Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My year in nouns

This post is hard to write because there's just so much to say that it's hard to organize. As the year draws closed, I am of course thinking about all that has happened: realising how unhappy I had become and learning to express it, a soul-searching trip, my marriage ending, moving, sorting out the kids, writing, finding my voice, stumbling, getting out into the world, learning some new lessons, realising that I'm just fine. It's been a wild ride. I think the best way to sort it out is by quoting School House Rock, "I find it quite interesting, a noun's a person, place, or thing".

Persons

People come into your life for a reason. I have always believed this. This year I made a few new friends, reconnected with some old ones, forged stronger relationships with many, and discovered hope and joy and new branches within my family.
I also met a few men who taught me a lot about relationships and myself, some of it amazing, and some of it not. There was disappointment, but for every ending something new is gained and begun. I know this even though some days I feel less than the beautiful person I am. The big one: I deserve nothing less than the best, most sincere, feel-it-in-your-gut love.
I discovered just how many friends I truly have this year and they've put up with the mania and the pity parties and the broken record affirmations and will have to continue putting up with it for a while yet. Sorry..... I am getting better.
The bigger one: I have so many people in this world who love me. I cannot take that for granted, it is something to be thankful for and mindful of. Relationships take effort and if you don't make the honest effort, you will not be rewarded. Sometimes when I'm feeling lonely and tired and down, I close my eyes and remember that I am loved in this world, that I have love, that I deserve it because I give it out every day. The people in my life are my greatest gift, every one there to help me, guide me, teach me, give me laughter and sometimes feed me. I love you all.



Not pictured, but I love you too!: Bev, Kim, Mark, Danny, Lisa, Alison, and Adriana's mom. And of course Ken, an asshole and I do not love him, but significant.

My one big sticking point is Richard, my heart is still full of the man I wanted him to be. I deeply miss that man; although imaginary, he was lovely. I know he doesn't deserve anything and that he's not that man, I'm just being honest.
Adriana's mom sent along some advice, "Fuck a issa". Says it all, really.

Places

I was miserable, things were coming to a head, I felt trapped and I didn't know what to do. At exactly that moment, a long business trip saved my soul, confirmed my sanity, set me on the path I needed to take even though it was the hardest thing to do. The universe gives you what you need, you have to use it. After that came my new place, another gift from the universe: the right size and location. For the rest of the year I have been exploring, alone and with the kids. I did a lot of hiking, took architectural tours of the city, took a trip to visit friends in Ontario and drank my way through some wineries, went out and spent time with friends, went to concerts, lectures, let myself follow all my interests and indulge in my favorite thing - discovering. I never want it to stop......



Things
I have discovered this year that many things are not important and I have to let go of them. Moving showed me that I don't need a lot of things - I say this even though my house still seems to be bursting with too much stuff. In any case, there were many things that did have a huge place in my life this year: Music - Bach, Vince Guaraldi, Elbow, Tchaikovsky, Bela Fleck, Stevie Wonder, Holly Cole, and anything on my running ipod. Books - too many to count, but certainly Elizabeth Gilbert, Eric Siblin, Stieg Larsson, Jane Austen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jane Jacobs, and Pearl S Buck. Thoughts and ideas, about life, who I am, what I'm doing, happiness, what is fair, what is right, what matters and what does not in my life all came to be very important and I know I overthought everything. There were also new acquisitions: the cursed car, some fabulous shoes, a camera, appliances, and now a sofa. Whether all of these were required is yet to be determined.



Some other categories also come to mind.

Food

This is just a smattering of the food from the year. Next year brings so much more!



Family

The most important part of my life and what has really kept me going is the support of my family and my superfantastic amazingo children. What adventures we will have next year!



What did I say? Long post? I did leave one thing for very last, which perhaps should be first: me.



I love me and will continue to love me more, love my friends and family more, love food, and music, and writing, and discovering, and even the assholes and the disappointments because they are all part of me.
Life is good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Composure returning to normal, must learn to not pay attention to anything my ex does. It's not worth it.
Big girl pants - ahoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Me day

As part of my new Christmas traditions, I think I will create a me day, that is, a day over the holidays where I do nothing but sit around lazily and do stuff I can never justify doing all day. Today my ex picked up the kids to take them to Ottawa and my folks left soon after that, so I had the house to myself. I did not clean, or do laundry, or bake, or cook, or catch up on work. Instead, I sat on the sofa and read, watched dvds, ate a ton of leftover holiday food, started crocheting a robot, and listened to music. I also took a bath and painted my toenails. It was a day of complete and total idleness, the only thing missing was a nap. Too many times I find that I never take the time for me, I think that it's selfish to put me first, or when I do I feel guilty about it and it lessens the joy of the time I am taking. NO MORE! I deserve to stop moving, working, cleaning and whatever else once in a while and I'm doing it! Perhaps I will try to take one day a month and just stop the world. A bit of self-imposed sloth is good for the soul.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Keep in mind I love my dad

There's a famous Twitter feed called Shit My Dad Says, well, this is my version. Every year we go through this, and if I don't laugh, I might cry.

Things my Dad has discovered this Christmas, again.....

  • My stairs are too steep.
  • I have neighbours.
  • I have neighbours and he can hear them, and wonders what they are doing.
  • His incredibly expensive hearing aid only works if he takes it out of his bag and inserts it into his ear (I'm still waiting).
  • The kids talk fast.
  • The tv still functions at volumes under 20.
  • My ipod shuffle. Yes there's music on that little thing, it's not a radio.
  • Boris Karloff is the voice of the Grinch.
  • Lime-flavoured fizzy water.
  • I don't like cranberry sauce.
  • I only get two English tv stations, and I don't care.
  • I read a lot.
  • That temperatures and distances are given in metric.
  • I've always had that mole.
  • I don't need to know the weather, I can look outside and figure it out.
  • The number of electrical outlets in my house (there are not that many).
  • Pomegranates.
  • What I do for a living.
  • Hummus.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day's done

morning

The day is over! It started for me at about 3am when my daughter woke up and came looking for me, banging her head into my bedroom door, closed because her grandparents were sleeping there. She crawled on to the sofa with me, a tight space to say the least, and cuddled into me as I held onto her to keep her from falling off, and she fell back to sleep. I slept fitfully after that of course, but my arm fell asleep, so part of me was well rested at least. Did I mention that she's getting sick and is coughing and a little ball of phlegm? Yup, lucky me......
My son woke up at 7 and ran out to inspect the scene, then ran in to tell the grandfolks. After that we were all up, children were excited, Ben was a bit unimpressed that Santa did not finish all the cookies. Coffee was made, then we all sat around and Ben did an excellent job of handing out gifts. Transformers, princesses, ponies, puzzles, games, clothes, and books were opened and appreciated. I got my winter car mats, although they will have to sit in the stairwell until my car returns from the shop. It was a great morning. After, we walked over singing Christmas songs to Steve's place where he had prepared a brunch and there were more presents from Santa. I left the kids and the folks there for a couple of hours and came home, got changed, and went for a glorious run. My running schedule has been sporadic lately and today was mild and the roads were fairly clear. I got home and put the squash in the oven and sat on the sofa with a novel and a blanket and enjoyed some me time. Then came the clean up, and the dinner prep. The family returned, dinner was completed and served, the kids did not try most of the food on the table, but did very well with dessert. We watched the Grinch, then everyone went to bed, including my folks. I'm about to collapse too. Let's hope there are no nighttime wanderings tonight.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

and to all a good night

herald

It is now the night before Christmas. The sofa arrived first thing this morning, the kids were watching cartoons and we were in our jammies when the men delivered, unwrapped, and attached the legs, leaving a nice place to sit and slushy mud on the floor. The children had it disassembled into cushions on the floor and were hanging off it at funny angles within 20 minutes - how and why kids do this I have NO idea. I had a chance to sit on it for about 15 minutes and it seems just fine. The rest of my day was spent tidying and prepping salads and such. The folks arrived and by the time they got upstairs already seemed like they'd run a marathon. Coffee was prepared, sandwiches were made. The kids were out of their heads with excitement. They wanted to show Grandma and Poppy everything! My mom helped the kids make little graham cracker houses and decorate them. The kids decided to have a storytelling session in Ben's room with a lantern. They took turns making up stories, combinations of super heroes, spongebob, princesses, and curiously, Peter and the Wolf. After supper there were baths and then Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, my all-time favorite. My folks stayed up for a while, but now they've gone to bed and I have the livingroom to myself, enjoying the Vince Guaraldi on the stereo, the nightcap, the pretty lights on the tree, and sneaking some of Santa's cookies.
I have lots more to say about the year, and I will, but right now let me just say to the three people who read this with any regularity, Merry Christmas. I hope that you are enjoying the spirit of the holiday, taking the time to smile and laugh with a neighbour, share some food with friends, hug your family, love this incredible life and hold it close. This moment, sitting here, taking in the scene, complete with messy house, is still so sweet. I have everything I need.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twas the day before the day before Christmas

