Monthly Archives: August 2007

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be a drone

Work was actually exciting this week. A nice change from the dreary unmotivated cage. I was pulled into a project that didn’t really have a vision, just deliverables. I quickly scoured the big picture and wrapped some structure around a massive tree with branches reaching to the sky. I pulled it off in the nick of time. It was exciting and rewarding. Fun, really. I love a project, especially ones that need vision. That’s where I shine.

Now I’m well behind schedule on my to-do list. But the next few days will find me writing and thinking and planning and that’s ok, I like that. I’m busy and it feels good. I’m a bee. Not a drone of course, a worker or perhaps the queen. I wonder what the winter will bring when the drones leave the hive, spent and useless. Space, I hope. Space to create from scratch, to build something new and exciting that gives birth to new honey that’s all mine.

Searching in the darkness

I finally fixed the boys’ computer. Won’t they be excited. I’m tempted to save it for a special day. I remember the battles over “switch loads” and  Justin is on my name.

But I don’t have that game on my name.

I don’t care, switch load now! <smack> <cry> <smack back> <punch> <cries>

I remember too well.

They cried tonight when I left their Dad’s. They wanted me to stay for a sleepover. They don’t understand. Justin, she’s just going to get her jammies, let her go.

<heart breaking>

I bet they are asleep by now. All clean after their showers, snuggled in their beds dreaming of computer games and internet connections that work again.

I so love making their dreams come true. 

Is this a song?

When I think of you
it always starts out warm
then fear swirls all around me
and love can’t fight the storm

When I think of you
your tender warm embrace
I’m lost in this fantasy
that love will find its place

But the nights are long
and the day brings light
and the hope inside
makes it all seem right

When I think of you
your eyes are someplace near
I see your soul escaping
with love so true and clear

When I reach for you
you’re a million miles away
I’m using all my wishes
just to hear you say

You care about me.

But I won’t fall
won’t crawl back to the start
I’m safe and I’m a mountain
even when we are apart.

Excuse me, I think I’ll start a novel

But where to start. Develop the characters? Find a story line, the perfect ending or beginning? Or just let it happen. I recently attended a 4 day writing and yoga retreat at the Tatamagouche Centre. It was here I learned that my meditative state of writing is what makes stories fall from your fingertips to the page without your head actively involved, just passively pushing the buttons so that every line conjures up the next great darling.

I so enjoy writing and just letting it flow. For four days I was immersed with like-minded and talented individuals who share a common purpose and passion:  to tell their soul’s story one line at a time. Beautiful metaphors exploding into bursts of heartfelt connections with another soul. Sparks scorching the surface and burning deep within, leaving a mark. Tattoos on the soul. Inking yourself into another. It’s about the connection, after-all. We are all here to make connections. To pour ourselves into another human being. And it’s reciprocal, I love that about life.

Chapter 1…

Fortunes at bay

My to-do list at work is an entire page long. Some items are quick fixes, 5 minute things really that will likely open up a can of worms and take 3 days to untangle. Such is life working in a complex environment. I’ll roll with it, 7 hours at a time. I’m sure it’s not unique so I’m not looking for sympathy.

I picked the kids up and rushed to return a blouse before the shop closed. We made it. I found what I was looking for and the kids bought decorations for their dawgs. Jibbits or something. I don’t know. The shop owner took pity on me and gave us a good deal. Still, I had to put some back. Guess what. I put back the wrong ones. Tears flooded the dinner table as they divided up their spoils and a huge fight ensued over plastic cherries. WTF? Korey ended up letting Justin have them, after he socked him good in the stomach and Justin took his dinner outside on the front porch.

I found his dinner plate outside but he was no where in sight. I panicked and yelled for him. I could here a faint, “I’m done” but couldn’t tell the direction. He was safe and sound in the bathroom waiting for me.

Last night was chocolate. A full glass of milk swung at Korey from a distance. A damp shirt, chocolate floors and walls. I made Justin clean it up. I could smell it all night and at 11:00 was on my hands and knees with the windex, polishing my laminate and getting rid of the sour cow. It wasn’t pleasant but it’s gone now and so is the moment I wish I had handled better.

Tonight we went to see the new puppy, Miss Pickle. A sweet little beagle who undid my shoelace and played tug of war with me. The kids enjoy her and she sits patiently in my arms for neck rubs until something catches her eye and my hands become her favourite chew toy. Brings back memories of Mandy as a puppy.

My sister lost her kitten. Mini-me was only 16 weeks old. Now the mother cat is sick too. The vet thought it may be distemper. That’s scary. I’m not sure how much more my sister can take, her life is so messed up. She’s strong but could  desperately use a break and have something go right for a change. Bad karma I tell her. The drama is more than I can handle from a distance and she’s smack dab in the middle of it. I wish I could do more. I hope my love and support is enough.

