Tag Archives: daughter

Art du Jour 92

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Food. Drink. Sleep. Books. They are all drugs. (Fay Weldon)

It has been over six months since my last art du jour post. I’ve missed that drug.  See, I would add Netflix and Making Stuff to that list.  I admit my addiction to all of the above.

These are the coffee pictures for my daughter.  Her colours are grey and turquoise.  There is a lot of black and white in her kitchen and I know she likes purple, so fingers crossed she will be happy with these.  I am trying to be less chaotic with my creations but maybe it’s just not in me to make something calm and normal.

It’s a lazy Sunday here, perfectly gorgeous fall weather.  We went for a stroll down to the mall and back in search of rimmer spices for Caesars.  Do we have our priorities straight or what?

When we started this ‘update the look of your ’70’s house’ project I professed to not like grey.  Then I said I didn’t like turquoise and I was really done with purple.  Then I chose pelican grey for the master bedroom and both bathrooms and NOW I’m thinking turquoise and purple are really nice and maybe those should be my colour splashes in the bedroom and forget royal blue or red.

So I guess my point here is you can believe what I say today but don’t assume it will be equally true tomorrow.  I’ve made up my mind to never make up my mind.  Or some such nonsense.  Posting this now before I rethink the whole thing.

Happy autumn Sunday.

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

This morning I cut my hair myself, something I’ve been messing about doing half my life it seems.  And I’ve spent the other half being upset with, happy with, or puzzled by the results of professional haircuts.  At least when I do it myself I save time, learn something, and am always delighted to use the money and time I would have spent with a hairdresser on something more fun.  And less traumatizing.

When we first moved to the Arctic with our one year old daughter my hair was long and straight.  I wore it pulled back at the neck, braided, up in a pony tail and even in pig tails sometimes.   We lived in an isolated community with few amenities, accessible only by air, and I was pregnant and bored.  There’s a deadly combination.  After weeks of conversing with a toddler because my husband was always working or away, using up all my yarn and craft supplies and watching it snow,  I decided to hack off my hair.  Hey, it passed some time.  I took off only a few inches that first time, but then my mother in law sent me the first curling iron I ever owned and the real experimenting began.

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This is me with my two babies (February 1976) after six months in Cambridge Bay and who knows how many self-inflicted hair cuts.  Once my son arrived I had much less time to be bored so the frequency of hair cuts slowed down considerably.

Fast forward to Christmas that same year when we flew to Ontario.  Our son was almost eleven months old and our daughter was two and a half.  I was long overdue for a visit to a salon.  Mothers of young children generally aren’t known for their astute sense of fashion and style, which might explain why I decided to get my hair cut in a “shag”‘ made popular by people like Jane Fonda in the movie Klute.

When I returned with my newly shorn “do” my daughter stopped in her tracks and stared at me.  Not much ever made that kid slow down, so that’s why I remember it.  I picked her up and she grabbed a little fist full of what was left of the hair at my forehead and said “MOMMY ARE YOU IN THERE?”  Yes, my daughter always spoke in caps lock.

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And yes, those are bangs. The shortest bangs in history, except maybe for the ones little kids cut by accident on themselves.  I thought you also might enjoy seeing W in a pink paper party hat, and a messy gift opening Christmas Eve.  And my classy shoes?  Don’t miss those.

The great thing about hair is it keeps on growing and after a couple of months I finally made peace with this hair cut.

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Jane Fonda, eat your heart out.

Birthday Girl

imageIt doesn’t seem so long ago that “grandpa’s munchkin” was just a happy goofy little kid.  She’s not exactly front and center in this photo with mom and great grandparents but somehow she manages to grab the spotlight anyway.

She’s still doing that, fifteen years and counting.

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I’m tempted to talk about time flying and growing up too fast but I’ll skip all that grandma blather we’ve all rolled our eyes at before and just wish Happy Birthday to our beautiful Valentine girl.

