Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Movin' Up

So, I'd love to show you all the pictures of rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, and well-digging that I've been busy with; but blogger won't allow me to upload pictures. Some sort of penance, I'm sure for neglecting my blog for so long.

So, let's talk mechanics.

We were given the oppurtunity to test drive a new-to-you van this weekend. Now, I knew what to look for in a van if I ever had a viable occasion to do so. In three long winters of zero heat on the passenger side of the caravan, working whilst I had some feeling left in my fingers; I've had plenty of time to compile a list of what to look for in the next family-totin'-mobile. After the fingers went blue and numb, I'd bury myself in the wool and chenille blanket that became a permanent part of the front passenger seat and dream of better days to come in some other van. Very romantic; that chennille.

My daughter had her own list, so the two of us set off on a ride together. She was most delighted to find that the speakers for the stereo were more than decorative; that the CD player was more than ornamental; and that Hot 103 was not exclusive to rusted caravans. We discovered cup holders without blobbed up gum; ashtray devoid of crumpled lotto tickets; carpet (There's carpet in vans?! I thought they came in gravel!), a hatch that opens without a hatchet; blinkers that turn off after you navigate a turn; a speedometer needle that varies its position depending on the acceleration; and a fully functioning gas meter. We found seats that recline; fans that blow; headlights that shine brighter than two teensey weensy pinholes in the dark.

We thought we had truly arrived now.
We celebrated by buying large packets of toilet paper at the most local Wal-Mart. Instead of cramming them past two bucket seats and launching them in the general direction of the rear bench seat, we sauvely santered towards the hatch and casually flicked that sucker open. What luxury. I gazed around me oh-so-subtle to see who was gazing at us in open wonderment and envy. Imagine a hatch that opens. Without hail mary's, tricks, hatchets, or anything.

Yup, we're movin' up in the world.
We'll likely be asked to be on some sort of tour of homes or something. Just so people can come around and see this van of ours. I think the van will likely overshadow the shifting deck; the muddy driveway, and the window trimming ever-so-slightly rotting off the side of the house.

I just hope we don't start intimidating common folk; is all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ruined For The Ordinary World

What a load of wonder came to me on this day.
Almost too good to be true.
If I'd found all of this myself in some thrift shop, they would have had to cart me out on a gurney. There's only so much a girl can take.
(thanks, Kim Z)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just FYI

Now, slapping one or two alarm clocks off instead of making them one's taskmaster has its merits. I should know. It's a discipline that I strive to practise daily.

When I do rise from my slumber, I find that the seven minute beauty routine is quite adequate. This includes the morning pee, parking the glasses on the nose, and throwing on some clothes (if it's on the floor from the day before; I can sometimes cut the routine down to six minutes), and getting the morning breath brushed away before the baby kissing begins.

Here's the thing. This morning the Crest splashed back. I slapped the lid on the tartar fighting tube and a tiny speck of mouth-tingley stuff flew up and landed directly into my left eye.

Do not try this at home.
Especially when you are due to begin work in fewer than two minutes.
I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Git Yerself a really BIG Calendar

I wonder if I had a calendar that actually spanned the broad side of a freight truck, would I manage to keep better track of everything?
Life and unpaid bills (meant to pay that on time, but shoved said item in drawer on friday afternoon of tapas and didn't see it again in a fortnight...)
Appointments and kid schedules... (WHAT? A basketball game tonight?! At Red River College Campus at, like... THE OTHER END OF THE CITY AND YOU HAVE TO BE THERE TEN MINUTES AFTER THE END OF MY WORKDAY?!
Physio? Neurology? Family birthday?
Parents. Darn. forgot about them for a couple days weeks there. They are super important to me. I value that I still have them. Should they get pencilled in?!
Cat. Needed neutering about a year ago...
When did the kids get bathed?
Honey Nut cheerios.
People get their lawn mowers tuned up?!
Simplify?? *Enter maniacal laughter*
I have a fridge calendar, but I find that the squares are a little too small to write in the names of the children that I'm expecting; the appointments for the kids that I ought not to forget; the nights one or the other of the girls are baby-sitting; what's up at youth; what bills are due; birthdays that I'll forget anyway, even if I write them out a thousand times; voice lessons, swimming lessons, soccer season, bag pick-ups, fabric drop-offs, family reunions, arrivals.... departures....
So I bought a daybook.
A nice, pricey full page one from Chapters. I was so excited I could hardly breathe.
But here's the thing. You can see only one or two days at a time, and somehow that makes me feel claustrophic. I need to see a week, at least. How else am I going to know what to start worrying and procrastinating about?? If I look at one day, then the next day turn the page and see something like: Cardiac Surgery, 2:00 pm. How on earth am I going to prepare for that?!
So, I bought a bigger calendar for my fridge. The Mom's Ultimate Family Fridge Calendar.
For all its pomp and promise; stickers and recipes.... It's deceitful! My too small fridge calendar has squares that are 4x4 cm. This one is 6 x 3.5cm. Inadequate.
Inadequate, I tell thee!
So, what do I do.
Have one fridge calendar for all the daycare stuff, and the Mom's Ultimate for all the other stuff? Do I hire help? Get smarter? Sleep less?
Maybe Martha with her staff of several billion was onto something when she published a complicated magazine about the wisdom of simplifying one's life .
I suppose I'll have to spend more money and time on that so that I can learn how to exist with fewer than three calendars...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pathetic, Apathetic, or Just Dragging Myself Along?

