June 7th, Saturday

It’s early, I was up before 6:30 this morning.  So much on my mind.

Foremost this:  what is it that the Universe is trying to tell me?  What am I supposed to be waiting for?

Lately, it seems that no matter what I try, how hard I try, there is no success.

I believe, I really do, that things happen for a reason.  That if something is meant to be, it will be.

A good friend always tells me that I didn’t get whatever I was aiming for because there is something else, something better waiting for me.

I am seriously beginning to doubt that.

I know I have skills, experience, talent, enthusiasm, drive and determination.  I present well.  People seem to like me, seem to admire my work.

Not enough to give me the job, though.

It’s embarrassing and a little demoralizing. It makes me doubt myself. Makes me wonder if it’s because I’m OLD.

I’m in my mid-50’s.  I don’t feel OLD. I still feel pretty good.

Sure, I don’t have the vast stores of energy I once did, and I often find myself thinking that it’s okay to just let things slide, because I’m so conscious of time and that it’s starting to run out.

I think about my grandkids. They’re 9, going-to-be 7 in a few days and going-to-be 5 in a few months. Another 10 years and they’re going to be young adults. I’ll be in my mid-60’s then.

Will I still be chasing pavement then? Will I still have this sense of having not accomplished enough? Will I still be seeking validation?

It’s not a great way to wake up on a sunny Saturday morning.

Day 3

The day’s not near to being officially over yet, but I know what I’m happy for already.  I made Pineapple-Lemon marmalade — and it’s delicious!  I can hardly wait to warm up a croissant for my breakfast tomorrow and have some of this lovely, golden marmalade on it.  Yumm!

Pineapple-Lemon Marmalade

Pineapple-Lemon Marmalade

A post-Christmas post

So, here it is December 28th.  Christmas came and went in a flurry of activity.  It was one of the happiest Christmases I’ve enjoyed.  Everyone was relaxed and into the spirit — Tim and I have days of down-time following ‘the big day’ and that has been a wonderful bonus.

I really don’t have too much to say about Christmas itself, other than what I’ve stated above — it seems the older I get the less important gifts have become — it’s more about spending time with people you love and taking the gift of those times away with you.  Don’t get me wrong, gifts do still play a part, but I worry less about how much I’m buying and concentrate more on how happy what I’m giving will make the recipient.  So, if it’s one or two meaningful things as compared to a truckload of stuff that will be forgotten the moment it’s opened, that’s the way I’ve gone.

One of my favorite memories of these holidays will be the night the kids came over for our Griswold Family Christmas night.  We watched Nat’l Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (a tradition) put out snack and finger food and just sat around eating and laughing and watching the kids (who really didn’t sit still for much of the movie).  Ethan decided that the Dickens’ Village display in the kitchen was far more interesting than the Griswold’s and their problems.

I found him rearranging everything and driving his flourescent green and purple HotWheels cars through the tiny plastic-cobblestone streets.   It was delightful.  He gave me  a big smile when I asked him what he was doing and said:  “This needs go here, Gramma”  as he picked up some tiny people and shoved them into the entrance of the church.  When he was finished there were lamp posts dangling off the edge of the shelf and groups of little porcelain people huddled together as if in fear of some unseen, monstrous danger, but everything was intact.  He toddled off to the next thing to catch his attention — a candy cane — which I am still wiping traces of off various surfaces around my house.

All in all, this Christmas break has been just the break I needed.

Wishing all a season of joy and happiness for the coming New Year.

Images of winter 2012

Here’s a collection of pictures from our winter so far.  It’s been a true winter this year — it began early and it ain’t lettin’ up for nothin’!  Hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday morning

We had a big snowfall last week — an early blizzard, actually.  And it appeared the snow was here to stay.

However, over the last couple of days the temps have soared — yesterday we reached plus 9.  So, we’ve got all this melting snow causing the roads and streets to be quite treacherous to walk on.

Heather and I ventured out yesterday morning and again today.  Yesterday was a trial; today was better.

As I walked home from her house down the crunchy, icy street in the dark it occurred to me that it wasn’t that the conditions were so much improved over yesterday as it was that I had got accustomed to walking on the ice and slippery snow.  I had gotten my ice-legs back.

Ice-legs, I thought.  Would that be like sea-legs?  And, yes, I suppose it would be.

Here on our in-bound prairie ocean we have to learn a different way of walking come winter time.  It gets forgotten in the halcyon days of summer and golden gleaming of fall, when we can walk with all confidence and sure-footedness of the flat-land creatures we are.  But, let there come a deep snow-fall followed by a chinook to melt that snow and turn it into a rutted, frozen coating of slippery muck and soon enough we re-discover that unique way of walking that makes us look like drunken penguins.

It’s a head down, eyes scanning the surface before us, teeny tiny steps on stilted legs, arms held slightly out to our sides with backs either ram-rod straight or hunched over at the shoulders kind of stance.  And this is how we make our way through winter.  Shoulders drawn up against the cold, living in constant fear that your foot is going to betray you as you place it gingerly down, hoping, hoping, hoping that the ice has enough of a frosting of snow or grit to give your step purchase.

It’s a precarious way to tread through 5 months of  a year, but, you get used to it.

Gotta love those ice-legs!

Saturday morning

Just a little bit about being grateful —
Today
I am grateful for
My health
My family
My life;
I am grateful for
Fresh ground coffee
Irish cream to go with it
And time to enjoy it;
I am grateful for
Generosity
Optimism and
Spirit;
I am grateful
For words,
My love of them and
My ability to use them;
I am grateful for
Friends
Laughter
Love.

