Monday, 25 November 2019

Yikes!!, for which I usually blame myself

I have a thing about pockets.  When I'm shopping, it's the first thing I check out and it is often the decision point. 

Strangely, although I want pockets, I hardly use them and find myself carrying, in bags, things that would just beautifully fill in the pockets of my jacket.  And I've noticed the un-use of pockets happens more in my jeans and pants than in my shirts and coats. All this has, up to now, been not much of a problem of any kind.

Yesterday though, putting my favourite lipstick in my jeans pocket led to a very distressing outcome...just the very thing no one wants to see happen. Getting the wash started, I forgot I had anything in my hardly-ever used pockets and tossed our dark clothes in the washer.  

They all came out shining with more or less pinkish-red shapes, shapes that had not been there before the wash, and that was my first clue that something had gone awry. As I yanked everything out of the washer, the top part of the lipstick case landed on the floor. (the rest is probably going to show up next time I do a white wash)

Dave, and probably some of our neighbours, heard my rather loud and definitely unacceptable response to the pinkness.  It had nothing to do with possibly ruined clothes and all to do with my self-respect.  "How could I have done something so stupid?"  is how I started.......

 When Dave just brushed it all off saying something about how it could happen to anyone and how easily it could be dealt with, I actually started laughing, which is not at all like me in similar semi-disastrous events.  

Most of the clothes released the stains when I used a super-cleaner so it's no problem for them. The lipstick had been my favourite one and now I can't remember its name, so I don't come out of this totally OK but I did get a lesson in what's forgivable  and what might just happen to people who are in the last half of 70.
Fixes everything!!

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

I Didn't Wake Up This Grumpy

This morning I have been reading a book I know I would have loved ten years ago, "Bruno, Chief of Police" by Martin Walker.  Bruno is a charming man, but dammit, I can't keep both the people and the mystery in my brain at the same time.

I would like to see an Old Folk section at Chapters that would provide us with books of no more than 4 important characters, no pets, (especially those with names like Gigi and Bobby so you keep thinking mistakenly that they are more people in the story), and no more than 3 possible killers of the important characters.  Also it would be a  lovely addition to have a built-in movable ribbon that   tells you where you left off the story.

And while I'm at it, Chapters, please put more chocolate bars at the pay desk.  It only makes sense that I need to focus on books where the books are and chocolate where it brings additional joy to my visit to Chapters.  Thank you.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Dreams of Germany - Träume von Deutschland

Years and years ago, I spent 4 years in Germany.For the first 18 months, we lived in a small village where we had been able to rent a one-bedroom apartment, which seemed like heaven, mostly because it was next door to the local bakery, so we could start the day
with warm croissants. That was just one of the unusual things about our new life: my refrigerator was about 2 feet high, so we had to go to the market nearly every day and buy small amounts of things that we were going to eat that day. 

 Chris and I would take a basket, buy a small bottle of milk and whatever meat we were going to have that day and everyone we passed on the street said Gutentag and would chuck Chris under the chin.

All of these memories came back this week because I bought a new duvet cover. I had never even heard of a duvet before I moved to Allagen in Germany and was thrilled to have one,
which I would shake out and tuck under the mattress until one day my landlady came by and showed me the correct way to shake it out the window and then fold it down to the end of the bed and use my hand to make a V in the middle. I felt very European doing that.

So I'm back to feeling European again....Gute Nacht!

Thursday, 31 October 2019

So I looked at us in a new way

I often use Blogger as a place to babble, other times to find out, by writing about it, how I feel about something.  This time I know how I feel.

I feel pissed off and I'm desperately beating myself up for it.

When Dave said he was going to get his hip bones replaced, I remember I thought what a good idea that was.  I was thinking of him, and how the pain in his hips was making his usual activities either hurtful or impossible. I was right. 

