Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm Sorry, How many Days Until Christmas?

                                        The Last Time I Was Here It Was Summer...


In mid August, my Father had to go to the hospital, rather suddenly.  He was there for seven weeks and during most of that time things were not looking very promising.  I was able to take a leave from work and those days were spent (like many I have spent before) going back and forth to visit, and keeping the daily routine limping along.  August turned into September and he finally returned home, worse for wear and tired but but relieved to be in familiar surroundings and to be cared for and fed by my Mom and her Dutch cooking.

I returned to work. The days and weeks and months that followed have just sort of bled into each other and suddenly I am seeing Christmas lights and receiving festive cards in the mail box and watching holiday specials on T.V.


It was just a few days ago when I realized, I have not been present at all, and I don't enjoy living life this way.  This was the state I was in while my late hubby was going through his lengthy illness.  It is a detachment, a disinterest in the activities one normally enjoys, a distance from the friends that I care about and need to spend more time with. It just hit me...didn't even realize that it was creeping in...again.


The few to-do lists I made ended up being coasters for my giant tea cup that reads:

                                                KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

The big bag of flour that I purchased to take me on a bread baking adventure is sitting in the corner of the kitchen like a neglected orphan.  Knitting projects hanging from door knobs, abandoned. Functioning?  Yes, but with no zeal, everything I was trying to achieve got about as much enthusiasm as a cat with a dead kitten.


As soon as the problem became clear under the glow of the Christmas lights I decided to get back to reality. Life is a gift, no matter what crappy horrible stuff might be going on.  There is hope and joy if one has the tenacity to put one mukluk in front of the other, no matter how deep the snow is.

                                                                   Be Present.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Working Around the Work

To Do List:

1. Get up
2. Make Tea
3. Write To-Do list
4. Pick up branches at the front of property
5. Mow the grassy parts at front of property
6. Rest
7. Remove deer carcass from the back of the house
8. Pick up more branches in the long grass behind the grassy knoll
9. More mowing
10. Suck up gross spider stuff in the studio with the shop-vac

The Boyfriend went home this morning to work on his own list.  So I have a couple of days to myself.
I enjoy quietly putzing around and planned to get a lot done....miss him when he's not around though...

We have a term we use when there is some chore that needs to get done but is just a drag to do.  You know how it is,  you find yourself sorting out your closet instead of painting that ceiling.  Perhaps there is a need to organize the knitting patterns before those toilets get scrubbed or maybe the fine washables need to be done before cleaning the stinking grunge from behind the stove.....
We call it 'working around the work".

So....I started with numbers 1, 2 and 3 on my list....planning to put as many chores as possible between number 3 and......7.

Ya, 7!  Tried to throw it in with all the other stuff to give myself the false sense that number 7 is just another chore that needs to get done...and maybe it is.....or not....

Yesterday,  I was clearing a bunch of grass and ferns and brambles away from the back of the house in preparation of eventually getting a new deck.

Between this huge fern and the wall I came across a bunch of fur.  Dead Cat?  Dog? What the hell is that?

My heart sank when I saw the soft ears and hooves.  One of my deer twins must have been hit by a car and wedged itself  into this tight, secure little space to die.


I just walked away. " Tomorrow", I thought.

So before Starting number 4 on this list, I stood over the dead fawn and started thinking about how I was going to pick it up (would it fall apart?) and how I was going to move it and where I was going to put it? 

Between numbers 4 and 5 on the list I went back again for a look having decided that the flat shovel and the wheel barrow would be the tools of choice.

Between numbers 5 and 6 on the list I scouted out locations, deciding finally that a little dip, under a tree, way at the back of the property would be best.  There was already a dead sheep from the previous owners there and it was a quiet place and I knew Mama deer wouldn't stumble upon it there.  "One should be thoughtful about these things"  I thought.

While performing number 6, I had a stiff drink and a good cry.
"Shut up and be a Man!"  I said to myself.. "Or a woman!"  "Now grow some balls and get this thing done!" My inner Drill Sergeant coming out now, "Your'e the one that wants to be the nature loving farm stop being a princess, put on the gloves and Get r Done"!!!!


I kind of left myself, the dead baby and I making the slow funeral march through the freshly mowed back yard,  across the little wooden bridge, out to the back, and the stand of trees on the edge of the land.
I didn't cry.
I put it in the little dip and covered it with grass dry grass clippings.
I walked away.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ghosts and Gumboots

It just struck me, now that yet another Birthday has come and gone, that this blog is now over a year old!

This summer started with another epic battle between me and the Giant Hogweed.  I am holding my own but in no way winning.

Early July produced another resident Doe with twin fawns.

For my Birthday, my folks came over to the Farm for a couple of days.  My Pa plopped down his bag, grabbed the keys for the shed off rack and went straight out the door towards the lawn tractor.
I don't think we saw him for several hours.

I think this is truly the secret to a happy man....full stomach, a beer and a ride-on-mower.

My Mom is the quintessential Garden Girl, we walked all over the property looking at,

the beautifully stacked wood, that the Boyfriend spent days working on.
In February we had about 9 huge trees taken down, some to provide more light and others because they were leaning or unhealthy.  There were trees and branches everywhere and it seemed like we would never even make a dent in it all.  I started dragging large branches out to my witchy burn pile in the center of the property while the Boyfriend stacked and stacked and stacked.....

I think right now we are up to 8 piles and counting.

During our little tour of the Grounds Mom and I marveled at some giant mushrooms, plush blankets of bright green moss, birds, and then we came across something unusual.

