Knocked Over By A Feather

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This badge may call itself silly but it’s something I am now very proudly displaying on my sidebar.  Because silly rules.  After my best stretch of procrastination ever I finally put together a silly picture collage for Merry at KNOCKED OVER BY A FEATHER so that I could be FEATURED there.  OMG, I have never been featured anywhere, so this is a really big deal.

It was a labor of love, because if you know Merry, you love her too.  If you don’t know her, poor you.  Time to find out what you’ve been missing.

Tell Me Something

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Once I believed life was all uphill.

Every day made for gaining ground,

Chasing dreams,

Pressing on to reach the top.

Can you imagine that?

The battle nearly killed me.

What’s so different there?

It looks a lot like here, to me.

 “Tell me something, old friend: why are you fighting?”

 

The Last Minute

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Easter weekend is winding down and so am I.

I’m happy to report that things improved greatly since I posted that Good Friday picture from the freezing depths of wintry hell.  Yesterday and today were both warm enough to sit outside in the afternoon sun.  We still have the remains of our snow mountain in the backyard because W likes to blow all the driveway snow into the same place and it gets hard packed and icy and stubborn about disappearing.

My annual battle with Turbo Tax has been fought and won at last, taking up the better part of Saturday.  What a strange expression.  As if answering all those questions was the best part of my day.   Every year I vow to get that job out of the way early and every year I don’t.  Although I guess you could call this sort of early since we were given an extension to the 5th of May, and look at me, all done almost two weeks ahead of the deadline.

Our Easter Sunday dinner this year was beautiful in its simplicity.  I made my famous roasted chicken breasts covered in BBQ sauce and crispy bacon strips and melted cheese with roasted potatoes and carrots on the side.  We really need to think up a shorter name for that.  But the best part was my daughters quinoa salad.

Its kind of amazing how I’ve lived this long and heard so much about quinoa and until yesterday had never actually eaten it.  So I’m certainly no expert when it comes to quinoa recipes, but I think hers is an excellent one.  Cooked and cooled quinoa mixed with red, yellow and green peppers, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, feta cheese, red onion if you have it (we didn’t) and tossed in an olive oil and vinegar dressing.   Season to taste.  I believe some epicure spices made their way into the vinaigrette.  Add anything else your little wine drenched brain comes up with.  I think I’ve named everything that was in this particular batch.  It was delicious.

Today I picked up my Euros from the bank, wandered around in a drug store for a bit and then went to Staples for printer ink and paper.  And suddenly the day is gone.  Why don’t days at work go winging by like this one?

Anyway, if that was Easter, we’ve had it.  I love my daughter, and her daughter, and all daughters everywhere.  Sons too, even when they’re far away with their own sons and daughters.  I could have just said family for all that,  but my head is still in tax mode spewing out endless details that may or may not be relevant in the grand scheme of things.

If you celebrate Easter, I hope it was awesome.  If you don’t, I hope you had a delightfully springlike weekend wherever you are.

Now I’m going to curl up on my couch with a good book and use up the last minutes of my Monday putting off all the things that I’ve decided I can leave until some other distant future productive last minute.   Because really, life is full of them.

This Is My Backyard on Good Friday

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This is a direct W quote – “Lord Thunderin’ Jesus”.  As for me, I have uttered a couple of phrases beginning with the word “Holy…”   It is a religious holiday after all.

Not even going to wonder how long this snow will continue to fall.  The good news is – we can see the Easter Bunny’s tracks!  Really!  They look suspiciously like the footprints of a jack-rabbit!  Sneaky bunny.

Happy Winterspring.  Hope you all have a thunderin’ awesome day.

Leaving

boarding the train

 

Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.  There was nothing green yet anywhere I looked, and the air stayed cold until well past mid day.  Sometimes the sun would break through the grey mist with a half-hearted attempt at cheering up the sad and dismal countryside , but all that brown was discouraging,  and day after day it seemed to simply give up without a fight.

No, come back!  I wanted to shout at it.  Try harder.  Winter is an asshole, you can make it go away.  But the sun doesn’t listen to anyone.