The surgery is exactly what he needed in order to keep himself active, and to do when he's recovered from surgery, the things he loves, like biking all over the place since we live in such a beautiful part of Ontario, or strolling around our pleasant neighbourhood.  We knew how long it would take him to recover his ability to walk.  I had no problem with that.  I don't know why, but I just accepted how it would be good for him and off we went.

He had his operation,which thankfully went well, and after a few days bedridden in hospital----a very good hospital (the Montfort Hospital which I would recommend to anyone) we came home with the help of my brother Sean who stayed with us for a few days to help Dave move about when he needed that help. He was very thoughtful and useful and after we felt we knew what was going on, he went back home.

 Dave has been getting around the house using a walker with a couple of wheels.  It is not fast or easy for him. Because of the change that comes with his being unable to  walk easily, I've been made aware of the difference in our responsibilities in running the house, and I've had to take on many of them.  The others just wait for him to be mobile again.

I am able....I am strong.....I normally do a lot around the house. I just didn't realize how much of what gets done for us both is done by him, and that all those things still need getting done. I also didn't realize how much of the day, up to now, I spend drinking coffee, eating snacks or sipping wine, which I do sitting down, or reading books, again done sitting down, being alone but accessible.

 My new understanding had made me feel happy that I never chose nursing as my lifework.

I hope I am sounding selfish and shamed, because I certainly am both of those things, at the same time that I am so grateful for the surgery, and so looking forward to his being able to ride his bike or to drive the car out to places where he can use his skis or snowshoes.

It has been a real lesson, and one I'm dismayed to have been so late in learning.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

In which I feel worried about stuff done in the kitchen

I never took great joy in cooking or baking but I did have a few things that other people seemed to like, which made me sort-of-joyful. A friend had given me a great recipe for oatmeal bread, and I'd been lucky in making rice puddings and the best, the really best! bread-pudding.  It worked so well that anyone who ate it always asked for the recipe.

Here it is:
one-half cup raisins,6 to 8 slices of day-old bread, 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 cups of milk, half a cup of sugar, i teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 eggs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put raisins in a cup of hot water to soak for 5 minutes; grease a baking dish; tear up bread into the dish; drain and add raisins,; melt butter and pour over bread; heat milk and sugar until steaming, add vanilla; beat eggs lightly, add hot milk gradually to the eggs. pour over the bread.  Cook 25 minutes . (you may want to substitute chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries) Enjoy!

So, why did I post a recipe today?  Because Dave, who usually does the complicated cooking, has had his hips replaced and needs to look after himself, which includes not standing up in the kitchen for the half-hour or so it takes to mix the recipe. That means that I'm going to give it a try although I'm sure I haven't made this for years. When I saw this recipe, sent by me to Dave 1990 while he was in BC, I thought he might be happy to have this with our dinner tonight, and also, I could put off this scary baking for another half-hour while I write a blog.

Now there is a danger that 2 people who love each other will have to gently support the other if this doesn't work. So I thought if Dave knew I'd included others he might just be ecstatic over this Bread-pudding .

A "yay!" would help.✌

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Not really politics....

We've just taken an October drive in the country when we would normally love looking at orange, red and yellow leaves but it disappointed us as everything is still looking very green.

In my mind, autumn is a beautiful few weeks that helps us to relearn that we live in Canada, a four- season country. In reality, for a few years, our weather has been something quite different, and I'm thinking that we're stuck with this new higgly-piggly surprise-us set of faux-seasons.

Now I have a new set of amazingly warm winter boots, a coat that is labeled as able to keep me warm even at 30 degrees below zero, two mittens that are about the size of those belonging to heavyweight wrestlers, and a laundry basket full of scarves.  That'll keep me warm.  I also have a fall coat, a midweight scarf or two and gloves that are just meant to look good. I expect to be able to use both of them, for days at a time, in some kind of Russian manipulation of our climate.

Of course the Russian thing is probably because Dave and I have been watching "Homeland", a Netflix thing with Claire Danes, which seems to have finished in an unacceptable way.

Imagine, weather and politics in one blog.

