Day 61

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The tree that had the light – unfortunately my skills couldn’t capture it – but it was there!

I’m a lucky grandma. I get to spend a week with my grandbabies. Their parents are off for a little R&R.

So I’m spending these few days getting to know them all just a little better. They’re growing up so fast and becoming such interesting people. I love how their personalities just shine through; they’re not babies anymore. It’s great having real conversations with them and  getting small glimpses of the adults they’ll one day become.

Of course, realizing that they’re getting older reminds me that I am, too. Sigh. I don’t have the energy I did when they were small and when it’s bedtime for them, its bedtime for me.

I like that I get this mini opportunity to grand-parent. The joy of preparing meals for them and sitting down together to eat and talk and laugh. Asking them how school was and did they learn anything interesting. The answer is the same one their father gave me: no. Just doing small things for them that I hope will make them smile. It’s such a joy.

I have always been very conscious of time. The limit of it, the way it is expended in each and every heartbeat and I’ve tried as hard as I can to make sure the time I’ve been given is not wasted.

Lately, and I know this has a lot to do with my father’s passing and my impending 60th birthday, I’ve been doing a lot of wondering about how I’ve spent my time.

When I look back I see the mistakes I made, and I truly regret them. But then, I look at my grandchildren and I see how everything I’ve done has led to them. And for that I have no regret.

The sun is shining today, making the frost in the trees sparkle. At breakfast, my grandsons were talking about it. The youngest told his brother “look at that tree, the top is like a light,” with the wonder only an eight-year old can have.  His brother, who is two years older, scoffed and replied, not unkindly, “it’s not a light, it’s just the sun shining on the frost.” The youngest took a bite of cereal and then very calmly and firmly said, “It’s light. And it’s sparkly.”

I’m so glad I was there to hear them. It’s always the small things.

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#57 – like the ketchup, it’s coming slowly

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I’ve been home for a couple of days. I love being home. I’m sure I’ve said before how my home is my happy place.

It’s also a source of worry and anxiety at the moment. There are so many half-finished projects here – painting, windows, floors, deck, garage – the list goes on.

Whenever I walk through the doors after having been gone for a while I feel this immense sense of relief and release. Then, after a few hours I start feeling anxious and in need of doing something.

I look around and think – okay, let’s make a list. So, I do. And by the time I’m done I’m so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start.

Part of the problem is knowing that I won’t be staying for very long. It’s so hard to accomplish anything when you can’t completely focus on the task you’ve chosen.

Because it’s never a situation of having only one thing to do, there’s all the other bits and pieces of life that have to be taken care of as well.

I’m beginning to worry that I’ll ever get anything done. I have great intentions and my desire to get things done is as strong as it ever was. The problem is I can’t seem to muster the requisite energy and the willpower.

I got home Wednesday around noon. After a bite of lunch and a small rest, I took stock. I’d had some vehicle troubles on the way home, so that was priority number one. Then it was heading out to the store for some staples. After that I unpacked, made a couple of calls and decided I’d better get the driveway shoveled. That was my day.

I came in from shoveling thinking I’d have supper and then get started on some other project, but after supper I was pooped. I watched television and drank tea until it was time for bed.

I’m sorry for boring you with such mundane details, but I’m trying to make sense of where my time goes and why I always have this feeling of having not done enough with it.

Yesterday, I got down to cleaning and purging – a task that I’m coming to believe is like living in hell. No matter how much you do there’s still more, and it never seems like you’re making a dent in any of it.

I focused on a bunch of small tasks yesterday – I cleaned out a few drawers, did a bigger grocery run, got my appointments made and posted a bunch of stuff I want to get rid of on buy and sell sites.

Then it was monitoring replies to my posts, getting soup ready for supper and working on finishing up a crochet project I’d  started. I wanted to start painting window frames, but.  .  . by 7 o’clock I was done.

More tv and a few games on my tablet before heading to bed and reading.

It doesn’t sound like much, does it? But I swear, I FELT busy, and I was too tired after supper to seriously think of doing anything more.

I know that much of this has to do with age – it’s a natural progression to slow down. But I’m also fighting with a sense of guilt for not having the kind of energy and enthusiasm I once had for fluffing up my nest.

I’ve got to figure this out.

 

Purge away – Day 8

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Because I’m up in Fort McMurray it’s a little hard for me to do any really meaningful or substantive purging. But I tried.

