Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31.... taking the time..

I have been at this Gratitude business for a full five months. I'm proud of myself. And I notice a definite difference in my outlook. At the darkest of times, I stop, reflect and find what there is to be grateful for in that moment. My lesson: there is always something. 

Like today - every once in a while Honey's struggle overwhelms me. I become anxious, unsure, afraid for our future. I know at those times it's important to reach out across the space of fear, reach out and hold on, for him as much as for me. 

We did that tonight. Getting out of the house, going for a lovely walk, getting an ice cream.. I mean really how long has it been since we've done that? And Levis doesn't count, cause having ice cream at the Chocolaterie is what you do in Levis. It was lovely to return to something simple, basic, yummy even. The two of us, strolling hand in hand, happily licking away. That's a lot to be grateful for if you ask me.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30 .... of babies and baths

Young Daughter posted a video of giving little Levi a bath. Of course, seeing as how I'm the grandmother, I think it's beautiful - and it is. But what is so lovely to see is how she looks at him, how she touches him, knows him, how he gazes back at her, is secure, seems even to be enjoying himself actually. I don't know that I have ever seem Young Daughter look so utterly beautiful, so at peace, so sure of what she is doing. I'm so proud of her. June 25 seems so far away at the moment. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29... a prayer for mother earth..

I am deeply dismayed, worried, scared shitless about the disaster playing out in the Gulf Coast. I don't know if praying helps - but I'm praying, a lot.  And today, BP says that they are stopping the latest effort because that too isn't working. In the meantime millions of animals are dieing, landscapes are being forever changed, ruined, extinguished.  We are managing as a species to obliterate ourselves. Isn't that amazing? Hard to find gratitude in this situation.

Yet I do, I choose to. My gratitude is a deep thank you and appreciation for the experiences I have had in relation to mother earth. Obviously Winnetou Lake, the Rockies, my garden, the water that I drink, the birds I heard on my cycle today, (I thought passing by a flock of them, how fortunate they were not to be oil soaked and dieing - even if their habitat has turned into a highway) the blessed ocean that I have met a number of times... I am so sorry that we have ruined you. Am I being dramatic? You know what, I don't think so, not anymore.

This has to get fixed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 28 .... friends..

Do you have someone you can just be yourself with? Do you have someone who will listen to your pain? Do you have someone you can count on regardless of the mood you're in? I do.

I remember when my mom passed away. I didn't have too much of a reaction (sort of, at the time anyway) and I decided that things would go on as normal. Well my friend Y thought differently, and she and her husband J came to sit with me. I remember feeling awkward at the attention, awkward that anyone would be here specifically to offer comfort and sustenance to me. Just to me. When you grow up with narcissistic parents that sort of a thing is hard to wrap your head around.

And I know how to be there for her. She struggles with her addicted son, understands lately her role in that, is able to talk about it, cry at her sad position, recognize her piece in this, and keep talking to me. I have the ability to listen, offer comfort, offer reality, truth, and love. It's an interesting combination, one that amounts to something called friendship.

I love Y... she is very dear to me and the nights we get together and love each other, and break bread, and help each other through.. are what friendship, and life, are all about to me.

Thanks Y. I love you a ton.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 27 ... A simple thing...

While my day was heavy in terms of work, it was also split - so I started early, had a nice long break, and finished late. This means too, that I walked to work twice today. My first walk was early enough in the morning and it was glorious. No more humidity and oppressive heat - just wonderful breeze on my bare arms, lovely smells, sun shining, all wrapping me up in niceness, all the while listening to Keith Jarrett. It put a smile on my face, sometimes that's enough and that's why I chose to share.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26 .... It's hooooooot

All righty. I will now begin a rant about the weather. It's way over 30 Celsius, its near 40 with the humidity, and we discovered our air conditioning was broken - yesterday. Repairman dude came today, sweat like a pig whilst on the roof (poor guy) ... and said "I'll be back soon" ... my reply? "Nooooooo you can't leeeeaaavve! Please!" ... and there he went. I don't do well with heat and humidity, it doesn't mix nicely with arthritic issues (assuming that's what the issues are). So I'm cranky, miserable, in pain, sweaty, baah...

