Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

Monday, September 29, 2008

regaining my sanity

Have you ever felt like you’re being watched?

Like there’s whispering going on?

I do. Kind of conspicuous but hey... it is what it is. *wink*

In other news...

As of tomorrow, millions of Canadians will be able to resume enjoying uninterrupted the sacred bastion of family together time - the dinner hour, with the advent of the long awaited (wipe away the cobwebs) Do Not Call Registry. CLICK HERE FOR THE REGISTRY (was that in bold enough print?) or you can call 1-866-580-DNCL to register (I hear they're closed during dinner time...).

No more SPAM calls with sollicitors informing (ha! yeah right!) you that:

"Madam, may I speak to the man of the house?" (notice they don't apologize for calling you during dinner time - strike one, although at least this one is polite)

*sound of pages ruffling*


*more ruffling and a few coughs*

"You make the household decisions?" (I know... shocking, isn't it? - strike two)

*mumbling can be heard in the background - the voice cracks - "We didn't go over this in training!!!"*

"I see..."

*you can hear drops of water running down the caller's neck*
*resumes reading from the script*

"Well then, you've been pre-selected to receive a free evaluation of...

Insert the "Pitchus interruptus" here, a very tricky move, but highly effective...

"Oh... You're not a homeowner?" (and gullible - strike three)


Can you hear the angels singing? That's the Allelujah Chorus!
Can you hear the phone ringing?


Ain't it grand! *wink*

Saturday, September 27, 2008

another wordzzle!

I'm stuck with a headache and the feeling that my arms weigh a ton. And I'm exhausted. The kind of tired you feel when you're emotionally drained.

Didn't much feel like writing... but playing with the words helped take my mind off my worries. Since I can't concentrate much today, I only did the ten word wordzzle.

The words we were given to attempt a coherent paragraph with were: exacerbate, leotard, path, tomato, Jungle Book, vagabond, parade, limber, storage, Maharajah.

Here goes:

Antoine walked briskly down the path not wanting to miss the Mardi Gras parade. He deserved a break. He had just spent hours organizing the storage locker his vagabond mother rented just off the French Quarter. She kept such an odd collection of items. He found her old, dog-eared copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, signed by Louis Prima. She’d met him when she ran off to become a singer only to be told she was tone-deaf. There was her leotard from the “ballet” phase. She wanted to be in movies and dance with Gene Kelly. She gave that one up when she realized she wasn’t limber enough... let’s just say catching a tomato upside the head during a recital might have precipitated her decision. And there were the boxes of love letters from all her suitors, all as odd and varied as her collection of tchochkes. All the lifting he’d done exacerbated his bad back but it was worth it. Rolling Mother up in the Persian rug the Maharajah had given her after their torrid affair would allow him to discreetly dispose of her after nightfall.

Thanks Raven for hosting us... and thanks MommyWizdom for the words!

Don't forget the visit Raven and the other participants
via Mr Linky.

I'm going to go back to bed, snuggle with Sharkdog and watch a movie or something...

Friday, September 26, 2008

making lemonade...

My birthday is coming up soon and I miss Mom. And things are happening around me that just make me sad and blue. I was slashed into by someone I care about... I feel like I have to protect myself from now on. I can't spend part of my morning crying in my office ever again.

I read a fellow blogger's truth grenades tonight (thanks Jen) and these words felt like she had been in my head (or at the very least my heart):
"I don’t hold grudges. I forgive and forget. But if you hurt me bad enough, you'll never get a piece of me back. I save that piece for myself."

I've decided to take some of the pain and turn it into something positive. A walk down memory lane... I posted this account almost exactly 2 years ago on the old blog, the one that belongs in my past... I was reminded of it in a very painful way this morning. I guess some people lose touch and sometimes the old short-hand one has with a friend gets lost because we take it for granted and stop working on the friendship. Or because maybe it wasn't what I thought it was.

So here goes:

This weekend I took my father (who gets motion sickness when someone rocks in a rocking chair in the same room as he is – yes, it’s THAT bad) to see Mom at the hospital. Got him in the car, and drove the approximately 30 minutes it takes to drive into the city and navigate the side streets of downtown Montreal. He didn’t complain - and usually he uses the ‘passenger side invisible break’ at least 3 times in a drive of that length.
Once we got to the hospital he walked what seemed like 100 feet to get in the building (the door which leads to an elevator just a mere 10 feet from where we parked the car is closed on Sundays... of course!) Okay, so it wasn’t 100 feet, but it sure felt like was, Dad walks slowly, he’s 86… remember watching George Burns walk in the final years?

