Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30 .. Things I'm grateful for...

It's the end of a long week. Uncharacteristically, I worked much later than I usually do on a Friday. However .. I have come home to an empty house. Before coming home .. I found an amazing South African red, I picked up delicious Lebanese food .. and now .. Keith Jarrett is playing... and I'm stuffed, and there is no hockey on ( I realize if I have any readers, I risk losing them with that comment but hey), I'm alone, and sated, and comfy, and happy.

I am not one who shies away from time alone, as a matter of fact I find there to be a lack of it of late. Time to let my mind wander, ponder, phase out, phase back in, at it's own pace.... whatever.

Peace out.......

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29 ... Sensory Memories

I had a great bike ride today. I rode up and over Mount Royal to the Plateau - to go pick up my glasses finally - and rode back up and through Mount Royal to get home. It was great. Nothing like endorphins to make me a happy camper.

It was cool when I left. At one point along my ride, the wind stinging my face, in a not unpleasant way, brought back a memory of sitting on the dock at dear lake Winnetou on a beautiful, crisp Fall day. It was clear as could be this memory and brought a smile to my face. Further along, I smelled the blossoming Cottonwoods. That too took me to Winnetou - memories of walking through the woods, feeling as familiar as ever, this feeling even tangible if that's possible- the impact of odour on memory is just so remarkable. Near the top I was riding on the edge of the road, close to treetops from the land below the cliffs, the wind was blowing fiercely. Our cottage was on a piece of land that also had a cliff's edge - and we always heard the wind in the treetops that ended up being at the same height as the house. That is one of my fondest memories of all, sitting out on the veranda, listening to the wind in the trees, bending gently, dappled by sun...

There are days when the images and sensations of Winnetou and the cottage come back so strong it's as if I were there an hour ago. I'm grateful for these memories, for connecting with something here - like Mount Royal - and having that take me back to my beloved lake and cottage. I pray that my grief, prolonged as it was, is not rekindled this year. It's been a hard 9 years, a hard process of loss. And yet, even though ... I always smile when I smell, feel, hear ..... when I am taken back.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 28.... What it is, and what it's not.

What a frustrating day. I have waited since the beginning of December for a doctor's appointment I had this morning. My appointment was for 10:15, I was asked to show up for 9:15 for x-rays and a CT scan (which never happened). I showed up at 8:45 because I'm German. Whatever. Well, I left that office at 12:15!! The x-rays only took 10 minutes. The rest of the time was spent waiting. And it is not lost on me that I ought to be grateful for the appointment. Really? I mean honestly, if that doctor worked for me, I would fire them for the poor time management skills. As if all that wasn't frustrating enough - my hip x-rays never made to the doctor, and she refused to do anything about that; and she completely ignored the physiotherapist's letter. Bah! And all this on Princess Day!!!!

So - I am in fact grateful that I know what is wrong with my foot. At least now I can strategize. I realize that's warped gratitude but there you have it.

My day didn't end there though.

I sent an email today - stating that I would no longer participate in certain meetings because they were chaotic and caused me too much stress. The recipient replied that she had never received such an insulting email. I replied saying - that is how you are interpreting it, not me. I am not insulting anyone, I am looking out for myself. And you know what, I am proud of it. I wish I had been that assertive with the doctor!

So I am grateful that at least some of the time I find my voice and stick up for myself. That I know when something isn't good for me, and I do something about it. That's worth being grateful for because I remember a time in my life I wouldn't have been "able" to notice even that I needed to speak up, let alone think myself worth doing it for. I'm grateful that has changed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27.... Spring????

I am grateful my poor tulips have the stamina to withstand the 6 inches of snow being dumped on them! How bizarre is it that the trees are all in bloom, tulips tulips everywhere, hedges are green ... well, they were green, now they're white! You can be sure all the poor folks who have seeded their lawns already have that to do again!

