Monday, January 30, 2012

Check-Out Line

She was buying lentil soup, an eggplant, and five organic tomatoes on the vine.

I was wearing fashion boots and grey leggings that double up as jammie bottoms on cold winter nights.

Her hair was cute, and short- dyed a funky, unnatural colour that made her look fun-loving without appearing desperate. Her clothes were understated, but artistic.

I'd been too tired to shower in the morning.

She studied the sodium content in her canned lentils while she waited patiently behind me.

I had to apologize for holding up the line. My yellow brand taco chips, bulk discounted oranges, and four boxes of feminine hygiene products had clogged up both conveyer belts.

She didn't need a cart.

My boots clicked busily and the knees of my jammie tights began elephanting around my knees as I hustled the tuna, flats of tomato soup, multiple loaves of bread, and XL bag of pretzels back into place.

I wondered......
~how long the 16 litres of milk would last.
~Whether mac and cheese would eventually be outlawed.
~if it were possible to put both bunches of bananas on the table without turning my day kids into ravenous monkeys.
~whether $298.00 in groceries would mean that there was anything to eat for lunch the next day?

While she fingered her
vine-ripened tomatoes
and lentils.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On Why I'm Considering a Full-Blown Mid-Life Crisis

Having spent portions of a glorious Saturday perusing Winnipeg's "Ragpickers : The Unfashion Emporium", I'm gripped by the fear that I've missed my true calling. I ought to be dressed in a pale blue tutu from 1951, bangles jangling on my wrists, and feet slipped into well-worn secondhand cowboy boots. I was meant to finger old linens with intricate histories and armed with needle, thread, and an enamel bowl full of ancient buttons, I ought to be repurposing and breathing life back into the garments of yesteryear.

I should be busy with interior design, re-selling the turquoise and orange housewares from another time, and fashioning all manner of art from the world's discards. My weekends and weekdays should find me at estate sales, yard sales, auction sales.

My closet should be spilling out into my shop, where I putter and rearrange to my hearts' content.

And that's just the tip of the ever growing pile of textiles.
My children.
Ought to have grown up raising chickens instead of mastering levels on video games.
They ought to be concerned about global events and gathering signatures on petitions instead of texting someone at school who they don't even like.

I should be secure.
I shouldn't be struggling with the same pains and fears that I remember from the age of twelve and onward. I should be over that by now. I should be running seminars to expound on the secrets of no longer being haunted by my twelve year old self.

And those are just a few of the reasons why I'm considering having a full blown mid-life crisis.
Can you relate? Do you have reasons of your own?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life Lessons From Kijiji

You might think that browsing on kijiji is a colossal waste of time. You probably spend your bored moments studying international politics; brushing up on geography, and rearranging your linen closets.

I don't have a linen closet, so I often invest my precious time on kijiji looking at things that I don't need. Things that other people bought, and now they don't really want anymore, so they are hoping that maybe I want them so that I give them money and they can go out and buy something that they really need now. Or just kind of want.

It fills sort of a niche market for weird people who fancy a bit of a sociological study in their moments of boredom.

And you thought it was a waste of time.

Recently, I've had a deeper reason for kijiji. I noticed one day that my lastborn wasn't three years old anymore, and was looking a bit like he'd been forgotten in a Cairo prison, the way he squished onto his ancient fourandahalf inch iron frame bed that's been in the family since the kids were twinkles in their daddy's eye. He and his brother share a room that's not really a room at all- more like a large landing at the top of the stairs. To my knowledge, they'd never noticed this reality. Perhaps it allowed Sam to disregard the rather restrictive nature of his bed for all this time- the fact that his "bedroom" has no door or closet detracted from the prison-esque quality of his sleeping quarters.

So, to delay the demand for an actual room to sleep in, I thought I should possibly invest in a mates bed. A sort of bed/dresser to make his stay in the open concept hallway room a little more pleasant.

This need has increased the frequency of my forays into kijiji, and recently, I came across a profoundly insightful advertisement.:

Need a grad dress? are you selling a queen bed room suite??

swap/tradeHello, I have a beauitful size 5/6 (will fit up to a size 3-6; I know cause thats my normal sizes) high end desinger dress that retails for $1130.00. I'm willing to trade it for a nice queen sized bedroom suite,we dont need a mattress or boxspring at all. Preferably: headboard & footboard, dresser, nightstand, wardrobe closet, ect. Must be all in great condition and modern. Please send me a email with what you have to offer. Thanks for looking!

Uh Huh.
So last year, someone needed to spend One Thousand, One Hundred, and Thirty dollars on a shiny dress.
This year, she would prefer to own a modern queen sized bedroom suite.
Next year, she'll prefer to swap her NICE bedroom suite for a post-secondary education.

And I am left thinking I've not been using my kijiji hours to their highest advantage.

