Wednesday, December 12, 2007

so, this is.... funny?

Get this - for the past year, I've been getting emails addressed to someone with a similar name to mine (it seems she must have transposed some letters in the address that she gives to people). It was one thing to get her Chapters emails and stuff but last week, her nephew emailed me, to wish his aunt a 'happy holidays'-type greeting. I did like I always do and replied that this was not her email and perhaps he should contact her to get the real one. A few quick back and forths and somehow this innocent bit of helpfulness has turned into this nephew wanting to meet me...and this is the funny part (and I quote) "maybe we are supposed to meet and solve all the worlds problems". I mean, WTF?!? I can't find my way out of my own backyard, dude! Gandhi I ain't. Whatever happened to good old fashioned cynicism and surliness, eh?

Had a interesting client meeting yesterday, watching a lovely storm build up throughout the afternoon and trying to stay focused. I decided that it wouldn't be worth the drive back home in traffic and instead, had some chai with Super-P, the Son of Wonder. I saw him bobbing down the street, his blond Brian Jones haircut standing out in a sea of toques and frowns. I felt my soul light up when I saw his smile.

I know all of us moms say this but he's is a remarkable man... even if I did give birth to him. How I got so lucky to have a kid (or 2) whom I actually enjoy talking to, I'll never know. His tour is looking good for spring 2008 so I can see a few road trips for Pa and me- Halifax, Boston and maybe Baltimore, if I can swing it - up ahead. A chapter in Punk Ottawa history will be ending soon with the closure of the much-loved Argyle House, scene of many an FC show and mucho debauchery. Seamus, Pat C and the ever-elusive Kyle Kyle Super Goth made appearances throughout our conversation and I was reminded of when these tall men were little punks, ditching their bikes in my flower bed so that they could hit their first shows at the Legion. Yup, back then Adam and Brock were playing ska and old school punk, not the mellow folk stuff flying off of their strings these days. Where does the time go, eh? As for myself, I'm old as dirt and half as smart

Much love!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hey...you - yeah, you!

Hey, who's that dude in the red suit?


Holy Mother of Pearl - how long has it been?!? probably too long for some , not long enough for others.

I felt compelled to retreat for a while (esp. after a very odd person accused me of using my blog to try to communicate with them....yup, you just might consider lining your hat in tinfoil (not so) young person LOL I'm a little bit more direct than that - I would have tried my paper cup and string telephone first. Some people's children, I tell ya! Trouvez une vie. Nah, working for yourself is a tough gig, especially time wise. I've been putting in some long weeks but the payoff is amazing. It just doesn't leave a lot of free time for blogging.

My blog has been a nice little journal where I get to share a few things, here and there. Like how my cat never shuts up and seems to know when I'm on a conference call, on speaker-freakin' phone, no less. What a marroon! Or how K the elder dressed up in a red suit and beard and surprised 35 parishioners at our friend's church. Don't believe me? Check it outHere he is at Nancy's lovely little bit of winter wonderland - gotta love those square log houses!
For all you local yokels, yes that is Wayne singing away. Check out the little one in pink, staring up at Santa - isn't she priceless.
There were 3 new babies in church that day and K got to hold all of them, as they came up for their gifts. Our friend turned to me and said, I hope K knows that he's got a lifetime contract for this gig!". I figured that he would, judging by the laughter in the pews every time 'Santa' asked one of the kids what they wanted from him. He even got some of the adults up there. What a card. Of course he knows how to talk to kids - he sat at the children's table for family dinners until he was 28!

I got the chance to wish a dear friend "happy trails" as she headed off to her next adventure - and I got to hang out with some of dearest, old friends from Serv. Can. I tell ya, nobody parties the way these guys do. I had a blast, got a lot of love and got to give a lot of love back to some very special folks.

Then there was Halloween and my mighty, mighty spider's web

It was so scary that a unicorn/princess/mother didn't want to walk under it so her mother had to put the trick or treat bag near us for treats.

Nash wasn't too put out by all of this - life is good when you're a dog in the country

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another day, another carload

I originally wrote this post in the middle of August - for some unknown reason, Blogger decided to hide it on me - CWAP!!!!!

En tout cas - here she be!

It's been a challenge to keep healthy, do a little business and get the car loaded on a daily basis - got so much to move, darnit! I'll take another load up this morning and try to get my office set up a little bit.

Our weekend yard sale was an amazing success - considering we selling things for 25 cents, we made over $175. Not bad, eh? I finally got the courage to sell my North Carolina coffee table - it was sad to say 'good bye' to piece of my history but in the end, the $25 (yeah, I know - for a $300 table...) that we got was well-spent at IKEA yesterday. The great thing is all of my paint and a few new things for the house were all covered by selling crap, uh I mean, "stuff that I had no emotional attachment to and was just taking up my precious space and energy" (K the elder says to add "stuff that I do not need to throw into the moving van" - kudos on that brilliant observation, dude)

Update - August 30th

The new house is almost settled. I have three rooms to finish up but that can be done over the course of a few weeks, a little at a time. My hands are ripped, my limbs are bruised but we're smiling so all is good. My darling Number One Son played a kick-ass show at the Mouton Noir on Saturday night. It was a real treat to see how our years of investment have paid off. Get this!!!! He is really, really good!!! The band was awesome. I'd even go to hear them if he wasn't involved. That's an endorsement, if ever there was one. The management at the club made the boys change their name for the event - I won't burden you with the band's real name. Suffice it to say that I pretend that I can't remember what it is when older relatives ask about it LOL. They released a great 45 and CD, too. "Cat Pants" might not become a big hit but "one" is a good listen. Watching P on stage, in his element reminded me of his favorite game of "Def Leppard" when he was 2 or 3. Dress up, grab the fireplace tools stand for a mic and his little Ukulele and awaaaaaay we go. Def Leppard he became and entertained us for hours and hours. We loved it and after last Saturday, we still do. My baby...all grown up. When did that happen????

Monday, July 30, 2007

so much to do...

Which in itself is not a bad thing but I just wish that there was more time in a week. I've got to continue working on an online course that I'm (trying) to build and call up some clients for follow-up but then there's the house. There will be pictures...one day. Just not today. I keep meaning to bring the camera up when I take things up there but then, I forget. Being a simpleton, I also forget that my mobile phone has a camera, too - yup, just that 'clever' LOL.

Much applause to Sara, who correctly guessed the locale of our new abode *clap, clap, clap*. Sara, what's your favorite color?

For those of you beyond the boundaries of our little county, we're moving to its namesake village of Lanark! Much quieter than rowdy old Mississippi Mills and we're looking forward to quiet evenings spent on our wrap-around porch, butts planted in a pair of wicker chairs and knitting needles in hand (well, for me, at least). Add a glass of wine (or 8) and we'll be back to our standard. I've got to move a ton of plants (AGAIN!) but it's all good - I do love to plan a garden. Just can't wait to move all of my wild roses :)

I want some of your bright ideas for window treatments and wall colors. A friend of mine who's an interior designer is coming up later this week to give me some advice,too. I'm thinking about doing a lot of roman blinds, like I did for this house. They're energy efficient and cover windows well without hiding old woodwork. This time, I think I'll use lighter-weight fabrics in prints (not solids, like in this house). The big question(s?) are the 2 sets of French doors in our family room - drapes? Long blinds? What to, what to do???

The big move should be in 2 weeks so we've got lots of time to pack, plan and think out everything. The best part is my new office is huge! I'm assuming the former parlour, right at the front of the house so that clients don't have to walk through the entire house to get 'there'. It's a sunny room, facing onto the front porch with lots of natural light. The whole house, apart from the dining room is light-filled and it has great energy.

I'd better keep packing ;)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hello?

OMIGWAD!
Has it really been over a month since I posted last? Holy Moley Cow - how did that happen???? Oh, wait a minute...I remember

My stomach is getting better and I've only had 2 bouts of severe pain in the past 2 weeks. That beats the twice a day episodes. Lots of minor (healing) pain but that, I can live with. I think that if you remove some of your stressors, life just has to get better. The best part is that has.

Business is rolling along and it's great to finally get going, full tilt. I almost forgot how much I loved my class-time and how rewarding it is to get people to think. I've been very productive in my curriculum development so there are lots and lots of products to get 'out there'.

I received a gorgeous apron from my swap-mate, Kathy and love it. How did she know how much I love Geisha images?!? Just perfect and get this!!!! It matches my new kitchen, perfectly. What's that? You haven't heard about my new kitchen?