I have a great life. I don't have really good reasons to be in the place where my most favourite thing to do is sleep. But the reality is that lately, I'm sort of disappointed when morning comes.
When this happens, I like to take particular note of the exceptional, ordinary goodness around me.

Like this Easter bread. Which my neighbor on the next block over gave to me because she said that I am special. I happen to know that she "knighted" other women as special, and gave them Easter bread as well; but when I got that delicacy (and ate... YUM...) I truly felt special. Without a word of a lie, that was the best Easter bread I've ever eaten. (I hope my mother never reads this.... Sorry, Mom. You've been outdone. Besides; you never gave me any. So there.)

And these two vintage table cloths. Would you believe me if I told you that there was one of the parcel cards in our postal box that said "come in and see the postmaster"? Well.... there was. And when Brian went in, she gave him these tablecloths.
They were for me.
And the Darfur project.
Isn't that incredibly unusual and wonderful?
Good night. I think I'm tired but I don't really care if I am or not....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We're Just THAT Serene. All the time.

I really love this picture.


In some weird twist of negative energy surges.... Motors are burning out all around me.
Two weeks ago, I burnt out the blender.
Last week, both of my hand blenders went Pffffffffffffffffftttttttt!!!!!!! with a small but impressive puff of grey smoke.

This morning?
The coffee maker.
Just sat there all black and quiet and immovable.
Not a hiss or a pfff, or a trickle.
Not an aroma or a scent of hopefulness for the day.

I'm trying to fill the gap with animal crackers and instant Taster's Choice.
I know.
How completely, disgustingly wrong.

Must take children for walk.
Must stop at gas station for dark stuff that looks like coffee. Smells reminicent of coffee. Tastes sort of like coffee.

Woe is me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

She Says.... Nothing

How come when I have something to say, there is zero possibility of me sitting down and pounding it out? And when I have nothing to say, I'm sitting at my laptop telling myself; "Here's your chance! Say it! Say it!

And then its gone.

Ever feel like you got your 15 minutes at the mike and the curtain people are waving at you from the sidelines that its time to exit stage left? But it looks kind of dusty and boring over at stage left, so you linger....

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Red Knight

Remember Robin Williams in The Fisher King?

"Robin Williams portrays Parry, a former professor of medieval history, who lives in a remarkable world of his own creation in order to insulate himself from a tragedy in his past. "

William's character survives a tragedy so horrible that in order to survive, his mind has created a construct of unreal proportions that help him to not bring the actual event back into his conscious mind. When events occur that begin to bring him in touch with that tragedy; he becomes haunted and terrified by the vision of the "Red Knight" which is really the embodiment of his character's pain. The movie shows this horrible beast galloping towards him, nostrils flared, dust billowing. Terrifying.

It amazes me how the mind and body co-conspire to protect one another and enable survival. When something is unbearable, our minds and bodies communicate in their own language, and come up with a way to help each other out.

I have a Red Knight.
It roars up behind me;and I feel its hot breath on me. My body instinctively tightens into its flight or fight response.

Behind the thunder of those mighty hooves are pictures of other things; the hot breath of something else. Equally intimidating. At least as frightening.

And as my mind re-routes to it's favoured coping mechanisms, I am dimly aware of its processes. The hooves thundering in my ears, and dust rising to my own flared nostrils, it becomes painfully difficult to become still enough to simply be aware. To trust that the Knight will thunder by without shattering me in its pathway. To risk that whatever follows this manifestation of horrer will not be bigger and more ravaging than the Knight himself.

The Knight himself is here to protect me from what lays beyond.
So we duck into doorways, we three. My body, my mind, and some other third part that watches from above. For moments at a time we can see the pictures clearly. Then the Knight scares the ever living heck out of us, and we split off into our roles once again.

Insulated, Surviving.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Something For Everyone....

Bah. What's a little water between countries?
Now, it's a bit weird that people around here make a point of driving across the border into North Dakota to sleep in a hotel room, swim around in a pool, stew in a hot tub, and shop in stores we can't find in Winnipeg. Grand Forks is tiny, and not particularily urban; but it's not here, and there's something really fun about that for all of us.

Time with auntie Kathy, who always exhuberently provides hair and nail treatments to anyone patient enough to be interested.
Ice cream from Cold Stone.
Lego from Target.
Real life retail oppurtunities for the girls; usually reserved for on-line longings.
For Brian? The Food Channel.
And me?
*deep sigh*
Gut wrenching. Real life. Suck you in and refuse to let you go..... Even as you find yourself wandering through a mall for the sake of your offspring.... Your brain remains where you'd left it: In a book.
I became.... And AM utterly transfixed. Moved. Astounded.
Wanting More.

But there's nothing quite as sweet about getting away as getting home again.
Through the Red River sloshing over Interstate #29, back into a snowstorm pounding Manitoba at the start of spring break.
Well. It is nearer Chapters; where I can get more of Marya Hornbacher. A little tonne of snow can't stop some amazing reading.