Sunday, June 30, 2013

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

It was going to be lonely, and tidy, and quiet, and there wouldn't be any gritty sand on the couch or the floor for three whole weeks. So moved was I by the thought of such sorrow that I rented a bouncy castle.


They came. They bounced, they splashed, they tracked bale-sized globs of wet grass cuttings into my kitchen. I smiled endlessly, knowing the sorrowful silence to come.

When it was over, and the children had gone, I swept the floor and comforted myself with a lovely chilled bottle of Lolailo Sangria, compliments of a daycare mama who clearly knows my needs. I hardly shed a tear.

I could have gone to a party the evening my holidays began, but I decided to only do what I felt like doing in that moment. It was a revolutionary, daring thought. So, I never had that shower, or changed out of my dirty shorts, or found my lipstick. I ate gourmet cheese on crackers, sipped on my sangria, and went to bed at eight. It was divine.

On Saturday, I woke up fully rested at seven AM. I sewed some things (have roughly 900 festivals that I signed up for this summer....). Then I engaged in my most favourite Saturday pleasure: Treasure hunting.

I didn't get the pig doll.

And my partner in crime got all the buttons.


But never you mind, because I got the jackpot of all jacks and pots.

An original chrome, TURQUOISE child's set table and two chairs.

Because I miss the kids so much.

Although, not really. At all, right now.

And that's what I did on my summer vacation. But.... Wait a minute! Technically it's the weekend, and I haven't even STARTED the actual vacation portion, which would technically commence on Monday!

Which reminds me- on Monday, I'm heading off to Clear Lake to meet up with some of my most favouritest in the world friends who I've loved for nineteen years now. We're bringing an assortment of children, wines, cheeses, and chocolates, and maybe a couple of bikes. Then we'll be laughing and playing and sipping. Remembering and looking forward. Celebrating.

I seriously cannot wait.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

More Shallow Thoughts

I hate emptying the dishwasher. I love that I have one and it gets plenty of use, but when it's full of clean dishes I avoid it like the plague. I'll frequently wash the dishes in the sink, just to avoid dealing with it.

I have a lot of recurring dreams. One is about being in University, taking three courses but constantly forgetting to show up for class. I don't know where my lecture hall is, I don't have any textbooks, I've forgotten the combination for my locker, and there is an exam. It's too late to withdraw from the courses, so I'll be getting an "F". Three of those F-ers, if you're counting.

Coincidence that I got pregnant with the magnificent Arianna when I was just three courses short of my BA? I think not. I remember wheeling her to the university the following fall to register for courses and then recognizing how badly I didn't want to miss one second of her life studying statistics. So, that's it. And don't ask me if I'll finish it now. The statute of limitations on that one is way expired by about 17 years.

Unfortunate, since I hear there are tremendously lucrative employment opportunities for people with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Last night I didn't have to cook supper since half my family was gone for the evening, and the half that was left are old enough to prevent their own starvation. Faced with the prospect of a whole glorious evening (knowing that I should be sewing but deciding to cut myself a break), I settled down on the couch with the dog, a cat, and a book that promised to keep we reading well past bedtime.

I think it was seven o'clock when I fell asleep. I know that I woke up at 8:45, just in time to go to bed.

I still have an unredeemed Christmas gift. It's a gift card for Aldo that I'm very excited and pleased about. In ways its a gift that I've opened and reopened since December, thrilled each and every time. When I'm in the city, I'll wander through Aldo, imagining that I could get anything that I want. Sometimes I browse the website to see what my other options are. I'm waiting for the perfect pair of boots, and I'm filled to brimmiest top with patience. I thought I'd found them on Monday night, but I made the mistake of shopping with my cute daughter and she loved the same pair. They were way more beautiful on her, plus she actually has places to go, so it was the daughter who walked out wearing the dreamy boots. Good thing she's my size and she sleeps in- this means I can clomp to the park with fifty preschoolers in gorgeous boots, a ratty dress, and unwashed hair before she even rolls over. Win, win. And no- I did NOT spend my gift card on the kid. No way, no how. I'm going to keep that piece of gold in my wallet and keep up with my monthly forays through Aldo, because once the card is spent, the treasure hunt will be over. I live for treasure hunts.