Once in the building I sat him in a wheelchair (why didn’t I think of it before the long walk… sheesh!) and took him to the ER (yes… she’s still in the ER as they don’t have a single free bed in the Oncology ward or the free world for that matter!) to see Mom.

What came next was, well, it was magic.

My mother knew that my father was coming and had asked my aunt (her sister who had come in from out of town to visit) to brush her hair. The most wonderful smile came over her when she saw Dad. In her eyes, I saw a young girl, giddy from her first crush.

I pushed the wheelchair up to the bed and stood back as my mother took my father’s hands in hers - as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my father is legally blind – he can no longer see the details of a person’s face, much less if her hair is properly coiffed. But my mother’s face is etched in his heart.
She brought her head close to his and they kissed, and I watched them with some guilt. I felt like I was intruding in the most intimate of moments, as they talked to each other with their heads close, their foreheads touching. And I let them be alone together because I don’t know when or if my parents will see each other again in this lifetime.

‘In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.’
- Paul McCartney

In the meantime, I hugged my aunt, and told her I love her. I thought she was going to cry in my arms, but the women in my family have been through a great deal and we know, there is always someone who needs us and we draw strength from each other.
I know that as my aunt looked at my mother she was reminded of my grandmother’s cancer, the gauntness of her face, the frailness of her body. But my mother and her sisters are the strongest women I’ve ever met, and it’s a trait that I intend to carry on and so will my daughter. My aunt and I chatted about her husband, who has lost a leg to diabetes and is relying on her more and more, becoming less and less sure of himself… and about everyone else in the family who is going through a rough patch. And I know that when the end does come, I’ll be holding many of them together, as my mother did before me. I am not the eldest, as is my mother, but I have inherited her resolve and her role in the family.

I could see that although he was happier than... no... that’s not the word… serene, I think it describes it better.. more serene than he’d been in a long time, Dad was tired. So I told him we’d go home and he could have a nice cup of tea and rest. He kissed my mother, and told her he loves her with such tenderness that even a non-softie like me can’t help but be touched by it. She beamed, and I forgot, for a moment, that she was ill. My father was the best painkiller she could be given.
They had talked everyday since she was in the extended care facility and those little chats had made them feel closer, giving them strength. Much like chatting with my wonderful extended family that I love so much, my Soul Patrol brothers and sisters, has lifted me when I need support. But since she's been admitted to the hospital last Thursday, it was the first chance they had to speak.. to reconnect..

‘Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists.... When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.'
– Goncourt

Seeing my parents together again gave me renewed faith and hope for the world…In that brief time… I saw Magic…

‘I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.’
- Shelby Eatenton Latcherie (Steel Magnolias)

When I read this again, I was reminded of just how lucky I am that my parents loved each other so much... and that they showed me that that kind of love does exist. Now I'm fortunate enough to have finally found the man who makes me feel like a giddy schoolgirl every time I see him and who's voice still gives me butterflies when I hear it over the phone.

To the person who hurt me, I hope your heart sings and that no sorrows darken your life. But since you don't believe in me and think I'm selfish and can't feel for someone else's pain... I'll be keeping my distance. I suspect this will cost me other relationships. And that pains me. But I have to respect myself enough to know my truths. If someone doesn't believe in me, I can't believe in them.

May your lives be blessed with love and compassion and true kinship with those around you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

a comforting touch...

I have a very dear friend who is forced to wait helpless from a distance as the man she loves fights for his life. I experienced the pain of not being able to be with the man that completes me (yeah, I know... but as cheesy as that sounds, it's an accurate description) as he undergoes surgery.

It's unbearable. I don't wish it on anyone.

So I ask all of you in the bloggosphere to send good thoughts to my friend Corinne and her Honey Rory. Healing prayers for him.. and strength and comfort for her worried heart. So if you would, imagine your hands holding theirs... it's one of the truest signs of comfort I've ever experienced.

Thanks... she really believes in the power of good thoughts and prayers. And so do I.

UPDATE - I received an e-mail from my friend this morning telling me the surgery has been postponed as her Honey is showing marked signs of recovery. Good thoughts work babies.. Please keep them coming and thank you so very much!

"There is no feeling more comforting and consoling than knowing you are right next to the one you love."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

For my love

Happy birthday to my Honey!

Thank you for making me feel safe and loved.

Boo Mr Cranky Pants!!!

If you want a comprehensive review of last night's DWTS premiere, do yourselves a favour and visit my bro (who I tortured with a few e-mails LOL) by clicking THIS.

But I needed to just say...



Seriously Len... lighten up!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I’m sorry for the delay. I had to edit this post. I could have sworn I’d scheduled it to publish this morning. ARRRR! No wait, Talk Like a Pirate day was yesterday... So, it’s Saturday and that means...