Project Christmas My Way is so far pretty smooth. I just finished some baking this morning so that I could put together the daycare Christmas goodie packages for all the ladies. They look forward to my baking all year, bless their hearts. All the bags are done - phew!
Ben is with me today, so we played for a bit this morning and then ran out to do groceries, mail Christmas cards, and buy some coffee. Anthony at the coffeeshop made Ben a special vanilla drink when he offered Ben hot chocolate and Ben told him he only liked vanilla. Is there anything dreamier than a man who can make the perfect coffee AND concocts the perfect drink for your son? I have a little crush now ;-)
The only thing not ready is the house, it is a disorganized mess. The kitchen especially looks like I emptied all the cupboards on the counters and then sprinkled the lot with flour. Tomorrow the morning will be spent trying to tidy up so that my new sofa can be delivered without incident and my folks aren't tripping over transformers, shoes, and Disney princesses.
Last night I wrapped presents and started watching True Blood, a vampire series that Steve loaned me. I really like it so far, it's quirky, it's funny, it's oddly acted.
Ok, so the car. It's bad, several thousand dollars bad. I was coming up to an intersection, the light turned yellow, the guy in front of me didn't slow, so I thought he was going for it, then he changed his mind. I slammed on my brakes when he stopped fairly suddenly, but slid into him at a pretty fast clip. The front of the car crumpled, emergency vehicles arrived, luckily I was alone and the guy was alone and neither of us was hurt in any way that required the ambulance. My car was not drivable, so was towed to my bodyshop and I have a loaner until they can repair it. I'm still a bit sore and feeling dumb. Honestly, what was my hurry? The universe is telling me to slow down, I have to try to learn this lesson. I have all the time in the world.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And then I wrecked the car......

Sing it loud

Oh no, she got my singing voice.....at least you can hear her.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mind, matter

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

I love this quote because it sums up, and at the same time excuses, my life.
Sums up because I am an open, sincere person who blurts out her feelings and has a "life's too short" attitude; excuses because sometimes I make mistakes and I'd like to believe that the true people in my life are the people who are still around after I express myself, when I implode, and when I really need them.

For a while I stopped being this person. I've learned the importance of saying what I feel the hard way, a way that ended up being a lesson for more than me. It's hard to say what you feel sometimes when you think that your truth will hurt others. It's difficult for people like me, overly sensitive to others, to realise that I'm not doing anyone any favours by holding my tongue. When I have stopped telling people how I feel, my relationships with those people have died. You have to be able to say anything to the people you love and know that they will always be there for you, not turn away. It takes a lot of courage sometimes to take that leap of faith. I have a very good friend who I have confided in over the years who has never minded anything I have said. It's strange because in many ways we are not close, but I know that I can look this person in the eye and say anything with complete faith that this person will be there the next day. That is a person who matters. I want to be a friend like that.
I am resolved to say what I feel now, no matter what, and it has brought me some upset recently. A friendship failed and I failed to judge the sincerity of the friend. I said exactly what I felt, I was completely honest, but in the end it was with a person who didn't matter. I guess I'm a little wiser for it, and I know now that I still have the capacity to forgive and move on.
I'll be the person who matters from now on.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Give me something sweet

biscotti

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love baking. It started with cookies, chocolate chip cookies to be precise. When I was a kid I went on the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and I made batch after batch with different recipes and different chips until I found a combination that I loved. I drooled over Kitchenaid mixers like some people drool over sports cars, and for my bridal shower my friends all chipped in and got me one. It is the most beautiful appliance ever. I like eating what I bake, but to tell the truth I don't actually eat that much of it; the pleasure for me is watching other people enjoy it, giving it away and watching people smile and eat. For many people baking is like a lost art, they think that making a batch of cookies or baking a cake is almost impossible or it takes too much time (it really doesn't). I think that it goes beyond the fact that it tastes one hundred times better. You are offering people love when you give food, something that you took the time to prepare, something you planned and made the effort to create for them. That is what is so amazing about the gesture.

But really people, it's just a cookie :-)

cookies

So this weekend I made up some Christmas cookie doughs and headed over to Lysanne's place for cookiepalooza. I brought gingerbread, spice, and cinnamon sugar, she made up a batch of pistachio cranberry biscotti and these moist molasses cookies that were divine and kinda healthy, and we baked all afternoon and each got some of the other's goods.

biscotti

I still have much more baking to do, but it was a great start and it's so much fun getting together with a friend and sharing a laugh and some recipes.
The kids still have to help me with some gingerbread too, it's my favorite part of the holidays. They love to roll the dough and cut out the shapes and decorate, and then eat - love in every delicious bite.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ok, I have got to get over myself.......

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My thoughts exactly

Career advice from Charlie Hoehn:

"Therein lies the best career advice I could possibly dispense: just DO things. Chase after the things that interest you and make you happy. Stop acting like you have a set path, because you don’t. No one does. You shouldn’t be trying to check off the boxes of life; they aren’t real and they were created by other people, not you. There is no explicit path I’m following, and I’m not walking in anyone else’s footsteps. I’m making it up as I go."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trying to be positive, trying only to let the good things in, but sometimes it's hard trying to figure out what the good thing is at this moment. It'll come to me in time....
Until then, the other good things:
My kids seem to have survived a long car trip in good spirits.
I have finished making a toy airplane for Ben for Christmas.
I got some baking done. My yeast died, so no stollen, but there's now fudge and crackle, and tomorrow - cookies!
I recovered something I lost.
Tomorrow looks like it will be warm enough for an outdoor run.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Big dig 1

It has not been the greatest week. My most pressing concern, which has put a few things in perspective, is my kids. We had our first big dump of snow and it's been a joy watching the kids relish in hiking through it, laying in it, and eating it and embracing the snow pants. They've gone a bit Christmas insane, decorating, talking about Santa, singing the carols they're learning for their pageants. When I've had a crap day it's the best thing in the world to see the magic in their eyes.
I've needed my friends again like crazy this week and they have once again delivered. I promise them that one day I will be there for them as much as they have been there for me, reminding me that I'm an awesome, huge-hearted, creative, beautiful gal with a great sense of humour and great gams :-)
So first snow has come and now the clean up begins, clearing it up, regaining the spaces taken up with the chaos of snowbanks and buried cars. The city is returning to normal, I'm returning to normal, a bit more exhausted from the shovelling out.