Last night while I was pretending to read but I actually just went to sleep, I should have been altering a very fancy dress. Our one-time neighbours are celebrating their 15 year old's year with a quinceanera- a very fancy party marking a girl's fifteenth birthday. I don't actually sew formal wear, but I do have another recurring nightmare in which I dream that I've promised to sew formal wear for a wedding but I forgot all about it until the week of. This likely dates back to the two weddings I once did sew for that in my humble opinion were a complete failure. Maybe because there was an incident of chocolate sauce spilling on the bridesmaid dress fabric while it was spread out awaiting being cut into dress shapes. Now, I generally stick with vintage fabrics. More forgiving, I find.

I pride myself on my spelling, but maybe I shouldn't. There are a few words that I just can't seem to get right. I thought "Neighbour" was spelled "neighbor". And I thought "Colour" was spelled "color". It just makes me think that there's probably a whole big bunch of other stuff that I think I know when actually I'm off by a letter or degree or construct.

My favourite candy used to be black licorice. Now I'd have to say that its M&M peanuts.

Tomorrow it will be seven years since my brother's cancer diagnosis. I remember how much writing helped me through that terrible time, although I'm pretty sure I didn't come through with any kind of award winning flying colours. (Note the correct spelling here).

Tomorrow I am renting a bouncy castle for my day kids. I'm so excited about that, even though it has made everyone hyper all week so far, and tomorrow will be an adrenalin nightmare- kind of a nine hour long birthday party involving lunch and diapers. Regardless, I'm really as excited as a kid. When its over, I might bust into this gorgeous gift:

That I got from one of my departing families. Darned departing families. They come into my life, lend me their kids, become my friends, and then they're done with me. Crazy town.

After the dummest spring on record, it has gotten hot in Manitoba. Really hot.

Watch me not complain, as I love it.

So, there's a few shallow thoughts for you, my friends. I did promise that I wouldn't let a month slip by this time, and I didn't. I even have thoughts on further posts that I hope I have time to share. Meanwhile I'll be setting up a bouncy castle in my back yard with wild anticipation of tomorrow's most tigger-y day.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dear Janice

It's Tuesday, and I'm enjoying a Black Russian in the peace and quiet of my post- work house. I think I'm throwing myself this teensy Tuesday party to partially make up for a weekend that wasn't much fun. Its an invasion of privacy to write about it, darnitall, so I can't go into detail for you, my virtual friend. I know you told me that I haven't posted anything since May 27th, but I simply cannot absorb that as fact! If that's true, there's been a time warp, and I'm missing roughly three weeks. And, no. It's not the Black Russians. They are good and kind and don't come around often enough to be a nuisance.

I've actually had a lot of deep thoughts in the space of a lost month.

But strangely enough, I can't find fourteen seconds of uninterrupted time to spell any of it out or explore it, so they'll rumble around in my head a bit or a lot longer. Meanwhile, I've decided to feature some utterly useless and random thoughts. It seems I'm capable of doing that while spinning plates.

Giant Tiger, my guilty pleasure. Rye bread for $1.67? yes, please! Flip flops for $6 and summer tops in fun colors for $8? Sign me up. If you have to shop retail (which is recommended for grocery items...... yard sales don't often feature ground beef, yogurt, or milk. And when they do....... hmmmmm.) Giant Tiger is kind of a retail yard sale. You never know what you might find, and you'll generally walk away happy because you found something that no one who lives a normal life will. Normal is highly overrated. (except when it comes to sanity. I'd take normal in that category, but who's picking? not me, apparently.)