We've found a new (and smaller) house in the country - remember that restored Victorian with the wrap-around porch that's perfect for wicker chairs and for small people to ride tricycles on, that I've wanted since we moved to Ontario? I've got it! Not that I have any small people who ride tricycles *yet* but ya never know. Our official move date is in 2 weeks but we get the keys on Monday or Tuesday, depending on when we can drive out to the house. I've already got the yard landscaped in my mind - once a master gardener-in-training, always a master gardener-in-training.

So where is this house? Isn't it more fun if you guess? Sure it is!
Read carefully and if you can guess correctly, drop me a comment - there will be prizes

1)Here's a visual clue
2)It's located on a river with a historic Scottish name
Isn't it pretty?

3)It is also named after another Historic Scottish place

4)No "Hillbilly Highway" jokes, please! (oh, just grow up, won't ya?!?)

5)It's long distance to call our current home

6)To quote Brock, it's where "the sheep are scared"

7)It's home to an amazing festival every July (one that brought Fred to town a few years ago - *sigh*)

8)It's home to the world famous (ok, maybe just 'locally famous'), Munchin' Junction and its yummy yummy poutine

C'mon, get your guesses in and see if you can name my new "home town". I'll reward you with a little something nice :)

Friday, June 22, 2007


I will be taking a little time off from the blogging world, taking care of some gastro-intestinal 'repair' work (and the emotional strain that comes with it). I may share a lot but some things are far too personal and this is one of them. I've waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop for some time so this is just another 'thing' in the pile. I've known it was time weeks ago but I try to keep the really bad news to myself... I feel like Captain BringDown these days and that makes me feel even more guilty than I have been feeling already.

When I was a teenager, a psychic told me that I would live to be 52 but I didn’t believe her. Aren’t they all liars and charlatans? I underestimated her. The stomach pain, the bleeding, the vomiting, the 'other' gastric problems are all reminders of that underestimation, I am learning. If I'm lucky, that gives me just under 9 years but since losing my lucky rabbit's foot on KittyHawk all those years ago, my luck isn't what they call in the betting world a 'good hand'(And since I’m being so candid, wanna see photos of my small intestine? No? Didn’t think so…). If you ate today (and kept it in your body), be happy. I've been like a walking milkshake machine in the past couple of weeks - whrrr and pour...yeah, graphic... I know. Sorry.

The upside (if it can be called that) is that it is giving me a chance to take stock and to re-build what time I have into something that is authentic and mine. No more 'have tos' or typical female guilt, just a more solid (if shorter) life. Enough!
Leben ist kurz so wir muß anfertigen es weit, mein Zeyde erklärte mir. Er war zutreffend. He usually was. I don't have time to waste. I only want positive, loving people who want to be with me in my life. It may be short but it'll be all mine.

I enjoy chatting to this little virtual group and it has kept me going when "the hills were steeps and the weather rough". I love reading your blogs and hearing about your lives, you good hearted people. I hope to come back one day, healthier. The good thing is that I can better understand why my body has been letting me down over past couple of years. It's not stress or 'in my head'. It's been a little like opening your closet door as a kid, seeing the fur and the glowing eyes and declaring 'see, there really was a monster there!', to your parents amazement. To my tiny little circle of friends, the people who sound happy to hear from me - all I can say is 'I love you'. I don't say it a lot but I only say it to people who matter to me so, "I love you".

I am dropping a number of gifts and swappy stuff of in the Post (well, actually K the younger is. I need to sit still) so keep your eyes peeled, Kathy, Taz & Antigone. They're on their way :) I've got K working on the Etsy end so those shipments went out this morning.

I'm so tired, I wish I could sleep forever :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thank you


I want to thank you for the love and kindness that you have all sent our way during this horrible time. Our house is missing a brother, a son... I often called him the 'canine love of my life'. He was my Dude, my sweetheart, my dog.

My heart is heavy and I am trying to keep busy so that I won't feel his absence. I want to see him come around the corner so that I can ask him if he wants a hug. I want to stroke his long, silky muzzle and make his ears stand up. I want to see him laugh when I sprayed him with the garden hose. I want to apoligize for giving up.

I hope that he finds peace after this turbulent life. I will always regret that I couldn't find a way to make him whole. I broke my promise to him, to make it all go away, to make him a happy dog.

We are starting a foundation to continue our efforts to punish animal abusers. If Jack's first year had been safe, he would have stood a better chance to living a whole life. In the past, I have lobbied, called Members' of Parliament and Senators' offices, marched on the Hill and made noise to draw attention to this unacceptable problem. Now, I will find a way to put money behind this cause and make the lawmakers pay attention.

Please - do not stand by when an animal abuser can get live a 'normal' life but get to punish a dog like Jack every day, for the rest of his life. Even though that man was not in his life for 6 1/2 years, Jack lived in terror that the abuse would start again, that someone would attack him, that every noise would signal the start of the next barrage. Let's change our animal protection laws worldwide, together. Jack would be proud of all of us if we can do it. I owe it to him.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Done

"it" has been done. I do not feel peace. I am not proud of myself. I miss my dude, my constant companion, my agility champ. I promised him that I would heal him. I could not.

I hope that there is a heaven, where he will find peace and loving hands. I wish him a light heart and kind words in his ears. I wish him that dock to sleep on, watching the water that I had promised him so long ago. I wish him peace.

I fear that I have betrayed his trust in me

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sometimes a girl just needs the open road


So after dropping K the elder off at work this morning (and stopping to shop for new patio chairs), I took to the road. Heading up to Pakenham, through countryside, farms and bush always makes me feel alive so off I turned. My foot found the accelerator and dropped….and lifted, looking quickly for the brake. Without any warning, a car filled to brim with Opas and Omas (ok, only 2 of each actually but you know what I mean) cut in front of me – no signals, no warning. Now, the old me would’ve found a way around them, waving my fist high as I passed – probably imploring them to get a clue. Um, yeah…about that – this is why being a Type A country girl DOES NOT WORK. Reconfigure if you move, like I did, to HeeHaw County. Reconsider your attitude before you pack that moving truck. The ‘new’ me just changed velocity to match and kept on going, right behind them. The driver was so out of touch that he failed to see the rollers approach a toute vitesse and he didn’t pull over the way the rest of us in line did to let the Popo pass. Yup, this must have been the first time he’d been behind the wheel in years – and I knew how he felt

With so much work on my plate and Jack’s new found craziness, I haven’t been able to leave the house except when I absolutely need to – like yesterday, for a major waste of time, uh I mean basic (yes, you heard me correctly – basic!!! WTF!!!) First Aid training, for a bunch of freakin’ first responders! At least update our skills with the standard training or even take it up a notch further so that we can actually do more when disaster strikes. I sat through story after story about the facilitator and tried to pay attention. When it came time to move bodies and put people in the recovery position, I had asked to be left out. I mean, I know my stuff from years of patrol skiing and 1st response training so… I tried to explain that if I damage my arms (which aren’t working too well right now anyways, in this ‘season of flare-ups, as I affectionately call our hot sticky summers), I won’t be able to drive or work. Give me a friggin’ break already. So who do you think was first called upon to move a body? Or to be the body? Yeah… I know – stupid knows no boundaries. Like I need someone dragging me by my freakin’ “I will be screaming as I tear your face off because you’ve hurt my arms and I will feel no remorse as I do it” arms. Have you never dealt with physically-challenged clients, you mentally-slow-a-tortoise teacher?!? My body may not work too well but keep it up and I may risk the pain to boot your sorry butt around the parking lot.

Where was I??? Oh yeah, getting out of the house. I cut myself a little slack and drove up to Upper Dwyer Hill and turned around to head back, blasting Frank Black and Kim Deal (ok, Joey Santiago was probably there, and that Dave dude but Kim Deal! Frank Black!). I sang along to all of my favorites and let my energy out. P, if you felt your ears burning, it was me serenading you all of a 4 day drive away, taking liberty with “havalina” to sing out “Pav-a-lina”. Hey, it was out of missing you so it can’t be all bad, eh? I gave myself permission not to worry about how Jack was destroying his kennel or breaking his teeth trying to escape. I needed an ‘out’. On Friday with the approaching storm, I ended up medicating him pretty heavily – 2 valiums (yes, you have read this correctly – 2) and he still exploded around the house, trying to scratch through walls, doors and anything else that got in (what he perceived to be) his way.