(I realize that I use way too many exclamation marks ... )

Of course, given the April we have had to date, winter tires have been changed, and winter paraphernalia has been removed from the car. So I am grateful to the one stray glove I found on the floor in the back of the car, and to the shopping bags that were there - so I could use them to clear the snow off the windows!

I gotta go, Honey needs help shoveling the walk (yes, yes, I'm grateful!) Crikie!

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26 ... 116th post... crazy!

So, I'm grateful that after a 40k cycle, I woke up today feel awesome! Still some kicking around to by done by the old grey mare! OK, I'm grateful I don't really think I'm an old grey mare!

I'm grateful for the lovely dinner Honey made for me (even though I know that it was ready so that he would be done eating before the playoffs started! I'm no fool you know!).

I'm grateful for the glorious day, for the huge patch of yellow, multi-petaled tulips I came upon, they were astounding.

I'm grateful that I persevere with this blog. It's a voice to young pregnant daughter, I assume it gives her some strength. I am grateful for that. You are a strong young woman, keep your head up, know yourself, know that you are loved.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25 .... awesome day!

Before I share about my day... Jesus, Mary and Joseph! - it's April 25th already! I'm not so thrilled with how getting older changes your perspective on how crazy fast time seems to fly now. Slow down world, life, everyone .. pleeeaasse!

And again, Jesus, Mary and Joseph! It's only April 25th and did you get a load of our Spring! We had our first official cycle of the summer! 40K!!! I feel fantastic and proud of myself! I am grateful my body can still cooperate! I am totally high on endorphins! Haaapppyy! Really, I should do this more often.

So we cycled 20K to go see our buddies in the West Island. Hung out with my dear friend, she seems to be doing better and better, and I am happy about that. Then we cycled back. And what a spectacular day to do it! And what an awesome bike I have!

And the 40K .. all in preparation of our cycling tour in Ireland this summer! Wooohoo! All I have to do now is imagine myself having a Guinness or two and getting up tomorrow to do it all again! Yikes!

A truly wonderful day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24 ... Honey and stuff..

I had a great day with Honey today. It started with an early morning walk including a stop for fresh made breakfast pastry treats... I don't know what his was called, but mine was a Chausson aux Puree de Pomme - ya! We had it at a little table, sort of sidewalk cafe kind of thing. Was wonderful.

We reminisced about our first days in our neighbourhood 9 years ago. While most of the world would consider us more or less city central - Honey and I felt we'd given up our hipsterness and moved to the burbs. We used to have all manner of restaurant a stroll from home, pharmacies would stay open 24 hours, or at least until 11 pm. In our new neighbourhood everything seemed toned down to family sensibilities. No spicy food, no ethnic treats, and the pharmacies closed at 8 pm, what the hell was up with that? We were unhappy and worried in our first year here. It never occurred to us to take a bus or get in a car to go eat somewhere - like back in the old hood. What would have been the point of that?

Anyhow... one day we came upon what is now our favourite Indian food restaurant, The Star of India, if you're interested. It's Indian home cooking at its best, and for the last 8 years we have been faithful devotees. So much so that most of the time we don't use a menu and the guys just say "Chicken Dhansak for Madame, and Bangalore Phal for Sir" and we nod happily and drink our pints.

A few months ago we noticed that more and more often, the place would be full when we got there, and we would have to either wait, or come back some other time. Note to self, make reservations. So a few weeks ago I called - and I am sad to say after all these years of going I didn't know anyone's name there - and I assumed they didn't know ours. So when I called and made the reservations I made them under "Mrs. Dhansak and Mr. Bangalore". The waiter, whose name Honey is insisting is Khabhir, let out a huge laugh and knew exactly who I was! Nice.

p.s. (no, I'm not sure it's his name - Honey chirped it out while I was writing - and if it is, I'm not sure that is how you spell it. So Khabhir, if you are reading, please forgive me.)

Happy day today.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23 ... Chablis and gratitude!

Ok so the title is a sort of, kind of, a joke.. but before the Chablis claims more of me that it ought to....

