Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A year of good things

The most important thing I learned this past year was contradictory. I needed time to feel bad about all the things that went wrong. By committing to posting one good thing a day, I was able to gain perspective on my life.

It really was a year of balance.

While friends and family were a source of concern, sorrow and worry at times they were also my salvation.  Apart from the unconditional love from the critters, those people were most often my Good Thing.

I am truly blessed.  Focusing on the good happening all around me really lly helped me know that in my soul.

Thank you all for being part of a year of Good Things

Monday, December 30, 2013

Honour

Susan Barclay nominated me as someone who has had an impact on her blogging experience.  I am honoured by that accolade. 

Susan and I are both librarians who write but we met over the Internet.  If I'm not mistaken, we met over at another writer's blog.     


The rules for this award are very simple:

1. Display the award logo (see left) on your blog. By the way, it seems to have expanded beyond the 'WordPress' family!

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate ten others you see as having an impact on your blogging experience.

4. Let your ten nominees know you have awarded them. 
 
That’s it!  Now just spread the love!
 
My nominees are:
 
KD James - http://kdjames.com/
 
Elen Grey - http://elengrey.com/
 
Pirko - http://pirkcrochets.blogspot.ca/
 
Stashaholic - http://blog.stashaholic.com/
 
London Mabel -  http://www.mabeltalk.com/

Nancy Herkness - http://fromthegarret.wordpress.com/

Betty Fokker - http://bettyfokker.wordpress.com/

Lisa Deon - http://slcslavedriver.blogspot.ca/
 
Natalia Maks -  http://blog.stashaholic.com/

I don't have ten because some of the people who have influenced my blogging have stopped doing so themselves.  Having blogged for 350 days this year ( I think I missed about 15 days for a variety of reasons), I can appreciate there are times when it's more difficult than others to find something new and interesting to say.  Life is good, even when it could be better.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Friends

Spinach,quinoa, egg,grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber and feta cheese salad was delicious but the company was better.  I've been blessed to be able to spend the last couple of days with good friends.  

My DNi was fortunate to attend a hockey game with her dad.  Even better, her favorite player scored twice and the team won the game.

Good day

The day was full of laughter, good food and fantastic friends. We shopped for shoes, tried on hats and got fitted for bras which always makes me feel 20 pounds lighter. We met a sweet little dog named Henry at the jewelry shop then saw him again at the boot store, aptly named Heel Boy. We decided Henry was a cross between a corgi and a pug - a porgi. We laughed even harder when I went into the health food store but couldn't remember what I wanted.

Dinner was delicious, of course. A gentleman went in the same time we did. He was sitting by himself for a while so I suggested we invite him to join us if he was stood up. He might have heard me but then his friend arrived.  It was wonderful to be out and about, carefree and irresponsible for a change.

According to Fitbit, we walked three miles. I didn't buy any yarn despite the tour through two shops that had great product. No hats, no boots, no earrings, no coat but a lot of fun trying things on.

All three of us have completely different taste and individual styles but we really enjoy shopping together. It's not usually an activity that I care for so it must be the company that makes the difference. Such good company.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Adventure

My friend arrived safely from Detroit. She brought a bottle of Winter Classic wine.  Apparently the NHL has a winery. Who knew?  Tomorrow we're meeting up with a mutual friend who is home from California for the holidays. I'm looking forward to the pleasure of their company, good food and some possible shoe shopping. We will likely walk for hours and cover very little distance.

I walked to work this morning. It was a slow trudge but it was nice to be out in the brisk morning air.  It had snowed in the night. Most sidewalks weren't shoveled so I followed some small critter tracks down the one street. They went up a tree.  I went around it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Who

I have spent the day immersed in Doctor Who backstory. Last night, I watched my first ever episode. It seemed fitting to start with a regeneration from Eleven to Twelve.  I didn't intend to fall into that world, or worlds as the case may be. I was flipping through the channels and tripped over a wrap up of Eleven's time as the Doctor.  It caught my attention so I stuck around for his final episode.

Anything that distracts one. And the idea of regeneration clearly appeals at this moment in time, far more so than others.

So I cleaned, did laundry, knitted while walking on the spot because I also ate date squares for breakfast(fruit and oats).  It's been an odd day.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Children

Three bundles of joy bounced into the house and danced through the kitchen.  So much energy in those little bodies but they alleviated the sadness. We watched movies, played games and even opened presents.  The best gift was the reminder that this moment can hold so much more than grief.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

We're plugging away and doing our best. Remembering the Christmas we spent in Florida with my aunt and her husband has made us laugh a few times. She was a big kid who loved all the silliness of stocking stuffers, tacky Santas that ho ho ho'd when you walked past and picking grapefruit off the trees on Christmas Day. I cannot imagine this season without her energy to liven it up.

We're wrapping presents, baking butter tarts and watching the Boris Karloff Grinch. The original is the best.  Rain gave way to snow and it's truly a White Christmas out there.

Stay safe, bask in the warmth of your loved ones and enjoy the day

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bad day

It's been a really hard day. Mom had a bad fall this afternoon followed by a phone call that her baby sister died yesterday. There's no way she will be able to go to the funeral in Florida. Mom is gutted.

The only good thing about today has been the way we've all come together near and far.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Traditions

Big ice storm last night spared us but not many trees. The carnage was heartbreaking as I drove to work. Ice still bent our guys to the ground when I got home.


I finished the minion hats! I'm particularly thrilled with this one.



My friend and I did our annual wrapping party while we watch Christmas Vacation. Our exchange seemed to have a theme



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Getting in to the spirit

None of the electronic devices were charged last night sonic continued with Christmas presents.
These are the socks for my great aunt.


Today someone came into work and gifted me with three lovely balls of sock yarn as well as a set of DPNs. She decided socks were too ambitious a first knitting project. She’d prefer to stick with crochet. I told her she could crochet socks but she insisted I use the yarn.  I will.

I baked some traditional Fenton treats tonight.  I always think of my great grandpa when I make shortbread. That was always his Christmas gift to us.

I'm still working on Minion hats for the nieces. The faces are hard, but fun.  What do you think? 

The smile looks kinda creepy. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mixed blessings

This morning, I dropped my car off at the garage then walked home.  I was beating myself up for struggling with a 2km walk when I'm the woman who walked 32km this summer from Queenston to Thorold.  That wasn't really fair considering I spent the night alternating between fever and chills, not to mention weird dreams in which my nieces were all nephews and Yoda was communicating on a much deeper level than sports and curiosity about my activities.  Later in the day, I walked back to get the car and it went much better.  Until I paid the bill.  That was higher than expected.

I made a healthy lunch from an acorn squash I bought locally as Autumnal decor when Stashaholic was here in the Fall. I'm allergic to sage so I substituted a clove of garlic in the barley stuffing. It was delicious but nothing says confidence quite like messing with a Jamie Oliver recipe.

I don't send Christmas cards but was delighted to receive one from Elen.  It had a little car putting up and down cute little roads past darling buildings. It was so Elen and her roadmance self.

I made plans to celebrate Winter Solstice with some good friends. Rain or snow, we're going to have a bonfire and celebrate the Longest Night. 

We left it too late to invite my great-aunt and her family for Christmas dinner but we're going to kidnap my aunt for a visit after their Christmas lunch.  She's a sweetheart and I'm always happy to have her company.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Surprise

I had a productive writer's meeting. I'm ready to start the third section of the horror story. It's changed from the original idea so we batted around the adjustments. The story is stronger this way. That's always a good thing.

I finished an interesting book, decorated the tree and discovered a thirteen pound difference in my appearance between the mirror my parents' front hall and the antique one in my bathroom. I ran up and down the stairs a few extra times tl split the difference.  No more cookies for me until next week.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Little moments

And big smile from a snowplow driver when I moved out of his way was a good thing. He slowed down to see what I was taking a picture of then gave me a thumbs up.

I came up with a way to host Christmas dinner with as little stress as possible. I'll let you know if it works.

Blogger wouldn't let me save or publish my post yesterday and I can no longer remember the content apart from receiving an autographed copy of Joshilyn Johnsons latest.  I have wonderful friends.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Focused

Things went well today. No accidents, no breakdowns, no drama.  What a welcome change.