Monday, 30 September 2019

In which I take a good step

Yesterday I stopped reading a book I'd already put 3 or 4 days into.

I stopped reading this highly-reviewed book because I couldn't stand it.

I am pleased with myself at the same time that I worry that I've made a mistake.  Of course, even though I passed the book on to someone else, I feel like I'm letting down book-reading.

I've done this a few times but not with a book that everyone else was reading with great satisfaction. Every time over the last few weeks, when I get on the O-train, I've seen at least one person entirely taken up in it, and once I even caught an oral review. 
Don't tell me I can't make decisions

Monday, 23 September 2019

Why I stomped my feet today

  •  We bought me a new Chromebook because my old laptop was letting me down, but in spite of the many things I love about the new machine, like the flat keyboard, the lightness of the computer and the ability to continue using the French version of the keyboard (because I worked for more than  20 years for governments that expected me to be able to write in either English or French) spite of these good things I can't write more than a line at a time without finding that the Chromebook has, on its own, chosen a different place for me to continue the sentence I'm working on.  Sometimes it's not even the same page. When I learned how to use a computer keyboard, it was a rule that you didn't look at the keyboard but watched the screen, so it's even worse to see that I'm doing the right thing and still not getting the product I want. 
  • I have very thick hair and it grows quickly, so I have sometimes chosen a short haircut that works really well but only lasts a couple of weeks. As a result, I've learned pretty well how to cut my own hair, even to use the scissors that cleverly thin your hair if that's what you're looking for.  A few evenings ago, I cut the sides, got out the hand-mirror so I could cut the back, and when I felt like I'd done the length well, I got ready to finish the look I wanted by thinning it in places that needed it. Those scissors were one but me and Dave in the house and those scissors were gone.  When I got up in the morning, there they were, just where they were supposed to be.  And that wasn't the first time that I was sure I knew where something was, then it wasn't there and then it was.  One of my kids told me, sweetly, that I had to expect that kind of thing to be happening to me, as my memory was getting less to be counted on because of my age. I guess I'd forgotten that.
  • I go for a walk almost every day---not long walks but pleasant ones because we are so lucky to be in a place that gives me access to several different kinds of scenes: green grass, paths that follow the river, or lead to beautiful churches, others that take me over to Québec and of course I live near to both the Byward Market and the roads that are home to lovely coffee shops and bars, for which I always have a book. Today when I went out for my walk, I intended to walk over to the river where there is a beautiful waterfall only to find that the road that goes from here to Gatineau was only allowing cars and bicycles. I was so annoyed, partly because just yesterday there had been thousands of persons on that road, for a marathon, and partly because I'd left my wallet at home and couldn't choose to have a glass of wine at the museum that was right in front me. I did however take a boring route home, saw one goose, tripped over my own feet and scratched my knee. Tomorrow I'm going to stay home.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

When things don't work the way you planned

I don't carry around big heavy things anywhere; I only do half or less of the cooking; I take pretty good care of the house, David and my self, and rejoice in the strength I have for my age. So I was really pissed when I was not well yesterday, and it carried over to today.

Emma Spinney
Today is the Ottawa Pride Parade, which I have walked in every year since 2007, and many of those years with one of my daughters, and as years went on, with my great or grand-daughters, most lately with Emma, one of my grand-daughters. Today I wasn't well enough to go.

Except for the 40 some years I daily took anti-depressant medication, I have always been a big laughing and a big crying person and today, having to miss walking in the Ottawa Pride Parade, I've been surprising myself with the grief I feel at being home, not dressed  as I usually would be during Ottawa Pride, in something covered in gender-diversity buttons and ribbons, but in some ordinary pants and shirt without a single rainbow in the room, other than the tattooed one on my right wrist, and crying whenever I see Facebook posts of today's Capital Pride Parade.

I tried to keep my spirits up by watching a movie I'd always remembered as a joyful one, which shows how wrong we can be about our attempts to beat sadness when we're not working from a solid happy place.  La La Land, the movie, had always made me think about how many ways there are to manage your life to be happy but today it reminded me of how hard it is sometimes to let go of the choices that, in later sight, could have been made better.