Here’s my writing meditation for the day:

Sit and wait patiently. Life will bring you your rewards one moment at a time. Blessings are all around you and as you let them in you find yourself smiling. Not the fake, I’m ok smile. Real deep smiles that bend your cheeks till they hurt and leave lines around your eyes so everyone can see your blessings.

I had a lucid dream last night. It was very scary. I’m still trying to determine what it meant. I’m almost afraid to go to sleep. I hope tonight’s story is sweeter, gentler and shows me the way.

Save it for another day

This weekend the boys and I went to the countryhouse. Sounds upitty, but it’s not. My great-nephew called it the “countryhouse” so it stuck. It’s fitting. It’s not a cottage, it’s a house, in the country.

In the crisp clean air, seagulls play melodies all day long, competing only with passing boats and the church chimes: tender symphonies of our childhood cranked through an ancient soundsystem. At night, the waves innocently reverberate and it sounds as if something in the dark expansive fields is trying to make its way to you. Alas, the spotlight reveals nothing to be afraid of. But the deer do roam in those fields and in the morning, if you’re quiet and up before the noise, you will see them, jumping through the long grass, playing their family games. They are weindeer. I’ve seen weindeer before. Mommy, can we go to the North Pole someday? Do you know the way? Maybe you can get Santa’s phone number and ask him.

A two-night sleepover at the country. Fishing off the government wharf. Low tide and a broken fishing rod. Disappointment for a six year old who was wide-eyed. But his brother shared his rod, reluctantly with moments of panic for Mommy, who anticipates the ensuing battle and the clumbsy pushing and shoving that are part of a boy’s life. The same pushing and shoving on a Government wharf at low tide is a Mother’s nightmare. So I panicked and Laurie brought me back. Thankfully.

Saturday morning, hazy and hot, we made our way to the beach. Now let me tell you, the beach as beautiful as it is, is meant to be enjoyed at dusk or sunrise or on a moonlit night. Not in the middle of a hot and humid afternoon with no relief and three children kicking sand over everything. The sand that grinds into the sunscreen and creates cement. The beach is not my thing, really. But we went. The water was just thawed from its winter’s sleep so no swimming on the agenda. The kids found fun though, as kids always will, with their redneck shovel and makeshift pails. Korey ran into the water and tripped. He got wet then spread out his towel to sunbathe. Where did he learn that? Not from me.

We spread out a bedsheet and enjoyed the playtime between the sand fights. An old, obviously male, dog provided some excitement and beach rocks and broken shells made their way home with us.

And, tired of reading, I wrote. I wrote a story. Well the beginning of a story based on a boat I saw coming in from sea. Laurie gave me the words Sex and Tropical. I wrote only a paragraph on those, but the story took breath and away it went. How much fun was that. Me, on the beach, on a bedsheet, watching my kids, writing. Perfect with ginger snaps.

Oddly, everyone wanted to leave but me.

Once again, the kids ran amuck in the Save Easy. I’m sure they’ll post our photos there soon. Do not let these people in. The kids are wild and the mother is crazy!

They stayed in the truck with Auntie at the LC.

Three boys, six, four and three. What moments of joy they bring. Korey clearly the bigger one. The Teacher to his two students. T is beng knd of bd, read the note to his Mom. Justin is beng good, read the other. Justin and T played volleyball at recess and T wouldn’t sit in his seat. But it was so cute. Cherish these days when they want to be near us, in the house where we know they are safe, at least from outside sources, but not always from each other.

A trip to see Poppy. Open the gate, swish away the horseflies and mosquitos and the tears. Who’s this momma? I’m walking on someone right now. I’m jumpin on Poppy’s head? Go ahead, I’m sure he’d love it. Three daughters and five grandsons, four of which he never knew beyond infancy. So Momma if I lay down you can bury me? You have to be dead first Justin, piped Korey. Another stop to visit more relatives and friends committed to the earth. So many innocent questions. I learned so much.

Mommy time was required early Saturday night, but didn’t happen till way past my boiling point. If kids are tired, why won’t they go to sleep? Downward dogs, kicking, punching, reading, more light, door open, have to pee, need a drink, another pee, I love you momma, I love you momma, Korey don’t touch me. Stop touching me. I want to cuddle her. They finally made it to their dreams without me.

Fire pits, laughter, Corona and smoke. A nice combination. I promised next year I’d play the guitar. Seems the music gene skipped a generation and it’s time to claw back some tunes on Mosher’s Hill.  That is, if we can get everyone to stop laughing and eating cookies, and marshmallows and hotdogs and peanuts and dill pickle chips. I’d hate for someone to choke on a high note.

The kids always wake early at the country. A hard pill when Mommy time was enjoyed. But Sunday I was ok, really. Glad to wake up and see the sunshine. The temperature reached nearly 90°F well before noon. We take our time, move slowly, sip coffee and breathe in the air, the sounds and the memories. The morning tasted like french toast and bacon drizzled with syrup:  sweet and filling, just like the weekend.