I got rid of last year’s calendars. And put up our new ones.

Last year’s calendars were full of birthdays, appointments, holidays and the usual stuff we write on calendars. I imagine yours are just like mine. I like to go back through them and see what we did over the previous 12 months before tossing them out. It’s a nice reminder of how we used our time.

The calendars we use these days are a lot different than the ones we used to have. We don’t just get the free ones anymore from the bank or the local Chinese food restaurant. (Though I do still take them. After all, they’re free!)

My DIL usually makes us one that features their family. That’s always my favorite.  This year I made my own calendar that has everyone’s birthdays, our holidays and other important dates pre-printed on it. Life is so much easier when I don’t have to try and remember everything.

Also this year, I made a calendar for my mom that has pictures from the last year of dad’s life.  Snapshots of some of the great moments of us all together one last time, some poignant shots of the two of them enjoying the little time they had left – decked out in their matching Maple Leaf’s pajamas, always a smile on their faces.

I like calendars. I like them not just for their practicality, but for the pictures,  as well – especially the ones of family. This year, the one from Lee’s Restaurant in Gibbons has pictures of animals on it. Who doesn’t like pictures of cute puppies and kittens, colorful birds and glittering fish?

The free calendar is a standard size with decent sized squares for jotting appointment times and birthday reminders in. The family calendar, however, is fantastic. It’s a big one, with lots of room for writing on it.  And seeing my grandkids’s smiling faces each day brings me immeasurable joy. Just no way to beat that combination of form and function.

I know this was a small act of purging today, and really, all I did was make room for replacements. But I figure not all purging has to be about making a permanent hole in the stuff we collect, sometimes it can be about opening up a little more space for possibilities.

 

July 30th

Day 212 — A better day weather wise.  Not hot, but at least warm.  I spent the morning doing — what else? — housework.  Then, in the afternoon I did this:

My Ford Edge -- all cleaned and shiny!

My Ford Edge — all cleaned and shiny!

 

It took me about 5 hours but that baby is nearly show-room clean!  Inside and out.  Although I enjoyed the process of cleaning it (I’m wierd like that) I have to say that I’ll never do it again.  It took much to much time and my back and shoulders were killing me when I was done.  Next time, I’m taking it in and paying the $100 to have it done.

So, yeah.  That was my Tuesday.

April 6th

Day 97 — A quiet day inside away from the snow.  In the evening I went on a ‘date’ with Landon.  The last time he and I did anything together, just the two of us, was probably before he moved out of home.  It was nice.  We had a bite to eat at Boston Pizza (love those bacon-wrapped steak skewers!) and then went to the Rush game.  First time watching a lacrosse game.  Loads of fun!  It’s a loud, rowdy crowd and a great sport to watch.  Will definitely do it again.  Spending time with my grown-up boy was a delight.  Hopefully, we don’t wait 20 years to do it again.

Jan. 25th

Day 25 — A good day.  Went and looked after the kids for a bit while their mother went grocery shopping.  Got a little bit of one on one time with my own kid.

Wednesday, Aug. 8th

Well, I did it.  I submitted a piece of writing.  Now, I’ll wait and see.

 

It was a grey and overcast morning. . .

I finally managed to get into my perennial bed in the front yard.  It’s a mess.  The ferns have gone on a riot and tried to take over the lily beds.  Well, I went at them with a pitchfork and yanked most of them out.  I will be giving a bunch to a friend of Tim’s who wants them for around her fish pond.  Better place for them, I think.

It has been a very rainy June so far, which is okay, because we desperately need the moisture, but it is starting to get a bit tedious.  As I’ve stated earlier I don’t have much time right now because work is winding up and I am very busy with union business, so, when I have a few hours I like to get outside and get mucking around in the dirt.  It’s tough to do that when everything is soggy and you’re essentially mucking around in mud.

I have plans to spend the rest of my day outside getting the perennial bed cleaned up and deciding where to transplant some things that desperately need it.

When I first looked at it yesterday I wanted to throw my hands up in defeat, but, instead, I just picked a place to start and before I knew it things weren’t looking too bad.  I have to be so careful around the lilies, it’s tough not to disturb them when I’m viciously yanking ferns out by their hairy roots.