We’ve have really woken up to this new reality – he will never be whole. I feel like I haven’t done enough but my Vet reassures me every time I speak with the office that she’s never known any other family to do so much to help a sick dog out. Most people get ‘rid’ (huh??? Can someone explain this concept cuz I’m at a loss) of dogs that aren’t even as damaged. She commends us with every reassurance but it just adds to my feelings of loss and of guilt. If 2 valium don’t do the trick, we’re toast. I’ve tried every behaviour modification in the book (and tapped into a lot of ‘dog-people’ knowledge, begging for a clue in how to fix this).I’ve dragged him to every type of training session, changing my own behaviours to suit the message of the session. Now the chemical modification that I resisted for so long (almost 7 years), the one thing that we could keep as a last resort has failed. We looked at each other today and decided that at the moment, with the way things stand it is only a matter of when. Our Vet is the most humane person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and when she told us of our options, it was the first one out onto the table. I was in disbelief because I always thought I could repair him. Now, I am without that beacon of light. Repair is out of the question. We’ve modified everything in our lives and in his – to watch the 2 boys, it’s hard to believe that they live in the same universe. Nash is Capitaine Décontracté, with his Zen outlook of calm and Jack is Manic Man, flailing around and tearing at the fence to get to the walkers who like to stroll down our hill. BECAUSE OLD PEOPLE ARE SOOOO THREATENING. My 2 dogs are a study in contrasts. I know that I tend to go at length about Jack and his ‘issues’ but where else can I discuss this openly. Right now, I can assure you that there probably even readers out there thinking that I haven’t done enough. No one has given up more for a dog – no visits from people who might frighten him, only people whom he already knows and doesn’t mind too much. No long stays away from him so that he doesn’t break out and go looking for me like he when I was stationed on the other side of the country for weeks at a time. No parties at the house. K the younger’s friends have had to stay away as much as possible, except for the calmer ones like Silent B (what a good kid). No nothing. I am a dog person. I have built a dog-loving family. We would go without anything for their well-being. K the younger will even forgo sleeping in if I need to go out on the weekend, during the day so that Jack has someone with him. He has broken out through a 6” cat door – how he fit, I have no clue. He has thrown himself through closed windows and shattered glass all over my dining room. We were so lucky not to have had him cut himself too badly that day. He has eaten doors and clawed through an 8” oak door, all in attempts to free himself. The sad thing is that he has no clue why he does this and once he escapes, we find him quivering on the side steps, trying to get back in again. He is lost.

I can accept but I do not like my new reality.

Friday, June 08, 2007

My middle name must be 'horseshoe'

Cuz I'm just THAT lucky!

The unabbreviated version of "mofo" seems to be the word de jour with the construction freakazoids today. My office is filled with the dulcet tones of "Mofo-o-rama". It's 'mofo this' and 'mofo that' - 'move that mofo-ing ladder before I crack you on your mofo-ing head, you dumb ass mofo" - you get the drift. Intellectual banter always raises my spirits and to be surrounded with such virility....oooooohh *swoon* How lucky am I! I know...you envy me for getting to live this exciting life ha ha ha
Deluding myself is just one of my many charms!

I have a friend (for argument's sake, I call him "Keith"...oh wait a minute ...better come up with a name that's not actually his...oh crap...WTF, "Keith" it will be - sorry dude)
Keith liked to call me "mofo"; despite my protests, whenever things got silly, out would come this unfortunate expression. Finally, I asked him why he kept calling me this - he said 'cuz yer silly'. Whhhhaaaa?!? Well, I never! Has the sun seeped through your giant bald, "Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show" head to cook your brain?!? Has an earwig descended into your ear canal and chewed out the common-sense receptors? Would a knee to the groin help with these thought processes?

Think of the color of his face when I finally asked him if he knew what it meant. Nope. Not a clue. No freakin' clue. Dufus was calling me this but had never questioned what it stood for. After I removed my knee from his testicles, ummm, I mean "corrected him", he apologized for years of this unknowing verbal abuse.
Men - can't live with 'em; can't murder them in their sleep....cuz ain't no one worth doin' time for.

Oh for the tranquility of my wild back garden!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Free Time? Yeah right!

Holey moly cow - has it been a week already!?! Jeezum crow - I haven't stopped since last Saturday afternoon. I wrapped up some emergency response training on Saturday morning and headed home to K-Man. He's still being called "Limpy MacWhiny" but he's less high. Not so much (ok, a lot of) codeine and lots of sleep have taken a lot of the edge away and he's almost back to his own unique form of normal. Pat & Val came home for a quick visit and some loving - Pat's tat was glowing under his sleeve so I decided to snap a shot - Yes, you are reading correctly... why, you ask? So that he 'remembers to brush his teeth'. Yup, that's my kid. A friend of mine told me that she suspects that he's a lot like me. What should I make of that???

I have been doing a lot of this thing called "working for a living" and secured a nice little contract this week - good stuff to keep me working for the next month or so. It's small potatoes for a lot of people in my field but it's just the right size to keep me busy (and in the black). I love being productive. I even managed to complete a pair of Hedera socks in a soft blue baby yarn. Shhh can you hear that? It's my lovely socks blocking in the other room.
Hmm...what else??? Someone I care about but haven't spoken to in a while called up to ask me to help coordinate another project. Turns out that they were just diagnosed with MS. I didn't know how to express my regrets about this. This is very vibrant person who exudes energy and life force. Not someone to be slowed down by an uncooperative body, that's for certain. Another friend went AWOL and turned up last night in Edmonton - huh? But she called so all is good (All I do is nag you, kiddo). And - BIG *AND* I made my first Etsy sale (Thanks, R!!!! Did I say 'ty' yet - just one million times, eh? Okay, I'll quit now).
I keep meaning to post pictures of my loot from Angelique so here ya go


Isn't the coolest thing EVER!?! I use the coasters every day in my office and they always make me so happy - thanks, Girl!
Taz is next in line for this wonderful experience. I just hope that I can live up to the great things that have gone before. I'll work on it ;)

(OK I had to edit this post - I mean "they was.."???? Now do you believe that English is not my native language???? Jeeeeez!)

Friday, June 01, 2007

100 Posts? Already???

I cannot believe that I’ve wracked up 100 posts already…how on God’s green earth did I manage that? It’s been a strange year, with lots of dips, doodles and bumps in the road. I’ve knit.I’ve drunk.I’ve been good. I’ve been bad.

Over the course of 8 months, I’ve opened 2 businesses, attended to sick partners and pets, fought bad guys and bullies, hugged good people and small people, sometimes wrapped in one package. I’ve gardened in the dead of winter, tried to guide my boys and to remedy a mentally-ill dog. I’ve played tug-of-war with a strong Lab puppy and had him play ‘keep away” with my possessions. I’ve built flower beds and fences, cried tears of frustration and happiness, cleaned up after cats, dogs & peoples of all sorts and sizes. I’ve wiped ‘varnish’ off of my clothes after getting licked by Nash (yummm, Lab spit!); I’ve even ‘done work’ and generally tried to keep my poop in a group. Life moves on and so do blogs. When I started posting, knitting and the occasional (shut up, MC) glass of vino capped a good part of my days. Not so much right now – research, writing and spending countless hours on the phone are no match for a nice Pinot Noir and some squishy merino. The drone of my ‘colleague’ (she who never shuts up, or “swnsu”) is no match for the clack of my bamboos as I slip off another row of my sock. Life moves on.

I know that everyone says this but what I find fascinating about our brave new electronic world (as Huxley spins in his grave – sorry, dude), is the camaraderie that forms when we read someone’s post and immediately identify with the sentiment. Whether in Zambia, Scotland, Mumbai, Delaware or the frigid wilds of Co. Lanark, we are all more alike than we are different. If you’re worried that this is going to slide into the mush of girl-speak and virtual love, you’d better leave now. Ha ha too late! Sucka!

I started this little journal as a means to get some things off of my chest, to converse with myself throughout a painful experience that eventually has become just another learning experience. I never thought that I would have conversations with so many people, whether through their blog or through mine. I never thought that I’d receive and send parcels all over the world or that I would be delighted to share silly details and inane conversations that roll through my pea-sized brain. I was especially ignorant of how many smiles I could garner from an errant hour (or 8) on the inter-web.

There are more good people around us than not-so-good, more love than hate, more understanding than dissent. Seeing this reality is a gift.

Speaking of monkeys, so far the choices for my ‘name my fete-abration’ are:

7. My Kick Ass, Knock your Grandma Down 3rd annual 40th Birthday Bash 5 votes

13. The Cops Ain’t Bin to my House since Grandma was Arrested, so let’s give them a reason to visit-fest 3 votes

14. Y’all Get Real Drunk, Y’hear-fest 2 votes

9. One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor-fest (a dear friend recommended changing this to 1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, “whore-fest”. Remarkably, he is still alive. For now)” 2 votes

1. Leave Your Beer & Wine (now SCRAM)-o-rama 1 vote

8. Bothering the Neighbours Since 1964; why destroy an ancient tradition-fest 1 vote

10. Sharkey & Muffin’s White Trash Bash (“it won’t start when I shut it off so she has to get the beer. She slips it on the front seat and she quietly says to me….” Sing along if you know it)1 vote

No one voted for RootBeer-fest 2007. Not one single person. No one wanted to keep my neighbors awake but several of you had no objection to knocking Grandma down. What does that say about you lot (insert wagging finger here)

Sorry, Taz – Tea with the Queen-abration is out of the question. K refuses to slip into a Beefeater suit, not even for the privilege of wearing that kooky hat. It's always hard to keep him clothed at parties.