And then the rain broke and the thunder crashed and the monsoon began. We hurried to carry our dinner back into the house, hurried to clear the table - not get caught in the down pour. And then that smell, the summer rain smell. It's sweet and warm that smell. It's comforting. It's Winnetou.... it's home. I don't feel so bad anymore.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25 .... a belated birthday.

Yesterday's post still fresh for me... It's important to balance things out. Recognizing what does that is important, yin and yang, good and bad, up and down. So while yes my mother's face, energy and suffering floated back to haunt me .. I need to share other things, other things that are worth being grateful for:

A birthday remembered and celebrated. I was deeply touched. A cake was made, a song was sung - for me.

When clarity was there, the connection was wonderful, authentic, the love was there, the longing answered. I could use more of that, I know we all could.

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24 .... Parallels.. Redux

I live in a bubble. I have long lived in a bubble. Living in a bubble let's me believe things that otherwise aren't necessarily quite true. Ya, whatever.. While my mom was alive, I had the great gift of being able to convince myself from time to time that she had managed to get her drinking under control. I would call her, a couple of times a week, at whatever random time - not as a test but as a function of whatever my schedule was like. If I "caught" her sober a number of times in a row, my balloon of hope would grow. Once my balloon of hope grows, I'm pretty much a goner. I dream of dinners, outings, family time, cooking together, Christmas time, what the hell ever. I once almost bought my mother tickets for Aida. When I told her of my intention she asked me if I had lost my mind (me forgetting she was agoraphobic along with everything else). My mother owned her "disease" with no shame at all.

When my mom was 62 or so, she lost her factory job and had to go on welfare. From 62 to 65, until her pension kicked in, she was relatively sober. Dirt poor, but sober. I took care of her then. She wouldn't take my money outright, so she was my "housekeeper". And when that wasn't enough - because welfare just isn't enough for anyone, I would take her grocery shopping and whatever. Those were my favourite years I'm sorry to say. My mother's poverty was the one key to her sobriety. When her pension kicked in at 65 I lost her, good and hard. She died two years later.

I have thought a lot about my mother this past weekend. I remember those times, my balloon full, including her in some family shindig. The anxiety surely too much for her, me oblivious. Like when we went to my sister's. Me thinking what an awesome outing this will be, what a spectacular family get together this will be (yes, I really thought that) - and it was awful, horrible, scary as hell - all to me - something I wouldn't wish on anyone. I had been fooled. I had hoped. It begins lovely enough - we're all in the car chatting merrily. Can we stop for lunch? Sure - a beer please. My anxiety begins... by the time it's evening my anxiety is cranked up to high, the sobriety has disappeared like the morning dew. I'm scared. It's how it is. Again, and again.

So what's my lesson? Appreciate the growth that is there? To be sure. Stop hoping? I don't think I can. Focus my energy on what is in fact working? Yes. Keep loving? Of course, it's not an option. I hate addiction.

I can't let it go at that. Because some amazing stuff comes from all this. Not before seen pride in a job well done. The beauty of the connection when it's real and authentic. I'm very grateful for that, I am. Cooking with Grandson Number One, playing with him, watching his eyes sparkle as he rides a plane, holds on to Honey's hand, tells us a story. A note at the end saying we can do better together. The pride in taking care, in standing tall, in doing better. It's all there. Whatever it is we are longing for, it's really all there.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21 ... for the love of cooking....

We leave tomorrow for Quebec City-ish... we're going to visit middle daughter and Grandson Number One...

One of the things we are doing together is eating! We have all decided that rather than go out somewhere, we would all prefer some real family time together at home, eating together, playing together, being together... Its been a long, long time since Middle Daughter lived in a way that could accommodate anything like that. This is wonderful. So this morning - in preparation for the reunion.. I made some family favourites. Well truth be told, I started yesterday I think, but whatever - this morning - and an ordeal it was - I made enough Manacotti for a small army. That's how I cook - all (or everyone) or nothing!!! The Goulash I made yesterday to bring along will feed at least twenty... oh well. I made parts of the feast here and the rest will be made on the spot - I'm planning on involving Grandson Number One in a lot of that! I am very excited.