In digging up one particularly large bunch of ferns I dug up a huge ant’s nest.  Holy crow did they go on the defense!  Every time I plunged my fork into the ground I had dozens of them jumping on to my arms.  Fortunately they’re easy to brush off and I attacked them back with great zeal.  (I have I said how much I hate ants, before?)

Hate is really too strong a word — I don’t hate them, I just hate them being in my garden, on my deck, in my house. . .

Anyway, today, I’ll go back out there and disturb them some more and hopefully they’ll pack up and move on.  I have tried everything else to get rid of them.  Nothing works.  Permanently.  Ants are like that.  Pests.

Well, much as I’d love to sit here and write for hours, I can’t.  I need to go eat my oatmeal — because I was very bad last night and ate pizza after ten o’clock!  I suffered all night.  And then I was feeling guilty because I’ve actually being doing okay with the Biggest Loser challenge at work.  I’m losing steadily (not a lot, but a little each week) and I’m actually quite proud of myself.  So, why I went and sabotaged myself with pizza (that wasn’t even all that good) I can’t figure.

Lesson learned, I suppose.

Well!  I got the nicest surprise. . .

Well!  I got the nicest surprise when I checked my blog today.  Grandmalin has nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger award.  I am so tickled.  Thank you!

I really, honestly was surprised, because most of the time I don’t feel like I’m being very creative at all.  Mostly just blithering away about stuff that I think no one will find interesting. (Well, maybe one or two people who know me and humour me, but that’s it.)

Lately, I haven’t had a lot of time to blog or to catch up on other’s blogs.  It’s been a very busy time here at Casa Larson, in the wee town I live in.

Work has been nuts — we’re heading into the last two months of the school year and everyone starts getting very nervous and stressed out about jobs and assignments for the next school year.  Education is often not a pretty career choice.

I have big exciting news that I can’t share yet — it has to wait until after Father’s Day.  Suffice it to say it involves travel and my favorite musician.  I am so stoked I can barely stand the fact that this ‘event’ is 4 months away.  How, oh how, will I make it?!

So, now on to honouring, or attempting to honour, the requirements of my award.

Here are the rules for those nominated:

  1. Copy the Kreativ Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  3. List 7 things about you that people might find interesting.
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Kreativ Blogger Award.
  5. Leave a comment on the blogs you nominate to let them know about the award.

Seven interesting things about me:

1.  I love red cars — once wrote a piece about them that I read on-line for CBC radio.
2.  I always root for the underdog — it’s just so much fun, and worth it when they come out on top.
3.  I dabble in many things — but never really master any of them.  I blame it on time — the lack of.
4.  Being a mother and a grandmother are the two things I’m most proud of in my life.
5.  Back in the days of drive-in movies I was a lover of drive-in food — corn-on-the-cob, foil-wrapped burgers, fries in little card-board boats.  Yum!
6.  I weighed 104 lbs when I got married.  165 lbs when I gave birth to my son.  Yikes!
7.  Reading Mark Helprin’s A Soldier of the Great War changed my life.

There you go — some stuff a little personal, but the best I could do.  (It’s hard!)

Now to nominate bloggers I admire (this is going to be harder — I admire them all):

1.  SoulDipper
2.  KateShrewsday
3. Wightrabbit
4. Sweetandweak
5.  LyndaJeffersPhotography
6.  Grandma 1947’s Blog
7.  The Laughing Housewife.

For those I didn’t nominate I will still give a shout out to you as being great motivators and wonderfully creative human beings.  Reading your blogs often gives me a lift when I desperately need one.  Anyone who dares to put themselves out there in front of the big ol’ scary world deserves an award.

I hope you are all having a lovely Spring weekend.

Ciao for now.

Nov. 15th — halfway mark of NaNoWriMo

Well, it’s half over.  I can’t believe how fast the time is going.

I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying this.

But, a bit of a setback.  I’m only at 22,999 words when I should be at 25005.

I tried tonight to get there, but unfortunately I had other commitments (damn, double damn!).

I’ll just have to write like a fiend for the next few days and try to make up for lost words.

Personally, I’m liking my story.  But (another but) I’m beginning to find it a little tougher to manage my story line.  Because I’m writing off the top of my head I sometimes forget little details like what’s that guy’s middle name again, and how many kids did I give that person?

It’s all good though, I can go back after the month is up and straighten up all those details.  I hope.

My big concern right now is:  Will I be able to finish this book in 50000 words?

Hmm….

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