July 31st – August 2nd

Day 213 – 215 — We’ve had a few very lovely days here in Bon Accord.  And it looks like the long weekend is shaping up to be a gorgeous one.

I managed, finally, to get all the weeding done.  Yay! Yay! Yay!  I sat under my lovely pergola for the first time last night and enjoyed the fading rays of the sun after a late dinner.  I made the most delicious spinach salad I’ve ever had.  Don’t want to boast — well, that’s a lie! — but, damn, that salad was good.

On Wednesday I decided to pick up my grandkids and spend the day with them — to take a break from the monotony of chores and day-to-day.  We went to the spray park in St. Albert where they had a grand time.  Ethan was enthralled with the skateboard park next to us and I have fears that as soon as he’s big enough he’s going to want to try what he saw.  Gives me fits.  Afterwards we had popsicles and ice-cream as we sat in the sun waiting for them to dry off.

Then, home where I made them tacos for supper.  We were having fish tacos. None of them have ever had fish, so Grandma decided to try it on them.  I LOVE fish tacos — my new favorite food.  Has been for about a year now.  Anyway, they loved the fish, just not on tacos.  They’ll get there, eventually.  But I’m glad I was able to introduce them to something new.

On Thursday I went and got my haircut.  Quite a bit shorter than I have had, and I love it.  Something new for the new me.  LOL.  Followed my plan to find a little coffee shop and sit and write for a couple of hours.  Tried out a place called JAX coffee on 50th street.  Very nice.  Excellent food and service.  I would recommend the wonton soup if you decide to give it a try.  Got some good writing done.  Fleshed out a poem, which I think is going to get entered into a contest when it’s done.

I am feeling full of positive vibes.  I know it has mostly to do with the summer and the removal of work stress, but I’m determined to hang on to them.

Oh, yeah — I’ve registered for courses at Concordia again.  Marching ever forward.

June 28th – July 1st

Days 180 – 183 — These past four days were spent with our grandkids.  First weekend of summer — what a way to kick it off!  My youngest sister and her two youngun’s came and spent most of the weekend with us, too.  The joy of watching cousins play and get reacquainted.

We had a ton of fun — swimming at the outdoor pool, bbq’s, ice-cream, popsicles, staying up really late and then last night, fireworks to celebrate Canada Day.

Now, it’s time for Grandma to get the house cleaned up and start planning for my own time away.  I just absolutely love summer!

May 21st

Day 142 — Ah, exactly one month away from the official start of summer!

Today, working out in the garden I came across a toad.  I picked him up to move him out of harm’s way when I suddenly remembered my grandkids and our frogging foray.  So, I went and got a little container and put the toad in it.  I then drove over to the kids’ house and surprised them.  All three of them were amazed by the little critter.  I had them put on my gardening gloves to handle it (so that they didn’t hurt it more than necessary).  They each took turns holding it and, of course, asked to keep it.  No, both me and their mother said, it wouldn’t live, we have to let it go.  The hunt for a suitable place to let it go began.   Finally, we let it go in the flower garden.  I’m  sure the three of them will go out there tomorrow expecting to find the toad living in their garden.

I’m so glad they live close enough for me to do stuff like this.

May 4th & 5th

Days 125 & 126 – The weekend.  It was lovely.  Warm.  Hot, really.  My leg was feeling much better and I managed to do a bit of yard work.  My grandkids came for a sleepover.  We took them frogging.  Didn’t catch a one, didn’t see nary a one, either.  Because, like all little children, they’re much too noisy to catch frogs.  Good thing for the frogs.  But, we went out armed with buckets and twigs and cans and rubber boots and sloshed through the sodden fields and then over to the slough.  They had a grand time.  And so did Grandpa and me.

Sunday, I went to my brother and sister-in-law’s for supper.  He made beer-butt chicken.  Delicious!  However, the dessert was to die for:  vanilla bean ice-cream with fresh strawberries and blackberries with — get this — chocolate infused balsamic vinegar — drizzled on top.  Seriously, it was amazing.

A fantastic weekend weatherwise — far overdue.

Update #2 — April 2nd – 5th

Day 93 – 96  —  It was back to work on Tuesday.  I was still exhausted.  Trying to catch up on a missed 35 hours of sleep takes a while, I discovered.  On Monday evening my son came by the house to see if I could go watch my two oldest grandkids because they had to take the youngest to the hospital.  No thought, only go.  He had been throwing up all day and finally the doctor said to bring him in.  I didn’t feel tired until about 11 o’clock, then it hit me like a brick.  I pulled a blanket over myself and went to sleep with the phone by my hand.

They called around 11:30 to say they were still waiting, but that Ethan was, thankfully, sleeping.  I called my husband to tell him the news and he offered to come relieve me so that I could go home and get some sleep before going to work in the morning.  When the alarm went off at 6 I thought briefly of just laying there and pretending I hadn’t heard it.  But, wondering what was happening with the kids, I got up and grabbed the phone.  They still hadn’t left the hospital, but Ethan was doing much better.  Sigh.  Huge sigh.

I called them around 8, just before I headed out the door and they said they had just got home.  So, that was a relief.