I am grateful that young pregnant daughter has the courage to say .. "Mommy, this is what I need. It's not meant to hurt you at all. Quite the contrary. Please know this." And Mommy responds "I hear you love." and it's done.

I say to Honey.. "Listen to me!!" and surprisingly... he does!

Things can be mercilessly hard sometimes. That's how it goes I guess. Can't rewrite history, and gotta live with it's consequences. But really, the good news is - we can!

I'm going to have dinner now...

Know world, that I am grateful: to be alive, to have the family I do, to love the way I do and to know that I am in fact loved too.

Much gratitude.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22... Let's see what comes up...

With no particular plan in mind, I am sitting here contemplating gratitude. I am grateful that I feel happy and am not suffering from miserable helmet-itis. I think I have decided that any day without helmet-itis is worth feeling grateful for. Honestly....

I had a nice long talk with young pregnant daughter. She is doing well. Said in another week or so she would start doing jumping jacks, encourage the arrival of new grandson. Maybe not? I sent young son-in-law an email today saying hey, hope we can have a nice relationship. Let's do it!

I also had a great day at work.

What a wonderful day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21... reflections.. RIP

Today is the 5 year anniversary of my mother's death. I spent a lot of years mourning my mother's death long before it occurred - so I suppose I carry this anniversary differently than many might. Might I be grateful for that? I guess so. I have already written about the dreams I have of her, never nurturing or caring or loving... none of that. And yet, I still feel a need to name the day, the anniversary, to salute it somehow, acknowledge it. I would like to say acknowledge it as the end of hope finally, but if that were true I wouldn't cling to my dreams the way I do would I, and feel so disappointed in their outcome?

While I have made choices as a mother that stray far, far away from what would constitute a "good mother" - I hope that since I have learned how to actually be a mother (it's a process you know), that I never, ever, visit that kind of sadness and disappointment on my children. In the last bunch of years things have become quite lovely amongst us. And now young pregnant daughter and middle daughter are just blossoming as mothers themselves and letting me in on it as much as they feel they can, and its wonderful. Son and I have gone a bit astray I would say, but we know each other enough to know we'll find our way back.

I'm grateful that the model of motherhood my mother offered me, was not the only one available. I am grateful I had the good sense to listen to others, to forgive myself when that needed to happen, to remain open until my children's' wounds began to heal, and to allow this good to come between us.

There is heartache in the lines of today's post. And believe it or not I'm grateful for that because it tells me there is much meaning in the relationship between mother and daughter. It tells me things matter very much to both of us, it tells me there is a capacity to respect each other's needs, and while that may sometimes be a hugely difficult thing to do and live with, we can still remain in tact, loving, honest, a family.

I love you.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20 ... a list

Another day without the helmet of gloom. I'm grateful. Really grateful. It's that simple.

And there's:

Spring's first time smell of fresh cut grass (reminding me, oh my I already have to mow the lawn!)
Birdsong on a spectacular walk to the office
Tulips, happy, everywhere
My dear friend's good surgery outcome
Middle daughter is moving -up, onward, and to a much desired new home, loving her work
I had a great day at work, so did Honey....

lots to be grateful for - and imagine, tomorrow is Princess Day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19 .... good day..

I am very grateful today. It's a little after 8:00 am. I woke up WITHOUT the helmet of gloom on. Yay! I hate that it feels so out of my control, that oppressive unhappiness, lethargy, just obscene miserableness. One thing it sure does is make me grateful for when it's gone!

Now on to living... I have exciting things to do today!

And I'm also praying for all those I was praying for yesterday. Good luck to you my dear friend, I'll be thinking of you. And young pregnant daughter, call your mama, I am here for you, things will work out.

Big sigh of relief coming from me today.... I'm grateful.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18 .... praying for good things...

Well the world is a little upside down it seems.

One of my best friends is going in the hospital for a major surgery tomorrow morning. I know she and her husband are afraid, worried, and trying to deal with a host of other issues, not the least of which is her mother being ill. Sometimes the universe really throws some nasty-ass curve balls.

