Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Post of Random

Inspired by Karla's post of random. It reminded me how I love blog posts such as these, and that maybe I would indulge in one myself.)

In no particular order:

  • I am a very patient woman, but there is only so much whining that I can actually tolerate. To protect the privacy and integrity of the very young, I'm not going to say a whole lot more about that. Suffice to say that in my career of assisting in the rearing of small children, there are certain times and certain individuals that make working on the cold floor of a sausage factory look like a lovely, whine-free alternative. (of course, I'd have to drink a lot of wine on the job because dead animals, raw meat, and casings make me want to throw up on pretty much everything.)
  • Lately I've had small children ask me; "Joycie, when are you moving to a NEW house?"
Which is adorable and charming because its out of the mouths of babes....


I also want to take them by the hand through the NEW, partially completed basement that they've been allowed in for exactly two weeks and ask them questions about my NEW walls which are already dirty and scuffed.

And did I mention dented?

Now, I'm genuinely not about these things, but as with the whining that I mentioned a moment ago, I do reach that critical breaking point of wanting to scream. And not into a pillow after hours.

Upstairs, my butt-ugly pressboard-stuck-together-with-sucky-glue kitchen cupboards are swelling and denting and separating away in that total bliss of the unaware. My red back door has white scratch marks from the damn dog trying to dig her way back into the house. The front roof is growing lovely moss. And the back step? About to crumble into the Manitoba clay. Probably when a mom is coming to drop off their child in my uber child-proofed, entirely safe, but slowly falling apart OLD house.

Downstairs, the kids pick at the open-ended bottoms of the NEWLY dry-walled walls and show me; "LOOK JOYCIE! I FOUND CHALK!" Trust me, the patience of Job, plus some deep-breathing techniques are pre-requisites for the job.

Do I sound gloomy? its because I am, a little. Which is the other thing that's bringing me down- the fact that I get down. Gosh, I'm bored of that already. I just want to be OVER IT already and quit with these dips into gloom and doom.

Its a weird crisis somehow connected with my first ever daughter becoming an adult. She turned out really well, so its not that I have regrets, exactly. But I do, still. And I am hovering in this super weird panic place about all the "better" ways that I should parent the other three who haven't reached grown-up status quite yet. But I don't change, I only stew. And sew. And stew. And worry. Did I mention that I"m tired of my head?

Except my hair, which I cut short.

So, at least my brain of very little bear has a cutish place to hang out beneath.

  • Shipping in Canada is very expensive. I remembered this yesterday when I shipped two bags4darfur and paid out almost $34.00. It's actually less dollars to ship something from here to the U.S. than to send something just into the next province.
  • I really like children at quiet time. Sitting and watching "George Shrinks", I study their little faces. So trusting, forgiving. And everything still ahead of them. This frightens me sometimes.
  • Last weekend our town ran the fifth (?) annual Imagine marathon for mental health. Every year I plan to walk five or ten kilometers in support, but I always land up waving a flag and directing runner traffic instead. I like this job. I love to see how many shapes, sizes, varieties, and people groups can participate in this run. There are people all decked out in running room and Lulu Lemon stuff. Then there are the people from Crystal Springs, a nearby Hutterite colony. The women run and walk in their long dresses, head coverings and runners. The young men run in black jeans, suspenders, and dress shirts. Young girls walk with their friends. Little boys in suspendered pants hold their daddy's hands. And they all walk together.
It usually makes me weepy. It always floods my brain with all sorts of pleased feelings.

This year I also saw a number of "dayhome grads" from years past. Running to support mental health.

This usually throws me headlong into a full case of clinical depression and self-flagellation when I remember that I forgot about my own children and they got left at home.

Playing video games.

I'm not one of those moms who forgets to put herself "into the equation". I'm the one who forgets to factor in the kids. Woops.

Now I'm going to dredge up some really good things, just for balance.

  • After just a lot too much whining this morning, a walk to the park was the only sensible remedy. Everyone was instantly happy. Well, I was at least less irritated, if not exactly happy. I said a little prayer in my head that went something like; "God, I sure could use a nice little interaction. A little pick-me-up, a teensy bit of encouragement..... like from an adult, if that's within the realm of possibility". Now I"m not exactly in a place where I treat God like this any more. I don't usually ask him for much of anything, usually choosing instead to give God credit for the good stuff, and choosing to belief Him for the un-nice stuff. I talk to God about the things he's already into, like pretty much anything that's good. But I don't beg for good weather, or instant healing, (well, I have. But I don't right now), or beg for "a good day". I just think that makes God pocket-sized, and I have plenty of buttons for that.
But anyway. I did say this little mental prayer about feeling discouraged, and wishing for a kind word. I did. But with my feet firmly planted in this world, I looked forward to the zip line at the park. The kids love it and Ive been so pleased that the town put it up for us. After a longish walk, we arrived at the park to discover that some rather large people had tied the zip line rope in many many knots, rendering the ride inappropriate for little bodies.