Bathroom scales are evil. This borders on "deep thoughts", but I don't have time to really go into it so it'll be random. I woke up one morning and noticed that a portion of my middle aged belly seemed to be missing and I had a wicked little thought: "Hey! I've lost Weight!" (evil thought #97865. it shouldn't matter. it doesn't define my identity, my value, my day.) Evil thoughts lead to evil actions = stepping on the scale. 'Nuf said. Seems gravity had pulled some of my belly down into my backside to make room for some up and coming fatty bits in the higher ups and lower downs. Oh well, there's always Giant Tiger. And mu muuuuuuuus.

Soccer is a lot like laundry. It takes a lot of effort to get the item in question from one side over to the other side, and just when you think you've done it, it lands up over at the original side and it appears that you've accomplished nothing. So you exert a collossal amount of energy to kick it over to the side you want it on. But it never lasts for longer than a second or two, although you remain in perpetual sweaty motion.

Perennial gardens and prairie canals make me very happy. In these spaces, I can feel peace washing over me, which is saying something.

There's nothing like the sound of wind in tall grass and songs of red winged blackbirds in the reeds. This is where I went for church on Sunday morning. I loved the music.

These purple flowers grew in the side yard of the house we lived in before this house. My friend laughed at me and told me that they were weeds. I always stuck up for them, and have them at my new (old) house too. But then again, I'm that girl who suspects that God made dandelions so that we couldn't tame beauty- it just springs up any old place, every year.

Lately I've been worried about how much of my life I've lost due to worrying. This is worrisome.

I currently have 201 pins on my "crazy cat lady" board on pinterest.

Nobody is entirely as they appear. This is true for loud, obnoxious people (who are not entirely loud or obnoxious, but wear it because it works). It is true for tall, slender, passionate, young activist types who are all those things but it doesn't excempt them from anxiety and disorder. That family with the mom and dad who love their kids unconditionally and are well respected for their wisdom and integrety? Their kids didn't get a golden ticket either, and suffer with all manner of shit-osis, even though they're the lucky ones with the decent family. I really wish it was true that love is enough. Love doesn't make bad things go away at all. I still believe in love, but not in a very simplistic way.

In two weeks I'll be on holidays. What am I really pleased about? That I don't feel at all burnt out. I'm not counting days or sleeps or hairs on my head. Its been a super pleasant year here in kid land, and there's kids heading off for kindergarten and grade one in the fall that I'm not at all pleased about seeing go. Having said that, I do look forward to having time for some other things, like sewing for two fairs I'm participating in this summer!

On my "not happy enough" weekend I gave myself a gift: a drive to nowhere. I found some marvellous prairie scenes and actually, throughly felt that I was "getting away from it all".

We had a mailbox like this. I remember walking to it in sunshine and snowstorms and marvelling that a little box could hold or deliver our letters.


I've been doing some exploring of the Bridges of Mennonite County.

It's pretty sexy.

How am I doing, Janice? I bet you feel a lot better now, having read this tale of my endlessly fascinating life. As a sort of benediction, I'm going to tell you my personal truth: a confession.

In paragraph two or so, I shared how I enjoy finding deals at Giant Tiger. It's true. I really do. It has now been a day since my GT indulgence. I've worn my six dollar flip flops all day and found them to be extremely comfortable. I've toasted and served rye bread. I've peeled bananas.

Not being terribly inspired to cook supper today, I happened to remember that I'd bought a lovely set of breasts that once belonged to a chicken. They were in my cart along with the sandals, the bananas, and the bread. I'd just stir fry that up with some veggies, cook some rice and call it a meal!

So I took out the chicken,

and it smelled like poop.

rotten, raunchy poop. With a side of kak.

So, by my math, my comfy sandals actually cost $16.00.

Still a good deal when you factor in how cushiony they are.

Or if you decided that you'd actually bought them in a for real shoe store at the mall, and you never wanted chicken anyway.


See you in less than a month. I promise.

XO, joycie

p.s. Write back!