Dinner was delicious and healthy, homemade chicken parmesan.  Okay, we could used some more vegetables but I was editing the horror story while I cooked.  Writing every day really does have positive impact on the story.  The writing is tighter for one thing.  I'm more focused and floundering less in the story-telling.

I did forget to take the camera out again today. I was too busy getting out of the snow-buried driveway and to work this morning. It was dark when I got back. Oddly, every day I count down how little sun Iceland sees per day. It makes me feel better about coming home in the dark. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow

It just occurred to me now to take the camera outside. It's been snowing steadily since yesterday morning and is supposed to continue through the night to end mid-morning tomorrow. It is beautiful out there. The roads are horrible to travel on, mostly because everyone has forgotten how to drive on snow. The easy solution is to stay home.

DNi and I are snuggled together on the couch watching the snow fall outside the window. We just came in from a late night run to the store so we know how lucky we are to be home safe.

I hope you're curled up in front of the fireplace with a warm drink in your hand, Miz Elen. I suspect this is our fault for saying the ground was dry and gray.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Scraping the barrel

Good things - I'm employed, we have a roof over our head, food in our bellies, warm fuzzy creatures to share our hearts and home.

The rest of the crap is just that. We will either survive it or not.  One way or another it will pass.  I know I should be grateful - and I am - that there are solutions to most of our problems. We have each other. Occasionally that is as much part of the problem as it is the solution.

The snow is pretty.  Our furnace works.

Please excuse me while I hunt up a bottle of Irish Whiskey.  Cheers.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Done

It snowed while Mom and I were out Christmas shopping. It was pretty. I had pre-shopped, knew where the best deals were, so we only had two stores to hit.  We got everything for Dad, then I bought Mom's presents from Dad, so we're done!!  We had a tea out to celebrate.

In other Good News, I finished the paranoid section of the horror story.  It needs to be edited and tidied up but it feels good to be moving on in the story. It's broken down into five sections. I don't know how Stephen King does it. I need some time off from the craziness. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Writing therapy

It turns out that all the worry, stress and melodrama we call life is fodder for a writer. I've been incredibly productive on that front and have plans to continue. I think I've come up with a creative way to show another character's point of view without switching perspective. It feels good to be back on a writing schedule. I didn't realize how much I missed it.


Family

Families are the source of my gravest frustrations and deepest pride. They bring me to tears for a wide variety of reasons.  Right now, I'm more emotional than usual so a sink full of dirty dishes can trigger a meltdown, as will a stealth smile from DNe.

The Little girls hugged my knees while the oldest girl brushed my hair.  Some people separated themselves from the family unit, then made me cry harder when they snuck back in as if they'd never said such a thing. Dinner was interrupted for a Sparks meeting while dessert was delayed to pick up the oldest kid.

All the chaos and drama(she splashed me with WATER) induced several headaches. Then hugs (you won a PRIZE ) as if nothing had happened.

No one said sorry. No one acknowledged the harsh words or dented feelings. There was more than one elephant in the room but they were fed, their trunks petted and ears scratched. This is more than an analogy. We have elephant salt and pepper shakers that amuse my mom and the nieces no end.

Earlier in the day, I wanted to run away from home, disavow all knowledge of these people to whom I am related and hide out in mountain cabin writing away my angst.

The reality is I love these people. They scare me, they worry me, confuse and ignore me. Even when we're all in the same room, it's not a Hallmark card. We squabble, bicker and kibbutz. We're also fiercely loyal and protective of each other.

We're all feeling the same stress right now. It's taking its toll but listening to the laughter that was shared around the table, hearing manners being expressed and watching everyone try to hold each other up (literally on the part of the four year old) made me realize - and more importantly,  appreciate - that we're all in this together. As long as we stick together we have a stronger chance of surviving - and enjoying ourselves in the process.

A very good thing indeed.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Book therapy

Lack of quality sleep makes a world of difference in coping and attitude.  The neighbours had a party last night that involved the police and an hour long dispersement. I was actually laughing at one point as I considered the disturbance karma for my youth. 

I could list for my blessings and know the truth of them but it's been hard to juggle things and cope today.  Honestly, the zoo has been a godsend. Ky is so happy to see me when I get home from work. He ate my vitamins which was just ridiculous. Everything has to go into his belly. He's a goof. Yoda's been cheering for the hockey game and making me laugh.  Sometimes, I feel like I'm just a food source to the cats but hey, it's good to be needed.

One Good Thing about reading < ahref="http://textpublishing.com.au/books-and-authors/book/the-rosie-project/">The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
is hearing Sheldon Cooper's voice. I'm not far into the book but am enjoying it immensely. For someone who claims not to be a fan of first-person, I've enjoyed a lot of it recently.
If you're looking for a good Icelandic mystery translated to English, I recommend Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. I stumbled across it at work and have ordered the next. The rhythm of the language enchanted me, as did the descriptions of life in Iceland. The main character was easy to relate to which makes a big difference when reading a novel in a foreign setting. We're not that different when it comes right down to it.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Hockey night tonight

Another long day at work but we accomplished a fair bit and I helped a boy find books for his project about how pencils and crayons are made. No luck on the pen front.

I opted out of a night out to spend time with the family. It's important and I'm really feeling the need lately to spend as much time with my parents as possible.  It's a good thing I made that decision. My dad totally ignored my breakfast announcement of evening plans and went ahead on dinner with my attendance as part of the equation.  Oh well. It was steak out on the grill so no hardship for me. 

An exciting night of hockey with lots of parental interaction to round out the night. My phone was buzzing throughout the game as Stashaholic and I discussed the play.  My other game texting buddy was busy but Yoda cheered for her. I've never seen a parrot take such an interest in sports. He screams Wheeeee when our team scores and Eeeeek or What???? when the opposing team gets a goal.  I am greatly amused by him.

In other news, I have decided to make a pair of socks for my great-aunt for Christmas. She appreciated the last pair so much it seems mean not to knit some more for her. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

Laughter

Today was a comedy of errors, starting with the fact that I went to work three hours early.  One ridiculous thing happened after another but we laughed about all of it.

I went for a tea and walk with my convalescing friend.  She isn't fully recovered from her surgery but every day is another one grateful for her friends and family.  We had some pretty deep talks about life, survival, identity and our purpose in life.  She works in health care. There are people alive today who wouldn't be if it weren't for her.  She is the type of person who takes care of others. I suggested she do the same for herself. Yep, the pot called the kettle black - we both laughed.

I haven't been able to settle to anything tonight, lots on my mind, but I am continually reminded that friends and family are invaluable in helping one survive anything life can think to throw at us. 

Last night I dreamt about friends I've lost in the last few years. There are times when I feel like I should do more with my life because they were denied the opportunities I face every day. 

Today, I feel like it's important I be still and listen.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Little things

It's funny to be so pleased with myself for accomplishing little things but life has been so hectic the last several months that the only things getting done were the big things that could not be ignored. 

I met, and surpassed, my minimal daily requirement for writing.  I'm two scenes away from being done this section and cannot wait to move on to the next.  The story gets creepier and more disturbing as it progresses so in some ways I can wait but you knew what I meant.

I made my own boots today. They're need those little touches that finish them off but here's a photo anyway. They are ridiculously comfortable and come to my knees. I wore them to work.


Shopped til I dropped

Oh, I am tired but we got a lot of wedding prep done today, did the bulk of the Christmas shopping, went to see Frozen (cute) and removed the silver from my hair.  I'm pleased with my spending. Nothing frivolous (I put the Die Hard dvds back) all necessary with only one small item off my list.

We laughed a lot. I forgot my phone at home and barely missed it.  We ate junk food, walked for miles and vowed to get in shape for the wedding.

I'm lying in bed staring out at the neighbour’s decorations. They're quite pretty.

It's been a full day. All is well in our world.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Oh Happy Day

It was so productive that I cannot believe how much I accomplished this day. House cleaned, computer tidied and files backed up to external hard drive, two older manuscripts found on floppy disks and uploaded to laptop and Playbook. I finished a tricky scene in the horror story and set up the next scene so I'm good to go for Thursday morning's writing spree with one of my writing partners.  We discussed a writer's retreat for the Spring.