This is not a place where I want to be today.

Dave, wine and chocolate, here I come.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Lesson Learned, Maybe

I'm having a day!

A weird day.

The first weird thing happened when I'd finished my breakfast of Kellogg Nourish which I'd chosen instead of brioche buns (I know!!)  when I realized that one of the two coffee cups that I use was not in the cupboard, on the counter or in the dishwasher. I started a search, then a serious look-at-every-surface, which in a condo doesn't take too long. The cup was nowhere. I decided that a touch-everything was in order and walked over to the window so as to start from the north end and move through the whole place.  On the way, I caught my foot in the little rug near the door, fell against the shelving and found the glass cup right after the cold coffee had landed on my knees. Why would I have left a cup of cold coffee there? Why had I not thought when I was searching that the shelves by the window had a "surface"?

I should have seen danger and just made a fresh coffee and read a book.  That's usually what I do every day after breakfast.

Instead, I decided to wash my hair. The same hair that I had washed last night because I'd been out in the rain (again, I know!)  We have lots of various shampoos because Dave is Dave and our grandchildren don't want to use shampoo that's especially for senior women, so when I was looking, I came across a tube of  Scintallant Orchid, a temporary colour shimmer spray. Did I have fun! And did I learn that "temporary" certainly does not mean you can wash it out right after you see that Scintillant Orchid makes you look about 10 years older. So, since I was still in the bathroom, I cut the hair at the back of my neck, tried a new foundation, slid a blue eyeliner over my lashes (I should have known better) and cut my toenails. Ouch!!

Clean but somewhat lacking in judgment, I sat at the computer, only to find that if I try to post anything on Facebook, it is posted to my daughter Emily's account. She always forgives me, but I thought I'd just use what little judgment I had left to blog instead.

I can't wait for dinner and an evening which probably includes trying to remember how to get Netflix.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Yes, "fanatic" is in my vocabulary

Quite a long time ago, my daughter Emily and I were on Sparks Street, or maybe it was the Byward Market. And what is wrong with me that I even thought that was a necessary part of my intro?

At the place where we were, there was a young man with a violin, which he quickly told us was a fiddle, and he threw himself into the music with such joy, toe-tapping and talent that we both forgot to breathe for about 4 minutes.  Or so it seemed. It was wonderful, and we bought the CD, went to each our home and, at least on my part, played it again and again. 

It's going to be wonderful again because at Bluesfest, which is about 200 steps from my place, Dave and I are going to be able to see Ashley MacIsaac.  Not from up close, because we can hear Bluesfest from start to finish from the patio, so we'll walk up the sidewalk that goes by the Bluesfest site. If we're lucky we'll get to actually see him on the huge screen.  Wow!

Look him up if you like to lose your breath while listening to music.
one of my favourites pictures of him

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Too much candour?

So today, I saw something in my bunch of photos and thought it would work in the blog to show that I used to be a blonde, first naturally and then assisted, since I'd heard from one of my granddaughters that she didn't recognize pictures of me from when I was blonde. That, and the photo I'd found led to this story:

About twelve years ago I had grown my l'Oréal-assisted blonde hair down past my shoulders and made a strange decision to get curls added to my look.  It was not really a success, and as I soon had about two inches of uncurled, uncoloured hair next to my scalp, I'd decided to remove both colour and curls from my presentation by having everything "not natural" cut off.

The person who did it for me actually tried to talk me out of the drastic decision into something that would be not so different, although she used the words "necessary for your age" and "mumble, mumble well-thought-out". That approach led me to a very "it's MY hair" thing, and she went ahead and cut off all the hair that was not natural-as-birth, like I'd asked.

