Friday, 27 February 2015

And then she Grew a Pair

I don't like that expression, because I don't believe that strong women need to imitate those soft parts of men.  But the title fit.

This second time around with my current job is quite different than that first time.  A full year I've been back, and time has vanished from under me.  I feel as though I've been carried along, especially since November when I took on a new location and went full time.

I've had to become very tough, very firm, very vocal, very determined.  Everything that worked against me last year at my retail job is what I need at this job.  And more.  The winter has been so long and cold.  My house is out of control.  The oven is still broken.  My green compost bin is snowed in and I have more compost in my downstairs freezer than I do food.  Waiting for the thaw, when I can dig out my green bin and get my side gate open.

I have nearly given up on my determination to move this year because I just can't see how we'll pull it off.  But I keep that to myself.  Move forward once the sun shines on my face and I can escape the stagnant air inside my house.

Yes, I am quite through with hibernation.  Time to break free of the burrow, and roll in the damp undergrowth, smelling the moist earth, rolling in last years grasses.


Monday, 23 February 2015

Humanity crammed into layers of waiting rooms...

Daughter has been feeling under the weather lately.  She is living large right now, a recent break-up with her boyfriend [we miss him] and finishing with Target Canada [very sad for the employees] has left her feeling worn out, burnt out, restless [think long Canadian winter....].

On Friday she thought she had a kidney infection so we went off to emergency to check it out.  We don't mess with kidneys in this household.

The dynamics in a hospital are incredible, scary, awe-inspiring.  No wonder there are so many medical shows on television, with the many layers of people working in an emergency ward.  The janitorial staff.  The front line nurses.  The exhausted and rumpled doctors.  How what is fearful and anxiety laden for us, is just another day of work for them.

The patients.  There was young Hannah.  All of 99lbs, any age between 16 and 25.   Supported oh so beautifully by her boyfriend and friend.  Literally supported.  I have never seen a person hover on the edge of unconsciousness before, she was swooning.  Some sort of allergic reaction or drugs, she was unable to sit up.  And there she waited with the rest of us, and we were all alarmed. By the time she had her iv drip for  an hour or two, with Benadryl, she was looking much better.  There are no secrets in emergency.  There is no privacy.  The elegant older woman who was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer, with her daughter.  The Italian daughter with her elderly parents, her father with heart issues.  Everything leaking out from under the curtains.  Words and descriptions you just can't zone out.

All these stories.  All that energy floating around.  I told my daughter that they should smudge or cleanse these various waiting rooms, because of the trauma and emotion that percolates constantly.

Daughter is fine.  On Friday the emergency  Dr. thought she had kidney stones, so we went back on Saturday so she could have an ultrasound.  All is clear, and we think she is simply stressed out.

I learnt from my two days in emergency that as we age we must, must, must look after our feet! I'm not sure at what age our feet start to give issues, but wow, did I see some older ladies in agony.  Real agony.  And I saw some feet I wish I hadn't.

Love your feet.  Trim your toenails.  Slather those babies with moisturiser and wear good shoes.

Daughter and I would love to know how things turned out for Hannah, but never will.  She was only in our sights for a few hours, funny how people can get inside you and touch your life and not even know it.





Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Productive Hibernation

In November I created a wonderful studio space for myself in our attic.  I carted up the narrow stairs my desk, my art supplies, my old journals, my fabric, my sewing machine...  All the shells from warm vacations, my lone plant from the kitchen that was floundering.  Some pretty things.

My life being crazy-busy since autumn began, I did not have opportunity to create in my space, but some nights I'd creep up the stairs and sit at my desk, and absorb the soothing energy.  Absorb the potential.  I'd write a bit in my journal.  Nothing earth-shattering, just words to fill the silence.

Yule came and went.

The snow came.

January came and went.

And finally in February or perhaps the end of January, I stole away to the attic one day after work.  For just an hour.  I put on soothing music and I started a picture.  I pulled some colours from magazines.  Then I roughly sketched a forest on a masonite board.  And then, on a different day I began to fill with colour.  My time in the attic has become restorative.  The time at my work surface is becoming easier.  I am loosening.

All is well with my winter.




Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Light Will Keep your Heart Beating in the Future...

The title of a song I heard this morning at my desk...  My desk becomes my home-away-from-home.  Art bits and feathers stuck to my wall, music in the background shells in a jar and a ceramic dish from Mexico holds my lip gloss, paper clips, post it notes and rubber-finger-thingy.

I can make Home out of anything, anywhere.

When I recap this year I treat myself with gentleness.  I celebrate what I did do and what I did learn instead of beating my self up on what I did not accomplish.

