Friday, August 31, 2012

People Are Awfully Nice When I'm Accidentally Killing Them

.... and other thoughts on a Friday morn.

So I was on my way to buy several cartloads of pretend/heat'n'go/carcinogen/cheese-flavoured/ die-before-you're-forty kind of groceries on the night before an anticipated weekend getaway with my collector husband. (he collects tv's. And I'm not talkin' vintage). I was thinking about buying easy food for the poor children who would be left at home alone with nothing but microwavable jalapeno poppers and a tall stack of frozen pizzas, a laptop, computer, and flatscreen tv with ten billion video games. These kids have learned the value of a hard day, let me tell you.

I was also deep in thought. I was thinking about profound things like: is 44 too late to think about becoming a grown-up? And, When is the carpet guy going to show up? And; What does "not making myself small" look like in real life? And; How come that "Good and "Natural" Store has a giant sign about rapid weight loss? Have they forgotten to edit the name of their store?

So, I was sort of poking along the parking lot, looking around for a spot really close to the grocery store so as to not accidentally exercise on my way to getting a $280.00 cart full of trans fats. I didn't really notice that I'd crawled to an almost stop right on the crosswalk. Or that someone was silly enough to actually think that I was stopping so they could return to their vehicle.


Fortunately, I didn't entirely kill him. I noticed in time, even though I was smack-dab in the middle of some really epic Deep Thoughts. But here's the thing. He turned toward me just as I was about to slowly crush him, and he mouthed; "Oh. Sorry.". REally. You can't make this stuff up. He was sorry that he hadn't stopped to check whether I was in the middle of Introspection at the point of Pedestrian Intersection.

And in that same split second that it took for him to apologize for me almost killing him, I recognized him as my Main Crush from grade nine. Oh, it was a heart wrenching time, back in the eighties.

I don't think he recognized me. I sure hope not, or he's going to think I'm a total DORK.

Forever. There goes my chances of ever being cool.

Speaking of the cool factor.

Life is so full of moments that delight me. Were these brave women going to get henna tattoos as kind of a practise run for when they go get inked for real? and what would they tattoo?

I enjoyed the mental image of one of them hiking up her long skirt and asking for a sweet tat right on her hip. Just above the pantie line.

Mostly I just enjoyed their moxie. I've always found the idea of a colony fascinating and appealing on some level. No competition for wardrobe. No pinching waistlines. No pressure to "find yourself" and figure out what career is your best bet. No worries about your mortgage, your retirement savings, or your child's public school. Old and young, all together in community.

and yes. That might be a one-dimensional view, but its the one I want to look at today, the day after I didn't actually kill anyone.

It's going to be another hot weekend, my most favorite kind. And the plan was to drive up alongside Lake Winnipeg, all the way to a cabin we've heard tell about. However. The husband hasn't gotten out of bed for three days now because of his grumpy back. Walking is out of the question. No, we weren't planning to walk to the lake, but sitting is also out of the question, so unless I strap him flat on his back to the top of the car and drive four hours north with the glorious freedom of choosing the radio station that I want to listen to, he won't be going anywhere. And I will faithfully stay by his side, delivering breakfast, lunch, and dinner up the stairs while he watches 37 episodes of "Stargate".

(pray for me. He's starting to smell just a little funky)

Well, maybe I'll bring up a microwave and a box of melting jalapeno poppers, set it beside Brian's bedside, and take the kids to the beach tomorrow.

Next week everything changes again.

My big adult girl leaves us for a little while, and my rapidly growing up three others return to school, piano, swimming lessons, volleyball, and not practising their instruments for band. I'll try to make sure they find time for video games, just to keep them balanced.

Did I mention that Brian collects? That reminds me. I have to head to the local hardware store now. It appears that my husband's name got pulled in their draw.

For a television.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Best. Day. Ever.


Do you have a friend who sees the sense in video taping the sounds of her bubblies pouring into a perfect thrifted mug on a spontaneous picnic complete with marvelous old linens and a vintage basket?


But you should.

It is tres perfection. And the dreamiest sort of ending to a day that should never end.

The day that began with coffee and conversation. A grand plan to uncover thrifting paradises that we'd only dreamed of. And a whole, glorious day, all ahead of us.

And that's just what we had to anticipate: thrifted goods most divinely wrapped and handled by the caring-est volunteer in her empire of cast-offs.

Plus an imaginable amount of eye candy.

To feast on.

and explore.

We found all manner of goodies. Some wildly overpriced.

(!) I have enamel bowls in the sandbox! Am I an undiscovered billionaire??

And some too perfect (ly affordable) to leave behind. (panel of barkcloth drapery for ten dollars, should be able to feed some displaced people with that..... and a chickeny mug for just twenty-five pennies.)


We even found a Mennonite thrift store in the most thoughtful location.

Talk about one stop shopping.

We felt fortified enough for our hair to stand on end.

To hold entire buildings by the strength of our hands.

To embrace cultural origins in style.

And hug some trees.

How serendipidous to remember so clearly who we were. To be loved so.

Downright medicinal, it was.