Those last few bleak days I spent hesitantly preparing to leave, because I was reluctant too.  Remiss to walk away from a life that had become impossible, but which remained, in spite of everything, still strangely comforting in its familiarity.   Afraid, wary, hanging back,  I kept searching for one good reason not to go.  There were reasons, but in the end,  none of them were good enough.

A shrill whistle sounded in the distance and the tracks grumbled and shook as a numbing north wind whipped stray locks of hair across my face and into my eyes, some of the long strands sticking to the tears that kept stubbornly falling no matter how many times I brushed them away.  My ticket to freedom was crushed and broken in one clenched fist.   The other one dragged my heavy bag across the platform.   And then I boarded the southbound train.  With all my might and resolve I resisted the backward pull and in my head I wiped the slate clean.

I felt as stubborn as the sun.  Strong and steady and enduring.   Soon I’d be ready to shine again.

The Speakeasy at Yeah Write # 157 - include the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”

Get Ready Get Set

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I’m so lucky to have people who care about me.  And my feet.  Lucky to have feet, too, which people can care about.

Sorry, but this is how my mind has been working lately as I get ready for Greece.  The worlds worst traveller counts down to departure day.

So far, I have accomplished a lot of random (but extremely important) stuff in preparation.

1.  Went shopping with my daughter and granddaughter to pick out Birkenstocks sandals on Sunday.  I have been wearing them ever since to get them molded to my feet and a little less stiff.  They are marvelous.  Me and my feet are very grateful.

2.  Got my hair cut exactly a month before the trip, because from past experience I know that it will take a month of growth for me to like it.  Am a little bummed because I’m actually liking it right now.

3.  Made an appointment for a pedicure for the 28th, less than two weeks before I leave. Maybe I will post a picture of my beautiful new feet in my beautiful new sandals. If you are extremely excited about this, my goodness. That’s kind of sad.

4.  Bought a kind of over-the-shoulder backpack/bag to carry passport and other very important papers and cards and itineraries which I am currently amassing.  Along with lip gloss.  Because I can’t leave home without that.

5.  Ordered some euros on-line.  They should be ready to pick up at my bank in 3 to 5 business days.  My bank is about two blocks away from my house.  But on-line I could take care of this while wearing a nightgown.

6.  Bought some Skechers Go-Walks, in case we take some long and torturous tour on foot.  They are lighter than running shoes and so incredibly comfortable I almost forgot to take them off in the shoe store to pay for them.

7.  Have booked my flight to Toronto for the tenth of May, where I will stay overnight because the flight the next day from Toronto to Athens is 10 hours long.  That’s a lot of hours hanging around airports and sitting on planes, so I’ve spread out the fun over two days.

8.  Decided that the magic number for outfit packing will be twelve, subject to revision based on whim.  We will be gone for about 17 days and I can wear six things twice.  I have no idea if this will work, but I am a notorious over-packer and find it very easy to go over the weight restrictions with my luggage.

9.  Got two cards of earrings, 18 on each card, every one of them the same sparkly fake stone in a silver setting.  My ears are double pierced so I can lose over 30 of them and still have a matching set.  Overkill?  Yeah, probably.  This is a great example of how I pack, the operative phrase here being ‘just in case….’  Because, you know, they might not sell earrings in Greece.

10.  Look at that, made it all the way to ten and there are still many, many  things over which to obsess.  Like changing my email settings so that I don’t get over a hundred a day, mostly from blogs that I follow.  Finding an adapter, deciding which rechargeable things I can’t possibly live without, practicing being pleasant and agreeable so that my family doesn’t drown me in the Aegean Sea, scheduling posts for when I’m gone so everyone will know where I am whether they want to or not.

Well, there, I think I’ve got all that out of my system and out in the open for the time being.  I’m incredibly lucky to be going, I know that. I may never go anywhere so far away (and quite so willingly) again.  I wish I were a better traveller and could be dying from excitement rather than anxiety.  Big deep breaths, in either case.