I bought groceries, made muffins, watched the hockey game, looked at waaaaaaaaaaaay too many wedding photos in an attempt to help my friend pick a photographer. We spent the entire night laughing (not at the photos) and joked about needing to know next season's hockey schedule in order to pick the right date for the wedding. Honestly, if Boston and Toronto were playing, she'd had to say her vows during the commercial breaks.

We had a great night. Tomorrow, we'll start making some of the decorations, look at more wedding paraphanalia and laugh a lot. I'll let you know.

Who knew weddings were such a great source of amusement. My deepest wish is that the entire experience is wonderful for her.  They're a lovely couple

Monday, December 02, 2013

Pleased with myself

What a great writing day.  I was able to figure out most of what's been holding me back with this section. I had great interactions with two of my writing partners. We made plans for tomorrow. I want to get this section done this week so I can move on to the next - as well as spruce up an old manuscript to send out. It's doing no good in my drawer.

Tonight was the Christmas dinner for work. Not only was the food delicious but the company was delightful.  It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to talk with people.  There's always common ground somewhere. Most of our conversations revolved around travel.  My one coworker is headed to Costa Rica on Thursday.

Part of me laughed really hard watching >Canada's Worst Driver Ever but an equal part is horrified. One of the contestants lives in the Niagara Region.  She hits anything and everything in her path.  It's a very good thing we've never run into each other. I am a much better driver but the bar isn't very hard where she's concerned.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Mix and match

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity.  Yesterday, DNi and I went to Ecofest in Welland where she learned all about sustainability. I consider myself fairly eco-conscious but discovered I am more so than I thought. I didn't learn anything new that I could apply to our living arrangements. I did have many wonderful discussions with DNi about how big a difference one person can make. We really enjoyed ourselves.

Once we were home and settled in for the night, we made winter boots out of crocs and sweaters we found at the goodwill.  I would have preferred to use materials we had at home but I rarely wear a sweater. Short sleeves with a wrap or shawl to warm me up when necessary.  We tore through my closet looking for a sweater to massacre, all to no avail. DNi is tickled with her new boots.  I'll get her to take a photo so I can share.

Work was busy today, hectic with a fair amount of problem-solving. There was a very serious complaint about a coworker. I think I was able to diffuse the situation and suggested a fair way to bring it up with the boss.  I truly think it was a case of two people having a rough time simultaneously and one hit a nerve so the other responded in kind. We're all human. Working with the public doesn't mean we're always able to push our own personal triggers aside.  We strive for it but are not always successful.

I've had a good couple of writing days. My critique/writing partners and I are back on a schedule.  I have a game plan for getting the work out into the public.  I've been talking to a friend who studied graphic design about a cover for Casey's story.  He's doing really well and it would be nice if his success could help another dog with its disability.  He was quite insistent yesterday that he needed to be wearing his brace.

The truth is I've been struggling with mood swings. I suspect that the lack of routine and schedule have contributed to improper sleep which results in increased pain in my leg. It's been kicking out a lot. So I get frustrated and irrational because I am in pain and exhausted.  Tonight is an early night and once I get back into the routine, the nerves should settle down.

Still, there were some fantastic moments over the last few days to balance out the ickiness.  I had a drink with a good friend last night. We laughed a lot. I had quality time with my DNi, something we've not managed for a few weeks. Watching her patient interaction with my friend's son lifted my heart.  I am blessed with those who share my blood. Family, not vampires. I don't share blood with vampires or zombies. That would not be fun ick.  I don't quite see the appeal.  But I digress.

I promised a report from the art show.  Look for it under Moniker Gallery. It deserved its own post.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Moniker Gallery

Mikal is part of a show at Moniker Gallery in Toronto.  We went to the opening on Thursday and I was blown away.  The collection is eclectic, diverse and amazing.  The artists represented there are incredibly talented.

There was one painting I was drawn to time and again. It's a snapshot of my life in 1994.  Anyone who knows me well will understand immediately why.  It's called the Child Within.  The artist has been working on it for nine years and the explanation beside it says, "It is about dreaming. It is about possibilities.  It is about being a tiny part of the universe and being the whole universe at the same time;the interconnectedness of all things."

 This is the artist, Alan Reimer and The Child Within


This is a close-up of The Child Within. 



Sun. Moon. Lion. Whale. Dove. Sea. Earth. Planets. All that is within and without.  The blue and the gold. Every angle from which I viewed it showed me something new. 

This is a painting that one experiences.  Thank you to Alan Reimer for capturing a piece of my soul and showing it to me.  I am reminded of my unique place in the world.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lots of chocolate

Just a quick check in to let you know yesterday was amazing and there will be more details about the art show - with pictures.  I want to devote an entire blog post to it.

Right now, I'm too tired. Late night last night, early morning this morning then a party with friends straight from work means I'm headed to bed. Today was also a good day.  No one annoyed me, I avoided the temptation of buying a bunch of stuff I didn't need just because it was on sale then I hugged lots of fabulous people I adore while we drank wine (what I didn't knock on to the floor), figured out what's wrong with the world and came up with some good solutions.  Love, not hate.

I hope you've been well. Enjoying life and all it offers. That goes a long way to dispelling the angst of daily life. I am truly blessed to have you all along for the journey.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Full day

We woke up to a lot of snow on the ground, smothering the trees and hiding the sky.  It was enervating to get out there and shovel while the dogs played like puppies.

I went to fill up the gas tank when the power went out in half the town. There I stood with the nozzle jammed in the car's filler neck while people exited shops up and down the street. Snow continued to fall from the sky and for one brief moment I thought I was stuck. $5 does little to fill the gas tank these days.  I drove down the road and managed to fill up there.

Then I headed down the highway to spend time with my writing partner.  We talked writing, life, writing, politics, writing, publishing, writing, food and followed it all up with more writing talk.  Over Greek salad we discussed our current projects and the directions we're taking them.  Cheesecake with a hint of lemon was given our undivided attention.

The drive home was uneventful while I pondered my family roots.  My people weren't famous(on my dad's side anyway). They were the ones who kept things working and did the heavy lifting - line workers, farm workers, gardeners, bookkeepers and nurses. They may be harder to find in history books or on museum walls but they are the people who helped the ones whose lives are celebrated. That's something to be proud of, I think.  The support team is a vital component of any success.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Snow

All those years of watching NASCAR paid off this morning. My front tires caught road while the back hit ice and stepped out. I was able to save it from spinning off the curve I was transversing at the time.  It's snowing in earnest now but this morning it was merely a patch or two along the way.

On my lunch hour, I went for a short walk.  The air was very damp and heavy but I had on an ankle-length winter coat and mid-calf boots. I was warm and dry and the air smelled wonderful.

I love the first real snow of the season. The dogs race around like two year olds hopped up on sugar.  Their coats glisten in the moonlight.  Their fur smells as fresh as the white blanket beneath their paws. 

Humans aren't quite as enthusiastic but that's our problem.  It's fun out there and we should remember the joy of catching snowflakes on our tongues, shoveling the outdoor rink in anticipation of lacing up our skates and racing indoors to have hot chocolate with marshmallows. 

What are your snow memories from childhood?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday

I've had three wonderful people remind me today how wonderful life can be and is. They didn't yell at me or point things out. They held up a mirror and allowed me to see the beauty, and blessings all around.

Instad of focusing on the house that is far from my dream, I listen to the wind howl and appreciate the solid roof above my head.  There is food in the fridge, heat pouring from the vents, a nice reliable car in the garage, two jobs I like, friends who raise me up, and a family I adore.

Here's my raindrop phone photo.  Disappointing but it was fun taking it.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Laughter

Came home from work and watched 10 episodes of The Big Bang Theory while figuring out a new pattern.  That was my one good thing today. Laughter is good for what ails ya. So is sleep,  so I'm going to go try that next.

Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sis Boom Ra!

Last night was long and less than pleasant. It seemed like everyone was up half the night. 

It was a day with worrisome news and frustrations. Honestly, I've wanted to go back to bed and reboot since before I crawled out of it this morning.