Keep the votes coming; I'll have the results in a week or two

From what I gather, our much loved Willie is on the mend. We send him love and thanks for many years of fine music and smiles. Here’s to many, many more. Maybe this rest will allow for some more song writing and a new a new album. To tide you over, here’s a little video (personally, I think that he does a better job of this tune live but I’m a fan).

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I love noise (no, really)

Freakin' loser electrician next door decided to test my window glass strength, uh...I mean blast us with an industrial-sized radio yesterday. Now, I love "classic rock" as much as the next aging, sagging bellied-loser electrician, uh..I mean "the next guy" but this is too much. K the elder approached the work crew and politely asked them to turn it down. Loser-boy was off-site and one of the other crew members nicely obliged. Loser-boy came back 45 minutes later and blasted the snot out of...sorry, I meant "turned it up again". WTF! K (once again) approached the freak and asked (politely AGAIN) 'if (he) could turn it down'. The answer, without a soupcon of irony was 'no'. "You mean that you won't turn it down?". "No". K climbed into the work site and asked him once again if he wouldn't consider it and once again, the fat fuck...uh sorry (can't stop slipping into the local vernacular) "the electrician" said 'no'. Approached the self-proclaimed 'site director', who said that it wasn't his responsibility. Fine, matters like this are best left for a vindictive, malevolent force of nature...uh,"me". One call to his boss, a client of K the elder's and bum-licker (oh sweet mother of pearl, I'm slipping AGAIN), I meant to say "numb nuts"...no nonononononono I meant to say 'the guy' (pheeee-yew!) turned it down. I'm just waiting for today's antics. I have already spoken with the by-law office and our local constabulary - all it will take is one more indiscretion, one more step over the line between inconvenience and outright attack and the boom will come down. My patience has now run out. Deep breath. Deep breath. Freakin' hillbillies!

On a much happier note, Taz is our new "IT" grrl, running off with the next PIF; Girlfriend, I still need your addie to start the ball rolling. Drop me a line when you get the chance. As revenge...ooops, I mean as a 'thank you for tagging me', she tagged me back. I guess it's time to use my handy-dandy "get out of memes free" card. I'm not a TV watcher so I didn't make the connection with Drew Carey's Mimi, until I looked at the title of the photo. Meh, she looked pissed off and that suits my mood EXACTLY LOL. If I could just get my hands on some pale blue eyeshadow.... and some dead spiders to use as eyelashes.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I love little boys


HAPPY - c'est moi!

Many, many thanks to Angelique for including me in the PIF project. I was thrilled to get a lovely little envelope in the mail this morning (how did she know how much I love cool stamps!?!). It sort of clanked when I shook it so I was worried on the walk home - was it broken? Oh no! Maybe it was filled with so much love that it cracked apart? Thankfully nothing was broken - it was 2 (yes, not 1 but 2!!) lovely coasters featuring the most amazing flower pictures, taken by the lady herself! They've already taken up residence in my office, distracting me from any real work as I admire them over & over again. And she sent a beautiful card featuring another gorgeous photo (which will find its way into a frame, along with the ones sent to me by Sara - -just beautiful!) I am most humbly impressed. The highlight of my morning is to have been able to hold the "for good peoples" card. There's a lot of good energy in that card - I'll post photos as soon as I can.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, I'll share how Angelique has put it: “The idea is basically to pass on a little something 'nice' to someone. This wonderful idea started with Mary Contrary and has now traveled to Allyson Hill, Beebee Mod, Barking Biscuit and now me". Oooh, and me, I s'pose! It's a really cool story but distilled to its finest, it's a story about how being kind is never an action wasted. The chance to share a little of this kind energy with others (esp. those in the blogosphere who keep us company, entertain us and make us smile even on the darkest days)is a pretty cool concept, too.

This of course leads me to an important juncture - the next person in the PIF line. Want to play? Of course you do! Be the first person to leave a comment on this post and you'll be the next 'it'. I'll send you an email to confirm that you've been tagged. Join the chain and keep the good energy flowing - you'll get to forward it along, too. Isn't that the coolest thing EVER!?!

I collected the last of the mittens on Friday and got to visit among the LAND OF THE LITTLE FOLKS (or, elementary schools as most normal people call them). Waiting for one of the school's admins to finish a phone call, I observed something odd; all of the children now visit the washrooms in pairs! Isn't that smart?!? The buddy system is a great way to keep track of kids, especially with the amount of anxiety (and the reasons for that anxiety, 'out there'). The little girls giggled together, holding hands as they went into the WC; the little boys however, were a different breed of animal all together. Two boys, probably about 7 headed past me in the hallway, silently moving towards their goal (WC). As they finished up and were washing their hands, I heard Boy 1 ask Boy 2 if he had a girlfriend. Boy 2 mumbled a response and Boy 1 replied, "yeah some girls you'll just never understand". How's that for back country logic! Little dude's got us all sussed out, ladies. I suspect he'll be a force to be reckoned with when he's old enough to date.

I'm still working on knitting enough mittens to fill a few more bags for next winter; in a rural area, mittens are highly prized. This is especially true when we get hit by our famous freezing rain and bitter winds. I grew up with snowy winters and heavy snowfall warnings. I assumed that we were moving into a more stable, warmer climate when we packed our bags ten years ago. Was I ever wrong! The weather here changes constantly - one minute you're in scorching heat, unable to breathe, the next you're trying to keep the dirt out of your eyes as a dust storm flies through, or hoping that your roof doesn't blow off in a heavy windstorm. Our winters seem mild... until you head outside on a sunny February morning and feel the skin on your face turn white with frostbite. Eeeks! A few pairs of mittens really make a difference. One school admin told me that she keeps mitts, socks and hats available for anyone who needs them. If they don't need them anymore, the kids know to hang wet things to dry or to replace the item in the storage cabinet.No questions. No embarrassment. No scolding. Isn't that great! I was really happy when this school returned an empty mitten bag - they used up all of the mittens! Happy doesn't even begin to cover how I felt. If you're a mitten-knitter, drop by my other blog and check us out. Make up a few pairs and keep a few more little hands warm next winter :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Whachamacallit

I never celebrate birthdays; where I come from you get a little something from your family and maybe someone bakes you a small cake. No big whoop– it’s all good. Seeing as this will be the celebration (well, for some of you – misery for the rest of you) of my 516 months on the little blue planet, I figgered that it was time to break a few habits. I will – now this is the scary part. Are you sitting down? – be hosting a birthday gathering later this summer. I need your help in deciding what the name shall be. Because of the monumental nature of the event, the suffixes “2007”, “bash” ,“fest” and “o-rama” will figure quite prominently (Unless you know of other good suffixes)

So far, my choices are:

1. Leave Your Beer & Wine (now SCRAM)-o-rama
2. Mustard, Preztels and Liquor-o-rama 2007
3. Nuttin’ but Condiments-fest (Youse guys know how much I love my mustard LOL)
4. Root Beer Party 2007
5. Show us your (insert name of favorite body part here) -fest (Who put that one on the list?!? Really!)
6. 516 months of bliss. Just ask my husband-fest
7. My Kick Ass, Knock your Grandma Down 3rd annual 40th Birthday Bash
8. Bothering the Neighbours Since 1964; why destroy an ancient tradition-fest
9. One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor-fest (a dear friend recommended changing this to 1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, “whore-fest”. Remarkably, he is still alive. For now)”
10. Sharkey & Muffin’s White Trash Bash (“it won’t start when I shut it off so she has to get the beer. She slips it on the front seat and she quietly says to me….” Sing along if you know it)
11. My Neighbors are Old – Let’s Keep Them Awake-fest
12. Booze Crooze in my BackYard 2007
13. The Cops Ain’t Bin to my House since Grandma was Arrested, so let’s give them a reason to visit-fest
14. Y’all Get Real Drunk, Y’hear-fest
(courtesy of Pat)

Please place your votes via the handy-dandy comment feature. June sumthing sumthing, I'll tally up the numbers and see who walks/limps/crawls away the winner. There may be prizes involved. Maybe....