Young pregnant daughter is having a huge drama... a dear friend of hers has suddenly fallen seriously ill - is hospitalized, leaving boyfriend's work in jeopardy, a lot of stress in the household. She has but a few weeks left of the pregnancy and things seem very precarious around her. We talk often. I hate this geographic distance between us because I would so love to be there, give a lending hand in whatever capacity, steady the rocky boat....

While middle daughter's work life grows new challenges are arising in taking care of her son. However her family that she has worked so hard to build and shore up, is rising to the occasion and they really are responding as a team. Beautiful. And then they are moving as well in 12 days...

Lots of stuff going on. I am actually grateful that I feel ok enough to respond to my friend and family in a way that is helpful. They reach out to me when they know I need it, I can also be there for them when they call out. I am grateful when all our connectedness really shows itself. I really feel a part of something bigger. Ya, like a family. Hmm...

A shout out to Canmore.... I'm praying for you all. Good luck.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17... day at the market...

Having friends here for dinner this evening. Simple Jamie Oliver recipe, always yummy. At the market there are tulips everywhere. I take the time to stop and smell, admire the colours.

Food turned out wonderful (sure not on the WW plan today I tell you!). Olive and chive "Baguettine" best bread I ever ate. Chocolates for dessert .... I can feel it working on the serotonin receptors, hallelujah.

That's all I got for today.

I am grateful for the good company. Grateful for the good food.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16 .. no rhyme or reason..

I don't know what is up with me. I am having difficulty shaking off this "glum". I do however recognize those that recognize me... and I want to say thank you. While my initial reaction at the moment is to push all that kind sentiment away - I am grateful there are people out there throwing me life preservers... I feel much less alone, if not very awkward for having this to deal with at all. All that stoic German pride "I'm ok" crap going on, you know?

I am grateful for the circle of friends and family I have built around me. I am grateful for the concern and care and friendship they bestow.

I can feel miserable and grateful.. who knew.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15... Not so bad...

I don't know if its noticeable.. but I haven't been feeling too good lately. I am happy to have been able to find the moments of gratitude that I have posted about, and truthfully, thank God for the task because I might drown in a sea of sorrow otherwise. Overall it's a tough time. I don't know if it's hormonal (my usual culprit) or what, but I have been struggling to stay on course. I have fallen off the exercise wagon once again, find myself lethargic, groggy, exhausted with no motivation to do anything. I am often in a lot of pain, back aching, SUPER irritable .. blah blah blah... I am even having trouble reading - meaning I can't seem to get into reading. So like I said.. not sure what's up with that.

However this evening, for the last hour, it's been not so bad. I can converse with Honey with out snapping. I can look at myself and not be upset. Small things to you - but a big deal to me.

I am very grateful for what ever moments I get "out from under". And it's thanks to the practice of gratitude that I get to be so present as to notice them. Maybe I'm crazy?

Being in a funk isn't any fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14 ... What I did for Princess Day...

Even though my Princess Day had to start at 6:00 am... I am still grateful for how it turned out.

After all the meetings this morning - I was free and went home. I took a nice long bike ride. Oh the wonders there - daffodils, tulips, dogwood, hyacinths, and lovely magnolia trees all in bloom.. amazing.

I then came home and gardened. I suppose that over the course of the rest of this year, I will get my fill of needing to tend to my plants but you know, it's April 14th. And it's already a miracle that I am not shoveling my way out from underneath... but I'm tending to my blooming clematis! I mean what's with that?

So I tended my garden. Took out the plethora of those nasty stinging weed plants, picked up the leaves, noticed that my strawberries have all come back (yay!), and felt content for the smell of the earth and the sound of the wind in the trees.

Much gratitude.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13 .. remembrance..

Tomorrow is the 12 year anniversary of the death of Hannelore Gleiss. She was one of the bevy of women my dad had a relationship with, except that she was the first after my mom, and probably lasted longer than any other relationship besides the marriage to my mother. So I knew her, and she knew me, and even after my dad left her, we remained close. I called her my step-mother, took care of her in her dieing days, she doted on my kids, we celebrated Christmases together... we were family.