WORDZZLE!!!! (We need a theme song, seriously)

The words Raven has pulled out of thin air for this week's 10-word challenge: budget, news, outer space, gargantuan, brass band, Purple Rose of Cairo, polar bears, insight, innovations, mute. Thanks for making it so darn easy... NOT!

Steven walks by the brass band down the wide corridor and wishes their instruments were mute, his head is killing him. Ahead of him is a gargantuan door. Next to it, along the white wall is a row of chairs. The girl sitting behind the desk puts down the news rag and motions for him to have a seat. How did he get here? He didn’t have time for this! He had to balance the budget for the launch party his company is throwing in less than a week. Why the president of Insight Innovations decided a restaurant named The Purple Rose of Cairo was a good investment idea was beyond him, but then, his opinion wasn’t important. “NEXT!” booms a grave voice over an intercom. Quite frankly it’s a pleasant break from the horrible MUSAK they had playing. Seriously, David Frickin Bowie? Now he can’t stop singing Space Oddity in his head... It kind of feels like he’s Major Tom lost in outer space. The door opens and he unconsciously looks for the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. How did he get here? A man sits behind a desk, waiting. “Hello Steven, what’s the last thing you remember?” he asks, his hands folded in front of him. “White, that’s all I remember...” replied Steven. “Ah... you remember the polar bears then? Welcome to Heaven.”

And now, for the wickedly fun mini challenge. This week, the words were: investments, purring, death penalty, mercury, convalescent home

Myrtle sat in her usual spot in the convalescent home. After her heart attack, the therapist said holding a purring cat might help ease the tension. Obviously the moron had never lost all his investments in a bad deal on Wall Street. She looked in the drawer next to her chair and counted the thermometers. 10. “I wonder if that’s enough mercury to kill that no good lousy stock broker nephew of mine”. Hopefully, New York State won’t enforce the death penalty.

Don't forget to visit Raven et al and read some fun stories. Hopefully Raven isn't regretting letting me join in again.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pieces of 8

Thanks to the wench Fortune Cookies for reminding me that today is Talk like a Pirate Day...

Here's my Stumpy Chicklet getting into the act complete with parrot and pegleg waddle.

And thanks to Bondbaby for awarding us some pirate booty (that made me giggle)!

And um... some aye - candy :)

Thanks and an update

Our thanks to everyone sending Chicklet good healing thoughts.

The x-ray showed no torn ligaments. YAY!

The girl has crutches and is getting used to them slowly.

I'm keeping her home on RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Another slow day and by Monday she'll be cool and zippy on the crutches. She'll be "Chickletifying" them over the next few days (using non permanent accessories since they're rented), maybe we'll have pics for you by then.

Oh... A blogger has drawn my attention to an outrage and I'll be working on my way of dealing with it today. Hopefully I'll be able to let all y'all know about it shortly.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Worried... but proud

First off - I need good healing vibes for Chicklet from the bloggosphere.

Before the end of the last period, my Chicklet's class (a combined 5th and 6th grade class) heads out to help the kids in kindergarden get to their buses (so no child is left behind?). So yesterday was no different. But there was a hitch. As Chicklet was running around in the big kid's playground waiting for the little ones, she twisted her ankle. It's sprained.
We'll be going to the clinic to have it checked out later on today. Icing and elevation did nothing for the swelling yesterday and she's home from school.

So please send her some good vibes, m'kay?

I think she's hoping for crutches. She already mastered the finer points of wheelchair racing when visiting her grandmother before Mom passed away.

Have you ever needed crutches? Borrowed a classmates crutches and fooled around and tried them out when you were in school?

I have a cool kid.

As I've said, Chicklet's in the 5th grade. Last week in English class (Chicklet goes to school in French and English is taught as a scond language) she learned that one of her classmates observes Ramadan. So yesterday morning, I'm guessing after mulling it over for a bit, she asked me if it would be ok if she lived a day like her classmate i.e. fast during daylight hours. What she gathered from her friend is (and I guess there are different meanings of the fast of Ramadan) that it's a small sacrifice when there are poor people who go without all year long.

How am I supposed to argue against that? I can't. So... as Chicklet is recovering from her sprained ankle, we'll find out more (may as well try and learn something while she's out of school...) and have a day of fasting this weekend.

Maybe if our kids are open and willing to learn about each other and we can avoid polluting their minds with hatred we'll watch them lead us towards Peace and Understanding. God knows we're doing a half-assed job of it.

I have a cool kid.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shine on...

My heart is heavy following the news that Richard Wright has passed on to play The Great Gig in The Sky.

You'll be missed.

Thank you for the music.