In all seriousness, we are respectable, law-abiding people who are not white trash (at least, I don’t think that we are). We’re relatively well-educated, well-traveled and civilized. Just for the record: Grandma as never been arrested nor has anyone tried to kick her, we do not want to see your various body parts, there will probably be no tequila, I like my neighbors and finally, yes we will serve food, not just condiments.

If you’ve got any others, send ‘em on. I’ll be busy spraying my beehive hairdo for spiders, slapping on my marabou sling backs and adjusting my stretch pants. My fluorescent pink lycra stretch pants. Yeah, I know – you think in pictures, doncha?!?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Status Quo (no, not the British band, just my life)

Typical conversation in my house:

Me: Is Flashlight in or out? The construction crew has arrived and she shouldn't be outside
Him: Huh?
Me: Is Flashlight in or is she out?
Him: Sorry?
Me: Did you bring Flashlight in?
Him: What?
Me: Is. Flashlight.in. the.house?
Him: Okay, I'll let her in
Me: Oh, never mind

This, folks, is the reason that I believe in the power of meditation. After over 25 years of this nonsense, you either move on to the 'happy place' inside your head or you're doing time for murdering someone. It's all about your options. Happy thoughts...happy thoughts

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

what else could I be???

History major, folks - need I say more???


I am nerdier than 90% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!


Being a historian is a lot like being a gun slinger in downtown Ottawa - not much call for you these days...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Canines with a Cause

This is so cool - Canines with a Cause was just on CBC local news - Celeste was a diamond! The best part (besides seeing Nash's sister demonstrating her smarts) was to see my dear friend, Miriam sharing her dream. If you haven't heard of this great local organization, check them out. With a small volunteer staff, they raise and train service dogs and donate them to people in need, free of charge. Despite all of the challenges of running an all-volunteer/ donation driven group, they work miracles, especially for the people who get to live a full, complete life thanks to a Canines With A Cause dog.

If you are in the Ottawa area and would like to foster one of their amazing puppies, please have a look at their puppy-raiser page. If you can give a little time, a lot of energy and even more love - you could change someones life forever.

If fostering is out of the question, why not host a fund-raiser and donate the proceeds to Canines With A Cause. If you can afford it, consider sponsoring a puppy. For a nominal cost, you get a heck of a lot of free advertising and the knowledge that you've help to change the world.

A service animal is a link back to a world that most of us take for granted; accessibility is a right and a service dog grants that right to their human, freely and with more love than a human can possibly understand. Wouldn't you like to see this for yourself? It just might change your life

For all of you who claim that this little knitting blog has very little actual knitting content, I give you Flashlight, my 'service cat' who knits for me (and if you believe that, do I have a car to sell you?!?)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's Raining Babies Around Here



So many of my friends are reproducing...this alarming rate of procreation can only mean one thing: Baby Showers!!! I had my boys when I was a lot younger than my reproducing friends are today so it makes me giggle when we are all talking about our 'babies'; 'mine's 3', 'mine's 12 months', 'mine are 22 & 17' (and watch the jaws drop - "you have a 22 year old?!?)

Drove off to Cantley, Qc on Sunday to attend the shower of a dear friend, long MIA due to distance and life, in general. Got to meet all of the fun people that I've heard about for years - and, yes, they were fun. And great. And nice. Did I ever tell you that I like nice people? I like nice people. Got to see my dear pal, S and hear the latest news - growing family, happy days, good stuff. Got to see my old friend, Jerome and meet his lovely wife and darling little girl. Julia is a little gem. She must take after her mum ;). Adri's (the mum to be) mother was filling our glasses and plates, singing and making us all feel very welcome and part of the family. Watching her face light up when talking about the new baby was worth the drive into the Quebec wilderness.

I have a huge confession - I am not a happy shopper. I like to plan my shopping for maximum efficiency, dash, grab, pay and leave. I am not a browsy/pokey shopper. Presented with the challenge of baby gifts, I drew a total blank...until I thought about who the gift was for. Adri is a former Goth-kid, with a well-cultivated dark side and a wicked sense of humor (scorpio women rock, folks). She was the only person in my (federal government) office who totally got how funny Gwar was.She can meet me head on with competing Simpsons quotes. And she's smart. Did I ever tell you that I like smart women? I like smart women.

Driving into the city, I had a major brainstorm - Skulls! Crossbones! Skeletons! None of the baby shops I visited carried anything with that type of imagery. WTF?!? There have got to be babies who like the morbid? The spooky? The campy? Like any good crafter in my situation, I devised the only workable solution - make them myself. I couldn't find any t-shirts so I chose some nice onesies, drew up some designs and downloaded the coolest kitty & bones design (you know how I feel about 'death kitty'. I love death kitty. A lot.Remember my hat?) Some paper-backed fusible web, an iron and a lot of zig-zagging threadly goodness later and 2 onesies were stitched and presented. It made me blush when they were passed around and everyone loved them. I'm the perfectionist/type A freaky type so I saw every imperfection but muggles can't see beyond the fun factor. I'm making up a 3rd one, with the wee one's initial once s/he shows his/her mug to the world. I'll get the stitching perfect on that one!

Fun & Games


I've been working on some sets of stitch markers - in my free time. A few of my old jewelry customers have asked for some so I figured that I just whip off a few sets. Oh wait a minute - I get the joke now! "Free time" - OMFG that's too funny!

Thank heavens for little drugs, for little drugs get better every day...ok, so not what Maurice Chevalier would sing but...

K the elder is now on 2 Tylenol 3s and a Valium at night- guess what? He slept through the night. Yeah, like he was shot in the bum with an elephant tranquilizer. He has such a high tolerance for any sort of painkiller that our MD underestimated how much he needed. His mis-spent youth is surely to blame but being a delicate little flower who has never soiled my hands in the seedier world, I know nothing about such things. Hrrmph, yeah right - wanna buy a bridge? I hear Brooklyn's got a nice one at a really good price...

Guess what? Nash is still a pain - a cute pain but a pain in the butt, none the less

Nashie has a new game - he takes his broomball ball (what's wrong with those words???), stands in front of me barking from behind that chunk of orange plastic and waits for me to say "wanna play...BALLLLLL??". I then take the ball, roll it down the hall and scream 'cuz that's how we roll!'. It's hilarious. He high tails it off to retrieve the ball but (and this is the funny part), the game is over if I don't call out 'cuz that's how we roll'. Why does that make a difference? Ask him cuz he hasn't told me yet. He's the dude, my own personal Lebowski!

Tag - you're it!


Scarlett
has tagged me with a meme - 7 random facts about moi? Mon Dieu - everything freakin' thing about me is random! Because I'm ever the iconoclast, I am taking it upon myself to make it 5 random facts and tagging 5 people, in return. My middle name is "Random" so I guess I have a head start

The rules - Each person tagged gives 5 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs 5 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag 5 others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog ( I am sooo going to forget to do this step). Awaaaaay we go!

1. I hate American soap operas but cannot get enough EastEnders and Coronation Street! Why? Who knows - maybe it's because the Brits use more realism in their soaps. American soaps are all glam & glitz, murders and kidnappings. In the Brit versions, you still get the murders and kidnappings but they take place in back street bars and seedy side street markets, not estates and five star hotels.

2. I long to visit Iceland; of all the places that I've been or could go to, Iceland is the highest priority on my list. Why? I don't know...history, high degree of literacy,glaciers, hot springs, Bjork - who knows?!? K the elder has a cousin who is half Icelandic (named Thor, no less)...except for an accident of birth, I too could have been born in Gimli, MB and ave Viking/ Varangian roots

3. I had a bi-polar childhood, divided between boarding school in Montreal/ civilized life with my Grandparents and my parents' wild, frenetic life - communes, travels, self-discovery (freakin' 70s!). I think that it has made me a very conscientious (and protective) parent who has tried to build a home for my sons, not just a place for them to sleep.

4. Are you still reading after the last comment? What is this - like rubbernecking on the highway, checking out an accident? Ok, I'll play along.I adore black licorice - real licorice, mind you, not that fake rubbery, plastic stuff. AND I get very bitchy when my local supplier runs out and doesn't get stock for weeks on end (Yes, Shopper's Drugmart & The Dutch Store- I am talking about you!)

5. I studied Canadian Studies at McGill Uni, with a minor in History. I specialized in early Russian history (and Canadian history, of course). I fell in love with Russian culture and the resiliency of the Russian people. I also befriended 2 former USSR residents (cheers, Piotr & Zsoltan!) and we drank a lot of beer in our school bar, Gert's (located in the Shatner building - yes, that Shatner!). They taught me Russian songs and legends. I still sing about the Rusalki & Vorodonyi when I am in a very good mood. I call my husband "Kalita" when he goes on one of his spending sprees (guitars, amps and pedals - what else?).I was supposed to study in Tver but life got in the way and I didn't push it aside. I don't regret a lot in my life but I do regret this

Consider yourselves tagged, Ladies

Zia - hee hee hee tagged you back ;)
Sara - I'll bribe you with sock knitting
Taz - Share, girl, share
Louise - Another Down Under-er
Stitch-dom - Ottawa Knitters' Represent!