Hannelore used to keep track of the details of my life. She would know when, where, what and with who. She knew more about me than my own parents did. She knew when I had exams, tests, presentations, my parents never invested themselves, she insisted on it.

I miss Hannelore. I miss the attention, the companionship, the family.

I am very grateful to have had her in my life.

RIP Honey Bunny.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12 ... Thanks in the mail

Young pregnant daughter is having a bad day. That's all I am allowed to say. Another four weeks or so and she will be feeling better! She sent me a thank you card today, for the gifts I have sent her way. The front of the card has a little duck on it, and it says "Me, Grateful?"

I love it.

She called before I got home. Honey repeated several times that she had called, I should get back to her. I worried. When I did, I heard a tired, grumpy, little girl on the other end, needing to lean on her mama. I am so glad and grateful she knows how to ask for care, from me. It's a blessing if you ask me.

I feel very grateful.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11 ... Life 101

As I sit here this Sunday evening reflecting on gratitude, I have to be honest and say I'm having a hard time. I don't know if it's vacation brain, or work brain refusing to get on board, which ever, there is a certain sense of melancholy today, a sluggishness, how can I be so tired after a holiday? I mean come on.

This is my 101th post. Imagine that. I'm proud of that. Proud of the consistency. Proud of the perseverance. And yes, there are times like today that I struggle. I don't feel I have anything "good" to say, anything meaningful. How can that be?

And it's at those times I think of my wise teacher Mia. In her feedback to me about my writing here said, it's not always about the big moments, the big emotions, it can be about a favourite blouse, or something that brought a smile to your face. And this I can respond to...

This morning when I got up, after a truly perfect night sleep - 11 pm to 7 am and not one wake up (how on earth can I be struggling for something to be grateful for!!! Maybe it's just a memory issue???) I got up first and had a moment or two alone while making my coffee. I stared out my kitchen window, looking at the world. In the time we were away, the trees have all started budding, there is a lovely green blush to the mass of trees out back, it's beautiful. My Spring garden is growing strong and holy cow even my Clematises are blooming! I felt very grateful for all that, to have noticed, to have taken the time to step out back and enjoy.

Well there you go - and you know what, I feel better now than I did when I started writing a few moments ago! So gratitude begets gratitude.

Thank you teacher for the many lessons you have handed to me... I am always grateful for that.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10 ... pooped... happy

I am ok with flying. I remember my first few flights, white knuckled, crying like a baby at every noise... whatever, I was terrified what can I say. I am even getting to be ok with turbulence. Well except for today... man that was a rough coming down! Motion sickness was gonna get ugly. I was in the middle of watching Avatar! I so wanted to see it - but I could no longer look at the screen without thinking I was going to be sick! Poo! And then finally we landed... seriously, I'm grateful.

And I love coming home. I always do. No matter where I have been I love coming home.

So I'm snug and nestled with my tea, feeling grateful to be home.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9 .... silver linings...

We woke up to stormy skies and rain this morning. What a sweet smell so close to the ocean. As you can see... there is obviously a silver lining to stormy weather. It's absolutely beautiful. I tried recording the ocean - to share here, but it ended up sounding like a bad radio... so I encourage you to look at the pics and breath in deeply, exhale deeply, sigh, and that's pretty much the sound track to the ocean...
I am very grateful for the experience I have had this week.
I am very grateful to have a wonderful home to come home to, kids that await my calling, friends that are meeting me and waiting for me.
Life is good... and I am grateful.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8 ... apologies and dolphins

Well it was bound to happen. I didn't post yesterday - for the first time since January 1. So now that it's out of the way... onward to gratitude.

This morning's cup of coffee, out on the balcony, relaxing, it's already 78 degrees... and all of a sudden a school (a school? herd? gang?) of dolphins passes by! There are at least 10 of them, frolicking and playing. I run down to the beach to watch, they are clearly enjoying themselves, catching waves, bumping each other playfully, putting on a show for the rest of us. I WISH I would have gotten a picture... I am so grateful for having witnessed them.

