Monthly Archives: February 2014

Indulge Yourself

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Whenever the weekend is over I think of that whooshing sound my devices make for a sent e-mail.  Days off do the same thing.  Also days when I take breaks from writing.  There has been a lot of whooshing going on in my life lately.  I got to the place in Cin’s Feb Challenge where it said ‘indulge yourself’ and decided to take that one very seriously.  Not like this is anything new, but sometimes I tend to go overboard.

I would love to say I’ve been doing things that are highly exceptional and utterly extraordinary and extremely creative and intensely fun and important enough to change the world.  And I guess I did just say that, but it would follow that I then feel obligated to expound on the details and I can’t because it’s a big fat lie.

Here’s what actually happened.  I spent my waking hours curled up on the end of the couch with my I-Pad drinking various things (mostly coffee, but last night wine) until the credits rolled on the last episode of Season Four of The Gowuthering heightsod Wife.  Whoosh.  Thank you Netflix.  Now what am I supposed to do while I’m waiting for you to get Season Five?

Well, I immediately thought of something and watched Wuthering Heights from beginning to end, part one and part two.  And finished the wine.  Not sure I could have done it without the wine.

I’m certainly a little more leery now of these multi season shows and getting myself hooked on yet another television series because they seem to have a sort of paralyzing affect on me.  Legal stuff and politics and investigations?  Really??  I could have sworn these things didn’t interest me at all.

I though I was more of an  Emily Bronte/Heathcliff skulking about on the moors kind of girl, but maybe not.

Things That Last

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What do you see when you look at these two pictures?  This is the kind of thing that makes me go “Awwww….” because here’s a relationship that has survived a lot of years.  It looks like they worked at it and took care of it just as they also so obviously (to me) took care of each other.  And they are still together after all these years.  It’s very sweet.  I think they are very lucky.

When I saw this I smiled, and all these things went rushing through my head, so I flipped my I-Pad around to share it with W.  I thought he would make the same connections.

He stared at it with a frown for about three seconds and then he went on and on and ON about the car.  The make and model and year and paint job and tires and chrome and God only knows what else while I sat there in stunned silence.

When he finally wound down I said, okay, but what about the PEOPLE?  And he said, well, I guess they’re probably the original owners.

I guess they probably are.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.

Colour

Colouring used to be crazy hard work.  There was all that staying-in-the-lines nonsense and being criticized for using the wrong colours.  Or maybe that was just me before I knew to argue about artistic license to justify my purple giraffes and polka dot faces.

Now there’s an app for just about everything, including colouring with your fingertips.  This is how I spent the better part of my morning.  Isn’t that a strange expression?  This was actually the very BEST part of my morning.

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I also did a couple of flowers and a bug and some kind of dwarf or something.  But I didn’t post everything because we don’t want to overdose on cute.

Every now and then a person must do something simply because they want to, because it seems to them worth doing, and that does not make it worthless or a waste of time.  (FB/sixties and 60)

So, what wonderful things are you going to do with colour today?

Posted for Cin’s Feb Challenge – Colour

Write A Letter

Cin’s Feb Challenge Day 11:  Write a letter to a friend and mail it.

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All my life I’ve been a writer of letters – the old-fashioned, real-pen-on-real-paper kind that nobody bothers with much anymore.  I have saved random letters written to me, and written by me, and written by old dead relatives, (but don’t worry, they were still alive when they wrote them.)  My sister saved some of the letters I wrote to her when we lived in the NWT, and then she bundled them up and sent them all back to me years later.  I read them and hardly recognized myself.

Now I think it’s time to voluntarily retire myself from this practice partly because it’s becoming a lost art, but mostly because I tend to say some pretty crazy things off the top of my head.  There is no back spacing or cutting and pasting or spell checking with ink on paper.  It’s so much easier to dash off heavily revised e-mails to people and then hope they have the sense to delete them once they’re read.

Way back in the 1950’s and 60’s we were not only taught penmanship, but also proper letter writing skills in school.  I often think it would be nice if kids today learned better e-mailing and chat board and texting skills.  Including things like spelling and grammar and proof reading.  And checking to see what strange things have been auto-corrected before they hit send.

I still remember some of our great lessons in communication back in the day.  You just don’t see stuff like this anymore:

Dear Alice, How are you? I am fine.  What are you up to these days?  Nothing much is going on here…..

and so on, until one or the other of you dies from boredom.

A post card would always be some variation of these sentiments:

Dear Alice, greetings from Timbuktu, having a great time, wish you were here. 

With a lot of exclamation marks.  Never mind if you don’t really mean any of it, the important thing is to be polite and vague.

Okay, it is possible that I missed a few classes.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been watching “The Good Wife” on Netflix and if I’ve learned anything at all from this series it’s that things you are foolish enough to write down on paper can be taken out of context and used against you in a court of law, and that important pieces of police reports are always going mysteriously missing.  The same thing happens with letters.  If you make a statement on one page and explain it on the next, you had better hope that second page stays with the first.  Or future generations will be questioning your intelligence and/or sanity.