Hope that this weekend has brought you all peace and relaxation - mine's been hectic but I'll tell you all about it tomorrow (it involves petulant cats - beware)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bad, bad Bloggista

I've been running so fast, there hasn't been a minute to jot down what's going on. K the elder is in a lot of pain - tried to move something at work and being a stubborn old man, uh I mean being persistent and dedicated, pulled harder when the object wouldn't budge. His back is knotted severely and we now think that he has a stress fracture of his calf. He has lost a lot of muscle density since his illness so there's not a strong muscle network supporting his body. He hasn't slept more than an hour or 2 and has to keep moving to stop the pain from taking over. Even the Valium his MD prescribed to help him sleep isn't doing enough so we're off to the hospital today to find out what we can do. Poor dude - he's not very good at allowing himself to be taken care of so we're butting heads a bit. I'm getting so little done (compared to the massive list that I need to do)and I'm trying to be patient (yeah, like that'll happen!) and pleasant(ditto).

They're starting on our roof next week; I had hoped that they would be doing it while I was working from my home office this week but ...you know, to make God laugh, tell him your plans. I'll have to sedate Jack heavily once they start or he'll tear his crate apart again. Imagine - psychotic dog faced with yelling men pounding and screaming all over my roof! Eeeek - call in the medics! I'll probably need horse tranqs to keep him quiet. 100 lbs of fury and irrationality - yup, that spells hilarity. Surely there's a sitcom waiting to be written from all of this?!?

I've worked a bit on the Etsy site, opening my virtual doors - now, I just have get some decent photos taken. There's little crafting going on but there's tons of 'real business' taking place. A new marketing plan for my 'real' business, a modified business plan to develop and lots and lots of client talks are on the desk right now. All said, it's going to be a productive month (if I can only stay awake to get it done). Being a grown-up sucks

In the middle of our muddle, young K is storming on - he's working hard with his theatre group, raising funds to pay for the musical score licenses that they need to put on Little Shop of Horrors (aren't they amazing! Little Shop!!! What good taste these guys have!!!) and staying late for rehearsals. He's starting to look a little tired. It's nice to see that his fatigue hasn't dampened his sense of mischief though - check out what he added to my shopping list the other day (and yes, my handwriting does bite - I can't really hold a pen well anymore so it always looks like an escaped mental patient writes my lists for me)

Where exactly does one purchase a flux capacitor? Oh well, better check eBay!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Thoughts on a Sunny Day

Ever look around you and totally get that you're doing pretty good, all things considered?
Here's the short list of things that I'm more than a little grateful for:

*sleeping in until 6h18!!! Hey, I've had 2 weeks of 4h30 until midnight, except when I collapsed and crawled up to bed at 21h00 one night - this extra few hours was most appreciated

*Starting the day with my dogs, my guy and some strong Osterlich caffe (that's "strong coffee that can melt your spoon" to the rest of the world)

* Visiting a secluded garden for a heritage plant sale, hosted by the most lovely Yuko and her husband - thank you so much for the druzhba tomatoes. My Russophile heart soared to walk away with 'friendship' tomatoes

* Dim sum with my 'family by choice, not birth' - hey you guys know how special you are to me. I hope that you like your new title. Here's to Rita, Francois & Marie-Claude!!!

* Having a safe drive into and out of 'the city' - no accidents, wildlife (deer,turkey, horses, bison, bear, or rollers (da popo, to you urbanites)

* Shopping for summery things - who has time to stop and shop leisurely? I never do - this was a real treat. Finding massive sales where ever I went was a blessing, too

* Running into an old friend who I had lost touch with and realizing that she's finding her way and is healthy and happy. Looking at her 2 beautiful daughters and seeing her glow when she talks about them - it doesn't get any better than that! Saundra, Bella and Thalia - so good to have our paths cross again!!!

* Coming home and seeing Jack in his crate, sleeping off his meds, with only a thumping of his tail to acknowledge that I'm home

* Finding a ton of quilt scraps at the thrift store and a flowered sheet that is begging to be part of my dining room blind replacement project - bliss, thy name is fabric (and yarn)

* Stopping for a few minutes to acknowledge that I've been able to add a few more friendly faces to my little corner of the universe (Hi Tina & Christine!!). You'll have to hang on for a little while (some things are still 'secrets') but just you wait and see what these 2 ladies will be doing in our local business community!!! Prepare to be amazed!!!!


What really blows my mind is that the day is still young. Who knows what other joys the day will send my way? At least my eyes are open for their arrival

Friday, May 11, 2007

thought so...

GREEN

You are a very calm and contemplative person. Others are drawn to your peaceful, nurturing nature.

Find out your color at QuizMeme.com!

Just a typical afternoon (absorbing life lessons all the way)

* work butt off, trying in vain to ignore participant who can't seem to shut up...EVER! - hard work is good for the soul and patience? Well, patience is a virtue
*Drive, drive and drive some more - ah the rural life! Isn't nice to leave the city and drive, drive, drive all the way home!?! Watch out for the deer...the wild tom turkey...the loose bison who escaped from that farm...deep breath, deep breath
*come home later than planned, carrying laptop, tote, day shoes (I wear driving mocs so that I don't spend more on heel repair than shoes), mail, purse, etc. etc - strength training is highly recommended
*stagger through 36" deep sand left by construction crew, slipping, sliding, pulling weakened back muscles - pain makes you grow
* fight off overwhelmed dogs who declare 'the construction workers were playing soccer in our yard AGAIN and didn't invite us, mummy - fix it!' - it's so nice to be greeted by loving faces
*make supper, using only the freshest organic vegetables and high protein, local free range meat on the market (who am I kidding - call DH to tell to order pizza - sausage and pepperoni) - nutrition is important
*change from suit to real clothes in order to relax - changing clothes is a signal to the body to release tension - now I can get some real work done!
*bring laptop outside to finish writing proposal number 18 - ahhh, fresh air is so rejuvenating
*recover patio chairs from all over the yard - it's so nice to share with those (filthy) construction people - I'm sure that they're all lovely individuals. Please help yourself to a drink while you're making yourself comfortable
*Smell heavy manure smell of local farmers' soy bean and corn fields - ok, not so pretty but it's natural. Isn't rural life so ... ah who am I kidding?!? It smells like every cow in the county took a dump in my backyard. My search for zen is starting to clunk along
*lose server connection 12 times - ahhhh technology. Patience is a virtue
*return inside to office to complete proposal - home should be about family, not silly proposals or this 'earning a living' joke
*attend to squealing DH, standing on hall landing and looking frantically out landing window- oh my goodness! Did you break a limb? Lose a toe? Let me sew it back on for you
*follow panicked gaze of DH and check out marmot, 'sleeping' in the dog run - ahh, rural life is wonderful! Look how we can commune with wildlife!
*go outside to encourage "sleeping" marmot to take off - communing with nature is so important in our hectic times but it's really time to get your own yard, dude
*gently poke said marmot with dust broom - we must respect our animal neighbours so gentle is best
*poke marmot harder - respect is important - why isn't he respecting me and leaving?
*realize that your forestry engineer, wild man husband is deathly afraid of a former marmot, a deceased marmot - A D*E*A*D* marmot and start laughing hysterically - laughter feeds the soul
*arouse the suspicion of your neighbours, who come to investigate - neighbours are so important in these impersonal times
*watch their faces as you try to explain why it's all so funny and realize that maybe it's just not that funny - it's important to be sensitive to others
*realize that no work will be done tonight and that you'd better get up at 4h30 to complete the proposal - be flexible like the willow

AH CRAP!

The Late, Great Marmotska

He's a lumberjack and it's ok...he sleeps all night and pokes marmots by day

Yes, that is my swiffer that he's using. Be proud of dear K - this is the closest he's ever gotten to a marmot. Don't get me started about our resident skunk


What makes it all worthwhile - my salvaged jonquils, shining like the sun. I love you all

Ah poop - now I'm late for my commute

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Possibly

the most annoying, yet compelling video ever
Badgers
yeah, IF YOU'RE A TWEAKER
Holy Moley Cow

Listen guys - not exactly erudite, I know but...
it's 6h30
I woke up to a cat sitting on my pillow
I've got wet hair (and I hate wet hair)
I've got to sit in a stuffy classroom all day
My brain hurts
I haven't touched my coffee yet

"When life gives you lemons, squeeze them in other peoples' eyes - if you must suffer, so must they"
Ren

"Happy Happy Joy Joy"
Stimpy

Monday, May 07, 2007

How I know that I'm

OLD

Well, I still watch Henry Rollins rant and rave but it's on syndicated television, not some grotty stage in a club of questionable repute, in a bad neighbourhood. Oh yeah, and that I go right to bed afterwards...cuz it's 9 pm and I'm old & tired

What happened, man!?!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

"D" for Done!