Then the whole family came over for dinner. The Little Ones were entertaining, delightful and really cheered me up.  It's not every day your name is chanted in the living room as soon as you enter the room.  Lots of little girl snuggles, tickles and hair brushing did a lot to make things better.

I've prepped a hearty breakfast casserole for the household, done laundry and showered. Next up, a little quiet time with a good book, while the critters snooze.

Things are going to happen, or not, without any input from me. One way or another, I'll do my best.  I have my own private cheering section.  How lucky am I?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Breathe

Today was crazy busy with work and home stuff. I'm tired and klutzy.

I was pacing around the community center stretching my legs when I noticed raindrops on the bush by the door.  I ran outside and took a dozen photos of various trees and plants covered in raindrops. I haven't had a chance to see how any of the pictures turned out but something more important came from my rushing around in the rain. I got outside of my head, away from work and into the fresh air. I filled my lungs with oxygen, the scent of wood smoke and damp air, lost myself in nature.

Such a good thing, that natural high.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Making frustration work

For some reason, the entire household was cranky today. I spent several hours at the computer, writing. It was a frustrating time. Once I gave myself permission to walk away, things fell into place. I wrote a solid outline for part two. I should be able to get at least an hour a day over the next few days to flesh that out.

I spent the afternoon cooking - a big pot of pasta sauce and chocolate chip cookies. The latter were better but still not how I like them. That's good. I will eat less than the usual quantity.  I found an interesting website that explains chocolate chip cookie fails. It gives me some ideas to play with.

Ending the sentence with a preposition made me shudder.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Good day

I had tea today with a friend I haven't seen for weeks. It was lovely to fall back into our natural rhythm.  It is ever thus so.

Yep, I've been watching BBC drama.  Ripper Street this time.  It was slow to grab me but now that it has, I'm addicted. Matthew MacFadyen has come a long way from Mr. Darcy but not too far from MI-5's Tom Quinn.
 
I wrote this morning. Inspired by number 3, I threw a bunch of words on the page. They weren't that bad so I threw some more on the page. I've been thinking about that scene enough that things started to flow.  Tomorrow I will write some more.

Because that's how you finish the story. By putting one word down after another. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall food

Just for Elen, the Squash soup recipe.  I put fresh grated parmesan cheese on the bottom of the bowl then ladle piping hot soup on top of it.  For someone who doesn't care for soup, I really like this one. And my go-to cold-killer garlic soup.  I'll share that one another day.

I had a lovely visit with my great-aunt. We talked about the cold, grey, windy day which of course led to some Scottish memories. She told me about being a nurse in a small town just outside of Toronto.  That would have been in the 30's.  I've never heard of  ThistleTown so I looked it up.  Wikipedia to the rescue.  After she came home and got married, my aunt gave up nursing because that's what one did in those days.  Oddly, both of my grandmothers were nurses as well, yet I never felt the pull. Unless one counts nursing animals which is completely different from humans. There's a lot less complaining for one thing.

I decided not to eat anything I haven't made myself. The chocolate chip cookies weren't up to my usual standards. I only had whole wheat flour and forgot to compensate for that. They taste okay but I suppose the good thing is I'm not eating as many.

Chicken parmesan with fresh squeezed lemon and a spinach salad for dinner was far more satisfying.

Without anyone's input shocked stare in Stashaholic's direction, I decided to seam the sleeves of the cherrybomb bolero rather than look for fun buttons. The yarn and stitch pattern are quite lovely and deserve to be the focus.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Warm

Lots of wind and rain and I'm grateful to be snuggled down in the house, warm and dry.

I finished my wrap. I'm debating buttons vs seams to turn it into a shrug or bolero.


What do you think?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fresh air

Another freaking day of challenges so I choose to focus on that which is good.

I found the right recipe for squash soup and made seven jars of it. Most went into the freezer.  Two more jars of applesauce and five dozen chocolate chip cookies. I forgot to compensate for the whole wheat flour so they weren't as flat as I like them but tasty none-the-less.

Ky and I went outside to clean the yard and scoop out the pond.  Two days ago, it was winter. today, it was a nice Fall day.  I even picked fresh spinach I found still growing in a pot. Delicious.

Friday, November 15, 2013

One good thing

I walked to and from work today. It will be winter all too soon with snow, bitter wind and nose-numbing cold. It was not like that today. I enjoyed it.

The one good thing about being as tired as I am is the fact that my presence is not required anywhere until noon on Sunday. There are things I should do, things I said I would do but if none of it happens, it won't be the start of the apocalypse - zombie or otherwise.

It's quite freeing not to be responsible for the fate of the known universe.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Attitude

Last night was fantastic. Eddie Izzard is not only funnier than hell, he's also quite smart.  His humour can make you think. Then he goes off on a tangent and you can only shake your head.

It was nice that I didn't have to work until later in the day. The cats had a horrible fight last night so I ended up taking Milo back into my room.  Urgh. He didn't let me sleep.  It was a long day filled with one annoying thing after another.

I did spend some time looking at my attitude and recognizing how it influences my perception of events. I really can't do anything about anyone else.  Some people are going to always behave the same way, or not. The only thing I can control is my response.  It's not always easy being the grown-up.  To think there was a time when I resented being told what to do, or when to go to bed, just because I was a kid.  My parents were surprisingly lenient with me, all things considered.

So, one good thing today - finding chocolate in the side pocket of my purse.  Spinach salad with homemade lemon/garlic dressing.  Enjoying the sound of the wind as it howled and swirled around town.  It was all howl and no damage.  Excellent.

I heard singing in the empty museum when I locked up tonight. That was cool, not creepy.  I wonder if the ghosts will leave when the museum moves to another building.  I will miss them if they do.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Perception

Winter is on its way.  My poor garden wasn't prepared despite the fact that I've had several extra weeks to take care of it. Other things took priority. My convalescing friend is doing much better.  She no longer needs someone with her all the time. I picked up a couple of things while I was out shopping then popped by her place for a short visit.  Mentally, she's ready to be out of the house and back to work. Physically will be a bit slower.

I'm working on my own routine and habits. My jeans are looser but I feel like they should be the opposite. Funny how our perception is often skewed. 

I've been designing sweaters, jackets and wraps in my head. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of any of them.  I have quite a few lovely skeins I want to work with on those projects. First, I will finish my cherrybomb wrap. It's going to be a bolero, I think.  I'd made a big mistake that necessitated five inches being ripped out but I actually picked up the stitches on the right row.  I'm better at this knitting thing than I think.  Perception again.

I had a great time with my friend and her daughter when we went to see Thor: The Dark World. I shouldn't root for the bad guy with such enthusiasm but Loki is delightfully complex. 

Tomorrow, I will be quite late posting, if at all.  I'm going to see Eddie Izzard with Stashaholic.  I heard him say he's doing the follow-up to the Death Star Canteen. Apparently, all trays have been removed.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Grateful

One Good Thing about today being a day of Remembrance is the realization of how incredibly blessed we are to live in this country.

We have the right to disagree, to be indifferent, to vote, to protest, to buy stupid things, watch salacious movies, investigative films, mindless comedies. We have the right to drive. To cut our hair. To wear hats or not according to personal preference or fashion dictates.

We have the right to eat junk food, to buy locally, to support alternative fuel options, to drive gas-guzzlers. We have the right to experiment or remain entrenched in dogmatic practice.  We have the right to worship God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. 

We have the right to our beliefs, to our practices, to our excessive, decadent, selfish way of life.

We have the right to be oblivious to all of the men and women who GAVE THEIR LIVES so that ours could continue in a manner to which we had grown accustomed or envisioned as our future.

It is a very good thing to realize, be grateful, and thank veterans and their families, for all of those things and so much more.

Thank you.  I wear my poppy in pride and gratitude for this life you have enabled me to live.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

short but sweet

My day began with tea in my living room with my dear friend. It was a very good start to the day. We talked about life, mutual friends and planned a trip to Iceland together. She assures me ticket prices are quite reasonable at the moment. Sigh

Nothing remarkable happened at work. I twisted my knee early in the shift but continued movement loosened it up.

My friend's husband arrived just before I got home so we all went out for dinner before the headed out on the long journey home. The men all talked about boats and fishing while the women talked about family, friends and art.

