little bit of forest when we were away in May, but what I find, with resorts or fancy hotels, is that even if you are in the wilderness, you still feel like you are separate, as if you are observing nature, rather than being a part of it.

I miss being in the woods and a part of the experience.  A tent or cabin is in the midst of it all.  A luxury hotel?  Not so much.

Guess I'll have to suck it up and enjoy it anyway.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Creativity and Kindness

Opt for kindness.

I think the rudest thing I ever read about here in blogging land is that some people attack others in the comments they leave.  This has never happened to me, my 'readership' is tiny compared to many.  I'm a hermit-like character and would be devastated if someone lashed out at me in blogging land.

I've had people disagree with me, but that's ok.

If you can't be kind, then why comment at all?  For me it's about trying to put that good energy out there in the virtual world.  Throwing out and receiving kindness.  A virtual hug feels good.

Simple kindness.

Today is a slow work day, I think of all the things I could be doing at home...  The day is more than half over, so patience will win out.

Mid next week Husband and I are travelling a little north to Collingwood for a few days, he to work a tiny bit and me to relax.  I will take a few small projects, maybe that sock yarn & new needles....  I wish to learn how to knit socks so badly.

I have a perfect pattern for knitting leaf dishclothes that is so simple I have it memorized.  I sit in traffic with my knitting needles [not the driver, just the passenger!] and knit.  One dishcloth will take 3 commutes in fairly decent traffic, 2 commutes in heavy.  Knitting helps the time to pass.

Lovely Lu, my daughter-in-law wants me to take a macrame course with her.  She and I recently took a basket-weaving class which was great fun.  Macrame, though... I remember my sister making owl wall hangings in the early 70s. I said sure, I'm all for hanging with Lovely Lu.

My daughter recently helped a friend sew a dress for a Cosplay [spelling?] convention.  Daughter took sewing lessons when she was very young, and has done a bit of sewing but I shook my head when she showed me this slinky strapless dress pattern for her [extremely busty] friend to wear.  They did not pick out the fabric for the pattern, but made the pattern work for the fabric.

And she made it.   I don't know how she does it, she even 'eyeballed' the size of the zipper and picked the right length.  And she put it in even though my zipper foot is missing.

I have to remember not to underestimate her skills or determination.

So I am thinking about kindness today, and how easy it is to treat each other honourably, and also I am thinking about creativity.  Making stuff.

And the weekend is just within reach.

I am helping a friend unpack, the disappearing woman has a forever home.  A reunion between Very Old Friends will be taking place at the end of next week, a sleepover.

More on that later.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Pieces of Me

Earlier in my lifetime I was a deeply earthy type...  Home birth, placentas, midwives and all things natural.  My first home birth was in 1992, in Toronto.  Third child was born in our 3rd floor apartment with the umbilical cord wrapped tight around his neck.  When three women tell you to stop pushing, you stop.  All was well though and he did not need to use the oxygen they had on hand.  They told me to talk to him, and slowly he turned from greyish to ruddy red.

Soon after his birth, we realized that a third child in a two bedroom apartment had tipped us over the edge.  We moved to a little rental house down the road, where we lived very happily until Husband was transferred across the country ten months later.

In my freezer I had a frozen placenta.  It was waiting to be buried, and we had not done so yet, so one evening near midnight I went out to our narrow yard and buried it.  A piece of me left behind in Toronto, buried deep enough in the ground that a creature could not smell it.

Our fourth and last baby was born four years later in Mississauga.  By now midwives were legal in Ontario and this baby was born in the wee hours after Halloween, very fast, very intense.  He was a big baby, who was pink and fair, the first one with blue eyes like me.  I remember thinking, this one is like me.

The placenta went into the freezer until spring, when I buried it in the yard with a rose bush near.  I dabbed blood on his forehead and mine.  It seemed right.

We moved a lot in those years, and I can feel another one looming.  Maybe next year.

In our present home there are no placentas that I know of buried in our garden, but two tiny stillborn kittens have a special place near the burning bush.

It is interesting what we put in the earth, like an embrace.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Gardening with the Life

On my day off I rode my bike to the park-garden.  Rainy weather was approaching and I knew that I had zucchini to harvest before they grew as big as logs, and that led to weeding, and tomatoes that needed trimming.  I pulled the spinach as well, but might plant more.  It has been so delicious, and Kiki the cat cries for it when I make salads.