My favorite elves

Christmas tree

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

CSI: My Livingroom

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every living room must be in want of a sofa. When I moved a friend of mine told me I could have her old living room set, but that fell through for various reasons, and I've been getting by with a chair and the window seat. I don't sit in there often, I rarely watch tv and most of the time I'm working in the dining room or the kitchen. My kids share the chair, or more often, and I have started doing this myself, sit on the coffee table. It is a large, sturdy table built by my dad, and it's quite comfy. But with Christmas coming up, and my folks coming into town, and people visiting, I figured that it might be time to break down and buy something more substantial to entertain. So two weeks ago I dragged a girlfriend to the furniture store (she was a very good sport about it and provided some needed wisdom) to browse and sit. We were amazed at all the comfy looking furniture that just wasn't. The salesman suggested that I go home with all the measurements from various pieces and draw them out on the floor with masking tape to get an idea of what would fit properly. I went home and did this and decided on a condo sofa and matching ottoman. I left the tape on the floor, and the funny upshot is that when people come in it's a bit like a bizarre couch crime scene. You keep expecting that red-headed guy to come in, take off his sun glasses, and say something not-so-witty.
So the sofa is ordered and should arrive the night before Christmas - ho ho ho!!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Weekend recap

The closing concert was fantastic! The musicians were a lively, animated group and it was fun seeing them enjoy playing so much. The basilica was an amazing venue, just looking at the ceiling is an experience. Old Montreal is so beautiful right now. The only thing missing is some snow on the ground (note: we got a dusting overnight) the lights are wonderful, I live in a beautiful city.
My kids are completely in the Christmas craze. They kept asking to do the tree, but I'm holding out for another week. We did make some decorations though, and we'll have to start baking.
I also made it out to a store this weekend and bought a new winter coat. My old one was about four sizes too large and in need of replacement. I got a knee-length down puffy thing with a hood that should keep me toasty. I'll keep the big orange monster for goofing around with the kiddies at the park.
More snow is falling, I think winter is finally committed to happening. I have a feeling I'm going to start missing my car starter soon.......

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Perfect random mornings

Breakfast is done, kids are entertained, I am coffee'd, sun is shining.
Simple things, appreciating the uneventful. With all the things going on in my brain, it's nice to have pockets of nothing.
I finished the big project from last week on time, tonight I am going to the closing concert of the Bach festival at Notre Dame. I've never been to a concert there and I'm really looking forward to it.
I had a very nice dream last night. I won't go into details, but I think it was more of a hope, and realising that my subconscious is hoping is a very good thing. As I think we all know, there has been a lot of lingering doubt in my mind for awhile. That doubt has been slowly dissipating, clearing out of parts of my life in a chain reaction. I have time to do it all, and all the time in the world to get some things right in my life.
The smell of pine trees is making me smile lately. I think I could get used to Christmas tradition.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Living up to expectations

I did a nice thing yesterday for a friend. Sometimes we forget it's not all about us, sometimes we forget that everyone has failings and needs to be forgiven, sometimes we forget that everyone needs. We all deserve compassion and understanding and when you put your pride down for a moment and reach out and help, you make a bigger difference than you realise. In the end, I think that I got back more than I gave. I'm really happy right now.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Things my daughter says

Sitting at the table with a book, she was pointing at letters and making me say them: "Momma you're a very clever girl. High-five!"

Me: "Naomi, carry your bag upstairs please."
Naomi: "But Momma, the bag wants you!"

This morning, the kids were outside catching snowflakes on their tongues.
Me: "Ben what does yours taste like?"
Ben: "Like sugar!"
Me: "Naomi, what does yours taste like?"
Naomi: "Mine tastes like socks!"

Tonight, while giving me a hug: "You're the good Momma".

That snowy feeling

Woke up this morning with a foot in my ear-my daughter climbed in and slept fitfully from about 3am. When I got out of the shower and got the kids up, I walked into the kitchen and looked out the window for the first time and realised that there was snow on the ground. I immediately yelled to the kids to go and look out the front window. The next thing that I heard was their squeals of delight and I joined them to see the light coating of wet white on the trees, the lawns, the cars. Here we go again.
I don't always like snow and winter, but how can you not get excited when you see the big flakes falling and your children are jumping up and down? It's not here too early, I didn't have to shovel, I have new snow tires, I'm ready baby!
Talk immediately turned to Christmas. I have not been a fan of Christmas in recent years. I hate the hype, the shopping, the spending, the feeling that it's something to rush through and then it's over and I'm tired and I feel like I missed it. This year I will try to do what I want to do - Christmas baking, if I have time make a few things for people, getting together with friends, stopping to enjoy moments through the eyes of my kids. Yes, it will probably still run by, but I think I'm ready to try to love it again. And it will start with a little music...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How lucky can one gal be?

This week was interesting, challenging, weird, and a little confusing. Some things were made blindingly obvious to me though, and that kind of clarity has given me a kick to the head, in a very positive way.
I spent the weekend with friends and family, sharing my dreams, laughing, learning, and eating. It felt like life was catching me up into a big warm hug.
The kids and I drove up to see my folks today and the kids had a blast running around the house and outside.
This week is going to be very busy, but at the end of the week I have another concert to look forward to and maybe some friend time midweek, so it's all good.
Must get organized and get the weekapalooza ready to go!
Life's gonna be beautiful :-)
You can guess what I'm thinking right now.......

Friday, November 27, 2009

A church and some Bach

Went to a great concert at a church last night. I almost never go into churches for obvious reasons (flame retardant clothing is expensive and generally not stylish), but when I do go in I always regret not having had a peek before. This city has so many churches, and I should really get around to seeing a few more of them before they get converted into condos, libraries, stores, and community centres. A couple of years ago I was downtown with my son and the doors were open to the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral and he wanted to go in. After explaining "church rules", we quietly walked inside and up to the front, and then Ben decided he wanted to sit down for a while. We chose an out-of-the-way corner and sat and took in the church and watched the people coming in and leaving. Ben loved it, a quiet, peaceful place amidst a busy city; I loved it because for the first time I understood the calm being in a place of worship can have on a person.
So, I heard all of the Brandenburg Concertos performed in one evening. The only down side to this was that I was sitting on a hard wooden pew, the upside was that it's a catholic church so at least there are "foot rests".
Classical music sounds so amazing in an old church, the acoustics are generally good and as I sat there enjoying the music, I was able to look up at the paintings, the architecture, the ornament, and appreciate it and wonder how many people have done the same in the nearly 100 years that the church has been sitting there. I let the music take me away a few times, and closed my eyes and listened to the harmony, the layers of sound, and I felt another sort of peace settle down on me. This music will probably exist forever, there is so much time in this world.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Counting

I was sitting down trying to get Ben to do his homework tonight. His assignment was to count by fives to one hundred. I assumed that they had learned this at school and we would just be reviewing, but it soon became obvious that this was something either not covered or that Ben had not grasped. We sat at the table, and I tried explaining what I was asking, then I removed the penci and eraser he was fiddling with, then the sheet of paper. He let out a frustrated "Ahhh!" as I asked him to pay attention in a strict voice. Sometimes, knowledge must be forced into the brain. It took a while, and some tearful, "I don't knows", but eventually he started to understand what I was asking. I could see him visualizing the numbers (I told him to think about pennies), the light went on. With each right answer, his face became more animated and his smile brighter. We got through the exercise three times successfully. Then I let him watch this:

I could not be prouder, what a kid.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

D's knees


(image borrowed from: http://216.74.18.90/image/122/totalknee/images/Img%205%20Knee%20Anatomy.jpg)

I went to the physiotherapist today bracing myself for the worst. I expected that she would tell me to stop running for a while. This would kill me. Yes, I did go for a *tiny* run this morning just in case she said "no more". And I ran to the appointment... well, come on, I was wearing my running shoes!
Ok, ok, so she had a good look and made me do all sorts of bending and she poked and asked questions and prodded and asked me if that hurt, how about that? I think after a bit she was trying to get me to scream.
Good news! I had an alignment problem of my sacrum that was throwing everything off and ultimately causing my right knee to turn in. And my right butt muscle is weak. She made the adjustment and I have exercises to do. This is so much better than I'd hoped, so guess who will be doing her exercises? She also suggested that I tone down the mileage until I build up the muscle and she's sure that the alignment takes.
I think I can live with that :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

ADD it up

Exam taken, there's nothing to see, move along. The darn thing is so subjective, I really won't know how well I did until I get the letter in a few months. Seriously.
The good thing: I walked in, sat down, talked to the other candidates, then when the time came, I wrote it. For nearly three hours I focused on one thing, I didn't think about my meeting in the afternoon, groceries that needed to be bought, my stupid personal life, my other junk that constantly floats through my head distracting me. All I did was concentrate on the text and think and write the exam. That's all.
I'm very proud of myself for that. I hope that this does not mean that I have to move my office to the Diocese to get anything properly accomplished......
I think it may be time to pull the plug on a few more devices, as useful as they are, and examine how much they are blocking me from the tasks in my hands.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My brain - the big exploding Deathstar of doom