I'm so blessed and thrilled that they were able to make time to visit with us on their short visit here.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Happy happy joy joy

I was so productive at work today that I danced and skipped my way through the stacks once the doors were locked.  It was a crunch to get everything done in the time allotted but I did it all and did it well.

A dear friend from North Carolina was in Toronto with her husband for his business meeting. He kindly shared her company so I drove up after work. We went out for dinner at a genuine Chinese restaurant. The menus and cheque were printed in Chinese. We hoped we didn't order the 8lb lobster or Alaskan King crab that they brought to the table live to show off its freshness before they cooked it for you.  It was an incredible meal. We didn't get everything we'd ordered but it was delicious, filling and not so fresh that I had to avoid its gaze beforehand.  I'm not good making an acquaintance with my food.  If I have to kill it, vegetarian I will be.

Now we're home, chatting, sharing stories and solving world problems. 

My other friend posted a photo of her engagement ring. It suits her perfectly.  That man knows what he's doing. And so does she. Their happiness is contagious. Here, have some.  Dance down the row.

Friday, November 08, 2013

It's all good

Oops, I was so tired yesterday I flat out forgot to post.  The weather was nice, work went well, the critters got lots of snuggles, I found a few bargains when I went for groceries, I had interesting email interactions and life was good.

Today no one was injured when the light fell out of the ceiling. The tether caught it. The well-known and much beloved local actor who was standing beneath the light at the time made a joke about it. The printer didn't catch fire five minutes later. I turned it off as soon as I noticed it was hot. And the man who put expired creamer in his coffee didn't choke.  He spit it out instead :)  That all happened in a span of twenty minutes.

All disasters were averted and everyone had a sense of humour.

Then I got a great phone call from a dear friend. She's engaged.  He's a wonderful partner for her and I couldn't be more excited, thrilled or happy for the two of them.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Good day

I was so tired driving to Grimsby this morning that I wasn't enjoying myself. Then the car in front of mine drove through an enormous pile of leaves. They swirled up and over my car to shower mine in gold and orange, maybe even a few burnt sienna.  It was glorious and made me giggle.

I was meeting my good friend Brenda Harlen for tea and writing chat.  I was much later than we'd planned and didn't see her when I entered the cafe. I texted to ask if she'd given up on me. She texted back that she was still there, was I coming?  I started to text that I was there also but looked behind me first. There she was, sitting at the table that sat behind my chair.  She'd been at the counter when I came in so we hadn't seen each other.

We had a great visit, caught up on life, conferences and brainstormed our current projects.  Having someone to bounce ideas off, to work through plots and character arcs is valuable beyond measure. Being able to work out motivation and staging with someone who understands their importance can save hours of bumbling around on our own.  It's one of the many reasons we set another meeting in two weeks.

The drive back to Queenston was equally gorgeous and I was more alert, full of how to continue the horror story.  My convalescing friend and I had a healthy dinner, spinach salad with lemon/garlic dressing. It was so good.

She's craving a milkshake, so we're distracting ourselves with Beowulf and Grendel. The scenery is exquisite, the script excellent and full of fantastic dialogue.  Oh, and Gerard Butler.  :sigh:

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Tuesday tidings

Another balmy day. It's been a real yo-yo season.  Freezing one minute, warm the next. I have no idea what to wear. Today, I chose a long dress,very purple.

I taught a class on downloading ebooks. It went well. Everyone thanked me and said I did a great job. I was flattered as we all struggled with various apple and google devices.  We all had fun with the frustrating bits and celebrated the successes.  I won't be teaching another class like that as we're hiring a full-time tech to take care of many things, including digital classes.

I'm home tonight catching up with my zoo and family.  They're all pretty understanding about my absence and the reason for it, but Milo spent most of the night telling me, in a very loud voice, that he missed me.  Yoda has been fairly quiet. No hockey tonight.


Monday, November 04, 2013

Monday

I am grateful to be home to sleep in my own bed.  It is exhausting look after another person, especially when you need to be vigilant about their care. In some ways though, it was relaxing down in the little village. We watched documentaries, drank lots of hot liquids and received deliveries of soup,cookies and edible arrangements. Air was stolen from our lungs as we took our evening consitutional.  We both thought a cat was a raccoon this morning. 

The neighbours probably shouldn't walk around half naked until they put up window coverings. No, stained glass panels are insufficient.

For some reason, my friend found the word hummus funny. 

This is what we've been consuming steadily for the last few days.



Today, I discovered recipes on the back on the chocolate wrapper.  Coconut muffins probably taste delicious but I'm not wasting my Icelandic chocolate on an ingredient. It's best enjoyed on its own and allowed to slowly melt in one's mouth.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Good things

Just a brief post to say we had a couple of gorgeous walks in the brisk Autumn sun. Tonight's walk was colder but the smell of decaying leaves and wood stoves balanced it out.

There's lots of healing happening. Definitely a good thing.

Plus, there was chocolate. Precious Icelandic chocolate.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Relief

It was pouring rain today as I drove along the Niagara parkway. Yellow, orange and red leaves carpeted the road and I wished for my camera. I contented myself with the images that rolled past my windows.

I'm staying with a friend as she recovers from surgery. We almost lost her yesterday so I'm incredibly grateful to spend time with her.  She may be in a lot of pain but her sense of humour is intact.

After watching a horrible hockey game full of injuries, penalties and goals for the other team, we turned to Netflix. Nothing caught our attention despite the fact that some of the titles made me giggle like crazy.  I suspect relief made us giddy. Then I found YouTube and Eddie Izzard.  Laughing is not the best choice for someone with stitches in her belly.  We watched him in spurts.  Even truncated,  Izzard was the better choice over the horror movie.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Silly Friday

Man, today seemed long. The good thing is I can go to bed now. And sleep in tomorrow. My presence is not required anywhere until late afternoon, early evening. I  need to make scones. From scratch.  I just shamelessly begged my cousin for her husband's recipe. They were worth the drive to Prince George - from Whistler. They may even be worth the drive from Ontario but I don't have that kind of time.

One good thing about three interrupted phone calls was being able to catch up with a good friend.  Texts and facebook weren't cutting it.  Hearing each other's voices did.

One good thing about searching for my replacement credit card is I found all of the greeting cards I bought for family a couple of months ago.  Now I need to find their addresses (I can drive to their houses but have no idea what streets they live on).  While I'm certain the bank would have sent me a new credit card, I cannot find. Yay, that means I won't use it.  Silver lining squared.

Ooo, math joke and my head did not explode.  There's hope for me yet on that front.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween

Halloween. I started out dressed as a pioneer woman. Then a charwoman. Then a gypsy.  Then in a fit of disgust, I put on a short 60's inspired multi-coloured circle dress that I bought this year and went as myself.  Somehow, DNi thought I dressed as a pirate and left Yoda at home. WTH?  Proof that he doesn't actually look at me.

It's been raining all day but I saw little Trick or Treaters out there.  Not much gets between kids and their candy. We were the same way at that age.

The best thing today though, hands down, was watching Little Shop of Horrors with DNi and Yoda. The little green parrot laughed his way through the flick. I looked over to see him leaning way over in his cage to see the screen.  There were times when he was laughing and we weren't.  He amuses the hell out of me.

This was his favourite scene.  RIP Levi Stubbs


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keeping busy

DNi slept through his alarm this morning and I ignored mine so you can imagine the speed with which we fell out of bed and raced to get him to work by 5am.  We got there a few minutes late but under five.  Considering what time I yelled at him that was fantastic.

There was a lovely email in my inbox this morning from a dear friend. She's going to be in Toronto in ten days and said she could pop by for a visit. Even twenty minutes with this lovely lady would be delightful but the idea of a day with her is sheer joy.  My fingers are crossed that all will work out so that we can visit with each other.

One good thing about dad burning the meat loaf was that it reminded me of his dad. Grandpa always said the carbon from burnt food was good for the heart. It was sweet that he turned Grandma's horrible cooking (everything was burned to a char) into a health benefit. 