I remember when Honey's dear aunt Helen passed away. I was asked to help with the Shiva meals. Honey's other aunt (who no one appreciates much) arranged a schedule of who would feed the grieving family. I happily took my place among the people that would bring sustenance and comfort at this sad, sad time in all our lives. I remember cooking - I made chicken schnitzel, kasha with vegetables - and I forget what else - but I truly felt the presence of Helen while I was doing this. My cooking was infused with her love for her family, my love for her family and her, a respect for the ritual of Shiva... and I was extremely proud and thankful for my effort.

Ya well, "somewhat challenged other aunt" who had organized all this - clearly got a lot of things wrong - and I arrived at the family's home, with all my food, to find out someone else was slated to order Chinese food!!! Bloody hell..... anyway all that to tell you that in the end my food was served for the Shabbat dinner (the next night) of the Shiva week - it was intimate, and lovely, and really appreciated. Was a big deal to me. I felt Helen would have approved.

Anyway -I'm telling you all this because the same love and meaning and feeling went into today's preparations for my family dinner(s). I am constantly amazed that middle daughter and I have come to a place where we can enjoy, appreciate and anticipate such dinners. It's a miracle to me.

I am still working on figuring out how to blog from the Black Berry..... Should I not post tomorrow and Sunday (unthinkable!) .. it means I'm still working on it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20 .. blogging from the BB

Ok so the attempt at blogging from my Black Berry didn't work. Anyone out there able to explain how to do that - please inform me. I don't get it.

I have had a long day at work, am eating a cold supper, and have a nasty headache...

I'm grateful that's all...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19.... What could have been....

My Princess Day started with a nice long telephone time with Peanut (remember, young pregnant daughter?). She is still in the hospital but getting much, much better - and now its a matter of waiting for Levi's jaundice to resolve itself. They are probably going home today. At one point during our conversation, Peanut brought up the blog - how did that happen? Oh! I told her I had received her card, found it very funny and lovely that she signed it Young Pregnant Daughter (I think she will actually miss being called that!), and had actually posted a blog about it - complete with a pic of the button. That brought us to me reading her all the posts she had missed during her hospital stay. By the end of it she was crying - crying happy tears she said. We talked about how transformative the process of writing this blog had been - on each of us, and between us. I don't think either one of us ever imagined ourselves where we are now in relation to each other. I'm going to take a huge leap here Peanut, but it feels to me like we have finally graduated to mother and daughter.

While our tears together may have been happy tears - at finally being able to be this open and loving with each other - I have to say there is a certain sadness for all the time we have missed, for all the sorrow we have lived - together or apart. Our story, mine and Peanut's had a long rough start.

However, seeing as this is a blog that recognizes Gratitude I just want to say ... you are so very precious to me. Your happiness means the world to me. To hear you talking now, about Levi and his father, and to hear the happiness in your voice brings me such over whelming joy I sometimes don't know what to do with it. To hear you reaching out to me the way you do touches me so deeply I can't really even explain it. I am sure at some point we will have a disagreement, ok maybe two, but I have a feeling from here on in it's different for you and me kiddo. I am here. And not going anywhere. I love you.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18 .... Getting to know you....

So I got a birthday card in the mail today. It was signed "young pregnant daughter" :). You have no idea of the smile that brings to my face!

But the best part was this! It was inside the card :).

Some time after my young daughter got pregnant, someone suggested to me I write a blog about my experience of her pregnancy. I thought that too narrow a road to walk - and in any case, not so sure her pregnancy was about me per say. Know what I mean? I'm thrilled that I have done what I have done, and continue to do what I do - here in this Gratitude blog - because somehow - it has touched young pregnant daughter (from here forward referred to as Peanut) and has created a bond between us I never imagined possible. There is something wonderful in letting someone into your world, creating some understanding, having your story heard. Especially by those that you love most.

Thanks Peanut....

Oh and PS... I'm so happy tomorrow is a true Princess Day!! Bring it on!

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17....Happy Birthday..