After three episodes of Spongebob my children are hyper and running around the dining room table and I have taken a break from studying. My exam is tomorrow, so really I'm just at the stage where I feel ill-prepared and stupid anyway.
I have so many personal projects now partially in the works that it is getting ridiculous. One of my key issues has always been failing to work on one thing in a linear time line, truth be told, I seem to function in a starburst pattern. I have to stop and focus on one thing. I know which thing I have to focus on. Here is where the problem starts. I begin working on the one thing, I start thinking about it and researching it, then I'm driving my kids to school and a question, spun off from the thinking and research, hits me. By the time I drop the kids off and get to work, I already have an outline and an opening paragraph worked out for the spin-off article.
Ugh.
I know that there are drugs that I can take for this, but then who will think about the twenty-three other articles yet to be written?
So, first thing: write exam. Second thing: go to work and sit in meeting for project for my real job. Did I mention that I also have a new project that just popped up late last week and has to be done in two weeks?
Third thing: get home and start working on ONE THING AT A TIME!
And figure out how to get to Helsinki.....soon......and learn Finnish......

I hate my brain.......

Friday, November 20, 2009

I spy in my little mind......

play day
Up this morning and out for a run in the rain. It wasn't a downpour, but it was more than a drizzle. A friend reminded me this morning about a conversation we had about running years ago. He's a runner and I was saying that I just didn't understand people out in all the nasty weather running down the streets, they must be insane! He gave a knowing nod and probably said something like, "Eh, you never know".
Well colour me purple and put a big flower on my head because I am now one of those loons. I cut this morning's run short to rest my knee and to get home and get some work done with Europe first thing.
Ben arrived at my door just after 9. He has a ped day today, so he's spending the day with me while I work/study from home. We will also run a few errands and later we will go to his playgroup/swim night.
When he's here alone he can play by himself for hours, immersed in his world of legos and transformers. I listen to him creating scenarios and worlds, digging around in the toy box, the sound of plastic being stirred around before it becomes a spaceship, a base station, a control panel, completely in awe of his limitless imagination. He doesn't need a tv to entertain him, or another person. I remember what it was like to slip into that land of pretend where all was possible, all was magical, a cocoon of happy dreams and endless amusement. Although some of us never lose that, it does dim and it seems harder and harder to get back to as the years go by, and our attention is constantly competing with life's other daily tasks.
If we were released from all the responsibility, could we go back and experience it and love it as much as we do when we are 6?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

why I do this

Rolling out of bed, it's still dark, minutes before the sky will start to lighten,my feet hit the floor. I slide into the bathroom, the cat has beat me to the sink and is already butting her head against the tap and making trilling sounds at me to turn the water on. I ignore her and pee and put my hair into a ponytail, remove her from the sink, wash my hands and head back to the bedroom to dress. Running pants, long-sleeved shirt, socks, running shoes. I find my gum and my ipod, walk out into the front hall and collect my coat. I stretch, holding, counting, thinking of what I have to do today as I look through the living room window and see the light hitting the cars, their frosty windows reflecting the morning up to me. I breathe, then turn and head downstairs. Locking the door, I turn on my music and suddenly a favorite band is playing a favorite song and I am transported out of time. I run down my street towards the huge orange sun rising over the supermarket, my mind clears, my body responds, this is all that there is.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Life in bullets


  • Was feeling so tired last night that I was in tears by the time I got my kids in bed.
  • Daughter climbed in with me at some point during the night and at 3am informed me that she peed. Dealt with bed, inconsolable wailing of child, and managed to get back to sleep....eventually.
  • Son decided it was hot out this morning and he didn't want to wear his coat, even after he went outside in short sleeves, stubborn little boy.
  • Running more practise tests for my exam this weekend and have hit a few that make me feel like a complete moron - drat.
  • Sun is shining - yippee!!
  • Knee was fine during tread-run yesterday. Hoping for a run today.
  • Making chicken tonight for supper!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thank heaven for little girls

I went out with the gals last night. We were at this bar on the Plateau with more drinks on the menu than you could count. I was drinking something vodka-based that was red. For some reason I am drawn to those things.
So there we were, a group of women of a certain age, and we were telling stories and laughing and catching up and comparing drinks and admiring our waiter (!), when my friends sitting across from me starting motioning for me to turn around. There were two girls behind us sitting at the bar, obviously very drunk, wearing nearly nuthin', and dancing so wildly to some retro-80s music that one was falling out of her top and the other was about to just fall over. They were young, they were attractive, they did not need bras.....and they were complete ninnies. I looked at the ladies with me, older, less toned, more lined, smart, funny, fearless - it suddenly struck me how much more attractive I thought we were.
As I've gotten older I have come to accept a lot of things about aging, and certainly you tell yourself how much better you are now than when you were 19, but it suddenly hit me how incredibly beautiful and sexy a woman is who really knows who the hell she is.
Thank you little twinkie girls, and I hope those puke stains come out of your shoes too. Good luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Really hope he's not doing this at school.....

My son was supposed to be getting dressed for school this morning. I was in my room drying my hair when he appeared in my doorway, not a stitch on, holding his Transformer underpants and saying, "Momma, for Christmas, I really need a Transformer like this one", pointing to the back of the underwear in his hand.
When you see a woman at the toy store holding a pair of boy's underwear while standing in front of the Transformer section and squinting, you'll understand why.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

knees and needs

I think that I need to do something about my knee. This week I have had some amazing runs. The weather's been sunny and cool, coming out of the house and taking off right away, enjoying the quiet, the leaves on the ground, the frost on the grass, the sun rising and the moon hanging in the sky. My mind clears, I let go of the things weighing on me, and I just go. I am light, I am at peace, and about 5km in, my right knee starts to nag. I'm disappointed in my knee, it should know better. It's not being a team player. The rest of my body is ready and willing and completely psyched for more, and that knee is wrecking our happy time. I am taking a break from running tomorrow and hoping that the knee will feel some guilt and get over itself. Barring that, I will stretch even more, take some Advil, and probably make an appointment with a physiotherapist to get some help so I can continue to do this. I figured out that if I don't run, a part of me explodes. This evening it's started to nag again a bit, it was fine apart from the stairs all day. I am concerned and a bit apprehensive for Saturday morning.
I have a lot of stuff whirling in my head, there a lot of ideas to be written down. The calm is still with me, with the occasional flare up. I needed a hug tonight. I had my kids and was busy getting things done and acting cheerful, but I needed a hug, it was on my mind. My daughter came into the kitchen and said, "hug, hug, hug!", and it was all I could do not to cry as she wrapped her arms around me.
It's ok, it's more than ok, I'm doing it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A morning

I'm getting too serious about stuff, walls, beh!
I wrote out my morning earlier for a friend, but hey, we're all friends, so here:

Naomi woke up first and crawled in with me and we had some excellent cuddle and talk time. She was explaining why her stuffed fluffy dog (which she calls a bear) was on the floor this morning. Apparently he had been out roaming the house last night and ate everything in the fridge. He was too tired and fat to climb back into bed with her we surmised, therefore he collapsed on the rug. We checked the fridge later and a few things did look suspiciously pawed at, I will have to be more vigilant.
Then she went to wake up her brother and all hell broke loose. Of course, having your little sister run into your room when you are still asleep, rip off your blankets, and then crawl all over you giving you hugs and kisses is not everyone's cup of tea. Next thing you know, he's screaming and she's laughing which is making him scream more and the morning has officially begun. The two then teamed up to whine about me not letting them watch tv, breakfast was tragic because I cut up the banana, and then we finally got our bearings again over tooth brushing.
At one point my daughter looked at me and said, "I'm cranky", and I said, "yeah, I guessed that". She was also fascinated with nipples this morning, yeah, I know, my kid.....
Got the kids organized, into shoes and coats, and out the door. There was an altercation at the door downstairs, but it was manageable. Dropped off the girl, got back in the car, a bit flustered and bedraggled, and headed for Ben's school.
We picked up Ben's shadow on the way to school because I saw her walking from the station. My hair is curly today and I just pulled it back with a barrette and she told me how sexy I looked this morning - bless her :-) She's from Trinidad and she's amazing and a total kick in the pants. You wouldn't think that having a Trinidadian lady call you sexy would make your day, but some days you take what you can get :-)

walls

I'm working on my own walls now. There are so many barriers I put up to protect myself from hurt, pity, disappointment, judgment, truth. The image that we construct for others is truly impenetrable at times and useful for some things, but when we buy into it and use it to hide away, it's time to pull it all down.
There are many friends who have access over the walls, and some people in my life have just walked through them like they're not there at all. I am so thankful to have those people, to know that no matter what I say or do that I will be loved.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

