Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's Making Me Happy Today

Puttering in my sewing room early in the morning while the house sleeps.

With thoughts of spending my day on more of this, with my day kids. And as we wander through town making the tough decisions between the yellow, red or blue slides, I'll be gazing toward the edges of town where the corn stands tall, and the combined wheat fields gift us with the smells of fresh, sunny straw. I'll imagine my mom as a young girl, re-stuffing her burlap mattress, and snuggling down at night on her harvest scented bed.

Did I mention that I'm sipping coffee, while I'm all alone, just dreaming and pottering about?

It's not at all hard to be happy, so far today.

And one more thing. I was at a "nay frien". (sewing circle) on Friday where I learned how to make zippy pouches. (my mother should be so proud...)

I inadvertently sold one on my bags4darfur blog! Not that they're not for sale. I just hadn't gotten around to marketing them. Just like I haven't gotten around to marketing anything over there in ages.

So, that makes me pretty happy.

What's making you happy today?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

With Her Blog Post Stuck On A Sad Poem, She Was Meanwhile Out And About, Having A Most Marvelous Time


Reading and reading while others careen around the lake.

Getting to know our newest family member, sweet Macie.

A quick diversion to the hospital with my dad. It looked scary and terrible.

It turned out not so scary and not quite so terrible.

Enough so that dad could grumble about not much liking vacationing in hospitals.

Crisis averted, I meanwhile scrambled off on a vacation that perfectly suited my delicate preferences.

Five girls in a boler.

Going prairie exploring.

So much to discover, and just a stone's throw away!


Plenty of time for treasure hunting.




Indulging our senses.


And letting the prairies show us the way.

Then home again to watch Brian transform our basement space into something kinder, more gentle, most sensible and helpful.

Farewell to my cheerfully painted floral concrete walls.

Hello, insulation! Drywall! Bathroom! Actual carpet!


Then getting my Sam ready for camp.

Reminding him of the importance of deodorant.


Then dropping him off, quite happily, to play tether ball.

By himself.

Our sweet Napoleon Dynamite.


And that's just barely a summary of my delicious summer, so far.

I've barely mentioned the treasure hunting, book reading, dreams and plans. The sunshine, summer weddings, the smell of canola fields in 30 degrees. The tomatoes growing, sunflowers stretching, my brother's return after 14 years of international living. The chairs I've sold, the chairs I've bought... the perfect cupboard with yellow bakelite handles. The trips to Olde House Revival Company, my alternate life on Winnipeg Kijiji, or the taste of Stella's breakfast. A van with broken air conditioning, four hour road trips, weekend with friends of eighteen years. The birthday party for our first ever adult child.

That's the thing about summer in Manitoba. It's faster than fast and better than good, and while your blog is sorely neglected and stuck on a somber sad note, you're actually rushing about storing up goodness real quick like.

Before its all over again.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies

I tried to explain that it wasn't about the physical.  That it was more of a brain thing.

But her daughter was shrinking.

And I felt at an utter loss because of my own

She was shrinking and there was nothing I could say to show her how

it would become.

I remembered
How marvelous to be unencumbered by any traces of

To join the elites in their

To have earned that immunity against being
not enough.

To wrap that dress a lot tighter, and cinch up that belt.
To wear the little shorts
to stop
the jiggle.

I couldn't describe to them how after twenty-one years of "well" ness, it could
 find me
at a soccer field.
Sneak up behind me, like a spirit.
Turn the air dark and cold

And as that ghost has its way with me I see
my thighs have spread.
Each dimple the scar of an accusation:

And my now middle-aged body spreading in unfamiliar ways
interpreted by that chilling presence...
Shame de!
Must Lose Weight!

Even though I have been well.
All these years.

I want to explain to them how
these deaths in our community* will catapult her
into ever narrower obsessions that will frustrate her no end.
She won't want to be thinking about
her belly.
her thighs.
While people around her are in agony
in real pain
with real loss.

But her mind will have been possessed
Long long before
when she was glad to be

When it seemed to them that this was about her
And not her mind.
That if only she would eat.
This would go away.

But the longer she plays
at being thin
The stronger the spirit will grow.

And she'll find herself in the grass on a perfect night
watching soccer
when the news will come.

No return.

And she'll find herself
suspended in disbelief that a person could be here one moment and the next entirely gone.
Her brain won't know where to go with this.  It's beyond belief, and there's nothing she can do to make it
go away
or get better.

But then her ghost will appear.
Sneak up behind her and wrap her up in hot and cold reminders; prickling her all over.

should go on a diet.

And just like that
she has
that she can do.

But I can't seem to explain it
And they can't seem to understand.
That it looks like the body has a problem
But really its a problem
of the mind.

*Three deaths of young people in our community, all within one year.
Plus the mysterious disappearance of my niece's cousin, now presumed to have been murdered.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Too Much, Too Soon!


Grad. Our first grad.

Soccer, family gathering, wedding, and birth just barely behind us, and headlong into graduation.

That meant an end to grad meetings, and time to put all our planning to fruition.



And when it all came together-

What decor it turned out to be!

What a pleasure, working with such a talented team.

It certainly helped to set the tone for a night of dance, dance, dancing.

And some playful slurp, slurp, slurpee-ing!

Everyone was looking their finest.

I was particularly pleased with my daughter's perfect touch: coral lace up boots.


The perfect twist of "not so regular".

And her dress was




I was so pleased that the grandparents could come.

Especially when my Arianna won the first ever MCC Thrift shop grant for past and future volunteerism. I don't think we could have made my mom and dad more proud.

(regretfully, the pics of the other grandparents are on someone else's camera.... yet to be uncovered).

Arianna, with her impressive powers of persuasion, actually talked her brothers into dressing up.

Just a little.

I couldn't help crushing on my boys.

They were devilishly handsome.

The whole lot of them were nothing to sneeze at.

So we captured it all on film.

Real quick - like, so we could get on with the task at hand:






(I don't dance like I don't run or lift weights or play badminton "just for fun".

But after a few hours of watching "all my daughters" celebrating without reservation or restraint, I might have gotten pulled onto the floor myself.

Just for a little dance.

And they all appeared to forgive me,

lovely bunch

that they are.


And that's the way it went with our very first grad.


And then we rushed on to the next thing, so much, so soon.