The picture above is of the pages of a letter I wrote to my sister from Cambridge Bay in January of 1976.  It states quite clearly that I have stopped wearing my wedding ring because I am thinking of having an affair.

See, you can say shit like that to your sister and she will get the joke and maybe even think it’s funny.  Because she knows you are living in a climate so dark and cold that the only reason you leave your house is for groceries and even then you think long and hard about it.  She knows you have an incredibly active little 17 month old daughter who wears you right out.  And most importantly she knows that you are eight months pregnant and therefore not in your right mind. The next page goes on to explain about puffiness and swelling in my hands and feet and having to grease my fingers to pry the ring off before it cut off my circulation.  No one looks good with a blue ring finger.

But what if that second page got lost?  Oh well, I did say I was only thinking about it.  It’s not likely that I’d send out announcements if it actually happened.

The only other vaguely interesting thing I wrote in that letter was that my daughter liked to wander into the baby’s room, grab hold of the bars on the crib and screech at the top of her lungs while shaking it as hard as she could.  I should have put a stop to this behaviour before her brother was born, but I didn’t.  So if he reads this letter he will know that my daughter and I are responsible for his disrupted sleep patterns if he has any.

See the kind of trouble you can get yourself into?  So I will not be writing a letter to a friend today or quite possibly ever again.  The notes and lists I scribble and leave all over the place will be enough to keep any hoarder descendants I might have deep in thought for a long time.

Or they could just have a big bonfire.  That would also be fine.

Pens

Cin’s Feb Challenge :  Buy a new pen or dig out your fave one.

Yes, okay, I do have a few pens in my house….

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….and probably should not be allowed to buy any more.  But hey, who’s going to stop me?

These two containers of pens and markers are on the desk in the bedroom.  I could gather up all the rest of the pens from their various locations around my home, but I won’t because I don’t have all day.

At work I always carry three pens in my lab coat pocket.  I panic if I don’t have three.  If I happen to set one of them down and you pick it up and wander off with it, I will hunt you down.  At one point I had eleven pens in my purse, but I don’t think there’s that many in there now.  If there’s more, that would be embarrassing, so I’m not going to look. Believe whatever you want.

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Here’s three I quite like, but not necessarily more than all the others, because choosing a favourite pen is like deciding on a favourite child.  Very difficult to do, and no good can come of it.

The one in the middle I got at a little gift shop at Tintern Abbey in Wales in 2007.  If the writing hadn’t worn off the sides it would look more like a keepsake I guess.  I never use this pen because I want to keep it forever and I don’t want it to run out of ink.  So far this is working well.

The other two are sustainable pens made by Seltzer Goods  and are supposed to be eco friendly and write for seven years.  But that’s not why I got them.  I got them because I like Chapters and elephants and coffee.  And pens.

While I was writing this (without a pen) W actually had the nerve to take that black pen from this serious little group photo and claim it as his own!  He says he likes it because it’s not one of those inky gel things.  I started to protest that he can’t have THAT particular pen and he had the nerve to interrupt me by asking if I didn’t think I had so many damned pens that I wouldn’t miss it.  The nerve.

Of course I wouldn’t miss it if I hadn’t seen him take it.  Men are so weird.

Tea Party

Cin’s Feb Challenge:

Day 8 – Tea Party

Day 9 – Brag about yourself or something you are doing

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For most people (I think) it’s an uncomfortable thing to brag about yourself, and I believe that I don’t do that a lot.  However, I could be wrong, because isn’t this blog just one great big brag session??  I guess it is what it is.

This is a picture I painted in 1997.  Yes.  Seventeen years ago.  Amazing fact – it has survived seventeen years worth of de-cluttering.  I spent a lot of time on all the fiddly details and it was one of my first tole paintings ever, but that’s not why I love it.

It reminds me of the relationship I have with my younger sister Ann, the one closest to me in age.  (There are almost ten years between me and our youngest sibling, and a fifteen year old doesn’t set spending time with a five-year old as one of her priorities.)  So the tea parties I remember are the ones where Ann and I played at being civilized grown ups for as long as we could stand it, before taking off outside again to act like the little hooligans we really were.

My hair was dark and straight as a poker and I was always jealous of Ann’s Shirley Temple curls.  Mom dressed me in red while my sister got to wear beautiful blues and chocolate browns.  I would (of course) be the one in charge of the tea-pot and the slicing of the cake, because I was older and bigger and incredibly bossy. I’m not like that AT ALL anymore.  Just ask my sisters, and they had better agree with me.

One of these fine days I will get back into painting.  For awhile I rented a display space at a little store called “Rose Tree Cottage” and sold a lot of my stuff there.  I still have the records somewhere of all the things I painted, and they number in the hundreds.  When it became more like work and less like fun I just stopped doing it.  When I have all kinds of time on my hands and no job to go to I will set up a little ‘studio’ again and see what happens, and what magical memories are still stored away in my old and muddled up mind.

There are all kinds of flaws in this tea party painting.  I could point them out to you if you haven’t already noticed them, but sometimes I think it’s the imperfections in things that make them good.  And dear.  And worth hanging on to for seventeen years.