Did you know that grey hair can look more like very shy brown, and that getting your cut all one length of less than 2 inches doesn't really give you a style, unless you're looking for "wrong choices for 60 year-olds"? I certainly didn't  know that, but I made a start to save the whole thing by buying several pairs of the kind of earrings that make people just focus on them rather than the hair that wasn't hiding them (so I hoped). Also, given that my dad's hair turned beautifully silvery and my mom's was totally, shiny white, I was a bit depressed and felt they'd done wrong by me, but new earrings can almost always change my sad days.

Dave and I have always been careful not to make comments on each other's looks as a rule, but when I came home, he smiled very warmly and told me he liked my hair. (I'm sure it was for the first time, and really, it knocked me over).

Which takes me back to this photo, taken when I was 20, teaching school and spending lots of time and money for a look that, when I see it now, just says "Take a good look, young Julia...blonde!"

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

And I didn't even swear

I just wrote a long post about which is better, chicken or beef.  That post just decided it didn't intend to be read (maybe because I forgot to take my bracelets off before I started to write, which every once in a while means I lose everything on the screen)

The fun part was that I ended the post with bacon.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

"Music has healing power". Elton John

I love music, and I have always loved singing.  As a young Catholic person, I was always in the choir at church, and as a slightly older person wanting to be noticed, I sang at the Teen Club I belonged to.  One of my most joyful memories is wrapped around a day at the convent school I went to when the nun who was the Music Mother came round our class and asked each of us to sing a few chords.  When it was my turn, she actually jumped.  I was "person of the day" in my class that day.

The year I was 32, I was still in a church choir, sang for my kids, always got up in Karaoke bars and over the Christmas holidays I did so much singing that I "lost" my voice.  I was moving my kids, leaving my first husband and living with an uncle and his family, and I just never did anything about recovering.

I told myself that I still had my voice, but I couldn't manage it very well anymore, and while my love for music still stuck with me, I seldom sang along. 

Then this: I was walking home yesterday and had come to a place in the park where I was all alone, singing (in my head) a song from The Civil Wars, a duo I really love, and I started to sing aloud.  It was so wrong. It wasn't me, and it certainly was not what the Civil Wars had sung.

I have to do one of two things: get involved through YouTube in a process to regain your voice (although I don't think it's aimed at someone whose voice got lost 45 years ago) or resign myself to being a former singer.

I'm just not sure I can deal with failing, if I choose to regain my voice.  And I'm not sure I can deal with doing nothing now that I've made myself think about it.  Maybe I'll accept that music has healing power and give it a try by using others' music to help the healing if I can't regain it.  Thanks, Elton.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Some things I wish I hadn't done today

In no particular order:

  • got up at 4 a.m. and decided the day was beginning
  • therefore ate my breakfast at 4:10 a.m.
  • managed with a great deal of pain to take off the rings I should have taken off last night, then washed, brushed my teeth and put the rings back on
  • promised myself to deal with all the books that weren't in a more-or-less alphabetical space on the bookshelves
  • spent time trying to find why in hell I had a book called "The Friday Night Knitting Club, a novel"
  • decided that even though the forecast said we'd reach 30 degrees Celsius by noon, I was wearing black clothes to the Market
  • tried on about 40 hats and bought none
  • got a sunburn on that 4 inches of skin between my neck and my shirt, which would have been covered had I bought a hat with a brim
  • fell asleep in the afternoon, which only happens about 5 times a year, two of which were this week
  • later, forgot I'd put on my pyjamas and went out on the patio to talk to Dave, an act which took place just as all our neighbours were coming home from work
  • read an article outlining why it's OK not to wear a bra, then found it was aimed at people who didn't need them in the first place
There's only a few hours left until bedtime, so I'm feeling like things might just be OK and Dave and I can watch season 2 of the Emmy-awarded series we were watching last night.  Another thing I wish I hadn't done today is forgetting the name of that wonderful entertainment. Damn!

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Babble, babble

Well, I haven't written a blog in several months, and I was kind of nervous about how I would re-start.  Little did I know.