These weird little clusters of glassy mushroomy things that neither of us had ever seen before, translucent and pale white, so fragile that they break if you look at them the wrong way.

Later I looked them up, they are called Ghost Plants aka. Indian Pipes.  They only grow in very particular conditions...rotting deciduous trees, under evergreen trees in mossy shaded areas. They have no chlorophyll and that is why the are white, and parasitic.  Very rare! We were both thrilled....
                                                   Happy Birthday to Me!

The morning of my Birthday I got up early and had coffee with my folks and bid them farewell as they headed back to the mainland.

For dinner I secured a table outside on the deck at Silva Bay Marina and waited for the Boyfriend to arrive by float fun.... it never gets tired....

We had a wonderful meal, the weather was fantastic and I received the perfect gift.....



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Eleanor Rigby

I can do some things quite well , like knitting and spinning ... making soup.

There are other things I need to work on , like baking bread , house cleaning and not going to the grocery store in my pajama pants and slippers after a night shift.

The one thing I find completely impossible to master though , is drinking out of a travel mug.

I've had several of them over the years, with varying styles of lids. Some with dribble-guards and do-dads that are supposed to make them spill proof, but whenever I would go to take sip of the tea , (which I do constantly throughout the day and night), I would always forget to check where the hole was and end up with a big sploosh across the side of my face and on my shirt...which was often white.  This common event would usually happen during the commute to work or shortly after arriving.

It got to the point where nobody seemed to notice anymore, hardly a word was spoken.

Then one day I found a very nice stainless steel mug with a top on it which allows a drooler like myself to slurp from 360 degrees!  This was the answer to my dilema.....until I realized that for some reason I can never get the lid screwed on exactly straight....but now, at least it just goes directly to my shirt and not on my face.
I will concider this an improvement.

I started wearing black shirts to work.  Still,hardly a word is spoken, now they just think I'm depressed.

              I googled this picture and was thrilled to know someone else has the same problem.

Today I got up at 1pm , made tea , looked at my to-do list : wash whites.
I rested.
I decided that I would finish spinning the dark brown alpaca I have been working on, WHILE doing laundry.
That's multi-tasking by my standards kids! 

Then, realizing that the white tee I was wearing had a big gloosh on it, I took it off and threw it in the laundry as well.  What could be better than spinning in your bra on a quiet winter's afternoon?  It only started to get a bit weird for me when I got hungry and remembered the smoked mackerel that I had in the fridge.  So now, it's Wednesday afternoon at 2pm, I am in my bra, behind a spinning wheel, and on the table, on a plate, is a fish with a face.

Now I know the secret behind  how the beatles came up with some of those lyrics.

Eleanor Rigby came to mind.....

It went something like this:

Look at the spinster
Eating a fish in her bra while she spins on her wheel
How does she feel?

It is a mackerel
Is that the tail that I see coming out as she grins?
Where are the fins?

All the hungry Spinsters.........

blah blah blah blah blah blah.....

Well , you get the idea.

Friday, February 24, 2012


First of all , Happy 2012 to all 5 of my readers!

I am slightly ashamed when I realize that this is my first entry of the year.  Christmas came and went without much to-do or ta-daa.  The New Year came in quietly as well.  I think everyone in my circle was feeling a bit burned out , overwhelmed and tired.

So the Boyfriend and I boarded a plane on the 7th of February and blasted off to Cuba for two weeks.

Return home to blue sky , clean crisp air.  Fly over those beautiful mountains , slate colored with a smattering of white.  It's true Dorothy , there's no place like home.

So,  I started to unpack my suitcase and sort ,too many articles of clothing.  I looked at my washing machine with all of it's miraculous cycles , piled high with clean folded towels .  I stood in my kitchen peering longingly into an empty fridge....I found myself feeling extremely grateful.  Grateful for all the things that are usually the source of low level stress and sometimes borderline insanity .  It then occurred to me that I actually felt....good.... rejuvenated even....and no night-shift hangover.....

Is it possible that there is a feeling of excitement about getting back to work and moving forward ?  Is that a spark of creativity?  Hmmmm.

This was the view from our balcony.  Yes , the pool was nice and the ocean beyond was the most magnificant turquoise , just like everyone says it is ,and that was all fine and good , very much like any other all- inclusive resort anywhere.  What I enjoyed the most was the bus trip we took to Santa Clara. A one and a half hour ride through the countryside where one is confronted with a small glimpse into the real Cuba.

Suddenly , we are sharing the narrow road with every sort of mode of transportation imaginable ,( being in the transportation industry myself , this was quite an eye-opener ).

The air-conditioned bus from China we were on shared the road with people on foot , people on bikes and proud cowboys in western duds riding high in the saddle with nicely crafted leather saddles and harnesses.

Old trucks from the 1950's and horse drawn carts with car tires , taking a young family into town .

Station wagon loaded with happy riders , waving at us as they raced by.

Peddle-carts , old buses and a car like the first one my Dad had when when he first came to Canada.

A much simpler life that part of me envied.  Much slower ,none of the superfluous technology and consumerism that has become so normal to us here.  I think that people in Cuba are basically content but I felt   always that there was this  feeling of unrest , there is change in the air and it is palpable.

Most homes are small and simple , some had there doors open and I could peek inside to see a clean floor and a small table with a lace tablecloth.
No place like home.....

I am glad I got a glimpse.
We loved the people there.
We met some new friends.
Heck , the drizzle ain't so bad either.