I can't quite figure out what to wear for Halloween. I have my lovely regency dress but no hat.  I was thinking it would be nice to have a lace bonnet but I don't have time to make it for tomorrow and can't quite find a pattern I like.  I did snip stills of Mrs Bridges' cap from Upstairs Downstairs

I could live without the tassel but I think it's actually a rag curl
The blasted woman would not stop moving
It's very pretty. I'm sure I'd find an occasion to wear it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Appreciation

Sorry I didn't post last night. I was exhausted and went to bed. Ky had a seizure, he's okay, no lasting ill effects, but I was on high alert from then on.  I had plenty of good things - especially the part where Ky is okay, no lasting ill effects - but no energy with which to share them.

Today involved a lot of oil of oregano, orange juice, Bleak House, Much ado about Nothing, an interview with Chris Hadfield and the feeling that I'm truly blessed. Eliot hunted a mouse that made its way inside the heating vent.  Yoda and Kiki had a few flights around the apartment. Milo is feeling much stronger and feistier. Ky enjoyed all of the vigilant attention.

The weather is warming up. I think this back and forth between hot and cold is what's making me sick so often lately. Today was another day on the couch chugging oil of oregano and orange juice with a side of cookies.  Later in the day, I switched to cinnamon and honey in hot water. It's yummy and soothing.

Hadfield's photos of space, and his wonder at the world on which we live is an uplifting contrast to the the worlds portrayed by Dickens and Shakespeare. It's no wonder I have a great appreciation for creature comforts, for foods and beverages that soothe my ills, for friends and family who ensure I am entertained, loved and protected, luxurious shelter and good jobs with people I like.  Really, life is good. 

And the cookies are fresh baked chocolate chip.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Associations

I'm watching History of Scotland just for the lyrical accent and gorgeous scenery.  It's been three long years since last my feet walked the sacred soil of my ancestors but I think about my experiences almost every day.  There are worse ways to occupy my mind.

I talk to myself way too much. None of the animals, or humans for that matter, pay much attention to the sound of my voice as a result.  I changed it up a bit today by singing my thoughts.  At least I was amused.

Despite the fact that I feel fat, I'm wearing my smallest jeans - and they're loose. Perceptions.  Huh. 

I've been making the effort to cook meals so that we're getting all of our nutritional needs instead of scarfing back calories.  This plan is most effective when I cook ahead. Tonight's fare was stuffed peppers. It's something my mom made a lot when we lived in Kingston.  It's funny how I associate that meal with those years. Some great memories.

What food to you most associate with good times?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Uncomplicated

A few things. One. Someone hates my guts because I defended their loved one. From them. I'm okay with it. It's easier for them to place blame on me for interfering instead of looking at their own abusive behavior.  Their hate isn't hurting me. It's hurting their loved one, but not me.  I'm not always this forgiving but it's not someone who matters to me in any way, shape or form.  I was upset for a couple of hours until I put all of the above pieces together.

Another thing. A heavily sarcastic thank you to Cineplex.  Because they've chosen only to show the 3D versions of Gravity, I will not be watching that movie on the big screen. There's a growing trend of 3D movies.  The local theatre showed both versions until Cineplex forced them into installing 3D screens. I spoke with the manager about it last year before the big renovation. She said there were a lot of customers who had trouble watching the 3D.  I know home theatres are advanced models, with giant screen tvs, surround sound and even movie theater popcorn.  I still want a night out, with friends, to watch a movie on a wall of screen without the option to pause the action.  Grumble grumble grouch. 






It may have been a gloomy wet day here but our sense of humour was intact at work. This is always a bonus and makes the day so much more enjoyable for ourselves as well as our patrons. I love when I'm able to help a child find a book that excites their imagination. It's neat when I do the same for adults.

My great-aunt was tickled that I made socks for her. She thinks I'm clever. That makes me giggle for some reason.  I guess I'll be alternating between pairs for her and my mom.  Knitting soothes my jangled nerves and brings them joy. I don't see the down side. Thanks to Stashaholic, I still have enough yarn to make several pairs of socks. 

Eliot waits at the back door for DNe to come inside the house. He waits by the bathroom door. He races into the attic, across the furniture, over top of the dog.  There are no obstacles between Eliot and his boy.  That makes my heart so happy. It's good for DNe to experience unconditional love. We should all be so lucky.

My brain has been clicking away on so many things.  It feels like the more tired my body, the more active my brain. I'm making some important connections to behaviours, people and consequences.  I'm learning to listen to what I need, not just what everyone else needs from me.  It feels a bit selfish but it is necessary.

Ky and I played ball, wrestled for the giant stuffed frog and burned thousands of calories while having fun.  Life can be that simple and uncomplicated.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Attitude

I was in a good mood all day, had lots of energy and optimism. I went for walks on both of my breaks, took tree photos and generally enjoyed the day. I'm not sure what made my attitude so good. Knowledge would make it easier to recreate. I hope I do as well tomorrow.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Too cold to think

One good thing about dropping half a shelf of books on my head was that they were all soft cover.

I figured out a scene today and spent some time writing it down. I also made plans to write online with a friend several days next week. In the meantime, I'll flesh out the aftermath and the reactions.

I'm tired, going to bed early. I do not have a concussion. I was up incredibly early again. While I don't mind it, I think of all sorts of interesting thoughts, it does make the day verrrrrry long.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Planning

One good thing about getting up at 4am to drive DNe to work is the light traffic.  I enjoy that time of day when it feels like post zombie apocalypse -without the fight for survival. Few people are awake.

When I got home, I spent some time brainstorming a scene with my paranoid character. I wrote for a couple of hours and made plans with a good friend to do the same again tomorrow.

I also confirmed plans for Friday night that involve pizza, beer and hockey.  Let's hope number 81 is in the groove again that night.

Life rarely works out as planned. My living arrangements are a case in point. But if you make the most of whatever comes your way, disappointment can be minimized. That's my theory. What's yours?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Serendipity

Work broke with routine and sent me off to run errands.  Every light was green, the bridges stayed down and I was the only one in line at each of the stops. I was back considerably before anyone expected me.

At the day's second job, I kept tripping over the number 81. As soon as I got home, I asked the score of the hockey game. 2-0 for the other team. When I told everyone about my 81 interactions they laughed and said that player had been sleeping so far.  Yeah, well, number 81 ended up with a hat trick.

All in all, an interesting day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

animal vibes

The weather was so incredibly beautiful. The walk home from work was windier than I expected but enjoyable none-the-less.  It's going to be winter soon enough so I'm taking advantage of the gorgeous weather as much as I can do so.

Ky and I went to see the Ky-ropractor.  She adjusted both of us and really worked on my sacrum. It's been hard to sit lately, which is a problem at work some days.  I love my stand-up desk. I wish I could take it to work with me.

My morning started with fresh scones, and day ended with roasted beets.  Food is so yummy and the options are endless during Harvest Time. 

I just threw my cell phone across the room. I forgot it was attached to the laptop. When I moved the laptop to the table, the phone disconnected and went flying.It's fine. I have an otter box and it works.

Milo seems to be feeling better.  I put plastic tablecloths on my bed to protect it but he's kept food down for the last 24 hours. He's so old and frail that he doesn't have reserves for those times when his tummy is upset.  He's always been a healer.  He won't be able to do that forever but I'm grateful for every moment we have together.

Eliot loves my DNe. He's not my cat. He waits at the door for DNe, races to greet him when he awakes, sleeps as close to him as he can at all times.  It makes me smile to watch the two of them. DNe pretends the "cat" annoys him but he isn't fooling anyone. Least of all Eliot.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shopping list Sunday

No Internet last night meant no post. The day had tea, scones, trees, Jordan, rain, cats, dogs, hockey, homemade pizza and yarn. Tears in the car were cathartic.

Today dawned sunny and cool. More homemade pizza, apple sticky buns, chocolate, orange juice, autumn leaves, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, books, planning, plotting and problem solving. No tears today.  Sometimes I feel like we are all four years old and faking maturity. Other days, I feel like we're ninety and tired of the silliness.  I'm sure there's a happy medium.  Today felt like all things are possible.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Full moon Friday

I pedaled my way into work, fighting a head wind and arrived exhausted. Going home, the wind had shifted so it was more of the same, and my basket was loaded down with books. I was grousing to myself about it then realized I had burned twice as many calories this way. Just think how much strength training my legs experienced.