The ocean with it's ebb and flow, in breath out breath in breath out breath... and yet, when you're playing in the waves, it's immense, powerful, reminding me of my smallness, and I'm grateful - because for me it makes me humble. I have a great respect for Mother Earth and I believe that respect gets rewarded with a wonderful display of dolphins.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6... lots of stuff...

I have to begin today's blog with this:

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday my dearest Holly (I'm so proud of you and you're such a wonderful kid...)
Happy Birthday to you!

Much gratitude for my wonderful relationship with middle daughter. We have worked hard together to build what we have and I cherish it more than anything.

That might be enough when it comes to gratitude you might say ... Well...

I'm grateful for sunny days on a spectacular beach; kayaking in everglade swamps and being privileged to see bright pink birds; sunset cruises where I meet little 6 year old with chicken legs - beautiful girl; awesome dinners with wonderful friends and Piedemontais wines from Italy... life is very, very good.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5 ... in the details...

I come to my room and fresh cut flowers await me. I go to take my shower, and there are two fresh roses in a vase, to make my experience more pleasurable.

A morning bike ride lasts two hours, takes us down little lanes, ocean fronts, private vistas, bays to look upon.

A wee shopping spree nets threads for a sexy evening, a little hipster funk, and chocolate heaven!

An ocean blue, a sunny sky, an encounter with an 11 year old fisher man, leaving a huge smile on my face.

More pictures that do more than what I can write...

All that to say, much gratitude going on these days....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 3 ... Gratitude...

I am grateful for the friends in my life that open their homes to me, invite me in, love me as family.

I am grateful for my dearest friend, who I know will step in if need arises, love my kids and mother them until I can do so myself.

I am grateful for family - for the support, the connection, the security we now offer each other. Wasn't always like that so it's all the more reason to be grateful.

I am grateful for the thing that is Honey and I, despite the bumpy vacation start (what the hell is with that anyway??). I know we will find ourselves, together, and be able to enjoy, explore, rejuvenate, be happy, hoist a few!

I have a full and grateful heart.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2...Vaycay!!!

All right. First vacation of 2010. I would just like to say that I am not sure of my connectivity over the next week - so if I miss a day - it's not because I want to.

I love the feeling of vacation. I love the click I hear in my head as soon as the last client leaves the office. And the universe is joining in - it's an astounding +26 out there today. It's hot! And today's bird, out side my office window, was a Red Cardinal. Beauty!

How lucky I am! I get to see my buddies the Mooka people tomorrow! Smell the ocean! Good times!

Much gratitude!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1 ... simple things

I am grateful for having been serenaded by a Robin on my walk to work. I always believed the sighting of a Robin meant Spring was here to stay, thinking they were migratory kind of birds and they came back when it was warm enough. Ya well, except for the fact that there was a whole, huge flock of them on Mt. Royal in the middle of winter - blowing my theory out of the water! Maybe it's that they don't sing until it gets warm? Is that at all possible? In any case, beside the Red Cardinal that also has an amazing song, the Robin sounds beautiful. I love the challenge of spotting them, perched high above.

I am sure the birds are as happy as I am about the sunny, +18 degree day we are having. As a matter of fact it supposed to go up to 26 on Saturday. Doesn't seem possible - it being April 1, but there you have it.

As I lie here on the couch writing, windows open, I hear the kids in the lane playing street hockey. No one calling the police here! (Honestly can you believe someone called the police, here in Montreal, because a group of kids was playing street hockey! What is this city coming to?!). I for one am grateful to hear them. There is a certain sense of continuity in hearing them play. A certainty that the weather is in fact changing, that this is not some kind of fluke, that the neighbourhood is waking up and coming out of it's deep winter sleep. Let the Lane Parties begin!!!

Ah .. I feel very grateful at the moment.