Life has its dips, this we know firsthand.

And at times we see things through a glass.


But the beauty is all around us.

Bursting out of the ordinary.



So if at times you feel you've lost your way

May you be found.

Again and again, and in the most loveliest of ways.

(My wish for you, all my beloved.)

(photo credits: LJG, thanks, oh great Miranda)

Monday, August 20, 2012

You'll Never Know, Dear

(written with thoughts of sweet friend. Whose tender, broken heart deserves true love.)

I dream sometimes that you come back to visit.

No warning, no call ahead.

And in my dream

I'm glad to see you, but its


There are all those words that never got spoken.

They crackle between us, even as my stomach knots at the memory of

the ones that were.

The words that dropped like bombs and accusations, hot and so dreadfully cold.

I remember how much I trusted you. Told you. Believed.

How I was sure we'd grow old


at the absurdity of it all.

But whats absurd is that its not.

That for all my trusting and believing, none of it made us immune.

But I opened my heart wider than wide, and invited you in, because it was



So when you visit me in dreams, you open the door


without asking.

And you take some more.

My heart is no longer open, and my days have begun to ache a little less.

I've filled in those spaces in safer ways.

So please. Leave my dreams.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Roundup

I've noticed a disturbing trend.

It's substantially darker now when I rise at six AM, and I'm reaching for sweaters and capris. Not a slip dress. I'm not so cool with this, as I happen to be at my best on endless sunny, vitamin D enriched days. So, to spare you my whining, here are some Summer 2012 highlights:

Our first ever graduate. There aren't enough blog posts in the world to begin to work through that one, so I'll let it age in my grey matter until it spawns something hopefully eloquent.

It must have been pretty special though. Arianna managed to talk Micah out of his royal blue crew neck t-shirt; and into a button up dress shirt and vest! It was a profound moment.

My parents. Who made it to my daughter's graduation.

I always worried as a child that my parents would be dead before I ever had children, and now they're still around when my firstborn is an actual adult! Will the wonders ever cease. Did I mention that daddy turned 90 this summer? yes, indeed, he did. Another highlight. (aren't they the cutest?)

Moving along.


Enjoying my Jane with her oldest friend in the world. What music to hear them laugh together. Makes me wish that summer days at the beach could last forever.

Speaking of the beach.


And reading.

With brief intermissions of bird droppings. While I was reading; "When I Am Old I Shall Wear Purple".

(doesn't my friend have the best hands?)




Which in my world involves finding previously unplumbed thrift stores. (It has plumbing. What I mean is that the potential and depth, breadth and possibilities of these thrifting destinations need to be properly excavated. By me.).

It behooves me to stress how much stuff I left behind.

Soooo much.

Brian. Working his butt off. Every day, day in, day out, in the basement. Fueled by Kokanee, tunes, and the joyful anticipation of a finished basement, with a second bathroom. At long last.

(I'm so proud of him, and grateful. Did I mention a second bathroom?! I meant to. Its been nine years, four kids, a million little kids, and one bathroom. I can't possibly overstress this enough.)


Consistently rewarding, always delicious.

A highlight, no matter what time of year.

It's my plan for how to survive another winter.

In my new basement, that's going to have a bathroom. Have I mentioned that?

Treasure. I found some doozies this summer, so I went on a tiny rampage, roaring around the city picking up awesome stuff in the ancient family half ton truck. And I sold a bunch of stuff that were other year's treasures because I'm not an actual hoarder. Oh no, I'm not.

Seriously folks. Awesome treasure.


My kids. At summer camp.



hanging out at my big brother's cabin.

I do so little when I'm there that I think my biological clock actually goes into reverse.

Its not a bad thing.

Our apple trees this year. And all the crap apple jalapeno jelly I've cooked up. I'll be on the "cream cheese, crackers, and jelly" diet. All winter. With some of that BC Growers strawberry and rhubarb cider on the side. Should be an all right winter, after all.

Seeing Brian in his butterfly shirt. He took a two day course on monarch butterflies, and opened all our eyes to the wonders of that aspect of nature. Plus, it isn't just any old guy who can really wear a butterfly shirt. I happened to get one of them.

A new baby in the family. Yummy, yummy baby Macie, my sister's first grandchild.

Another great-grandchild for my mama, and the first ever niece for my niece Linnea. I love the circle of life.

We've all kind of taken on baby Macie as our own.

And as a final highlight, I'm excited about a new possibility for bags4darfur. It's ok to let things go fallow sometimes, and just watch what grows anyway.

Summer is so intense and fabulous and packed full that I usually only write mental blog posts. But the sun is shifting in the sky, the walls are up in my new basement, the mornings are growing chilly, and Sam's school supply list is laying on my kitchen counter.

Its good to pause, and just take a little inventory before rushing off into the next set of immediate realities: Arianna going off into the world as an adult; Jane entering grade 11, and planning her next Europe trip; Micah and Sam back to swimming and piano lessons, Brian heading back to the classroom, and me. Anticipating some bernina energy, welcoming all my sweet minions back, and learning.

Always learning.