This morning was glorious and warm and the sun was rising while the moon still hung in the sky and running into the sun was warm and sweet. Sunday runs are the best because there are even fewer people out in the morning than the rest of the week. We went out to the park today, it was too nice to stay inside. I wanted to go to Beaver Lake, but there was no parking and the people were crazy, so we doubled back and went to Westmount instead. There were tons of people out enjoying the weather, lots of kids. The Westmount parents are a laugh. We stayed out and played for hours, not too many days like this left. My kids are running around the house, they have invented a game where they do exercises and show me their muscles.
Was watching a tv show and they were showing bits of Stockholm that I've been to and I realised that I really miss it and I want to go back. I miss my friends there, I miss walking around Gamla Stan and taking the ferries. Sigh.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A Saturday

Another good day. Run, coffee, made a salad with Israeli couscous, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, feta, lemon juice and went with Jen and the salad to a clothing swap. It was in an amazing apartment, big and bright with a kitchen and back patio to die for! I met a ton of accomplished, smart ladies there and ate and drank coffee, and then we took turns opening our bags of clothes and sharing each piece and passing it along to whoever wanted it. There was a lot of laughter as stories came out about some of the items and we ooo'ed and awww'd about some of the stuff and suggested it for each other. I came back with a fantastic wool sweater, a skirt, and some cute tops. Everything not snapped up went into bags for charity. Some of the gals have been getting together and doing this for years and I can't wait to get together with them again.
Came home, had some tea with Jen, and then did a bit of work. After that, I started prepping for my 10-hour slow cooker beef stew. I snagged a sirloin tip roast Friday night and cut up half of it. I'll make another batch of stew and use up the remaining half later this week. It's cooking even as I type.
A calm descended on me this week. I can't explain why right now, but I'm trying to hold on to this feeling and keep it going. I'm trying hard to only make room in my life for the positive stuff and let all the rest go.
Been running quite a bit this week since I changed my shoes. This morning the trees were raining the rest of their leaves in the light breeze and the world was quiet as I ran down the streets and witnessed Fall getting ready to come to a close. How amazing it is to move, to breathe that cool morning air, and feel so alive.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Run around

Sometimes, despite my love of novelty, I have to accept that change is not a good thing.
I needed to replace my running shoes, badly. From everything that I know, you are supposed to change your runners every 500-800 kilometers, depending on how heavy a runner you are. I should have changed them in June, but June passed, then July, next thing you know the leaves are falling and I started getting twinges in my knees, my shins, my heel. I knew I was looking at an injury if I kept this up. Off to the running store! The guy looked at my old ones and brought out new ones that looked just like my old ones, and another brand.
Ooooo, another brand......
They were a different colour. They were lighter, they fit nicely and had more support in the arch. I ran back and forth around the store and decided that I would try them out and see. The first run with them the next day outside wasn't great. I had arch pain in my right foot for the first 3km. The next day it was for 2km, but after that I felt a twinge in my knee. I tried them for another 20km on treadmills and something about that right shoe just wasn't working out. I switched back to my old shoes and my arch stopped hurting, but the knee pain was still there, which isn't surprising considering the condition of my old shoes. I called the store and they told me to clean them up and bring them back. I did my best and I came home with a new pair of my old shoes. My first run on them was amazing!
Lesson learned: when you find something that works you just keep going with it, but if it's irritating the hell out of you from the beginning you should know that it's only gonna get worse.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Little weekend recap

Naomi's birthday party was a success!

rabbit hat

It was her first party with little friends and four girls showed up and played, and screamed, and giggled in their party dresses. Then Maggie's boys showed up and Robert was a good sport and pretended to be a monster, eliciting more screams and running up and down the hallway. Last year the cake was Disney Princesses vs. Dinosaurs and this year Naomi insisted that her cake also have princesses and dinosaurs, so after a conversation with my friend Dan, the concept of the tea party was born. I think it turned out pretty good, and Naomi loved it.

cake

cake
After a little more playing everyone went home and then it was on to trick-or-treating! The kids got into their costumes and we went out. We only did two streets, but it was a lot of fun and the kids were great and polite and so excited about the candy.

princessoptimus prime
I was supposed to go to an adult party that night, but was too pooped so I went to bed instead. Perhaps one party is all this old lady can take in a day.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Naomi get the moon for me

Tonight was the first night picking up the kids after the time change and it was dark. It was also a full moon. Ben and I picked up Naomi, and as we came out of the building, the clouds had moved away and the moon was bright and huge and amazing. Ben and I started howling at it, but Naomi just stared and then said that she was going to make it follow us home. She yelled her instructions up into the sky, then we got into the car and rolled down the windows and called to the moon while Naomi kept an eye on it to make sure it didn't lag behind. We lost it a couple of times, but when we got home there it was over the house.
My daughter is mighty indeed......

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Four

girl

I know I say this every year, but where does the time go? When I look at your pictures from a year ago, I can see how much you have changed, you are now a little girl.
You love princesses and your favorite colour is pink. You want to tell me everything, and when you are trying to get my attention, after the third "Mamma", you shout, "Look at me!", and that cracks me up. You pick on your brother the way that only a little sister can, he protests, and then relents to your demands. Every night you wait until he's in bed and climb up and snuggle him and give him a big hug and a kiss, and I can feel your love for him.
You continue to see and feel and experience the world with your entire body, although sometimes you are shy now with strangers. You love being silly and making up songs with me and talking when we are cuddled up in bed in the morning. Sometimes you throw your arms around me and whisper in my ear, "You are my best friend", and my heart bursts with joy.
You are so perfect, so beautiful, so much of my life. I love you Nomi-noo.
Mamma

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm losing my mind! I can't get the bleepety bleeping Optimus Prime back into a bleeping truck! Bleep! Obviously missing Transformer gene!!!
How can toys be so complicated? I'm looking at the instructions and I still can't get it to work! Arggghhhhhh!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Enough

There comes a time when you cannot apologize anymore and you just have to keep going and know that you did the right thing and that eventually all will be right in the universe again. It's gonna be not-so-fun, it's gonna be fun, it's gonna suck again sometimes, and then we're all going to laugh about it and that's just the way it always is.
Dumbass move of the day: Wore the wrong shoes, the wrong sweater, looked a bit like a hobo from up close, but think I managed to hide it with the trench coat. God I love that coat!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday

Sometimes you just need to get out and listen to something beautiful. The Orchestre Metropolitain played at PdA last night, a Russian program with a guest conductor, Leo Hussain, and I heard about it and went down after work and grabbed a cheap seat. I was not disappointed. I don't pretend to know a lot about classical music, but I almost always enjoy a live concert. It was wonderful and I will be looking for more events like this. The MSO is almost always too expensive for me, but OM doesn't break the bank and I came out floating.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday

The morning started with a wet bed, luckily not mine. It improved with some cuddling and pancakes! After Steve picked up the kids I did a few chores and then jumped in the car and headed out of town for some hiking.

walk in the woods

A gorgeous sunny day, perfect weather, and despite the full parking lot there was still a lot of secluded areas, quiet if you avoid the trails fit for strollers and bikes. Four hours later I was tired and feeling great.

walk in the woods

walk in the woods

Home, hot bath, chili, and for the first time this season, The Amazing Race! They got to take the elevator up to the 124 floor of the Burj Dubai! I'd love to travel to those places without all the running around.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Loooong day

