Friday, 20 November 2015

Feet Sore no More and Toasty Fires will be Blazing

Starting to edge into the dark season, but also the holiday season, which does not bode well for hibernation. Keeping it simple does help, and planning helps, but lately my planning skills have fallen to the wayside.

Last June we went to Montreal and I walked too much in my old hiking boots with no comfy cushion left. I injured my feet and it has been a long recovery. I have never suffered sore feet before, aside from blisters, and this was a rude awakening for this non-driver.

Every morning I awoke to sore feet, and I would have to hobble around for a few minutes before they stopped hurting.

In September I went to see a foot doctor, and she took a mold of my feet for orthotics. These finally arrived and I have not had sore feet ALL WEEK. Cudos to orthotics. I am in love with my orthotics.

I have been actively trying to mend the rocky relationship that Husband has with one of his sisters. Sibling stuff is tough, but now that she has Bella [mil] living in her home, we had to somehow mend that fence. We have arranged to take Bella the 3rd Saturday of each month to our home to visit. This allows Husband to stop feeling guilty about his mother too. We had a lovely dinner out with this sister and her husband, a very good start.

There is so much pain and dis-function that has come to light in recent years. Depression, abuse, neglect. Sad shit. It is easy to let rocky relationships slide, and it is hard work to repair them.

Strange how when I met Husband, I was excited that his family was so bloody normal. It seemed to be ideal, whereas my family was a cluster of crazed alcoholics. Fast forward 30 years, with all the crazed alcoholics in my family dead and the rest of us for the most part pretty sedate and mellow, and Husband's family is a messy puddle.

Oh well, I have learned that the only people we can fix are ourselves.

A promise I have made myself for this busy Yule season approaching is only allowing one obligation per weekend. I have to allow some time to chill and catch up.  It has been a year of working full time and it has taken a toll on my house and any creative time in leftover moments. I bought a new sewing machine in July and some fabric, and a pattern, and I desperately want to make something.

In December I will be starting a 4 day work week, and this is a gift of time. I have made plans for a chimney inspection on my first day off, so soon we can have cheery fires on cold evenings.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Time is Mine [Today]

Two precious days in a row.  A weekend finally belonging to me. No obligations. No surprise appointments forgotten. Some tasks completed, many more to do.

I am catching up with laundry and yesterday I journeyed to the community garden to clean up our plot.  I had half a row of carrots to dig up and some late season peppers and eggplant came home with me, put into a Kima stew with sausage.

I'm drying some tarragon in the dehydrator, and next weekend will transplant my tarragon plant into my home garden.  We will not be taking a plot next year, we are simply too far away now for it to be done. And we have property now, with sunlight. Our plot will go to someone who does not have space to grow vegetables.

Today my plans are [hopefully] simple. Finish laundry. Pot geraniums and bring them in. Putter in the yard. Go for a walk. Bake muffins.

Maybe sew a little.

Enjoy your time.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Golden Vistas or My Heart is Full

Just love how the light is shining through the trees.

Gloomy skies make for brighter gold hues.

On my walk to work yesterday I looked West towards downtown, because the sky was threatening rain, but where I was walking the sun was shining.

Like an old photograph.

Our Autumn Getaway was lovely. The food incredible, the inn quaint, the pool warm and the trails were incredible.

Shadow Forest.

The paths surrounding the inn wove through pine, cedar, maple, fruit forests and meadows. A little bit of everything on a 100 acre property.

I love looking way up at the trees.

Makes me dizzy.

What a gift Autumn is.

I am still full from the smell of the damp earth and leaves - breathing is easier. I love how the forest can follow you back to the city, like it permeates a layer of skin.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Early Autumn Pondering

We are easing into autumn here, with chilly nights and gloomy storm-cloud days. This is my time, my season.

The outside of our new home needs to be put to bed for the winter soon. Summer lasted all the way through September so the chill did take us by surprise, my new little [birthday] fountain bubbles away, but we are not outside to enjoy...