I could write about him, but as my bro Travis always says... It's all about the music.

"Us and Them"

"Wish You Were Here", still

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle - what was I thinking!

Make sure you scroll down for my last entry in Robert's Show me Photography Challenge.

Last weekend, as I was recovering from being zombified, I decided to try my hand at Raven's Saturday Wordzzle Challenge. I have to excuse for myself this week.

The words we were given for the ten-word challenge are:
spam, problematic, flower girl, splurge, milk, orphanage, lyrics, politics, ice cream cone, cactus.

Here goes:

Wally looked up at the old clock tower and it confirmed what his stomach had been telling him, it was lunch time. He’d been thinking about his SPAM sandwich for at least half an hour. He always made it with sweet pickles and mustard. No one had ever wanted to taste his concoction and to him that wasn’t problematic because he liked it too much to want to share anyway. He put down the wheelbarrow he’d been pushing, wiped his brow with his handkerchief and walked over to the back of his old beat up Chevy pick-up truck. He leaned in and grabbed his lunch in the much reused wrinkled brown paper bag and his thermos filled with ice cold milk. He walked briskly towards his usual spot under the willow tree because he always looked forward to his lunch dates with Phyllis. He didn’t have to say much with her, which was a good thing. Wally wasn’t well versed in topics like politics and current affairs. He just liked to sit by her and look at the clouds in the sky, just like when they were children growing up together at the orphanage. Over the years, they had watched every other kid get adopted by nice families. But every Sunday night, they’d still be there and Sister Margaret would give them an ice cream cone to console them. Phyllis always cried and he would put his arm around her. Secretly, Wally was happy... he wanted to stay with Phyllis forever. Back in the summer of ‘71, she would turn sweet 16 and he was a few months shy of 18. Her favourite rock band was Cactus and she knew all the lyrics to all their songs. He had saved up for months working as the groundskeeper and splurged on concert tickets to take her when they came to town. He was going to ask her to marry him that night. Maybe one of the little ones at the orphanage could be her flower girl, he remembered thinking. He never did get the chance to ask her. After all those years at the orphanage with the sisters, she decided to become a bride of God and entered the novitiate. “So what do you say Sister, is today the day you try one of these sandwiches?” he said, as he sat down next to her. She looked up from her rosary and smiled. Almost forty years later, she still had an impish smile.

Words for the mini challenge were: drag race, poppy seed, swinging from a star, John Denver, diagram.

Tim was taking a break from prepping his car for the drag race. He'd been using a diagram that he got from the John Denver look-a-like at the track. When a girl walked down pit lane looking like she was a dancer at the Swinging From a Star stripclub, he dropped his poppy seed bagel on the carburator and his coffee in the oil tank. What a mess! She winked at the competition... mission accomplished!

Be sure and visit Raven and the other participants!

Showing you... me!

It's Saturday!

We find ourselves on the last day of Robert's Show Me Photo Challenge. The "me" edition. I've had a wonderful time with this challenge.

But today, he wants a self-portrait? As much as I think the last few days has been a far better illustration of who I am than a picture of me could be (seriously, who wants to see that!), I figured I'd go for the "bit of me" option he alluded to and tell you the story that accompanies it.

I hate my left knee. I also kinda like it.

I was about 10 (I think...) and we were spending some time with my aunt's family at their cottage by the lake. I loved going there.
My aunt had some bicycles and I decided I wanted to ride one around. The road the cottage as on was a dirt and gravel road and it was a safe place to ride around because people cared about each other and didn't speed. On the other side of the road from the cottage was a farm with a large pasture. They had Holsteins. The road that intersected with the cottage road lead up a hill. I was going to conquer that hill.

We do stupid things when we're ten.

I always wanted to fly. You know, like if someone asks you what super power you'd like to have if you could have your pick? Mine... flying. My most vivid dream is one of me flying off my bed, out my door, down the hall and the stairs and out the front door. I soared over my house and circled my backyard before landing in front of my neighbor so we could play.

So... flying. When you're a kid, there are two ways that make you feel like you're flying: going as high as you can on a swing (sometimes leaping off of it to see how far you can go), and going as fast as you can on a bicycle (usually downhill for maximum speed and wind effect).

Can you see where I'm going?

I get on the bike and head for the hill road. This road has bigger rocks. They're almost the size of the ones you find by a railroad track. It's a bumpy ride uphill but I pump my legs and make it all the way up. From the top of the hill I can see the lake, the row of cottage roofs and the pasture. And the cows can see me.

I turn the bike towards the bottom of the hill and assume the take-off position. It starts off ok. It's bumpy and I wish the seat was a bit softer... and then...

I lose control of the bike.

I flew.