The rest of the week went relatively okay, except for the snowstorm that developed on Wednesday.  Another snow storm!  Thankfully, it wasn’t near as bad as the last one.  But with the Spring-like temperatures (insert a big snort here) the snow was wet and heavy and made the roads a little dicey.

I spent the week getting caught up to speed with work and trying — not very successfully — to get my house in order.  It’s funny, when you go away on vacation, even though you clean everything before you go, the house is a disaster the minute you walk through the door.

I had a busy week with trying to get ready for a grievance hearing with our employer and then getting some other Union business tied up.

All in all, I probably could have used another week off.

March 3rd

Day 62 — Our last day with the kids.  They were tired out — up too late the night before and then up too early in the morning.  I was pretty much bushed, too.   It was a great couple of days — we did a lot and had a wonderful time.

Yesterday was my 350th post!  How about that?

Gotta get back, gotta get back. . .

Some words borrowed from The Who.

That’s really dating me, I’m afraid.

I can just imagine some younger readers going The Who who?

But, I won’t be going there.  This is not a post about old rock and roll bands.

This is a post about old me.

Although, really, I’m not old.

But, man!  Was I ever starting to act like I was!

For a couple of years now I’ve been kind of free-wheeling in place, not really knowing what I was doing or where I was going.

Over the past 6 months or so I’ve really been doing some stock-taking, some re-evaluation, some soul-searching, some trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with what’s left of my life.

And, I’ve decided I need to get back.

Back to a place inside myself where creativity once reigned supreme.

I used to pride myself on my ability to creatively problem solve.  If we didn’t have the money for something (which was quite often) I could usually come up with some way to find it.  I thought outside the box.  It was normal.

As time progressed and money became less of an issue I began to find it easier to just buy whatever it was I/we needed.

Not creative.

Well, maybe a little.  Because, I always look to get the absolute best deal I possibly can — and that can require some small measure of creativity.

There’s another word for that, I know.  Cheap. I prefer frugal.

It sounds more creative.

However, I need to get back to what I was saying.  About getting back.  Getting back to a part of myself that I’d abandoned.

About a week ago I was talking with a friend and she mentioned how she sees herself doing something entirely different from what she is currently doing.

She envisions herself as being a motivator.  Talking to others, giving them inspiration.

And I know, that if anyone can do this, my friend can.  She inspires me.

And, after I got off the phone I started thinking:  where do I see myself in 20 years time?

Sitting in front of a TV?  With knitting or crocheting?  Waiting for a phone call from my son or my grandchildren?  Waiting for the community senior’s bus to pick me up so I can go play cards or do a jigsaw puzzle?

I was horrified.  This is not what I had ever imagined for myself.

No, the future I had imagined long ago, in the time before marriage and children and grandchildren was something entirely different.

I saw myself as an adventurer, a photographer, a writer.  I saw myself as living in a place that nurtured me and inspired me and fed me.

Somewhere along the way that vision was altered.

And, not for one minute do I regret the alteration.

I have had a wonderful life up to this point.

Marriage, family, grandchildren, love in abundance.

A beautiful home, a great job, money to pay my bills and afford a few luxuries.

But, now, as time seems to slip and slide around me and I become daily more aware of the preciousness of it, I’m beginning to wonder.

Shouldn’t I be doing more with my life?  Shouldn’t I be trying to live as creatively and beautifully as I possibly can in the years left before me?

Because, really, how many are there left?

As my favorite sister and brother-in-law pointed out to us this weekend it could all end in a moment.

You could step into the shower feeling strong and healthy and then, as you step out, have your heart falter and fail.

All chances to live better, live to your potential, live with creativity– gone.

And how you are going to be remembered is who you were when you stepped into that shower.

Maybe you wanted to be someone different.  Someone who ran marathons.  Someone who wrote poetry and read it aloud in small coffee shops.  Someone who painted.  Someone who took singing lessons. Or swimming lessons. Or bungee jumped.  Or sailed around the world.

We all have dreams.  We all dream that we can do and be so much more than who we really are.

Very few of us ever actually pursue those dreams.

Because doing that takes conviction and creativity.

And being creative takes work.  It means always thinking beyond what’s obvious.

It means being willing to take a chance.

It means choosing the road less travelled, risking failure, forsaking ‘normal’.

I don’t know yet what it is exactly I’m going to do, but I do know it’s going to be something great.

I don’t mean great as in President of the United States great (I am Canadian, after all).  I mean great in that it will make me feel great, make me feel as though each day I live has meaning and purpose.

It’s going to be fun and I’m going to do it with joyful abandon.

I’m going to get creative.

I’m going to inspire the people I love most in this life to live their lives the same way.

To their fullest, most creative potential.

That’s something I wouldn’t mind being remembered for.

February 24th

Day 55 — Today, I taught Timmy and Hailey how to play checkers.  Timmy was upset because he didn’t win;  Hailey beat me — womped me, really — and all was right with the world again.  Tim and I managed to find a place for us all to go this summer, now it’s just getting it booked.  Went for a soak at the pool to get myself ready for the first 5-day week of work I’ve had in a long time.  Good Monday!