Art du Jour 77

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For something that started out looking very much like a baby quilt, this turned out okay in the end.
First there was the design and drawing. Look at me being all precise and disciplined and using a ruler.
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All those little squares were boring so I changed a few of them, added random colours from my box of acrylic tubes, realized my sail boat is impressionistic rather than realistic, and then sat back and looked at this for a long time.
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Then it was cut and paste time, with this result.
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This morning I finally finished it, adding layers and some shading and bits of chaos here and there lest anyone think this might be meant to depict smooth sailing.  It was much too clean and organized.  There will be none of that in this house.
It’s a lovely sunny warm Monday here. It’s also my daughter’s birthday which means another July is winding down. Hope your day is beautiful.

Mega Lopho What?

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Holy cow, I have been so incredibly busy with so much to do I just can’t tell you because I don’t even know where to start….

(So did that sound convincing?)

Maybe you’d prefer the truth.  I have done pretty much nothing for the last couple of days.

Except, my new printer arrived and is as hooked up as a smart wireless printer needs to be.  I have no idea how I survived for so many years with my monstrous old one which in comparison was not very smart at all. But it was a good scanner and it printed excellent photos.  I liked it just fine until the day it decided it could no longer recognize a new ink cartridge and refused to carry on no matter how hard I kicked it.  I’m kidding, I don’t kick inanimate objects.

On Saturday our brand new much-anticipated great-niece arrived! I saw her picture on Facebook before I got the message on my phone! She is in Ontario so I don’t know when we will get to meet her in person.  Why this wonderful news made it impossible for me to accomplish anything is a complete mystery, but I’m using her birth as an excuse anyway.

Then today my daughter cleaned my house and W took granddaughter K shopping for a new winter coat.  One of these years she will stop letting her arms and legs grow ever longer.  And yes, I know I could probably get off my ass and clean my own house now that I’m no longer working,  but I pay her well so I think she’s happy to have me as one of her clients,  plus we sometimes feed her.  I absolutely love how everything looks when she’s done.  And I like to talk to her constantly while she’s here (talk about a captive audience) so once again – no drawings or painting or writing.  I did cook supper though.   I’m not completely useless.

All of the above, including the picture which illustrates some of W’s Christmas decorating skills, has very little to do with the incredible word I discovered and would like to share with you.

megalophonous

Having a loud voice; vociferous; clamorous.

Of grand or imposing sound.

The word ‘megalophonous’ comes from Greek roots meaning ‘big’ and ‘sound’.

The reason I like this word so much is because it so perfectly describes the one and only W.  He isn’t always loud, but when he is,  it’s definitely mega.  He uses his megalophonous talents when greeting people in public places, talking to a group of people, or to just one person in a room full of people so that all other conversations are effectively drowned out, AND when he is talking on the phone.  This is the one that drives me crazy.  He has a friend he talks to who also has a super loud telephone voice.  When the two of them get on the phone I can hear their entire conversation from the other end of the house.

He will tell you that he does this because he is used to talking to his hearing impaired dad, but his dad wasn’t always deaf, whereas W has always been loud.  Perhaps he is partly to blame for his dad’s hearing loss.

My head hurts and my ears pound and ring when people are too loud.  I don’t like music turned up or concerts or crowds of people making a big racket.  Sometimes I think my own hearing loss is a form of self-defence.

So yeah.  That’s all I wanted to say about that.  Because if I say any more and W reads it I’ll be in for a loud lecture on all his virtues.  The entire time I’ve been writing this, W has been sitting across the room as quiet as a mouse.

Okay I take that back because he just made a long and loud speech about the pros and cons of dishwasher liquid versus powder detergents and how he prefers laundry detergent in liquid form.  I agree with everything he said, so there was no reason to shout.

Gawd, we will end up as two little old half deaf shouting people having random conversations about nothing.  Unless that’s happened already.  If so, I really don’t want to hear about it.

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.

Like a Stone

William Powell Frith - Sleep
William Powell Frith – Sleep

March 23rd Daily Prompt:  Mr. Sandman 

What kind of sleeper are you? Do you drop off like a stone and awaken refreshed, or do you need pitch black and silence to drift off to dream?

(I know this is yesterdays prompt, and I would have done it yesterday if I hadn’t needed to take so many naps.  It’s the only sane way to spend a Monday.)