Over the handlebars and down the hill. Landing with a thump in front of a cow that stopped chewing on the tall grass, looked up and me and mooed, mocking me. I was mad, and humiliated and I had small rocks sticking out of my bloodied leg. I told the cow to shut up, I grabbed the bike and walked (limped) down the remainder of the hill towards my aunt's cottage.

I was covered in dirt, with light trails on my cheeks where my tears of rage and humiliation had washed away the road dirt. I stood on the deck facing the door and looked at the handle. I grabbed it and turned it.

I walked in and started to cry.

My aunt rushed to the bathroom and grabbed her first aid kit and a facecloth and ran it under the water. She cleaned me up and bandaged my leg while my mother kept hovering over me trying to figure out what had happened.

I hated that cow. I swear it snarfed and grinned.

I still have the scar. It reminds me that I can get myself in trouble when I don't stop to think... but I know I can pick myself up, clean myself up and go back out there.

I rode the bike again the next day. But I stayed away from the hill, and the cow.

Thank you Robert and my fellow participants in the Challenge. I'm grateful to have met you all. And my thanks to everyone who's taken the time to read any of the posts in this series. SMOOCH!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Showing you... my woobie

We're on day 6 of the Show Me photography Challenge hosted by Robert from "Thoughts of a Father". Now, for today's challenge, Robert wants to see what relaxes us.

I'm a mom trying to raise her my daughter up to be a strong, confident and fulfilled woman. She's a joy to be around, my Chicklet. But she has an astounding amount of energy and sometimes keeping up with her is draining. She's the Energizer bunny on Espresso!

So, I do like so many mommies do... I escape to the bathroom for some "me time". Of course, as a mom, the only me time I can manage, even in the bathroom is when Chicklet's sleeping. For some reason, once we give birth, we stop having the right to go to the bathroom by ourselves!

I don't take the time to do this nearly enough. Even relaxing requires too much energy sometimes. But I do enjoy a long hot bubble bath. I turn the bathroom light off and light a scented candle. Do I light a lavender scented candle? Vanilla perhaps? Or is it lily of the valley? Nope. In true mommy fashion, I light a clean linen scented candle so I can trick myself into thinking I've done the good mommy thing and washed the sheets and taken care of drying them in the sun ... on a clothesline that appears in the middle of a beautiful field laden with pastel coloured wildflowers. Because really, nothing says relaxation like the satisfaction of my Domestic Goddess duties fulfilled.

After that hot bath, I step over Dum-Dum, who insists on laying on the floor in front of the bathroom door and head into my bedroom where I've got a nice glass of wine waiting and I light another scented candle (well, of course it's clean linen... I'm about to crash into bed!).

I crawl into bed. And try to clear my head. Sometimes it's by catching up with the folks in the bloggosphere, sometimes it's by reading a good book. Of course last night, watching "So You Think You Can Dance - Canada!" (woooooooooooooooo! Travis did you watch? It's going to be HOT HOT HOT! Toronto set quite the tone!) was exciting and not quite conducive to chilling, but otherwise, after a chat with Honey I settle in early. Gosh, I'm boring!

Bloggosphere, meet Lynyrd. Lynyrd, stop eating bananas in bed!

Lynyrd was a gift from my Honey when we went to the Pittsburgh zoo on our first weekend together. He gets a lot of hugs. When I'm not "home" in my Honey arms, I sleep with my "woobie". Honey and I and looking forward to retiring Lynyrd's snuggle activities and consolidating our two families into one.

I apologize for not visiting many of you yesterday, between work, shopping for clothes for Chicklet (she grows too fast), getting dinner and homework done, settling in to watch "So You Think You Can Dance - Canada!" and relaxing... I was wiped out! I'll catch up tonight, I promise.

Don't forget to visit Robert and the other fine participants as they share their pictures and stories. And remember.. relax! It's Friday!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Showing you... a room with a view

And the challenge continues. Robert from Thoughts of a Father has been hosting a fantastic photo challenge, asking us to show everyone something different everyday. Today (Day 5), he's asked us to share our favourite view from anywhere in our "home".

I have three...

The first one that pops in my head is quite simply a view that I can gaze upon anywhere my daughter is. Watching her is my favourite pastime. Looking into her eyes when we're engaged in conversation, the way she cocks her head when she's doing her homework, the determined look on her face when she's attempting to master a new skill, those precious few minutes first thing in the morning when I enter her room and she's still sleeping - the top of her head peeking out from under her beloved magenta plush blanket. And her smile... *sigh*

THAT gets me everytime.

The second is when I'm "home", with my Honey. It's that view from my pillow, the one where I see him for the first time in the morning and I know all's well with the world.