First of all, I had totally forgotten how to make a blog post.  Really, I'd been writing blogs for about 15 years and I should have been able to get down to business with my eyes closed.  I found I was not, eyes closed or not, so I asked Google how do I get to my blog? only to find out that you had to know the name  of your blog. I've been having difficulties remembering all kinds of things, so I went back to Google and wrote "where is my blag?".  Not surprisingly, Google didn't know where to take me.

I decided that throwing my laptop across the room would not really do anything other than give me short-term pleasure, so I went back to Google and wrote "show me Lorna in Wonderland".  That took me back to to my blog in 2015, but it was my blog, and I ended up reading about 15 of my posts from the good old days, which led me back and forth between satisfaction and dread.

Long story short, I discovered that I had changed the owner name from Lorna to Resurfaced Blagher, which no longer seemed amusing to me.  Nonetheless, I am now able to write, foolishly or otherwise, in "Still in Wonderland" which I have now accomplished.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Nostalgia again...

The 9th of March.  It was, many years ago, one of the most exciting days of my life.  Wonderful friends had driven us to Hamilton, where we were going to see a child who had been featured on a newspaper in Toronto as "an available child".  It's hard to imagine, isn't it?

We arrived at the office of the people who managed adoptions (strangely, they were there on a Saturday) and were met by the cutest, newly-walking child whose picture we clutched going in, just in case there were a bunch awaiting us. They didn't ask for any identification, something I only noticed later, but instead asked us to sit down while they brought in "the child".

He was so cute, still not entirely at ease walking, and carrying an obviously well-loved cotton rabbit.  We all fell in love at the moment, and jumped at the chance to take him out for a chance to interact with him.  We hadn't planned anything, but decided that we could go to McD's for a coffee and play with him in the kids corner.  Half an hour later, we were asked if we'd like to take him home!  We didn't waste a moment, even to consult each other...looking back, I think we grabbed him, his bunny and a green garbage bag which held his belongings, and headed for home, but I know we stopped long enough to call my parents, who called everyone we knew, most of whom were waiting for us when we got home.

So today isn't your birthday, Chris, but it's still a day we rejoice.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Whomped !

Dave and I moved out of a large house about ten years ago, and I remember the feeling, both proud and fearful, as we made choices of things we would take with us to our one-bedroom apartment, and what we would try to make our kids take, and what would go to the Sally-Ann, and what would just wait for the next garbage day.

 I seldom miss those things but today I had taken on a project to look at photos that we would remove from  their frames and scan for our Google Photos file, so I was faced with reminders of what used to be.

Not only did the photos remind me of how many shades of blonde hair I've gone through, how cute our kids were, and how Dave often seemed to be going somewhere on a bike, they showed me how differently our last house looked inside in comparison to our apartment today.  Our living room had mauve furniture in the living room, we had a turquoise table and chairs backed up by pale mauve walls in the dining room, and our kitchen was big and bright, home to a couch where I could entertain friends or read while I was making dinner, and where we had two oval glass tables side by side in front of  windows that we never covered with blinds or curtains.  And our bedroom was so white I can't imagine now how we ever got to sleep.

We made good take-advantage-of multiple-uses decisions, but most of furniture that is small seems to be brown, and we used yellow and orange cushions and wall-hangings to offset it. That works and I don't mean I'm sorry about the choices, but I found myself surprised with the nostalgia that hit me, even when I was standing in a turquoise bedroom.

Being incredibly lucky in life doesn't keep you from getting surprised by change. And now that I think about it, I should just be feeling grateful.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

So here's how I'm feeling today

I'm feeling like an apprentice apprentice to the woman who cut my hair yesterday.  I asked her to give me a cut that was shaggy, and we agreed on a picture, the one on the left,  from a bunch of "best haircuts for older women" .  I felt quite comfortable with her; we talked about holidays and weather, and my new red boots.  Suddenly though, I realized that she had cut one of the sides very short, for which she looked as surprised as I did, apologized and told me she could make it work.