I am a marathon sleeper.  If sleeping were an Olympic event I would be a high ranking favourite, a definite contender for the gold.  I have been in training my entire life.  When I was a baby my mother said her envious friends were sure she must be sedating me.  She could plop me down on any flat surface while she visited and drank tea and I would stay happily passed out until it was time to bundle me up again and take me home.  It was anyone’s guess what color my eyes were for several months because they were so rarely open.

I don’t remember ever being freaked out by bedtime as a child.  Or as an adult either.  So when I gave birth to a daughter who couldn’t seem to figure out how to sleep for more than four hours at a stretch until she was six months old, and then bumped it up to six hours between midnight and six a.m. until she was almost two – well that was enough to make me totally rethink the parenting thing, never mind my new zombie-like personality caused by sleep deprivation.  She was the kind of kid who would jump up and down in the middle of the room and sing and dance to stay awake.  After that I had a less confusing child who restored my faith in the existence of our family’s powerful sleep gene.  I never loved my son so much as when he would look at me with his forlorn little face at the end of the day and say “Is it time to go to bed yet?”

Although pitch black silence is nice for inducing sleep, for me it’s not a necessary requirement.  My grandma could fall asleep anywhere and so can I.  A loud noise or the phone ringing or incessant and annoying snoring (not mentioning any names here) will wake me up easily enough, but if I’m not sufficiently rested I will be ridiculously cranky until you shut up and go away and leave me alone.  Or give me coffee.  That also works.

Maybe I was a raving insomniac in a past life and in this one I’m making up for all that lost sleep. Sleep is such a lovely thing.  I don’t understand why we all don’t do more of it.  Although I’ve heard there are people who would like to do that and can’t.  That makes me feel like one of the lucky ones.   It’s like my brain has an off switch triggered by simply closing my eyes.  Is that a blessing or a curse?  I don’t know.  Maybe the mysteries of the universe can only be solved at 3 a.m., in which case I probably won’t be the one doing that.

But I’m sure this talent for dropping happily off into dreamland and staying there for hours has to be a true indicator of an untroubled mind, right?

Anyway, don’t think too hard about that.  Just agree with me.  You’ll sleep better.

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.

Yulanda

answers

Sometimes it’s nice to listen to an intuitive messenger and healer giving you guidance and advice and telling you stuff about your life.  The reason I know this is because I’ve just experienced it.  A wonderful little lady who calls herself Yulanda talked to me for over an hour, non stop.  I was one of seven people having a same day “reading” done last week before I flew home.  I don’t know how she does it – it must be physically and emotionally (and maybe even spiritually) exhausting for her.

It was a little exhausting for me too, since there are days when I have the attention span of a gnat and my mind wanders and I can’t immediately make sense of things. The entire session was taped so I’ve listened to it all again and, in a burst of ambitious insanity,  typed up a fourteen page copy of all the things she said.

Whew.  I know you will forgive me if I don’t relate it all to you word for word.  The thing I love about psychics (I’ve now been to three) is that you can do away with all the preliminary bother of greetings and introductions and just get right down to the serious business of revelations and mind-boggling insights.  I’m probably the perfect subject for this kind of thing, since I get all emotional and weepy hearing what I already know deep down, but have difficulty admitting to myself.

This is a very much condensed and abbreviated version of all the things she said to me.

1.  You are cognizant, perceptive and intuitive and thus know things that other people don’t.  There are those who find you conceited and arrogant, although you are (of course) neither of those things.  You nail it, every single time, even for little things.  You just know things.  Trust that, trust the things you know.

2.  Your spiritual recognition comes from being a very old soul with experiences from many, many lifetimes.

3.  Your spiritual professionalism makes you a nurturer.  Your world can be chaotic, upside down, and it has been, but no one will know it, you tell them you are fine.  You give and give and are always there for everybody, and lots of times people are not there for you.  You have surrounded yourself with people who take, and this can cause you to become depleted.  You have a huge heart.

4.  You don’t recognize these wonderful qualities about yourself, the amazing energy and the bright light around you, how you are twenty steps beyond compassionate and  have such wonderful empathy, actually deeply feeling people’s pain and joy.