Those first two are fleeting moments that live in my mind's eye... and that belong to me.

Here are the loves of my life... taken at the Georgia Aquarium this summer.

Now, for the actual photo sharing part associated with The Challenge...

The third view I love is the "traditional one". A vista that no matter how many years go by, and however changing the sky is, it's familiar and comforting. It's the sky from either my Chicklet's bedroom window (which used to be mine growing up) or when I stand on the front porch at dusk.

Over the years, the treeline has changed. Some were cut. Others have grown tall and strong... and a multitude of colours and clouds have come and gone.

From my Chicklet's window we can watch the fireworks on Canada Day.

At dusk we look up to see the colours play in the clouds.

And sometimes, if you look hard enough, you can actually see a heart shaped cloud.

Guess love really is in the air.

Don't forget to head on over to Thoughts of a Father, visit Robert and through the magic of Mr Linky you can view other lovely views that speak to the heart of my fellow participants (some truly cool folks I'm glad I'm getting a chance to get to know).

Tomorrow? Something that soothes my soul and helps me relax.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Showing you... precious time

Today is day 4 in Robert's "Show me" Photography Challenge. He asked us to share something of sentimental value and asked if we would tell everyone a little bit about what makes it so special.

And I knew...

For those of you who didn't know me then, I feel like a bit of backstory is necessary.

My mother died of cancer on January 14th, 2007. She fought so hard. I watched her body wither but I could still see a mischievous twinkle in her eyes until the last days. Endless days that still seemed to have gone by so fast. Never knowing how much time was left. Hoping her pain would be taken from her, but knowing it would also mean she would be taken away from me. I still miss her, some days it's paralyzing.

Mom lived a full life. She loved without reservation, sometimes it felt like too much.... But part of that comes from being an only child.

Mom and Dad would have celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this past August 31st. So much time, a lifetime.. yet, not quite enough...

I've kept many of her things, but this is one of my favourites and most treasured. Some day, it will be my daughter's...

I posted this poem in September 2006 and so much time has flown by since then...

My Mother's Watch

I wear my mother's watch.

"It's slow" she said, showing me the watch on her wrist.
"I'll get it fixed Mom" I answered.
I took the watch off her thin and fragile arm and put it on mine.

My mother's watch... so beautiful and delicate. White gold and diamonds... fragile yet made of strong metal. Precious stones, hard yet beautiful. The wristband feels so tight...

I wear my mother's watch.

I wish time would slow down. I wish it could stop.
But as I put her watch against my ear, I hear the ticking, regular and even.

When I wear her watch, it keeps time.
I wear my mother's watch.
I wait and count the minutes... the hours...
I wait.
I wear my mother's watch..

Robert, thank you again for the opportunity to share this memory with you.

And to you, dear reader, don't forget to visit Robert and all the other wonderful participants in the "Show Me" challenge... and thank you for taking the time to read, look and listen.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Showing you - my front door... again

If you've visited this blog in the last two days (if not, where's your tardy slip?) you're aware that Robert over at Thoughts of a Father is hosting a photography challenge all this week. He's asking us to show him something different everyday... so far, we've shared our mailboxes and some kitchen shots.

Today he wants to see our front door... (maybe he's a Master lock-pick... and he's doing research! Hmmmm...)

I wondered what I was going to do with this one since my mailbox/slot/deposit thingy is actually a part of my front door. So, what else is there to show you?

Come on closer, you don't have to hide in the bushes... No seriously, stop that! It's freaking me out! Besides, you'll smoosh the vegetation.

Something else about my front door... I keep doing this all the time. I open the door, dogs are jumping up and down in glee and barking what I could swear is the chorus to "Who let the dogs out", and I rush to get the leashes on so my babies can go water the lawn. And my keys? They get left in the lock. I'm a ditz.

Luckily, since Shark-dog and Dum-Dum always go out for their pre-bedtime potty visit, my keys don't stay up there too long...

What's on the keychain? Well, let's see:
- a remote cardoor opening thingy,
- my car key,
- the key to the shed,
- a heartshaped keychain I got in Cleveland after a glorious weekend with my Honey,
- a keychain my Chicklet picked out for me when she and I took a girls only road trip to Niagara Falls back in 2005,
- a keychain from Alabama that has my Honey pet name for me,
- my house key (duh!) which opens both the front and side door.

That about covers it.

Don't forget to head on over to Robert's to see what his front door looks like and take a few minutes to visit with the other awesome participants in the Show Me Daily Challenge via Mr Linky!

Tomorrow... an object of sentimental value.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Showing you... my kitchen, well, a teeny bit

Today is day two of Robert's Photo challenge. He asked us for pictures of our kitchens... I think maybe he's remodeling and he's looking for ideas. Or, he's working undercover for the Health Department and wants to see the mess.