We travelled.  I learnt how to basket weave.  I learnt how to knit socks, which was a big 2014 goal.  Much time was spent playing in the life at the garden.  I swam in the ocean, and swam in a lake and swam in a whole bunch of pools.  The living-room and dining room were painted and I went on a wonderful retreat.

I consider this a well-accomplished year.

What do I want from next year?  Ah - Creativity, movement, healthy foods, garden earth under my nails, a move to a new location, long braided hair with twigs and moss woven in...

It's all wide open.

Tonight we are laying low.  We're going to do the puzzle that daughter gave us for Christmas.  3 invites out, but we want to nestle in.  Enjoy the last night of the Yule Tree.  Tomorrow maybe a walk on the boardwalk where the Chick-a-Dees sit on your hands and eat the offered seed.

But now I will work here at my desk, listening to music, processing tasks, getting stuff done.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Gathering Light

I don't know why I wrote that title, but it just fell off the tip of my fingers so I let it.

I have not written.  I have not written because....  Life has me too busy with hours spent away from home and obligations that hold me fast on weekends.  I know in my heart that in January much of this will ease off, and I will have some time again.

My [grown] children ask me what I want for Christmas and I say Time.  They roll their eyes at me.  This year I have post-phoned Yule to Saturday.  I was feeling stressed [overwhelmed]  about getting things purchased, getting things wrapped, getting things done.  I thought - why not?  Why not take Christmas Day as a day of rest?  I convinced Husband and all the other grown people in my house agreed as well.

On Christmas Day we might go see a movie.  I might spend the day in my studio, which has been gathering dust.  I might sleep.

The cats curl tight around us at night.  The lights of the season twinkle.  Feasting has been good with extended family on both sides.  We're getting it done, as best we can.

I have always loved the dark season.  In the winter months I find time to create, time to play.  While my garden sleeps I move quietly in corners lit by lanterns, drawing, thinking, growing.

Did I mention my oven stopped working in November?  That has been a gift in disguise, as I have been released from baking holiday cookies.  The yule ham will warm gently in the slow cooker tomorrow, and be hot by the time we have our Christmas Eve Feast with Eldest and Lovely Lu.

Things happen for a reason.


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lesson Learned and Gratitude

Daughter learnt a valuable lesson last night about the solidity of moving vehicles.  She is fine, just to put that out there, just a bit bruised.

All season she has used my bike to commute to her job, mostly returning home between 10-11pm.  All along I have suspected that she is not a defensive rider but borders on a little aggressive.  Back in her youth, we delivered papers in a small town in the darkness of morning.  She learnt then to feel comfortable in the dark, with a misguided sense of safety.  A small town at 5:30am is very different from night-time city traffic. 

She was bumped when she tried to scoot past a car turning into a driveway.  An older woman was driving, and promptly gave Daughter proper shit about riding on the sidewalk, and not being careful.  I sympathize with the woman, she was probably in as much shock as Daughter.  

I admit that I ride on the sidewalk on that busy street as well.  But I am a very defensive rider, having found out at age 20 how it feels to be knocked down by a car.

So daughter is 'grounded' so to speak, having to bus and walk again.  Today she will lick her wounds, and take hot baths to sooth her muscles.  She knows how lucky she is.  I am grateful that this lesson was not a serious one.  A month ago a man I know was hit by a car on his bike, and ended up with a lung punctured in two places.  He did not go to the hospital until he began to drown in his own fluids, and ended up in intensive care.  He survived.

So daughter had a wake-up call.  I know she learnt from it.  My bike is off the road until the front wheel is repaired or replaced...  

My sad bike in better days...

Lucky girl.



Monday, 27 October 2014

The World Moves On

It keeps on spinning even when you are on holidays.

Being in a different country when tragedy strikes is bizarre, you are both connected and disconnected.  It was surreal actually, because we found out from Americans at the pool, that our young Soldier was shot guarding the monument at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.  And anyone we met after were just as shaken as if it were one of their own young men.  I think that Americans are not used to hearing such news from Canada.

And then the school shooting in Washington, another shared sadness.

Election day has finally arrived here in Ontario as well.  Finally the blather will be put to rest.  Because of all the news coverage of Toronto and the mayoral race there being [a bad joke] overblown, it has been nearly impossible to decide about my own riding in Hamilton.

Vacation was good.  We relaxed on the beach.  We swam in the sea.  We walked miles and miles along the shore of hard white sand.  There is nothing I love more than walking on sand, searching for shells.

But home is wonderful.  Autumn colours are the best, and I am happy we did not miss this latter edge of Fall.   After 6 days of eating out, simple fair of chili and stew was marvellous.  Now to focus 'in' and start nesting for the cold season.  My summer clothes are washed and stored.  Soon the geraniums will be brought in for the winter.

My house was in decent shape when we returned home.  The cats had water.  The young adults had food.  The dishes were done.

All is good.