5.  You have a kind of perpetual loneliness about you, being often physically alone, and must be always reminded that you are not alone.  You are never alone.

6.  You have genuine kindness and incredible integrity.  You don’t get angry often, you are like a willow that bends, but you should never apologize for your anger.  Get it out, and then let it go.  You keep too much inside and you need to release that, get mad, have a good cry.  Breathe.

7.  You are a good judge of character and on this you are never wrong. You have premonitions and feelings about people.  Trust those feelings, even when there is no proof because you are always right.  You can also see the good in everybody and you are very forgiving.

8.  You are a really good and wonderful mom with unconditional love for your children.   You are a mom to everybody and very approachable.  Strangers will open up to you because you have a magnetic presence, a charisma, and they feel very comfortable with you.

9.  All this love you have for everybody – give some of that back to you.  You have a heart of gold and are very open with broad spiritual shoulders and take on the weight of everyone’s issues and problems.  If you do what’s right for you and you’re okay, everyone else will benefit.  Never berate yourself or hold yourself accountable or think you should have tried harder when you are not able to help someone as much as you’d like to.

10.  You never ask for help yourself.  Not ever.  You have had a difficult life, you’ve really had your ups and downs but you are a very strong soul and you just keep going.  You carry on.  Embrace that about yourself.  Nothing gives your guiding spirits greater joy than to help another soul.  You don’t need to be broken or alone, learn to ask for help.

11.   Emotional support, finances, physical abundance, good health – all these things are going to be there for you.  This is a really good year for you now, it feels like the beginning of something new.

12.  There is a non life threatening imbalance in your system, a sensitivity to something and a lot of symptoms but all for different things although  it’s just one core thing with branching symptoms.  You will need some sort of procedure and a specialist or two and a change in meds.  Everything will go very well, much better than anticipated.   You will be in good hands.  You have a very high pain threshold and need to watch your comfort level and not ignore what your body is telling you.  .

13.  Your son has just gone through a rather difficult period but it was something that had to take place.  He was not able to be who he is supposed to be and now he is turning into really being himself and that is a very good thing.  He is a very trustworthy and loyal person.  He is meeting new people and he is not doubting himself as much anymore.  Now he can express himself and not hold back.  He is a really good dad and has a truly remarkable connection with his kids.  He is their lifeline.  Please know that he is fine. He is going to be okay.

14.  Your daughter is very, very independent.  She needs to have that person in her life who is really very strong but will allow her to be independent and still care for her.  The relationship she’s just come out of was suffocating her.  It is important for her to stand her ground and set her boundaries.  There were things that she was holding back on, things she didn’t do to move forward, things that got put on hold.  She is a great person, she is more free, she is breathing better now.  She is finding her own path.

15.  Yes, you should absolutely go to Greece.  I don’t see you travelling alone, but with a lot of people.  You are going to be looked after, you have worked hard, this is your time.  There are new beginnings for you.  I also see you going back and forth to the same place over and over again.  It’s really good for you and you embrace that.

16.  There is a gentleman spirit here with whom you connected very strongly in this life, he loved the water and the outdoors, and we would say he crossed over before his time.  He had a comfortable chair that he sat in, he has a military connection to someone in a world war.  This person has a deep affection for you, a lot of love, admiration, pride, and a deep, deep respect for you and your accomplishments.  He wants you to know he is fine, and at peace, with a wonderful sense of clarity now which he did not have on this earth.

17.  Your writing – YES.  Keep writing, absolutely.  You have an ability to write the things that are channelled to you, even though you are not aware of it.  You sit down, take a deep breath, and then boom.  You write.  It just comes.

18.  Somewhere around the four-year mark you are going to consider a move.  Everything will just fall into place, it will be perfect timing and very good for you.  You will come out ahead.

So, there you have it, in a (gigantic over flowing) nutshell.  Do you think I got my moneys worth?  When you think about it with an open mind, this is pretty astounding stuff.

And I think Yulanda is a pretty amazing and beautiful soul.  I feel blessed to have met her.

love my life