Well I'll foil that plan!

Here's a little fellow that sits on a shelf (he thinks it's a wall, I don't argue with him). Mom bought it for Chicklet when she was little since she babysat for her a lot and my daughter has a fondness for soft boiled eggs you can stick a piece of toast in.

Ladies and Gentlemen and other bloggers (I don't discriminate... gee, I wouldn't even be welcome on my own blog if I did!)... I give you (figuratively, of course):

Humpty, who unfortunately didn't have a head on his shoulders. I think he felt a bit naked.

He better not fall, I will not take very kindly to the king's horses trotting about in my kitchen.

I had fun playing with this picture. I used Picnik to give it a cartoony (is that a word?) look since he is the stuff from which children's tales are made.

Don't forget to go visit Robert and the other very cool participants in this challenge. You know, this is the great thing about blogging... you get to meet neet new people from all over.

Tomorrow... my front door, again.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Showing you.... my mailbox, um, deposit thingy

I decided to pay Carletta from Round The Bend a visit again this morning because the time I spent on her porch yesterday was so lovely... and I found day one of a fun photography project that Robert from Thoughts of a Father is hosting. The project begins today - can you believe I'm actually getting in on the ground level of a thingy!?! I'm so cool.

OK... so basically, it works like this: Robert assigns a "topic" for a photo everyday for a week. He wants us to show him our stuff-he-wants-to-see. You don't have to post everyday (Robert is loose with his rules - I like and respect that). But I do think he expects everyone that participates to have fun (this is a rule I can get with).

Today's topic is: my mailbox. Well, not "mine" per say... I mean he certainly doesn't expect everyone to trudge up to my front door and take pictures of my mailbox... that would be odd! And creepy! *shudders*

We don't have a classic mailbox like you find by the side of the road. Ours is a slot in the frontdoor. It's just the right size for letters, postcards, a Victoria's Secret catalogue,... what?

Unfortunately I have yet to figure out how to block bills and junk-mail from making it's way through the slot. Maybe I could train the dogs to "deal" with those... if they could stop napping that is. Ahem!

So here it is... my mailbox/slot/deposit thingy.

And you never know what might be peering at you from the other side...

Do stop in and visit Robert and the other participants via Mr Linky. Tell him Anndi sent you via priority mail.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I blame zombies, again - Raven's Saturday Wordzzle Challenge

So many of the bloggers I visit have participated in this fun challenge hosted by Raven. I've been impressed at the caliber of writing my friends have exhibited, and honestly, I've been intimidated. But, I figure since I've been a bit zombified this week I could always blame my poor writing skills on my weakened state. So here goes... I can't promise to participate every week, but who knows?

Please visit Raven (click here) and other inspired bloggers who consistently rock my world with their outstanding contributions to Raven's Saturday Wordzzle Challenge.

I'm sticking to the ten-word and the mini this week... just getting my little toe wet so to speak (do you like the red polish? it's new...)

The ten words or phrases she has pulled out of her hat for us this week are: invincible, falling leaves, two-year-old, fusion, grizzly bear, Jamaica, delivery, popsicle stick, caviar, lap-top. We are instructed to use them in one short (I tried, really!) paragraph.

My ten-word wordzzle:

“Little sister”, sighs Laura, as she runs her finger across the picture she uses as a screen-saver on her laptop. It's her favourite picture, taken when she was five and Meghan was a spunky red-haired two-year-old. In this picture, they're standing in front of the old lake house where their family spent every summer vacation and Thanksgiving dating back to when their father had been a toddler himself. In autumn, it's the perfect place to walk among the falling leaves. Laura still has the log cabin they made together out of popsicle sticks during one of their weekends by the lake. She got to keep it because Meghan had chickened out of a bet and backed out of eating the caviar their father had double-dog dared them to try. She remembered Meghan’s meltdown and grizzly bear growls, and smiled. The then 8 year-old Meghan had vowed, through tears of rage that she would never let anything stop her from getting what she wanted ever again. Who would have guessed that someday that very same girl would backpack through the Andes, survive a hurricane while on vacation in Jamaica and grow up to be one of the preeminent experts in a field as complicated as nuclear fusion. Laura thought her sister was invincible. And now, she found herself sitting on the porch of the lake house waiting to take delivery of Meghan’s ashes so she could sprinkle them in this place that had been so dear to both of them. Meghan the fearless finally did try caviar you see, but she died of a violent allergic reaction.

She also gives us a mini-challenge. Here are the words (seriously, how does she come up with this stuff?): toad stool, liquid lunch, counting sheep, manacles, Jurassic Park. Oy!