The kids kicked my butt today. Naomi decided to get up at 5:30 this morning despite going to bed after 8 and having had no nap. I refereed all morning as she picked on Ben and Ben whined about every poke and puff of air in his direction. Then we went out to the Ecomuseum, which I love.

big bear

owl

We lost a glove off the raised walkway, and as I was retrieving it with a stick, my cell phone fell out of my pocket to join it. Luckily, a fairly athletic man was passing by and jumped down and retrieved it, saving me the embarrassment of trying to get down there and then realising that I'd never be able to get back up again. Ben's whining about following his rules started shortly after that and he spent the rest of the visit telling me I wasn't listening and we weren't going the right way. Showing him the map and assuring him that I did know where I was going proved fruitless and we enjoyed the rest of the visit with his repeated soundtrack until we got to the beginning again and he suddenly realised that I was right. We made a short stop at the grocery store that might as well have been a day at Camp Pokemewithasharpstick and by the time we got home I could have crawled into the corner and cried with them. They were tired, I was fed up and quiet time was mandatory while mommy searched for her sanity.
In the end we ended up all laying in my bed reading books and chilling. The great part of the day? This picture:

kids

My house looks like Godzilla walked through it, but the cleaning may have to wait until I finish boozing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The count

How many times a day do I realise how lucky I am to be breathing, and living, and happy? How many times a day do I think about people and get a goofy grin? How many times a day do I turn my face up to the sunshine and feel like my heart could explode with wonderful silliness while I hum happily to myself inside my head?
Today, quite a lot :-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Waffle night

Waffles for the next week are made and in the freezer. It's getting late. As the light becomes scarcer, so does everyone's enthusiasm and energy, we are all in that transition time of seasons. My son has always been very sensitive to this time, so much changes, light, temperature, routine, clothing. The waffles do not change however. It is a beautiful time, my favorite season. I love the colours, the crisp air, the clear blue skies, the apples, cooking up stews and hearty soups and eating them with hunks of homemade bread.
I have dug out the sweaters under my bed, reached for the fuzzy socks, and started thinking about my winter projects. Quilts are being planned, hopefully there will be time to cut them soon; writing projects are swirling in my mind; hats are sitting in balls of yarn in the closet. I'm hoping to get some more hiking in before it gets too cold.
Going back to the office was hard even though it had only been a week. Had a long meeting with Sweden this morning, I'm trying to get a few things to happen right now that could be very positive. I'm torn because I know how unbalanced I can get when I spend too much mental space with my work, but I have such a desire to build something better for me and the people I work with. In the end I suppose it would be more justifiable if I was feeding orphans or curing cancer, but I can't place that kind of importance on what I do. It's time to step back a little and reassess and start taking stuff a bit less seriously.
What do I want? What do I want?
On more fun notes, I had a fab supper with Adriana this week and made some of my yummy chocolate chip cookies and had a really positive session with Naomi at her playgroup.
Time to sleep, ready for tomorrow.

what I need

God I need a hug so badly!
I'm not sad, I'm not down, or depressed, just a little cold and needy. I need the affectionate gesture of a hug, preferably by a man. That feeling of melting into someone for a few moments, close my eyes and soak in the warmth of another body, feel it heating me all the way through.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

No turkey this year

So, not your traditional Thanksgiving. My folks came into town, braving traffic and crazy drivers. The kids were ecstatic about seeing them, I love that. We went over to the park and Steve met us there.

park

It was a beautiful sunny day, but when it went behind the clouds and the wind picked up it was pretty cold if you weren't running around.

park

After we went back to my place and I made some muffins and put on some coffee and ordered some Lebanese takeaway and I went and picked it up. We feasted and had a bottle of wine I brought back from Niagara, and then watched some cartoons and the folks decided to sleep over. They fought me on who got the air mattress and won, but only because they got on it and refused to move. I worry about them, they seem so tired. I mentioned this to Steve and he said that they worry about me. When I asked him why they worry about me, he was shocked that I didn't know why. Yes my job and this year in general have taken a lot out of me, but I think I'm doing pretty ok. He said that I look brittle and sad. What? Do I? What the heck? Could that be true? Is it possible that I only look that way around my ex and my folks? Do I look that way to others? Perhaps more deranged and confused? He also thinks I am deluding myself about being happy, but I don't think so. Sure, I've been a mixture of train wreck and manic for a few months, but I also feel alive. There's something nice about being by myself again. One of my friends pointed out that she always felt that I was much more capable than my ex ever thought I was. She's right of course. When I'm alone I can make a decision and pay a bill and take care of my life and now the lives of my children, but when I was married for some reason it was easier to let my ex do things and think I was largely incompetent. But I was never incompetent, I was still working, still doing my share of the household work, still caring for my children and providing money to pay the bills, and advancing my career and taking up new interests and hobbies and growing as a person.
But perspective is everything and yes, I'm not saying that I didn't bring some of that on myself, I got complacent.
I was chatting with a friend and she was explaining what we should be looking for in mate - that it should be someone who thinks we're the coolest (even in a dumb way), funniest (especially in a dumb way), smartest thing they've ever met and they should feel lucky to be with us, and vice-versa of course. I guess sometimes when that disappears it happens so gradually that you don't even know it's gone.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Home!

Ok, so my last day was driving in the pouring rain back to Montreal and getting stuck in so much traffic going through TO that I skipped lunch and had a hypoglycemic meltdown on the Decarie. One of these days I will learn. Still, I got home and my kids did that running to me thing and I forgot everything else - they are that good! Had the evening with Naomi getting caught up with her glued to my side. They've gone to Ottawa today for a feast, so I popped out to the market for some food - apples, squash, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, cheese, I think there will be soup making this evening!
I had a great week away from the office and my city. One of the things that travelling enables me to do is find new ideas and interests. It doesn't have to be a long trip or a far trip to spark my enthusiasm. Thanks to my lovely hosts who allowed me to get out of my life for a few days - love you!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Day ....6?

Spent the afternoon wandering the wineries, sampling stuff, laughing with my friend's mom, driving around and enjoying the beautiful views and the gorgeous fall day.
Hamilton

Hamilton

Hamilton

I'm heading home tomorrow, I've enjoyed the trip. A few things feel better to me now, clearer.

Day 6

I think I missed some!
Off to explore today and have some fun with Lynda's mom. Had a great catch up last night with Lynda and her son's getting so big! Must get out in that sunshine!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Spent the day wandering Toronto - Kensington Market, Chinatown, downtown bits, arts district, places in between. Bought a big frying pan and dragged it all over the city, not my brightest moment. Ate at a really bad Thai place. I'm starting to feel detached from stuff - that nice feeling when you feel like you've been gone longer than you really have. It's amazing how fast that happens when you don't check your work email :-)

Rest of Day 3

Finally managed to get out of the house and wandered down the street and stumbled on Kensington market. It was a good place to people watch. I spent some time in the "vintage" clothing shops and then had a burrito and headed back, stopped for ice cream too (I'm getting fat as a house - don't care!). I passed by a resto and there was Libby having a tea and working on some stuff so I stopped and we hung out and then went for mani/pedis! I have the prettiest toes right now and my nails are neat and trimmed.
Dinner was a fridge raid of yummy leftovers and cheeses and such.
Today is cloudy, but not rainy yet so I'm heading out for a wander to see what I can see. I like having no schedule and agenda. I must take some pics though. I brought the big camera with me yesterday, but it's so obvious sometimes. Still, I missed out on a few really great shots because I was too polite to take it out, and I have to stop doing that.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Day 3

Sunny! Coffee, oatmeal. Was inspecting the mirror damage when three Polish carpenter/drywall guys on their smoke breaks from my friend's downstairs apartment came out and figured out a way to at least secure it back to the car so that I can get back home before I replace it. Some days being a girl is the best thing ever. I've spent the morning lounging, writing, reading and not feeling guilty about it. I should wander out and walk up and down the street before it starts to rain again. My friend in upstate NY has cancelled that leg of my journey because she fears her husband may have the swine flu, but it so happens that my friend Lynda in Hamilton has a few evenings free and a sofa I can sleep on. There may even be some wine tasting in my future. Vacation salvaged!