And so it appears, I am grapefruit

Maybe it’s my overactive imagination, but I feel strangely like a round yellow fruit. Pink in the middle, full of life-force juice with a sharp tang that often leaves a bitter aftertaste, wait that’s not me, the bitter aftertaste. I’m so full of sunshine and vitamin c, great for the body and soul, but certainly off limits to anyone on cholesterol-lowering medication.

My friend emailed me to ask if I was ok. Thank you for that, you are a true friend. I promised a lighter post and I need it right now. Here goes:

 Within the sunshine there lies a hint of rain…wait…no…don’t go there…

Breathe the way you learned at the Tata Centre last weekend.

He jingled his keys, waiting patiently for the door to open. It didn’t. The doorbell didn’t bring a response. Knocking lightly, then louder and louder. Pounding now, his heart racing. Where could she be? No response. He turned away, then thought he heard something inside. He pounded again, tried the bell. Nothing. Reluctantly he returned to his car, started to scribble a note, scratched out everything he wrote. The neighbours were watching. He left slowly, hoping against hope she would appear in the window. Was it over? Did it happen? He wasn’t quite sure. He felt blank, empty and alone. His imaginary world disappearing.

Inside, she tinkered. Rolling around, fixing things and straightening up. She heard the bell, the knock, the pounding. If only she had arms or legs, she could have made it to the door. She thought about rolling down the stairs but knew she still wouldn’t have been able to reach the lock. And even if she could, grapefruit can’t talk.

That made me feel better. I’m taking Mandy for a well-deserved walk.

Endless Emotion

Emotionally this has been a summer I won’t soon forget. I learned during my vacation that an old friend had passed away within days of our last encounter. Cathy, I saw your mother back in the spring. She looked GREAT. Better than I had ever seen her. It was so great to see her again.

You’ve heard about Mom, right? She passed away April 21.

It wasn’t awkward. I truthfully didn’t know and was saddened and shocked. How could this be?

The day we met was such a guided discovery. Sitting someplace I’ve never been before, I looked up to see a familiar face. We both paused, Lil? Heather? We hugged and hugged and then she sat to catch me up on the news. Listening to her stories stirred such a warmth within my soul. My we had fun. So many good times. So many Lil stories I treasure. She taught me so much, starting with saying yes instead of um-umph. She sat me at the table to peel mushrooms at our first of many dinner parties. I thought it was some kind of test. Who peels mushrooms I thought. Lil did. She did lots of things I hadn’t experienced before and she did them well. Her laughter is an MP3 in my memory. I love to play it when I’m blue.

Come on guy she’d scream at the golfers on TV and I’ll make you a drink and you’ll never drink anything else.I didn’t for nearly five years. She was a great person, full of nuture and caring for her children with a long leash to let them experience their own path. A path she paved with her love and support. I hope I’m that kind of mother to my children. There for them, but also for myself and my own passions.

Deepening the emotion, just after I met Cathy and learned the news about Lil, Brian called to say his mother was taken to the hospital. Korey was aloof, demanding everything was ok. Justin wanted us to close our eyes, hold hands and pray. We did this on the trampoline the first time and then again at bedtime. He repeated the parts of the pray with me and he shivered with fear that his Nanny was sick. 

Tonight, Brian called to say his mother was just taken to the hospital again. He’s on his way in. I’m praying everything is ok. There’s another amazing woman who cherishes her children and holds them up. All seven of them in her tiny arms.

Speaking of Mothers, my Mother and I had a great day today. We took the kids to visit family. I was worried I would be less than patient with her as usual and grow frustrated, which I’m not much good at hiding, but I relaxed. Breathed into it and rolled with the moment. My cousin has a new baby and I held her chubby little self and she snuggled into my breast. I thought I would leak.

We then went to lunch and the boys were extremely well-behaved, aside from Justin smoking french fries. I need to switch to a new brand, clandestine or candy. Their Dad smokes and they don’t mimic him. I guess I should be flattered they watch me so close, but in this case it’s a lung clearer.

Following lunch Mom and the kids sat in the car while I went for blood work. I was rewarded with a procedure so quick, the parking was free. We then visited with my Aunt where the kids met two large standard poodles. Korey made friends and Justin passed his friendship through the screen door. I rewarded them with a trip to their favourite playground while Mom sat in the car relaxing in the shade.

It was a great day with my Mother. I didn’t think that was going to go so well Heather, but it was good. She said. I smiled and breathed.

Frightfully blue, missing Heathertoo

“Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”
Ella Fitzgerald

Unless you count missing your friend’s celebration. It was all planned. There was no forgetting. It was to be a celebration of her, the hearts she warmed and the newness of moving on. When my phone rang and I heard her on the other end, “you’re supposed to be at my party.” My heart sank. What was I thinking? Where is my sense? I feel raisin.

I could go on and on about the past 10 days or so, but it would not be a fitting excuse. I let my friend down. I’m going to feel this moment, soak it in, let it swirl around until I get it.

Heathertoo I miss you and I’m sorry.