12:41PM text from me: You're off to what promises to be a very long liquid lunch at The Manacles Inn with Bob, that advertising rep that looks like the first victim in "Jurassic Park", and Tim from sales. If you wake up with your tongue feeling like you've eaten a basket full of toadstools, you should know your car is parked in front of the little art gallery on Fifth Street that has a painting of counting sheep in the front window. Good luck.

You know... that was fun!

Thanks Raven.. hope you won't hold this against me. Zombies are quite persuasive you know.

"A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket."

~Charles Peguy

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

what's a zombie to do?


I'm still home from work.

This morning, after I stumbled into Chicklet's bedroom to wake her for school (still delusional about the magical powers of a shower) she sat up, looked at me and said: "Mom, you're not going to work are you? Cause you look like a zombie."

Nice. I got dressed and drove her to school. I had to sit on my way back from her locker before heading out the door. Man, I'm tired.

I drove home and resisted the urge to run over a jaywalker who was walking in the middle of the street, no where near an intersection and had the nerve to look at me like she was Queen of the World and I was one of the subjects that had escaped National Beheading Day. Maybe she's never seen a zombie before.

I got home and went inside. The dogs whimpered. "What?! Haven't you ever seen a zombie before?"
I called into work and spoke to my nurse and she gave me a few tips on how to rebuild the levee in my colon. She then gave me the "don't you dare come to the office and start contaminating everyone" speech.

"Not even if I bring my antibacterial wipes?"





Although I rather enjoy a good argument, the nurse wins this one because she's the one who'll be conducting my yearly respirator fit-test and if she's anything like me, she'll remember the argument and get revenge when I am most vulnerable.... cause that's how we roll.

So... what do zombies do all day? Research the internets for propaganda against zombies... such as:

All I have to say about that is... "That's pwepostewous!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

more holidays - or starvation leads to odd posts

Still home, solids are seemingly not my friend at the moment.

Since yesterday, I've been curious about alternative holidays so I've decided to do some research on the subject.

Today's holiday is "Skyscraper Day". I wonder what people in Nebraska do to celebrate this holiday.

I was struck by the irony that we have "Be Late For Something Day" on Friday and Saturday is "Fight Procrastination Day". You have one guess as to what I'll be late for *evil grin*.

The next holiday I wish to highlight is an important one:

On September 8th, we celebrate "International Literacy Day". That awareness day should be a day where we all go about visiting other bloggers, reading their contributions and learning a thing or two (or you could just be thoroughly entertained and get a good chuckle). In that spirit, I strongly encourage you to visit Chris Wood. And this entry will prepare you for the other notable holiday that also happens to fall on the 8th of September: "National Boss/Employee Exchange Day". So... the boss takes your place and does your job. This is all well and good, but odds are your boss supervises more than one person. How is he/she supposed to do everyone's job in a... wait, I see the value of this. *smirk*

So you have enough time to prepare, I thought I'd also give you a heads up about a couple upcoming October holidays:

There's "Fire Pup Day" on October 1st. Sparky here is still in training I'm afraid.

Then we have "Leif Erickson Day" which falls on October 9th. Have you polished your Viking helmet lately?


Do you have a holiday you'd like to celebrate?

Disclaimer: some of these holidays and this post are an illustration of what happens when you have too much time on your hands.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm bored...

I've been home with some form of gastrointestinal ailment for exactly 90 minutes and I don't know what to do with myself.

I sat on my throne and while I cringed at the thought of using my very soft TP after a morning of very UNsoft TP at work, I started to wonder what to do next after the "chaffing". A few tears later and after having done my part to avoid spreading possible germies I grabbed the laptop (portable is a good thing even if not so much for toilets - they are foul) and settled on my chesterfield (gingerly) with it's new cushions (the ones I rearranged earlier for 3 minutes until my mind wandered to what else I could do).

Somehow, I ended up on a site informing me that today is, for my American friends (all y'all are a tad odd, guys), National Beheading Day. I was curious. So I then proceeded to research famous beheadings trying to figure out why of why, and apart for Mr Bobbitt and the misadventures of his little Johnny, I found no other "famous" Americans who have had their heads lopped off (even though I included the "lesser" head to widen my scope).

I wonder, who applies for that job.. seriously, they need to have their head checked.

So anyway, Happy National Beheading Day!

Monday, September 1, 2008

harvest time..

The most yummy grapes ever are currently available at the grocer's. And they're seedless!

I'm talking about Ontario's Coronation grapes.


Does anyone know what happens if your eat too many of them?

Will I start doing the wave and suddenly wake up wearing one of these?