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.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Mysterious Snowing Photos

As I have written before, I don't know how to get photos from my phone...
But Somehow this popped up and I have no idea why the photo is snowing.
But it is pretty.

I remember taking the picture though...

But it is snowing in ALL these old photos!
Blessedly, it is not snowing in Southern Ontario yet.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Planning, planning.

  • I am getting SO excited about mushroom foraging on Saturday.  Yes Francie, it will be safe.  We are going with a very experienced guide!  I would not undertake mushrooms without one, but once I know how to shroom, I will be let loose in the forest.  I look forward to many mushroom-y walks in the future.  
  • this weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving.  Ours is early, and completely distanced from Christmas, which is nice.  We see Thanksgiving as an early autumn holiday, with no pilgrims involved.  I do remember many pilgrims from elementary school, but we learned way too much American history in those days.  Thanksgiving is about brightly coloured autumn leaves, gourds and chestnuts, feasting of course.  
  • Sock #3 is going very well.  The yarn I am using is an easier fibre to use, not as slippery, and the colours less difficult for the eyes.  I have made fewer errors, but am far from a perfect sock-knitter yet.  I am heading into the gusset, which for me is the diciest part.  
  • Work has been insanely busy, husband is so stressed, we are taking vacation on the week of the 20th.  First we were going to go to PEI, then to the Carribean, now maybe Chicago.  Husband would like to take a train from Detroit to Chicago, and we'd like to explore all the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and walk around the city.  He was there a few years ago and loved the city and always said he'd like to go back with me.  I love this time of year, and find it silly to escape it south.  Plans could change again, in an instant as we co-ordinate with the boss, for our travelling is often a 'perk' of the job, we appreciate.  So long as I can get him away, it does not really matter where.
  • Lots of visiting happened over the weekend, with friends and with family.  It was a bit draining but at the same time it was a welcome break from the house.  We did end up turning on the furnace, poor Youngest was freezing to death in his room while studying for midterms.  The cats are happy to have the furnace going as they all find the furnace grates they like best.
  • And I somehow missed my hair appointment on Saturday, so tomorrow I have to drop by and apologize and give Rachel a $10 Tim Horton's card.  I don't know how I missed, I guess 6 weeks went really fast this time 'round.
  • The weather has been fabulous lately and I am loving the colours and smells that come with the cooler season.  My park-garden will be put to bed this weekend and spring sprouts are already germinating in my mind...  Home is unruly.  Much pruning needs to be done in preparation to listing the house [hopefully] in spring 2015.
  • Oh!  looks like the trip will be south after all....  Now to see where.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Plans and Thoughts for October...

My second sock is nearly done.  A bit of a mess-up with the toe, some rows to remove [it's a wonder I can still see the stitches are so tiny] and then I can move on to closing the toe.  Phew.  Then I will wear them.

When I was taking my knitting lesson, my lovely tutor told me about the sweater knit-along, and I geared myself up for that.  Surely I could undertake a sweater, I thought.  Yesterday they posted 5 different sweaters to choose from to participate, and I did see one I thought would suit me, but later in the afternoon I decided that I am not ready, not just yet.  My small projects do not terrify me the way a sweater does.  I am nearly ready.  My main concern is investing in the yarn, and then getting bored halfway through the project.

I think I will try after my next pair of socks, and the Larch Cardigan [see link above] looks like a classic style to try.  Maybe.

In October on the Saturday of our Thanksgiving weekend I have booked Husband and myself to go Mushroom Foraging.  I've been dreaming of mushrooms since our weekend away, and Puck's Plenty offers foraging sessions near Stratford Ontario.  I am so excited, Husband not as excited, but always up for a [weird] outing with me.

Some badly behaving gardeners at the community garden have me concerned.  One is Bev, who can be aggressive and forceful, and puts off the other gardeners.  She is conflicting with Joyce, our older gardener who is a little bit mad, but usually in a friendly way.  She is sure that Bev is a psychopath, and that she has been selling the community beans.  Not so funny in the flesh, but ridiculous to type.

Gardens are never dull, and community gardens attract a whole range of hippy and survivalist types.  On Wednesday night one of our gardeners is bringing his apple press and we're going to make cider.  Hopefully all the cider making will be calm with no drama, just yummy.