My outlook on life sunk just a little lower, but we busied ourselves with what was left untampered.

Meanwhile another mom and her kidlets wandered into the park. We introduced ourselves, as we lonely women are wont to do on these quiet daytime adventures with minions of preschoolers in tow.

She was lovely, and easy to talk to, and encouraging.

Now. I"m not going to suggest that God, who is probably busy with Israel, Syria, and the melting icecaps went out of his way to prod another woman and her children out of her house at such and such a time so that she could lift my spirits in the park. But I did meet her, and it was good. So, I say Thank God.

  • Second. For all the ways that I feel utterly inadequate as a mother, there are certain things that have been done well in spite of it all. This coming weekend is our annual trek to Riding Mountain National Park to celebrate Thanksgiving; a tradition that my parents began well before I was born. So, for about the 50th time, the Kehlers will be taking a scenic drive northwest, taking in the sights and smells of a beautiful autumn, going on a lot of hikes, eating a large bird, and generally celebrating.
At times I do recognize my own great fortune.

Which makes me even more frustrated that I'm prone to these Eeyore-esque musings.

  • In other news, carpeted basements are nice. Even though I'm not at all a fan of carpet.
  • And did you know that a heavy duty hinge; needed to hang the ancient doors that I insisted upon, cost $46.00 a piece at Home Depot?
Outrage! Outrage, I say.

  • Some people foster parent. Wow, just wow.
That's all I'm going to say, tell me something random about yourself; I feel like I've done all the talking again.....


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Way of It

The boy is found hunched over his art homework.

I position myself to take a photo.

He hides.

I get all stealthy and sneaked a shot or two, wanting some tangible record of my son's latent brilliance.

I was careful to not photograph his face, as he'd told me he didn't like his face on photos.

After a few quick, careful snapshots, I set down the camera.

Which he promptly picks back up.









And that's life

With my brilliant boy.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Post That Couldn't Possibly Cover The Last Few Weeks And Involves a Lot of Pictures...

I recently said; "See ya" to my first ever adult child.

I wasn't worried or sad about her leaving. I knew she had made an excellent choice and would come back, changed for the "even better".

Once she'd packed her bags, and said a tearful good-bye (not) to her sibs, I'm quite sure she never once looked back.

All the good-bye meals in the world couldn't drag her away from her new family; her Outta Town community who she would be spending all her days and nights with over the following year.

We couldn't have been more excited or happy for her. My only wish was to be a ride-along, but that's just wrong and gross and weird. I AM the mom, after all.

Lucky for me, I suck at making phone calls, so we'd been pretty pathetic with getting her immunizations for the upcoming trip to Guatamala done in time. This necessitated me hunting them down on one of their downtown Winnipeg excursions and bringing her to the clinic for a shot in the arm. I was kind of glad that I sucked, it was so good to see her. Happier than a pig in poop, she bounded out in a kitty cat sweatshirt that even Siloam mission didn't want in their missionary barrel. She'd traded one of her own sweaters for the privelege.

I had to leave her back at the Vineyard Church with her sore arm, and grandma mitts and slippers. They rounded out her nature sweater just perfectly.

She was happier than the allowable legal limit, so it wasn't too hard to let her back to her all grown-up life.

Besides. I had my own to pursue.

Always conscious of our carbon footprint, we anticipated a little green vacation getaway.

Since the basement had recently been carpeted, we decided against jacking up the house and putting it on wheels, and borrowed this teensey weensey little motorhome for the weekend instead.

It was barely big enough for Brian to prepare sushi for the driver while enroute.

It was, however, a comfortable ride. We chose the double bed nearest the sushi and chips for the duration of the trip.

After we emptied out our term deposits and RESP's to fill the tank, we found it was shockingly easy to get accustomed to the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Our destination? Clearwater, Manitoba. Population: 54, home of the 11th annual Harvest Moon Festival. If there are moments in life during which I am sorely tempted to throw back my head and yell; "I WAS BORN FOR THIS!" its certainly how I felt in Clearwater.

Awesome old campers galore. All haphazardly parked in a field along a beautiful ravine.


Oh, how I love Manitoba! (home of the brave)


(we blended right in. All four of us in a bungalow on wheels).

I meanwhile, found something a little more sensible and indulged in daydream of retiring in Clearwater. Not that I'll retire before 74, but one can't plan too early.


I meanwhile was here for a purpose: to raise some money for the World Food Program.

It was fun to sell to like-minded people.

To learn about their own bags; lives. (A Dr who donated time with Doctors Without Borders, and had this African batik made into a gorgeous little bag)

And meet their dogs. (brochure said; "Leashes suggested")

To sell button hair clips to their children.

And to enjoy every moment of hippie fashion.

Every moment.

The weekend was magical



and delicious in so many ways.

Life. So full and rich, and ever becoming what we make of it.

Go ahead. Get out there and live your awesome life.