Day 2

Woke up with superhero playtime, coffee, oatmeal, biked to the Distillery for lunch and stuff and then back home and nap. Later I went with the crew to a dinner party with lots of kids running around and a nice risotto, then back where I discovered I had a parking ticket (oops, forgot to read the signs properly) and way more seriously the discovery that some jerk had broken off my mirror on the passenger side of the car and left it hanging there without a note. It's very disappointing when people do things like that. Now I have to figure out what to do about that today because I can't leave it like that. I'm beginning to fear that this car is cursed.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Day 1

Woke up to the sounds of Jonah and his little brother Simon discussing Star Wars with Dan. Ate delicious pancakes and enjoyed some coffee and then Libby and I took Jonah to his music lesson. Dan loaned me his bike (another bike adventure) and off we went. The lesson was fun to watch, all the kids took a turn playing the piano and there was at least one ringer. They ran around a lot too. Afterwards we biked down to The Beaches and had lunch. Dan met us there with Simon and the car and we drove home and I'm now relaxing and contemplating a nap.
Later is dinner and Nuit Blanche - can't wait!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Don't get hurt. Be alert!

Stop worrying already.... I'm here!
Pouring rain most of the way, stopped once for truly bad coffee and a pee. Now relaxing and listening to the storm from the inside.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Viva vacation!

I'm running around like nuts tomorrow and then jumping in the car and taking off. I'm leaving my two killer guard dogs and a pack of ninjas (pack? maybe a shadow of ninjas?) at my house, so don't get any ideas.
I need a break, and everywhere I'm going, I will be surrounded by good friends. It's a short journey, but enough to shake off the office and the nagging doubts and insecurities tugging at my mind and making me feel like I'm wallowing in a puddle of inconsistency and uncertainty. The last couple of days I've been able to focus more clearly on things and I feel ok with how I'm doing so far. It's been a rough year, but I've survived so far and put myself back into life and I'm pretty proud of that. Now I need a change of scenery and some newness to spark some ideas and get the creative stuff going again. My mind over the last three months has atrophied from work, work, work.
Well, anyway, it’s looking like a beautiful day.....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

and of course....

throat started to bug me this evening.....grrrr.....I will not allow myself to get sick on my vacation, it simply won't do.

countdown

Preparing to leave the office. I'm really looking forward to the time off :-)
Am I the only one who is getting a bit tired of "and we just received this text message from a listener" on CBC every freakin' morning? If I cared so much about what every single radio program listener with a cell phone thought, I'd probably spend more time talking to my neighbours and less listening to the radio. Morning programming has become a call in show without anyone noticing.
Can't you fill some time with content, CBC, or banter, or some music?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

perspective

Why would you spend even a second of your life trying not to be the happiest you could be, staying quiet when you could be telling the people in your life that you care about them, waiting for life to come to you instead of just doing something, not kissing someone who means something to you, fearing what could happen when you just do what you want to do?
Yeah, I get like this when I hold a brand new person in my arms and she looks up at me, sticks her tongue out, blinks, and gives me a crooked smile. Happens every time.... :-)

back away from the cellular device

I'm going to see Suzie's baby tonight, she's not even a week old and probably still has that delicious new baby smell I adore so much. New life, so much to look forward to, you have to love that!

(Oops! Annalia is two weeks old! I think this is one of the only times that admitting that someone is twice their age is acceptable.)
Ok, what's next? I'm thinking just enjoy the bits that make you happy right now. Isn't that enough?

Monday, September 28, 2009

I feel like leftovers....I need some man love and adoration...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

park
park
girl
"I hate you" is about the most hurtful thing that your child can say to you.
Just had the worst last hour with my son. He was overtired, but I have not had an episode like that with him in a very long time. Dealing with an overtired, stubborn six-year-old is always challenging; dealing with an overtired, stubborn, autistic six-year-old drains your body and mind completely, leaving you too spent to even cry. I know that he can't control himself when he loses it, I know I have to stay calm and just get him to sleep, I know that tomorrow is a new day and we'll start over and everything will be forgotten, but that doesn't really help me tonight.
I need an electric kettle and a big hug. No, the two are not really related......

Great outdoors -1, Mommy - 0

We are home.
Debbie and I pitched the tent and got everything ready and then we bbq'd some hotdogs, ate junkfood and let the kids watch The Muppet Show while we caught up. I let the kids stay up late, we made a fire and s'mores (Ben just ate the graham crackers and marshmallows, Naomi ate the chocolate and marshmallows), and finally the kids and I crawled into the tent. Deb has a pond in her backyard, Naomi complained about the waterfall for about three minutes, played with her flashlight, complained about how dark it was without the flashlight, then fell asleep. Ben talked for a while and then also fell asleep. The rain started at about 3am. Good tent, no water leakage! Naomi woke me up, having kicked herself out of her sleeping bag, positioned herself in the opposite direction, and kicked me in the head. When I tried to get her back into her sleeping bag, she started screaming like the world was ending. Eventually all was settled, then she tossed and turned and needed cuddles and water and complained about the rain. Then she fell asleep again, but kept squirming so I barely slept after that. The rain was lovely to listen to, soothing, even as the tiny sharp elbows buried themselves into my ribs. At about 5am, she woke up coughing, then threw up. Then she insisted in staying put instead of going in the house. I cleaned her up as best I could and managed another 30 minutes before she was wide awake again and this time full of energy and ready to get up and go. Ben finally woke up. He slept through the screaming, the rain, the tossing and turning, the barfing, and the complaining.
He wanted to do it again tonight. Ben is a born camper, I can only hope that the girl grows into it by next year.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Morning

Coffee, laptop, sounds of screaming children in my living room and cartoons.
Thinking about the day. We're going camping in my friend's backyard tonight, weather permitting. There will be hot dogs and junk food and cookies!
Life is slowly starting to spin back into a normal orbit, I'm looking forward to taking a little time off soon and turning off portions of my life that need a break and picking up some new personal projects. I'm also looking forward to getting out of town for a few days and seeing people who are long overdue for a visit. This is a beautiful time of year for a wander in the country, a drive down the highway.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Images from a cafe








The man in the above picture is named Richard. Richard is lovely and is trying to just be friends with me, but I've discovered I like him, and, if you know me at all,you'll know this means that that's very much like trying to fight off a tyrannosaurus with a dish towel. Poor man. I am not what you'd call subtle. If any of my friends can please recommend me to this fine fellow, because I think that if he's willing to put up with a lot that I'm completely worth it, pipe up. The rest of you who know I'm chocolate-covered evil, shut your traps.
A good day so far - I have good people by my side pulling for me, how can I fail?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Caution: Flying handles

As my gramma used to say, it's nothing that a hot shower and a good f*** wouldn't cure.
Ok, she never said that, wish she had though.
So I have the shower part covered.....and I could settle for a nice long cuddle.
I will not let the bad things and the bad people in this world defeat me, lesson learned and all that, but I may not be the most stable person for the next little while. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause to any friendship I happen to screw up.
The management

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I am the biggest fool in the entire universe, and for some reason, I'm not laughing....help me, what do I do with all this pain?

Monday, September 21, 2009

ready to play

My friend quoted this recently from a book by Richard Rosen:

"...to be playful is not to be trivial or frivolous, or to act as if nothing of consequence will happen.

On the contrary, when we are playful with each other we relate as free persons, and the relationship is open to surprise; everything that happens is of consequence, for seriousness is a dread of the unpredictable outcome of open possibility."