Finally, a little (completed) knitting to crow about. I finished up my second "Zia" sock last evening. I had bought a little Harrisburg from Mississippi Black Sheep in a beautiful deep periwinkle blue (with tiny flecks of a deep purple hiding in it). The vintage sock strechers that I use make the cuffs look wider than they really are but I found that they fit nicely. Living in a relatively cold climate, I tend to make my sock cuffs longer but these are perfect for cool summer nights spent by the fire outside. I can almost smell the marshmallows melting - YUM!


Many, many thanks to the lovely Zia for letting me test drive this pattern!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

To Fair or not to Fair...

That's the big question looming on my horizon today; to take a risk and do a few fairs (besides my stand-bys, the farmer's markets) or to play it safe and stay home and read.

I've done quite a few local fairs in my day; ranging from the blue haired grandma/ church basement events all the way to radical feminist, bitch slap you if you don't bitch slap me first events, I've done 'em all. Some have been surprisingly successful. Some have been dismal failures. Like the time that I took a risk on a new festival organized by a friend of mine - billed as the premier feminist event of the year, I thought it would be a cool opportunity. Disorganized was bad enough but I really didn't anticipate the lack of vendor concern that I would find. Here's the picture - I haul my stuff in (1 hour drive, one way), set up tables and jewelry displays and wait. And wait. No one showed up except the organizers. Ok, so they didn't do the advertising that they promised us they would. Things happen, especially during the first year of any event... Then,finally a few customers trickled in. Then - yes it gets better - he showed up. A guy with a tray of jewelry. He stood right in front of the few minglers/ customers that had showed up at my booth and every time, they picked up a piece of my jewelry, he asked them, 'how much is that one?". Then, because he was such a twat, uh, I mean competitive businessman, he offered one of his pieces for less 'because (you) really don't want to buy that,do you?', pointing at my piece. Ok, patience is a virtue. Took a deep breath and called one of the organizers over, pointing out that he wasn't a vendor and that he was actually scaring off the few customers that were there. Her response to me was 'well, what do you want me to do about it?'. Um, let's see... it's a closed event on private property - escort the dumbass off! I've paid for my booth; he hasn't paid you a thing. Think about it! After about an hour of this, I walked out.

Then there was the art fair that was really well organized and wonderful (profitable, too - some days). A 'shopper' decided that she was going to photograph all of the pieces of jewelry that she liked so she - get this - make them herself. She even had the nerve to hint that she might sell them, if they were nice enough. Yeah, some people were born with their heads firmly planted up their.... never mind. So with any fair, there's opportunity and there's risk. The trick is deciding which one will work for you as a vendor. It's all about fit. If the event fits your style, ethics and personality - then go for it. If it doesn't toss out the invitation and run away.

The reason that I'm so focused on this topic is that I'm debating joining up with Ravenswing this year. From the outside it looks good - the correspondence that I've had with their team has been polite, professional, personal (in a good way) and ...well, nice. I like nice. I thought that they were still doing monthly events so thought it best not to vend in the 'first one'. Then, I found out that it was a once-a-year thing. Hmmm that changes everything. I had planned on going as a shopper and feeling it out to see if it would a good fit and then (if it was) doing the next one, in June. Now, the decision is sort of 'do it (go on, you know you want to)' vs. 'danger, danger, run away' (actually, considering how nice they seem, I don't think that it would be that bad). I'm seriously considering setting up and taking the day as it comes. The problem is that I still have that little person sitting on my shoulder trying to talk me out of it. Once burned, twice shy, I suppose...

What about you? How do you choose events? How do you know if you'll 'fit' with the event? How do you know what merch. to bring? Have any of you been to this event (Ravenswing) before?
As my craft business has branched out away from just jewelry, it's becoming more of a thinking game when it comes to deciding what I should run up for an event. I'd love a little of your bloggi-goodness right about now - let me know how you figure this stuff out

You'll have my never-ending appreciation and affection, if you do ;)
As an added incentive, I bring you Pat

Monday, April 30, 2007

I saw the worst movie EVER

Yesterday, MMM (the Canadian music channel) ran Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story.

The movie sucked. Then it blowed. Then it spewed. It was garbage. It was worse than garbage (wait, what's worse than garbage?). The writers and producers took a fairly interesting story of working class blokes making it big, facing difficulties and rebuilding their lives - and turned into a comic book. A cheap, childish, dull-witted comic book. Characters that could have been full, interesting people came across as cardboard cut outs, silly caricatures where there should have been flesh & blood. Still, just like the car wreck on the autoroute or the co-worker drunk and lascivious at the office party, I couldn't look away.

As bad as it was, it got me thinking. When Pat was a baby, we sang to him - anything that was on the stereo was his lullaby. His favorite stories weren't the piles of books that I bought for him; it was the liner notes of our large record collection. I can still remember him asking why the Bolos and Bozos couldn't be friends (dear friends- Europe 72? The Dead? C'mon, you know this. I know you do). When he discovered MTV on a visit back to the States, he was about 15 months old. It was all over before it began. The family started to call him the 'MTV baby' because you couldn't get him away from videos, singing, dancing and baby air-guitar. Being a musician from a family of musicians, well what could I do? I bought him a guitar...um, actually it was a ukulele. Most kids would have stopped right there. Not Pat. As soon as he could lift it, the stand that held our fireplace tools became his mic stand. Toss on a pair of funky green sunglasses and the legend of "I a Def Leppard" takes root. Little Pat would hear a DL song start up and whrrrr - he'd arrive running to start 'playing' his guitar. "Pat - what are you doing?". "I a Def Leppard - look" (followed by a scissor jump and heavy strokes down his tiny little fret board). He went to a DL show at age 3 1/2, got a giant T-shirt which became his favorite piece of clothing and cemented his ideas of stardom forever. So, I think that you can see why this crappy movie was a slap to the mother of their biggest little fan.

It's funny, that crappy movie got me thinking of band histories. When I was a teen, my dream was to be the next Lester Bangs or Hunter S. Thompson (PBUH). Catch a story, share a history of the music that was such a part of my own spirit, relate how important and life changing all of this noise was. I saw everybody that I could see - sometimes catching 2 or 3 shows a night, hitting the road with absolute strangers to get to the next big thing. Living for the moment that the lights would roll and the band would fly into view. Being young, wild and reasonably attractive didn't hurt and yup, got my fair share of fun, too. I could share a few choice details about a few folks...but that wouldn't be right. My first real boyfriend was in a band - met him at his video shoot and from there...well, band histories... you know. It was part of the experience. Part of my identity. Why would it be unusual then, for my offspring to be so wrapped up in this culture? To quote my mother, 'the acorn doesn't roll too far from its tree'. Thank, Mom - your support has been immeasurable.

Back in the day, the details mattered so much. I had forgotten the need to research and learn as much as I could about a group. On a whim yesterday, I did a little work on DL, just to see what had become of this major influencer of my toddler. Last year, I was thrilled to hear 20th Century Boy again - Marc Bolan is one of my all time faves but that DL would cover it struck me as odd. A comeback attempt + a chance to share their own influences, I suppose. What I learned yesterday was the usual stuff - young guys form a band, band exceeds expectations, fame goes to their heads (and bodies) and then, they disappear. Comeback's attempted, no one's interested. Band history. What I was surprised to learn about, however was how one band member has taken his own life struggles and used his energy to help others. The Raven Drum Foundation looks to drumming and communal rhythms as agents of healing and spirituality. Not new concepts, by any means but I found it refreshing to see someone take their life and use it for healthy causes. I really enjoyed their site, especially the interviews with Rick Allen where he discusses his (dis)ability and how he worked to re-wire his brain after losing his arm. As our understanding of what a disability is shifts towards acceptance of being 'differently abled' , frank discussions like this are healing. I suppose that our biggest obstacles are really those which live in our minds.