An itchy bump on my forearm looked like a mosquito bite, but by night I knew it had to be a spider bite. Not an evil spider, most likely a normal garden type.  I'm allergic to spider bites, and by morning my forearm was red and hot and hard and swollen.  I took a Benadryl capsule, last resort before heading to work.  I knew it was the sleepy kind, but there was nothing else in the house.  What happens when the children grow up?  You stop stocking practical medicine cabinet supplies like calamine lotion and antiseptic.

The Benadryl did kick in by noon, and I saw a noticeable ease in the swelling and itching, but it made me sleepy and rather high as a kite.  I usually stay away from strong meds because they are hard on my kidneys.

Research on the web led me to Plantain Leaves, those common weeds that the European settlers brought so long ago.  They act as an antiseptic and antihistamine. These are the weeds my husband is religious about removing from our tiny back yard.   As soon as we got home, I went to the ally behind our garage and picked some.  I chewed a couple [didn't even wash them] and plastered them on the area of my arm which was still very swollen, making a poultice, and within 20 minutes the swelling was gone.

Today I still have a faint redness, in a large 3 inch diameter from the bite mark, but no swelling.  I'll reapply more plantain later tonight, and intend on infusing some in oil to have on hand.

Living in the city has made me forget things I used to know.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Breathing through change and acceptance of untidy gardeners...

Seems my thoughts are recharged.  Took some time, but my blogging urge has returned.

Work has some changes coming, with an acquisition of a company in my city which might have me working closer to home in a month or so.  Time will tell.  Nervousness about stepping into the unknown, but change keeps you fresh.

Menses is absolutely nuts this year.  Yes I am 51, and it should be nuts, but one month 2 menses, the next none, a mystery to me when it will come or not.  This morning I just brought my wallet and journal to work and - voila, menses arrived and no supplies.

I think my body has an evil sense of humour.  But oh well.

Tomorrow an 80th birthday party for the father of a friend.  Don was a teacher in his early life and now a successful artist.  It astounds me that my friends still have their parents, mine have been gone since I was 33.  The years have flown by since they died.  I have never been back to their graveyard in Scarborough.  All the saints with broken arms, no tombstones.

Mostly we will be lying low this weekend.  The park-garden will need some work, the grass to be mown, the raspberries that want to spread across the neighbouring plots, tamed.  It is surprising how much puttering it takes to keep a garden happy and healthy.

It has been challenging to direct the volunteers.  We are all busy, and once the plants are in the earth so many simply vanish.  Some people like the idea of gardening, but have no intention of caring for their space.  Some plant their vegetables and never even harvest, allowing the critters to do so.  Gardening must hold an ideal or romantic vision in minds.  Honestly though, some have been at the park-garden longer than I have and you would think by now they would have learnt by example.

It does not help that our main garden-leaders are absent, busy with an acre to market-garden, and their own small plot is worse than most.

My Virgo Nature [opinionated, bossy, a tad harsh...] pops out, and I sometimes regret opening my mouth.  Gardens are work.  The space needs to be cared for.  Volunteers burn out quickly and we cycle through the strong ones.

Balance, breathing.  Remembering that the only person I can control or change is myself.


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Festivals and Floods, oh my

What have I been up to?  Sometimes I feel as though I have been doing nothing.  Then I look back over the week, and see that life has been very full.  Spring brings gardening, and house repairs.  Our garden at the park is lush and healthy, aside from one kale plant which perished.  On our way home tonight we'll stop to water, I'm sure I'll have a zucchini or two...

At home we have taken down the metal railings on the front porch which were probably installed in the 1970s.  We designed a wooden railing more in line with what would have been on our 1930s home with some adaptations for privacy.  We are building this in phases, with the left side and front being done.  Next the stair railings and a gate, which is not what would have been up in the 1930s.

I have had more than one item stolen from my front porch, so a gate will be a hopeful deterrent.

Suddenly, our front porch is ours again.  We have people living to our left who are not nice, enough said, and I have not felt comfortable sitting up front because the old railings allowed me no barrier.  Already we are using this space again, a welcome place to watch fireworks and escape from the morning heat.

After spending the allotted cash for the lumber on Sunday, suddenly our basement decided not to drain.  The washer, sinks & basement toilet and shower were out-of-order.  Only the low-volume flush toilet on the 2nd floor could be used, with trepidation.   Showers were taken around the corner at Eldest's apartment.  The plumber came yesterday and snaked my drain, all is well again.

Ah and last week youngest graduated from high school, with a 92.3 average plus an award.

All full and busy, this life.

And saw This performed live at the weekend festival.

It was so good.

Monday, 23 June 2014

To Move or Not to Move

Blogger has been so difficult to navigate lately I think I am going to ditch it...