Once your hair is gone there isn't much point in getting all upset, and hair does grow back in, so I just waited till it was finished, paid up and headed for home with very much shorter, not shaggy but still thick hair.

I wasn't surprised last night to find myself in the bathroom with two pairs of scissors and a couple of mirrors, and since then I've been sneaking in there to snip at this bit and that, and here is the apprentice's shaggy product.
I'm giving myself an 8 and a half out of 10

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Why I might be down in the gym

Somehow, without much discussion over it, Dave and I have decided to take a longish vacation in the late summer.  Look at the photos here and you'll see one of the reasons why we're going to finish our trip in France, after time in Wales, southern England and Holland.

This time, we're going to arrange for apartments at three different places, renting a car locally, and spending about 10 days in each region. Dave and I have some same and some different interests, and this allows us to stay in the small towns we're choosing to live in, or to take a day or two and visit a number of places in the area together. For getting from one area to another, we're also counting on using rail (which we understand is quite pleasant) instead of having long drives from one country to another.

I've been having some pain in my legs, which I hope is due to the fact that I've been out walking much less than I usually do...I'm blaming that on the weather. I'm not fond of a treadmill, but in other years I've had some tolerance for the elliptical thing, so I'm telling myself that I'm going to start that tomorrow.  I hope I only tell myself once before I actually get on there, and going public is maybe a way to give me the push I need. I definitely want to be as comfortable walking around as I was the last time we traveled.

Anyway, I'm finding this plan important and exciting.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Learning through Singing

For the last couple of weeks I have been singing, in my head, a line from a very unusual love song I like by the Civil Wars, one of my favourite groups.  The line I have been repeating ad nauseam, is this

 "Oh, I wish I never ever seen your face
I wish you were the one
Wish you were the one that got away"

The Civil Wars were a critically acclaimed American musical duo composed of Joy Williams and John Paul White, and if you've never heard them, I highly recommend you grab your earbuds.  They wrote wonderful music and then made it even better as they sang beautifully as well as redefined, for me anyway, how two people can make great music way better than you could imagine.

However, as so often, this is a post about me.  As I said, I've been singing this line to myself almost continuously day and night since before Christmas, and although there are lots of other musical experts whose music I love, those words were caught in my brain, and were absolutely going nowhere else, or being shared with any other artists. And I must say that those words had nothing, repeat nothing, to do with my very satisfying relationship with Dave.

Yesterday though, I suddenly noticed that something had changed in my head, and  strangely enough I was singing, 

 "Oh, I wish I never ever seen your face
I wish you were the one
Wish I were the one that got away"

A very subtle difference isn't it?  Probably nothing to it, but it has led me to bookmark this:


Dictionary result for self-love

/ˈˌself ˈləv/
  1. regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

In which I really open up

I have been finding myself bored lately.  How does a person who can do whatever she wants end up bored?

I'm assuming that at least part of this has to do with the kind of on-and-off pain that is quite normal for my age, and that some of it has to do with the very cold weather we've had for the last few weeks. But as well, something has been keeping me in our house. 

I have books galore, access to my computer, phone and tablet at any time, lots of great music I can listen to, a huge new TV  and a comfy chair to watch it from.  More importantly I have a warm and caring family and most luckily, a husband who is always ready to talk or not talk, eat or not eat, go out or not go out.  So there's nothing here that helps me to understand why I have become a house mouse.

If I really start to think about this, I realize that my relationship with the community at large has changed a lot.  I used to be very involved as a volunteer, and in some cases, a leader.  Then, a few years ago, when I'd had a down and out hollering match with someone who preferred that I be a yes-person, I decided that I could continue to support the LGBTQ2 community online rather than make worse a friendship that was connected to that support.  I thought the change has been working, but it's not the same. I miss seeing those people. And I miss the meetings, the planning, the goal-reaching and the warmth.

Knowing this and after talking with Dave and other friends, I've reached out to a couple of groups I used to be part of, and sadly, they haven't replied. I'm in a quandary because I'm not sure if I'm disappointed or if I'm relieved.