Yeah, never leave your photos in the custody of your children - if you ever want copies of them, that is

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I was fine...

until I stopped breathing

I was so excited by my news late Friday evening that I decided to drop in on K the elder at work to tell him. The only problem were the rubber boots on the counter...right beside the crates of pool chemicals. Latex... chlorine...Yeah, about that... Asthma is a bitch. Actually, the term is 'respiratory distress' as what I have isn't asthma per se; it's a by-product of my condition and I usually used a steroid inhaler to keep my lungs working. Because I don't work in a 'dirty' office any more, I've cut back on my steroids and with the cold that I picked up last week, there are plaques on my airways (who knew?!? Well, actually I did but being stubborn and oblivious are just some of my charms). Inflammation + chemicals = scared. Within minutes of arriving, I was unable to open my left lung and my throat has closed up. It took cold water and fresh air, menthol losenges and a whole lot of time before the whistling noises stopped. I have to admit it was pretty funny to see people looking all around to find out who was whistling at them...

Who says there's no knitting going on? They lie! There's tons and tons of it (ok, maybe not tons but a few pounds, at least)
First, there's the purple sweater

There are the bitey mitts, waiting for their tongues and eyes to be added
And - ta da!!!- Zia's new sock pattern!!! Not only are they pretty socks, buying the wool for them took me out of my comfort zone, straight into one of the most positive conversations of my week. On a whim, I took the advice of some wise spinners whom I had met at an artists conference and went to the Mississippi Black Sheep in Carleton Place (they really need a web site). What a stroke of luck! A lovely little shop, filled with all sorts of woolly goodness. A friendly host with a good heart and a love of her work. It doesn't get any better than that. This was probably the best customer service experience that I've had in a loooong while! After a great chat, I was on my way with a hand-wound skein of the most lovely periwinkle blue with flecks of royal purple wool. The weight is perfect and the prices in that store are really really reasonable! I was worried that I was going to drop a few more bucks than I actually did and was so entranced with my giant bundle of blue that I almost forgot where I had parked. Yeah, I could be an astronaut; I'm just that smart... just like a dump truck

I really thought that with the Mercury retrograde over, communications would be smoother but it seems like there are still some glitches out there, trying to resolve themselves. I made a presentation last week where I reminded the group to be mindful of their words, to walk with 'light feet'. It seemed to hit a note and several people spoke to me about it afterwards. In my life, I have 2 ideals - to be the person my dogs think I am (except that Jack doesn't quite know what to make of any humans right now) and to emulate my beloved Grandfather in his way of living. I can remember him telling us, after the horrors that he had lived through, to always be kind. "If you have the choice, choose to be gentle. And you always have a choice", he'd tell us on our walks. Out of all of us grandchildren, I am the one who remembers these walks with fondness. My older brother remembers them as a' have to' (versus a 'want to'). My older cousins remember these walks as a burden, of 'having to keep Zeyde busy'. I was the smallest, the one who was always lost in the crowd of sibs, half-sibs ,step-sibs and cousins and he focused a lot on my heart, helping me to shape positive thoughts. I thought that I had forgotten a lot of what he tried to impart but I now realize just how much I absorbed. A careless word, an unkind gesture can alienate and hurt. Even though I'm far from a Bodhisattva, I am learning (and re-learning) to be kinder in my day-to-day life. If a man who survived 2 World Wars and witnessed how cruel humans can be, can open his heart to the world, then there's hope for all of us. I just need to keep remembering this when the light seems its dimmest.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Who Should Paint You: Andy Warhol
You've got an interested edge that would be reflected in any portraitYou don't need any fancy paint techniques to stand out from the crowd!


Yeah, I kinda figgered a Warhol would be appropriate...
Child of the 70s...hippy parents...yup

Blame it on PMS?

In this case, it stands for Pessimistic Mind Syndrome. It's been a bitch of a (couple of) years and I've learned not to get overly optimistic when a plan's afoot. After a day/week of misery, thinking that I had been denied my grant/ contract, a late evening phone call made me spin on my heels. After the comments made when I handed my application docs in and those made when I interviewed, I was sure that someone would tried to snafu it for me. When you prepare a professional, succinct presentation and then get told that they don't want to see it, you do start to wonder why you bother putting on a suit, driving 45 KM and smiling like a madwoman.
At any rate, apparently they were quite impressed despite outward appearances and want me to continue with my business plan. Being self-employed is a tough gig, on any level but I couldn't do it any other way. I'm opinionated, obstinate and awake - yup, I'm a triple threat LOL

Better get my poop in a group and finish up on a few crafty things around Rancho Bumbershoot.

The short list

  • Finish 3 pairs of chompy, bitey Gator mitts (almost done...almost...)
  • Finish the 3 totes sitting on my work table
  • Get an Etsy store up and running by the end of May
  • Decide which events and markets to set up at
  • Finish all of the painting projects around here (yeah, like the hall ceiling that's been waiting for 3 years to be finished. There was a death in the family when I started it and I dropped my roller when I got the phone call. Haven't been able to tackle it since....Patching all of my cracked plaster would be nice too - that friggin' jackhammer did a real number on my ceilings and the tops of some of my walls. Curse this plaster on lathe, turn of the century crap - give me a little gyprock, won't ya!?!)
  • Rehang all of my artwork now that that infernal jackhammer has left the work site

In the middle of the maelstrom, I did finish a couple of totes. I cut out the panels for this faux-tik a week or two ago but only got around to sewing them on Thursday. Because the fabric is pretty thick (like a light denim/twill), I didn't interface it. It still feels durable and everything's triple stitched. I may add some stiffener in the bottom, maybe some fun foam or plastic canvas/ buckram

Like Bubbi, I tend to gravitate towards polka dots and the yellow really looks happy, lining this shopper-tote
I tried to get some of the nicer, more complete images on either side; the back has a pretty elephant baby

I'll try to slap up a few other things that I've been busying myself with lately, when there's a moment

Here's to a great (peace-filled) weekend. I hope that yours is warm and wonderful, too


Thursday, April 26, 2007

you know it's been a rough week when

I start dreaming about buying the bus
Of course, the MCI was sold... it's the only one that I wanted. I once flipped the bird to some big bald dude driving that bus after he cut me off on my nightly commute. A couple of weeks later, I was so excited to pull into my first Fred show and lol & behold, there was the bus and who was leaning against the door? Why the big bald dude, of course!
After wiping all of that egg off of my face, I went in and enjoyed the best show EVER - they even did "rev it up". Willie smiled that beautiful smile as we sang along. Fred told us jokes (I've heard them all so many times, now - thank God!) The vibe was good; the people were great...
Man, I miss that bus

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monkeys, poop and phobias

Ok, I guess I have to come clean...I have a mortal fear of monkeys
In my post about Pink Mohair's problems getting Bugaboo to offer a sensible solution to her stroller woes, I used the expression "holy flying Monkey crap", much to Linda Lu's amusement. To me, it's one of the scariest images ever but I guess if you've never lived with a monkey, you just don't know about that. It's just funny. I, unfortunately, did live with a monkey. An ancient, dirty, possessive, violent monkey. There's nothing funny about it, to me or to my siblings

My grandfather emigrated from his country as a young man, accompanied by his older sisters and brother. Alone in a new place, speaking a new language, they started their lives again. Once they started working (their English was much better than his), they felt that 'poor Stan' was lonely and my Great-Aunt suggested getting him a dog. My Great-Uncle John said that he would look into a suitable dog and hit the market. You can imagine everyone's surprise (and Zeyde's delight) when John pulled a small, scared monkey out of his coat that night. Well, Monkey (yes, that was his name) moved in. He went every where with Stan, who of course, loved him like a child. He went to work. He went to football. Everywhere. When he married my Grandmother, Zeyde had to put Monkey out of reach because he would grab about poor little Edith, rip her clothes and shake her. 7 lbs. of monkey vs. 4'11" of hot-tempered Irish beauty - think about it. Monkey was banished to a nest in the kitchen where, frustrated by the distance between him & his nemesis, he resorted to what later became known as "doing it". This was really 2 activities - yes, the perquisite poop-flinging that we've all seen on TV - that was scary enough but it got worse. Monkey's live forever - FOR-FREAKING-EVER- and Monkey was ancient when I came along. Nestled in a perch on top of a chest freezer in the back kitchen, Monkey sat, stared and shook various parts of his anatomy at anyone who got too close. Even as a toddler, I loved all animals and wanted to cuddle the 'baby'; the 'baby' wanted to pull my hair out of my head, throw poop at me and shake his genitals violently at me. When we were cleaning out that house after my Grandparents were gone, I could still hear Bubbi screaming, "Staaaaaaaaaaaaaan he's doing it again!". As funny as it might seem, I still cannot touch a monkey. Look at a monkey. Like a monkey

Maybe I should be grateful - all I ever needed to know about male anatomy was learned fairly early on thanks to that hairy, stinky mess of monkey

So, do ya still like monkeys?