My friend was asking what role play has in your life, and my question is, why so serious? Why do some people fear the unpredictable?
I have never been afraid of surprise, in fact, I think I can honestly say that lack of surprise may be the reason why most relationships in my life have ended when they've ended, why I've moved on, why I look for new interests, new people, new ideas, new answers. There's something infinitely intriguing to me about the thing I don't know, the sensation I haven't felt, the restaurant I haven't eaten in, the activity I've never tried, the person I can't completely fathom. When things become predictable, there's a spark that is lost. Yes, it's nice to know that someone loves you and will be there to hold your hand, but for me there's also that need for that other person to for no apparent reason, shove me into a snow bank, or show up at my door and kiss me like the world is about to end, then turn around and walk off. Life doesn't make sense, it's messy and stupid and beautiful and nonlinear in so many ways, and we are always changing, reinventing, learning, making mistakes, becoming things we weren't yesterday, a week ago, a year ago. It's never safe, even if you don't change, everything around you will.
So why so serious? Why can't everyone play and forgive and live with the unpredictable and just enjoy it while it's there and start over and over, opening ourselves up to as much as we can swallow?
I love that moment when someone says something and you burst out laughing because it's exactly what you weren't expecting. And as amazing as a moment like that is, sometimes you have to steel yourself for a consequence you didn't want, but just happens.
I need a few more do-overs, a few more chances, a few more shoves into a snow bank.
Oh god, I'm making no sense - bed!

I am lovely

When no one else will say it and you don't believe it, and you really need to hear it, a girlfriend comes to the rescue.
Thank you.....
Have you hugged a train wreck today?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

start with a walk in the woods

Cap Saint Jacques
Cap Saint Jacques
Cap Saint Jacques
Cap Saint Jacques

It's been a weak day. I'm missing someone. Someone I'd give up swearing like a sailor for. Time to start over, tomorrow is a brand new one.

start with onions in a pan.....


butternut squash, chickpea and lentil casserole with tahini dressing
Let it go, let it go, let it go......

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Magicians and light bulbs

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Friday we ate a hurried supper and then got bundled up and jumped in the car to go and see the Magic Lanterns at the Botanical Gardens.

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I love this time of year - the air is crisp and cool and it's getting dark early enough to have events like this one. This year I figured that the kids were old enough to appreciate it and last long enough for the walk about through the garden.

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They loved the lanterns and were very well behaved and enthusiastic about the whole thing. Ben kept asking where the magician was and Naomi kept saying we were looking at the light bulbs, but they were in awe of the colours and the reflections on the water. I have always liked this event, I think that it brings out the child-like wonder in everyone.

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I was so happy to share it with my kids this year. One of the things I've discovered about having the kids only half the time is that I appreciate them a little more than when I had them every day. I know it seems obvious, but I think that it's so easy to take things for granted in your life.

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Afterwards, we took a tour through the Insectarium and checked out all the cool bugs.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dear Universe,

Alright universe, it's just you and me now, and I'm pretty riled up about the whole stunt you pulled on me recently, so you better start being a little nicer. I'm willing to negotiate, but here is my list of top demands:

I want a balance back between my work and my life, they are not the same thing. If you could do something about the management as well I'd be grateful. I in return will find a way to take some time off and get better about being realistic of my limits.

I want to be more graceful and forgiving of myself and the world. If you could remind me of this before I run off half-cocked I wouldn't complain.

You know how impulsive I am. Let me be more patient, stop grabbing frantically at everything, let things go and see what returns. In light of my impatience, maybe just distract me long enough to stop chasing things and just keep moving forward on my own path.

Throw a man on my path. A man who wants to be with me and who pursues me with determination. A man who is passionate and romantic and makes me laugh and thinks I'm beautiful and isn't a smart ass. A man I can talk to for hours, be silent with for hours, and doesn't have to be with me all the time to know I love him. A man who feels me in his guts. I need a man like that.

Continue giving me friends who make me laugh at all the dumb things I do and the many ways in which I completely fail to be cool about my life. Give them long enough memories to warn me off the bad stuff, but short enough memories to not say "I told you so". And let me be that kind of friend right back.

Give me adventure. Give me brilliance. Give me the ability to stand still, breathe, and remember that my life is pretty damn awesome for the most part.

I wouldn't say no to writing a best seller or winning the lottery, but let's start with the above first, ok?
Sincerely,
Dina

Light

I think I'm free......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

happy things

Bath night, colouring at the table, ton of work to do later, but I'm not thinking about that now. Right now I'm enjoying listening to my daughter sing the alphabet song.

The score

Up at the office far too early: oh yes
Picking up my kids tonight, I've missed them: 10
Love life: -10
Work: -30
House: ransacked
Fridge: empty

I know I don't have a consistent scoring system, shaddup.......

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm fairly certain I am now one of the only cars in the parking lot, did I mention that the deadline got moved up a day? Oh, and a can of diet coke apparently does have a shelf life. After sitting in my desk for two years, it's even more gross than it was fresh.
I'm wondering if I can see well enough to drive home.......

I'm here all night, try the veal

I'm sure there's something positive to say about working all night at the office, but Pollyanna has left the building - this sucks....

To you

Kenny, if you have something to say, call me and say it. I am stressed beyond belief right now and your lurking is not helping. Man up and just talk to me or let me go because this has got to stop.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I keep trying to believe in the universe, but why does it always seem like my timing is off? Why is it teasing me with what I can't have? Waiting for me to realise that people mean things to me and then taking them away? For a few brief moments, I was exactly where I wanted to be tonight, a calm descended, touching someone I wanted to touch, and then it was gone.
Sucks to be me some days........

Sunday, September 13, 2009

long day

Good run, so many things and people to be thankful for, cupcakes, still smiling.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

orphaned

The rest of my department is off on a scavenger hunt activity day today, my fellow editor is home working and in a really foul mood, I am sitting here working, where I will sit until the end of the day because I have too much to do......
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A different review

This day started way too early and has finished much too late but I have to write something besides technical reviews today.
I saw District 9 recently. I had no idea what to expect and was happily surprised. Yes, the social commentary is anvilicious (did it really have to take place over Johannesburg? Come on!) and you see bits of Aliens, Blade Runner, and many other sci-fi flicks I'm too tired to think of right now, but it has some inventive qualities of its own. The documentary style that leaves gaps of information to build interest and tension, pieces of the story which slowly come out, while not new, was well done. The aliens themselves are interesting visually, different enough, yet they still managed to make one of them cute. I guess the most surprising element was the humour that was created from the main character's predicament. The actor did a fantastic job of creating a man that you didn't hate, but yet you weren't pulling for, and you just wanted to say, "poor bastard, he's having a bad day". And of course the explodey bits were good. There were also tons of little visual bits that were amusing, like the alien wearing the pink bra and the one carrying a blow-up bunny. If taken as a fun, sci-fi, edge-of-camp movie, which I assume was the intention, it succeeds.

How I'm working today

Jian Wang, Bach Cello Suites, all day, on loop.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Strut

There's nothing like a walk through the Plateau, wearing your most comfy clothes and still getting checked out by a lot of very cute men, to bring you up again :-)

lists

Things I had to do:
Work
Tidy
Get out of the house
Groceries
Quick run
Cook something
Laundry

Things I did:
Work
Read
Wander from room to room, move things around aimlessly, and snack

I am at loose ends today. Ben crawled in with me this morning and we were having such a great conversation, mostly about germs, boogers, and freckles, but still. I'm also trying to explain to him that he shouldn't ask ladies to show him their nipples. I know my male readers will not approve of this little lesson. Now the kids are gone until Wednesday, and I have a million things to do and I'm sitting here typing this instead. And I need a hug, a big hug because I'm feeling lonely and I'd love to call someone and say, "get over here and hug me", but I can't. Sucks to be me some days.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Shout out to the gals





Over the past couple of weeks I have had a life outside of the office, the kids, and the part of my life I will now start calling, "etc". I got a chance to go over to Melissa's new place, where she made a lovely garlicky salad and the talented chef, Brandon, bbq'd up some exquisite tandori chicken. Combined with some nice wine on their back deck, it was a great evening.


Meanwhile, over on the Plateau, the gorgeous Adriana had me over for some veggie yummies and I supplied the booze, fresh corn and some lovely cheese and bread. We sat around talking about our writing and our love lives and our career plans and our toes. I'm still not sure what I'd be doing right now if I didn't have such a strong network of girlfriends who love me just as I am and tell me I'm amazing.