I also have a daughter in neeeeed of a graduation dress.
After that she'll need a university education.
Maybe I should look into swapping that old iron bed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Life as a Daytime Mommy

In this line of work
  • my wardrobe is always laid out..... on the floor beside my bed. I have been known to wear the very same pants for four and five days consecutively.
  • I never have to pack a lunch. Sometimes I start lunch at 11:00 am with a couple of peanut butter cookies, make a sandwich around noon, and then wrap the whole works up with vanilla yogurt, peanuts and raisins, and some licorice allsorts for dessert. It helps that I never see all the food in one place, ever.
  • I have an inappropriately close relationship with my dishwasher. I love it with a wild and unreserved passion.
  • When its minus twenty-nine degrees outside, I make my third pot of coffee, pull a pair of wool socks on under my four day old pants, and pretend that on the weekend I'll take the kids sledding. I won't. I'll go thrift shopping, but I'll plan to start being a really great parent starting on Saturday, when I'm sure the weather will be much milder.
  • I make a lot of toast. The thing about toast is that it is hot and smells like bread, and therefore creates the impression that a hot meal has lovingly been prepared. Besides, I love crusts. Dipped in peanut butter.
  • I can put together sentences like this: "Hey! Where are you going-- I wasn't done lecturing you yet!"
  • I have an extremely low cosmetics overhead. Or on-my-head. After showering in the morning, I generally forget to look in the mirror, unless I can sneak a peak at whether my thighs have swollen any further or my butt has fallen ever steadily in its descent towards my dimpled knees.
  • I'm always here for my offspring to snarl at when they come home from school. Actually, I'm pretty much always available for general snarling.
  • I get to watch Chicken Run, Ratatouille , Wallace and Gromit, and Flushed Away as often as I please. In my four day old pants, while sneaking licorice from my pocket.
Just try to do all that stuff in your high powered executive job.
I just dare you.

She thinks that she is teachable, but often wonders

Last night at the thrift shop, I ran into a woman who I know from around town. There was something different about her. She has always been pretty, but there was a softness and appeal about her that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I asked her- did you grow your hair out or something?

" Well, yeah, she said, "but I also lost eighty pounds...."

"wow!" I say. Did you follow some sort of program?"

She shook her head and expelled wise words about lifestyle, making decisions about how she wanted to live her life, and the reality that none of us is likely to actually follow a program for the rest of our lives.

I nodded excitedly and threw my arms around her - so pleased was I to hear someone preaching the sensible gospel of eating in response to the body's needs, and learning to trust its intrinsic wisdom.

Then I went home and ate the leftover Christmas candy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Last week, while I was on holidays, it was really exciting and invogorating to imagine forging into 2012 whilst being fierce. It seemed entirely possible, and just within my reach.

These days I'm back to wondering if fierceness consists of making toast or sandwhiches without screaming. If fierceness as I'd hoped it would appear is probable in this life of




but a closer inventory indicates that certain small steps have indeed been taken.

  1. I managed to address a few things that are imperfect in my profession. Maybe even thinking of some changes I can make in the future to make this machine run a little more smoothly. I'm not a very systematic thinker, so that's saying something.

  2. I took another look at my body. That's a funny thing to say, because I look at it every day. And often with disdain. This particular look was more objective, and less hateful. I've been vascilating between disgust and acceptance of this flesh for the past 44 years or so, and so I've been taking a look at my body, the organ with a slightly different perspective. Because I often don't like the way I feel living in this bundle cells and whatnot, I wondered if that feeling would change at all if I were to grow stronger? Not necessarily smaller, but stronger.

  3. So I took another look at the treadmill. (rawr). And I've been climbing aboard reasonably consistently for the past number of weeks. Yes, I know its January, and everyone says that in January. But the fierce bit in this for me is the NOT GIVING UP. The continued effort and energy being spent on searching for wellness in mind and body.

  4. I asked some questions, even though I was pretty sure I didn't want to know the answers. Sometimes answers really hurt, even though you suspected them all along. (rawr, whimper)

  5. I started working on my Etsy shop. Yes, indeedy, I have plans. Plans to move the bags4darfur project over to etsy- streamline the payment methods, have a seperate bank account, and open up a little vintage shop. I'm scared. Because I'm a woos that way and I'm not the best at learning new things. (rawr)

I sound pretty fierce, eh?

I thought so, too.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Thank God for smart people I can learn from

(from a smart blogger at
. I don't have much except the phrase above. BE FIERCE.. Don't worry - I'm not going to race around scatching people in the eyeballs and roaring like a beast. I'm not going to be mean or nasty. I'm simply going to be FIERCE. Doubt has this ridiculous way of being a sly creeper. Making edges soft and shining a little light on hesitation. Denial. Passiveness. Life is too short for that stuff and I don't like to waste the goodness I've been blessed with. SO. I plan to be fierce + uncomfortable. I plan to be fierce + assertive.

Yikes. That sort of sounds sort of FIERCE.

I like it.


These are not my words, but this reflects my desire.

There are a number of areas in my life in which I need (want, desire the courage) to approach with a fierce sort of courage. Some areas that are holding me back, pressing me down, keeping me small. I'm so afraid to be honest about these areas, but I'm terribly tired of being held hostage by them.

Rest is good. And acknowledging that I've really been too afraid to effectively come clean and address and fully examine these facets of my life is "ok". I've been in that place of resting and being afraid for long enough though.

It's time.

For fierce.

Here goes.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

There's Something to be Said For Proper Routine

Sam: "mom, can I have some coke?"
Me: "Sam, have you eaten any real food today?"
Sam: "yup. I had cereal for breakfast and pickles for lunch!"