Monday, 21 January 2019


It's very difficult, given that it's -17 degrees Celsius in Ottawa, not to write about the weather, but I'm succeeding.

Here we are well into January and Dave and I are realizing that if we were to take a trip this year, we should be planning it now.  I can't help but think of France as the perfect choice, but given that we were there for quite a while, two years ago, maybe we should choose a different destination. NOOOOOOOO, I want to go back to France.  Stay tuned.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Things not to think about

Today is so cold that I can't even stay near the windows.  Our windows face north and it's strange to see so few people on the sidewalks.  Nonetheless, I keep being drawn to look outdoors.

One of the things I saw today when shivering at the living room window was a small fat animal which I have to conclude was a rat. 

He was scurrying, but I couldn't figure out where he came from as none of the footprints leading up to the patio looked small enough.  I stood there trying to imagine how it got there, totally refusing to think that it might not have come from anywhere.  Maybe it lives somewhere closer to our front windows.

Well, some music would help.  I'm recommending "Here If You Listen", David Crosby, Michelle Willis, Becca Stevens and Michael League, and I'm drawn to that because Michelle Willis is a friend of our family who is talented and beautiful.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

My first 2019 listing

Today, I have been thinking of  some things that have come into my life this past year that should have been there long ago:

  • the ability to cut my own hair while I'm wearing it fairly short---when I wear it long, I've always been able to cut it myself, but having added some IKEA shelving with mirrors for doors, it's made short haircuts really easy
  • the knowledge that any book I read more than 2 years ago is now eligible for thrilling me as easily as it did the first time
  • those fairly expensive battery-run things that rub the dry skin off your feet really work
  • there are actually mittens that can keep your hands warm outdoors; my Secret Santa gave me wonderful leather with lambswool lining that make it feel like May outdoors
  • brioche.  I know I need say nothing unless you're a dedicated brown-bread eater
  • carrying a small notebook around so that when I go in a store I know why I'm there or when I leave the house to visit someone I remember to pick up the bottle of wine
  • alpaca wool socks....OM very G
  • Malbec.  Thank you Sarah Rushton, I would never have found this on my own,  having had a preference for white wine
  • Netflix....I had watched Dave following programs for which I thought I had no time, but since Chris gave us a huge TV as a gift this past year, I now watch more than most of the Star Treks, some CNN and The Rookie. I have to admit to loving Data even more when his face is about 3 feet, chin to slicked hair.
  • Sleeping overnight at Emily's which led to our buying a brand new wonderful mattress
 I just went back and read the list, and I have to add, as something new, insight.  

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Something you needn't know about me

Yesterday we spent all of the afternoon and some of the evening taking down our Christmas tree and other decorations, and as happens every year, I feel both sorry about it and eager to get it done.  As you may have noticed if you've come into our place, we have lots of cushions, glass bottles, bowls, kaleidoscopes, things that hang in the windows, others that sit on trunks and shelves and many lovely-shaped baskets full of other things that are also lovely but not necessarily useful.

While the Christmas lights, trees, wreaths, Santas, angels and crèches are in place, our other stuff has been taken down and settled in a big box in the locker, which is the same big box in which we have to later put all our Christmas stuff.

You can imagine it isn't really easy.  Nor is it necessary, but it is one of the few things that has us working together for hours. Twice, in 20 or so days. The only other thing I can think of that is similar in our lives is moving from one home to another, which we haven't done in the last 10 years.

Another part of "not easy" is that we tend to forget things, so this year, before we even started, I used my phone to take photos of the shelves in the living room and in the hallway so that we'd get things back right even if we couldn't remember all the details. I was so pleased with myself!

Then here's the thing I haven't wanted to share:  when I got my phone out to look at the photos, I could hardly see the detail because pictures on phones are pretty small.  I didn't even, not for a moment, think about using my huge computer screen.  I just stomped and felt foolish and did my best to work it out.

Please try to forget all I've just confessed.