Thursday, bloody Thursday

I only wrote that because I had nothing else to say.

Lately, I feel like that all the time.  It’s been quite a struggle this past month.  But maybe, just maybe I’m beginning to see an end to it.

I hope so.  Because going around pretending to be happy is HARD.  I want to stop pretending.

Sometimes, as I said about a week ago, life just sucks.  There’s not a damn thing you can do about it but keep on living.

And so, I have.  I’ve gone to work, I’ve done an excellent job (I think) in a less than wonderful environment.  I’ve managed to stay on top of Union business that I’d rather have just forgotten about, I’ve dealt with difficult people, difficult situations and managed to maintain my respectability and sanity.  I’ve weathered my own little emotional crisis and have, amidst it all, found time to vacuum the living room and clean the bathroom.

Reason to celebrate!  And, at least, smile a little bit.

Maybe it’s just the turning of the weather, the cold, hard fact that winter is nearly here.  We did, after all, have snow today.  The skies were gray, the wind was cold and tempers were frayed.

We’re waiting for the thermometer to finally drop well below 0 before we have to make that inevitable trip down into the basement, where we’ve got the winter boots stowed away in the space under the stairs.  It’s a gloomy thought if you’re not 10 years old.

The thought that my grandkids are probably all looking forward to the magic of the first ‘real’ snowfall — the kind that blankets the world in white and transforms it into something new, strange and wonderful — is the only thing about the coming winter that can make me anticipate it in the slightest.

Once upon a time I enjoyed waiting for that first big snowfall because I loved the sense of surprise and wonder it brought to my son’s eyes when he saw it.  Sadly, now, I’ve lost that.

When it’s just me staring outside into the dark morning, knowing that I’ve got to spend 5 minutes brushing the damn stuff off my car before I can leave for work all I can do is think of it with loathing.

Ah, tomorrow is Friday.  For that I give thanks.

Another Saturday morning

Today is the first official day of Fall.  And a stunning day it is.  This September has been glorious.  Fine weather, beautiful skies, bountiful produce and gardens still flourishing.

Bon Accord put on an event this weekend called the Summer Skies Equinox.  A 30 hour marathon of events and activities all associated with the night sky began on Friday evening and will culminate at just past midnight on the 22nd.

This morning, Heather and I got up and went for an early morning walk — 6:15-ish — not something we usually do on a weekend and ended it with a stop for a cup of tea.  Well, I had coffee (thank God they thought of us coffee drinkers!).  The ladies from Vintage Petals tea shop in Morinville set up a little tea station outside the Golden Jems building and a handful of us early risers stood about enjoying a steaming cup while we chatted and enjoyed the dawn.

The morning sky has been stunning these past few days.   Clear, un-marred by clouds and a gorgeous array of colour from cerulean blue on the horizon to darkest indigo high overhead.  Venus and Jupiter have been twin lights shining a bright greeting in the Eastern sky each morning, and we were lucky enough to see them in perfect alignment with the moon one morning.

Had I been up to it last night I’d have gone out to check the night sky through some amazingly powerful telescopes set up by local astronomers.  Heather and her husband did and she says they got some fantastic views of the planets and even a couple of nebulas.

But, I was satisfied with my walk this morning, the clear, crisp morning air, the sky overhead, the town still mostly asleep and our footsteps crunching along the gravel road as we made our way towards the warmth of tea and community.

This is a picture of the sky as I see it on my walks. Not my photo, but it is in Alberta.
I found the photo here: http://amazingsky.net/2012/09/12/september-dawn/

A few from the garden

Just some garden pics to share.

Thursday, July 5th

It’s my Dad’s birthday today.  He’s in Manitoba with my sister at their cabin so I won’t be able to call and wish him a happy day, but I’m pretty sure he’ll have a good one.

Just a quick post about a couple of things:

1.  Fifty Shades of Grey — holy crap!  read it in one day.  Not fine literature by any stretch of the imagination, but a pretty good story.  And yes, there is lots of kinky, explicit sex (which I thought I was a little above reading, but turns out I’m not) but the sex isn’t really what drives the story or keeps you hooked.  It’s the INTENSITY of the relationship between Anastasia (who is a bit confusing between her simpering and her self-advocacy)  and Christian (who talks a bit like a stuffy old English lord most of the time, but even this didn’t turn me off)  that really hooks the reader.  Can’t wait to get my hands on the other two books.  These are fantastic summer reads.

2.  I am loving not having to get up and go to work!  Yay for the summer!  Spent a wonderful Canada Day weekend with my grandkids.  We had fun, fun, fun.  They each took home a bouquet of flowers from my garden — Gramma, can we pick one of these ones? — made me smile that they enjoyed the flowers.  I’ve got a list of things to do an arm’s length long, and I’m just going to pick away at things until they’re done.  Not pushing myself, just trying to savour the time.

3.  I just re-signed my contract with Enmax for electricity and gas.  In the five years I’ve been on contract the charge for electricity has only gone up 1 cent!  Amazing!  However, it’s the g-d delivery and distribution costs that really piss me off.  Generally, they are more than the cost of the electricity.  When is the government going to do something about that?  (Everyone asks that, but nothing ever gets done.)  So, I’m set for another 5 years — one more thing crossed off my to-do list.

Hope everyone is enjoying their day!

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