We were swamped at work, and the printers were cantankerous but the day zipped along. There was no time to second guess anything.  Considering I had nightmares about losing my job, that was a very good thing.

Now I have company, animals are co-existing and the moon is full. Strange energies at play. I like it - as long as the nightmares keep their distance.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mixed bag

One good thing about the shower leaking - again - is how creative we're getting about the experience. I think we should go to a large copper tub and have servants fill it with hot water they boiled over an open fire.

One good thing about seeing a former flirt that never progressed from casual interaction was the fact that I had dressed really well today. I wore a flattering purple dress with a cream lace sweater. I even had my hair down.  I ended up braiding it later as it was heavy against my neck.

One good thing about being up and about at 4am was the clear roads and heavy full moon lighting our drive.  That time of day reminds me of some great long drives cross country with good friends and other interesting companions.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Alternatives

We joked about turning the bathtub into a planter when it started leaking again - the day after we put the floor back down. It's important to laugh.

I made banana bread out of fruit that was ready for the compost. It tastes much better than that would lead you to believe.

I stepped away from a "discussion " I started about politics.  It's not worth a friendship. I just deleted a paragraph that outlined my point of view.  Backing away slowly.

How was your day?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fresh air

My one coworker today provided us with hours of entertainment, very much without intention. She set bread to toast in the toaster oven but for some reason it didn't turn off.  It continued to toast well into charcoal.  Who knows what would have happened if the boss hadn't gone into the lunchroom to see what was going on?  We all went from thinking we were having a collective seizure to sympathizing with our coworker. She felt so bad about it.  When I left six hours later, smoke still hung heavy in the building.

For lunch, I chose to go for a walk instead of hanging around in the lunchroom.  It was gorgeous outside. The sun was shining, the air was fresh and smelled sweet. Because we haven't had a frost yet, fruit continues to grow.  The grapes are particularly lush.

I might not have gone for that walk if not for the toast incident. I'm really glad I went. Not only was the bakery having a 50% off sale on pies and cakes (I went back and told my coworkers who all went out and took advantage) Pumpkin cheesecake is much tastier than you would expect.

I had a great text conversation with a good friend tonight.  He's taken some big changes in his life and made them wonderful. He says he's more at peace and comfortable than he has in years.  It made me unbelievably happy to hear how happy he is. Misery may love company but happiness spreads joy. It's like a plague - without the pestilence.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Monday

I  can not express my gratitude for Oil of Oregano strong enough.  Followed by a chaser of orange juice, it works wonders for the flu.  I can't eat much yet but that's actually a good thing.  I have some reserves.

I read a book The telling of bees which sucked me right into the story and characters. I loved the rhythm of the hive and how the main character fashioned his life on the bees' example of order and interaction. 

I'm close to finishing the first sock for my great-aunt.  The yarn is dyed Scottish Heather so of course it's perfect for her.

One good thing about being sick over the holiday weekend is the time and peace in which to heal without guilt.  I'm not back to par yet but close enough.  That's something for which to be grateful.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Sunday

I was exhausted last night after making and jarring applesauce for eight hours that I fell into bed without posting. It had been an eventful day far removed from my fantasy of sitting on the book-covered fabric chair and reading the day away.  It was productive which is often good.

Here's the canning in process





We also worked on the bathroom floor, now that it no longer leaks, we can put it back together.  We finished the standing desk today. I LOVE it.  I'm so proud of the design.  Only the piano hinge and four brackets to hold the dowels beneath the swinging shelf are new. Everything else is original from the waterbed.

Ta-da!

There's a lot of blue in that photo.  The mulberry tree is through that window to the left of the desk.  The pilates ball is my chair when I really need one and the laptop goes down a shelf or onto the filing cabinet. Those books are from my good friend, Brenda Harlen.  One of them is the Icelandic version.  It always makes me smile.

I was awake most of the night alternating between chills and fever. Today has been much of the same so I opted out of the extended family Thanksgiving dinner. I feel sorry for myself that I'm missing out on the fun but at the same time, I can hear the rain outside my window. The cat is asleep on one bed, the dog asleep on the floor beside me.  I've had two doses of Oil of Oregano, half a gallon of orange juice and three big mugs of cinnamon honey tea.  I'm fortunate to have today and tomorrow off work so that I can recover.

I had a good conversation with a friend about the importance of finding good in every day.  On the days that are the most challenge is when it's most important. It's so easy to think the worst is going to happen, is happening but the truth is that there is always someone or something that makes the day tolerable. We look back on the tough times and remember small kindnesses more than the slights because the kindness is what sustains us.

Thank you all for your kindness.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Change -up

Milo spent time in the living room tonight. Some hissing and growling gave way to one eye open naps. Then Eliot jumped onto the couch and fur flew. Literally. This is going to take some time.

New chair means the living room has to be rearranged - again. I like the couch in front of the window but there doesn't seem to be enough room for everything. More thought is required.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday

Another beautiful day in Niagara. I'm grateful for every single day of sunshine and warm temperatures. It will be winter soon enough. I bought a pair of work slacks in anticipation.

I made Milo spend some time in the living room with the rest of the household. You would think I'd held his paws over an open flame. Sheesh. I'm determined to re-integrate him into the family regardless of his preferences.  Mean, aren't I?

Water tasted good today.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

New projects

Uh, yesterday's post should have said Syfy, not spyfy (three guesses what I was watching as I wrote). Fangasm is still a blast.

On the way home to Stashaholic's we bought a roasting pan that can double as a slow cooker, two more 10 lb bags of beets, 2 lbs of onions, an orifice hook for her spinning wheel and some fudge for me.

On the way home, I got off the highway and took the scenic route. This is the best time of year for that as it is truly scenic.  I made apple turnovers when I got home.

I also spent a ridiculous amount of time online looking for sample photos of a Russian fleece comb. Another friend of mine has agreed to build one if I can find the pins.  They're about ten inches long, made of steel.  The Internet wasn't too helpful but we think a machine shop can make us some.  More research is required.

Ky and Eliot are sad that the extra set of petting hands has returned to her own home. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Disjointed but good

There's a show on Spyfy called Fangasm. It's about seven interns at Stan Lee's Comic Contact. It's great to watch real people with such passion get to meet and work for their hero. I have a great deal of affection for these people. I'm glad it's not an elimination type show.

It's Autumn outside. I love the smells -wood-burning stoves, wet leaves, decaying plants, rich soil, apples and grapes.

I'm going to finish the base of the minion hats tonight. Yay. I'm anxious to get to my aunt's socks.

Today was my very long day at work. It was great to get pet updates and photos from Stashaholic. It sounded like they all enjoyed each other's company.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Massage

Never underestimate the importance of a good massage. I wasn't sure I would make it through the day until we went for an appointment.  Much better.

Ky is really enjoying our visit with Stashaholic.  He thinks she's here solely for his enjoyment.  He might be right. Yoda has picked up a few new whistles.

My online friends are silly. The have a poetry-reciting ocelot.

Auto-correct suggested Iceland for ocelot. It knows me well.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Perception.

No one died. This is a very good thing.

I woke up full of self-loathing. I expanded it to those around me. Ky and I went for a walk.  A dog ran off its front porch straight at us.  Ky perceived that as a threat when, in fact, I think it was an enthusiastic hello.

Perception.  It is the difference between hailing a cab and bidding on a priceless work of art.

I hope your day was full of priceless art. 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Day full of good things

It was Pioneer Day in Jordan.



That means we had the Best Fudge in the World.  Apple fritters. Hand-churned butter.  Homemade sausage (I just watched them make that, I didn't eat any but others did and enjoyed). We saw rope-making, spinning, tatting, and rug hooking.  DNi was thrilled she could do the latter with her broken arm.






I think my Great Aunt used to tat lace so I'm going to ask her to teach me. I bought gorgeous sock yarn today called Scottish Heather. They're already on the needles. She has tiny feet so I should be able to give them to her in a couple of weeks. 

The weather co-operated. The hockey team won.  The van was repaired instead of replaced.  Life is good.