The furnace has not been turned on yet, as the bungalow [or Lois in Menopause] keeps us toasty warm. A new roof is on, and soon the fireplace will be tested and we can enjoy the sight and smell of a real fireplace. Bliss.

Husband and I are heading away for two nights to a lovely inn to relax. Not too far away, just north of Toronto... Our recent few days off in September left us more tired than before, so this time we are removing ourselves from work and home - completely.

The getaway includes 2 nights, 2 breakfasts and 1 fancy dinner.  We are leaving directly after work on Thursday and staying until Saturday morning.  Then home for Thanksgiving weekend, my favourite long weekend.

Eldest and his Lovely Lu are having the grand feast on Monday at their new home, and we are bringing spice cake with fluffy icing, and a couple of veggie dishes.

I still haven't baked anything in my oven, having been out of the habit since last November when my oven stopped working in the other house.  It's time to try this one out, before the funds to replace it vanish.

The new roof - a lovely charcoal colour - cost $10,000 to do. There were 4 layers of old shingles sitting heavy on my house. I must admit we sat out and gazed at our $10,000 that weekend. My pop-up tent is up there too - since the money allotted to that turned into new sheathing for the roof which was an extra cost. Oh well, the roof is important.

We discovered that we are less than 30 minutes walking from our home to The Devil's Punchbowl. We went searching for the forest, and found the most incredible hike and vista. All close to home.

Feeling blessed.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Face to a Ghost

I realize I have been horrifically absent for months and months, but silence allows us to recharge, it allows us to rest our words.

I was visiting my sister last Sunday, and she showed me this plastic tub.  It was full of photos, and she asked me : Should I just throw this out?

I peeked inside, and there was my family history.  I could see a jumble of colour photos and black and white photos. These were the missing photos my other sister and myself thought were gone. These photos are essentially all we have visually of our history. Sister K has very little sentimentality towards her childhood, and I get that.  Some parts I just want to trash as well. I took the box.

Last night I began to sift through, and made two piles.  One pile for people and places that are completely forgotten. The American cousins I have not ever seen in my memory.  The scenes from vacations my parents took in the 1950s. The other pile for anything, or anyone recognizable.

My interest in my genealogy left me with an obsessive curiosity about my maternal grandmother's death in 1924.  Because of the internet, I was able to trace her death to a hospital in Ohio where she had died from infection, from a botched abortion. Probably not the history anyone should want to discover, but I knew from stories my mother told me, that her mother's life weas not a pretty story.

Last night I looked into the eyes of my dead grandmother, in a photo with her standing behind my three year old mother and her 5 year old sister...  A big photo.  Probably taken a year before her death.

My ghost-grandmother has a face.  Agnes Ruth, descendant of Isabel of Spain, she has a face.

I think this dead grandmother wanted her story discovered.  I think she was seeking her voice through me, and now she has a face.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Sighs of Spring Beginnings and Dreams

This year we are/were planning to move house.  Because of our intense work schedule, we decided yesterday to flow with the idea of a move, instead of gunning for it.  Do what we have to; like the garage shingles, the kitchen counter, de-clutter....  but not because of a time frame.  

There is no reason, really, aside from a terrible neighbour.  We will take it day by day.

On Saturday I travelled by bus to meet up with two women I grew up with.  It was a good visit, with a lot of giggling and improper conversations.  Just like how we talked as teenagers.  Silly, serious, thoughtful, silly again.

It was not a soul-sucking visit.  It was good.

The visit reminded me of balance and freedom.  A visit way East to Newfoundland is a possibility for August.  Visiting Gros Morne National Park...  


Also more plans for foraging.  I think I will plan monthly foraging with Puck's Plenty to watch how wild edibles change over the growing season.  

And a new season beginning at the community garden this spring.  Fences to be repaired, quack-grass to be battled with, new plant babies to nurture and nourish.

Nearly there.

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.