Thursday, October 03, 2013

Friends

And bottle of wine with Stashaholic.
That is plenty of wonderful. We may have talked about frivolous things as well as serious.  Sheep and alpaca definitely came up in conversation. If you know either one of us, you are not surprised.
Expect more of the same over the next few days.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Coincidence and entertainment

Another beautiful day in fruit country.  I walked around the building when I got to work and took pictures of all of our trees slowly turning colour in the Autumn sun.  They literally started changing overnight.

Girl Guide mint cookies were delivered to me today.  The person who delivered them has become a dear friend through the Laura Secord Walk.  Coincidentally, four people who went on that walk came in today and commended me on a wonderful experience.  I was just one of many cogs in that wheel but the feedback was appreciated.

My wonderful Internet friends wrote a funny story about me being Alone in the Library. It amused me greatly even if the reality was not that of a Romantic Hero searching for True Love but rather that of 30 Women from the University in a quest to learn more about Higher Education and Resources.  Either way, I was less alone.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Good day

The morning drive was dangerously foggy but ethereal. I wanted to stop and take photos but visibility made that too risky. It didn't burn off til noon so the morning had an insular feel.

One of the board members brought in a box of fresh fruit.  Nectarines - yum.

We solved the problems of the free world. Too bad no one asked us.

Hockey is back. My team won.

Monday, September 30, 2013

List of Good Things

Extra hours.
Elen had a great vacation.
Straw on the garden
Leaky shower fixed
Homemade applesauce

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday

We had a bit of a deadline on something so I went into work an hour early today. I loved it in there, so quiet and peaceful surrounded by all those books. The very first person through the door was a visitor who commented on the beauty and grace of the building. The original library was in the old courthouse which was a rabbit warren of rooms full of history and chaos.

I got home in time to cover the side garden in newspapers and old shirts. I reused the wood pellets from the bird cage as the mulch. What looked like a large volume in the cage was a spit on the space. I needed more pellets anyway.

I'm watching The History of Scotland. I've seen it before but appreciate the scenery and accents.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lovely day

I rode my bike all the way to work and home. Climbed the hill again. It's getting easier.  Woohoo. Who knew I had it in me?  I'm not exactly ready to cycle the Cabot Trail but it feels good.  The weather was gorgeous. I ate my lunch under the crabapple tree.

Hockey is on.  The windows are open.  Ky found another bone so he's happy. Ky's happy, I'm happy.  Milo is still clawing me awake. Then lies down and goes to sleep when my alarm goes off. He wakes me three hours early!  I do love him though.  Eliot hangs off the front of the bird cage. Yoda yells at him. Sometimes, the crazy bird runs over and pecks the cat paws.  It's odd, the way they interact. I trust neither of them so opportunities are limited to life with bars between them.  I have let the birds out supervised. If I have the water gun in my hand, Eliot runs into the spare room while Kiki flies around the living room. Yoda likes to snuggle.  It's ongoing but I think we'll be able to live together as one some day.  Milo had to be trained not to eat the birds. Family is not edible.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Surprise

I fell into a good book over my lunch. I never left the big comfy chair let alone went for a walk.

Later in the afternoon,  my coworker suggested I take a break. I grabbed my pear and ate it outside while walking the building's perimeter. That involved traipsing through our garden.  I'm so glad I did that. It cleared my mind and refreshed my energy level. I sent coworker out to do the same.  She'd never seen our patio or garden. After work we walked through Old Town in search of fish and chips.  We landed at the ghost in with its low beamed ceilings. It was impulsive but fun.

I came home to a lovely package of horse themed bookmarks,  postcard and magnets from my friend Nancy Herkness as well as a copy of her latest book,  Country Roads. What a delightful surprise.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Private good things

Some stuff has been happening the last few days that I don't feel appropriate discussing on the Internet. It's not all mine. It affects me directly and deeply but the good thing is other people have stepped up so that we can resolve some serious issues together.

Eliot has learned to yelp like the dog. This is a neutral thing but it amused me for some reason. I was ignoring his meows so he yelped.  It definitely got my attention.  I should have a video camera on my living room at all times. I suspect the animals don maroon velvet smoking jackets and discuss the latest literature they've digested.  In Kiki's case that would be literal.

I've been using my new standup desk and writing my paranoid character into a corner.  I like it.

I hope your week is progressing with more than one or two good moments a day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Little things

It was a gorgeous day and I got to take a trunk full of books to the seniors home.

Milo and Eliot are in the same room.

I'm making minion hats.

Joss Whedon is back on tv.

Monday, September 23, 2013

One good thing

The idea is not to list my day so much as find things to appreciate about it. Those things are rarely big. I'm a fan of simple pleasures. Our lives are full of them if we open our eyes. The end of an engaging story, a funny interview with a serious actor, conversations with the cat (particularly the ones with parrot ), amazing discoveries of lost cities in Egypt, the sound of children playing in the street in front of our house, the smell of grilling burgers, the slide of needles sliding through yarn to create fun gifts for the Littles and the healing bite of Oil of Oregano.

Life is good

Sunday, September 22, 2013

HaHA

I've only been working on it a week but it needed to look like the character on which it was fashioned. It's for a young friend who probably knows exactly what every one of the hundreds of minions looks like, right down to the smiles. I hope this one passes muster



In other news, it's the first day of autumn. I love the colours, the smells and the flavours.  It is a season rich in depth and texture. It is my favorite.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Re - purpose

Yesterday brought a weather-induced migraine, hence the lack of post. I was very grateful for my bed, and the rain once it finally arrived. Milo's 6am wakeup claw was less appreciated.

This is what I did today



It's the standup desk made from my old waterbed frame.  I've yet to get the wireless keyboard to work again but once I do, I'll be thrilled to bits. I can see the mulberry tree again.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Serendipity

Things were a little tense and frustrating at home so I left the house a bit early and drove down to the library I wasn't working at today.  It's a gorgeous drive. I pulled to the side of the road to call my mom and remind her to take a peach to my great-aunt. While we were chatting I watched four sheep run up to a horse who was standing beneath an apple tree. The horse ignored them as they ran in and around his legs, the tree and the fencing then they raced away, leaping and kicking their legs in the air.  One was clearly the ringleader, daring his friends to see how much they could torment the horse without getting kicked.  I thought of taking a photo but was enjoying simply watching them.

I stopped at a local market and picked up a small salad from the salad bar before I headed into the library.  It was such a lovely day that I sat outside in the patio and absorbed the fresh air and sunshine.  My boss saw me and asked if I had time to stay for a coworker's birthday cake.  Knowing these lovely treats  from Willow Cakeswere on the table, I stayed. Even the little pumpkin was edible - marzipan.

 The one with the fan and raspberry was my favourite but to be honest, they were all incredibly delicious. 

From there I went to pick Milo up from the vet. He's home now, lying beside me on the couch. Eliot is lying on Ky's bed and Ky is on mine. It's nice to have them all sleeping peacefully. I like the illusion of peace and camaraderie.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interesting times

Okay, so today was interesting. I took my DNe to work at 430, fell back to sleep half an hour before I had to get up and call the vet.  Seems Milo is fine. Eating and drinking, no vomiting.  The consensus is he was stressed by Eliot.  I have a hard time believing that was the problem when they got along fine for the first two weeks Eliot was here. Then Saturday night, Milo hated him, stopped eating on Sunday.

I was scrubbing the living room floor (I had wiped it up when Milo was sick but wanted to eradicate all germs) when I got a text photo from my DBro.

Apparently my DNi had a cartwheeling incident. That is her left arm, broken in two places. She's in surgery right now.  Poor kid.

But my house is sparkling clean.  Milo will be alright. And I won horse magnets at Nancy Herkness Book Launch Party last night.

Tomorrow we take the kid out for ice cream. Because she's going to need something to distract her from that arm. Btw, she's left-handed.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One of those days

Today was one of those days. My coworker and I were discussing the idea of calling in apathetic.  You just know you're better off staying in bed til the day passes.


Some of it was pointless silly inconvenience.  Some of it was worrying.  Milo's pretty sick and it was hard to leave his care to others while I was at work. He's spending the night at the vet's where he's getting fluids and blood work.

Tomorrow is my day off. Let's hope it goes better than today.