Hello and Happy Birthday to me. So here I am, another year older. Usually, I decide, on New Year's Eve to predict my year on the basis of whatever it is that is going on that evening. Sometimes I am a little more flexible and make it about the few days before and after. I tend to do the same thing on my birthday. And today started with a 6:45 am call from young not so pregnant daughter, followed by, or rather interrupted by, a call from completely hysterical middle daughter. Hmmm ... Dear Honey pointed out "You know how you said all this lovely stuff with regard to your kids ... and sometimes it's punctuated with reality"... ah ya, ok so today was punctuated!!!

Anyhow all that to say in the end... every thing is fine, there was no need for hysterics, and little grandson number two is prospering. Add to that an awesome dinner made by Honey himself, and a nice bottle of red with good dear friends... and just as I'm writing Honey came up with a spectacular dessert!!!! Mmmm...

A wee note to middle daughter - I love you more than you can possibly know. There is no way I will ever let go of this. Know this. Be confident in what we share, more importantly, be confident in your strength and wisdom. You don't need me.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16.... The things you learn.

In the past week both my daughters have had quite a host of unusual circumstances fall upon them. Middle daughter and her work schedule bumped up against her partner's need to work out of town for a few days. She panicked, expressed her fear and worry, and called to tell her mom.

Young - not pregnant anymore - daughter, well.. that's mostly her story. For what I see as a whole host of reasons, she asked that I come down near the end of June rather than now, to meet young Levi, and to spend some time with her. The idea of me wanting to take care of her, to help her with this... seemed somehow lost on her. I don't know.

In any case.... what I am reflecting on today, and the epiphany I had .. was that in both cases my absence, -and surely there is a better way to put it - the space that my absence allowed, made room for other things. Middle daughter got to stand on her own two feet. She got the chance to prove something to herself. She got to grow up a little bit more, know herself a little bit more, handle things, be strong, make good decisions, and soothe herself. That's worth my absence if you ask me.

Young daughter, is getting the opportunity to be taken care of and not by her mother. Young son-in-law is stepping up beautifully, happily, eagerly even. It would seem these last few days seem to have solidified a somewhat tenuous relationship. The baby seems to have brought out the best in everyone around. Babies are life changing, no denying that. I can almost see how my presence might have robbed them of this.

Sometimes stepping aside and making room for life to teach your kids is the hardest damn thing you will - I have ever had to do. There is no denying I love my kids. I know they know this. I think these are the sacrifices they talk about when you get the lectures about what being a parent really means.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15 .... From the mouths of babes....

Hello everyone. My name is Levi James Reeves. I was born last night at 7:31 (I stand corrected - 7:34) Calgary time. My Grandma wrote about my eventual arrival a bit too early last night - or she would have been able to tell you I was here! Well, I'm a 6 pound 14 ounce boy with lots of brown hair on my head. My mom said I was very curious from the moment I stepped out - she figures this because my eyes were wide open from the moment I arrived. I keep hearing everyone say what a great job she did and I guess that's true cause here I am!

I'm glad to be here. Life is very nice at the moment. I lie on my mom, and doze off as I please. She seems tired to me so I won't be too demanding.... for now. But it sure feels good to be close to her.

I have already met my Dad who seems like an awesome guy, and I met my auntie Jenn who seems like a fun and spunky aunt. I bet her and I are going to have our fair share of adventures!!

In another few days I will meet Grandma Sylvia and Grandpa. I know that will be great for my mom. She will like the company. In not too long of a time, I will meet my Grandma Heidi. She will take good care of my mom too - I know she wishes she were already here!

Ok world, I need a nap already. What a wonderful world this seems to be, what a wonderful life I have ahead of me!

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14.... Waiting...

Well today is the day dear people. Young grandson -young? Brand spanking new grandson is on his way out into the world as I write. I would love to say young Jackson, or Jason, or Jonathon, but truth be told.. I don't know yet what the young man's name will be. All I know is that he is on his way. I also know I am not there and it's not easy.

I got a call at my 6:00 am.... "Mommy, my water broke and we are going to the hospital."

I got a call at 7:30 am... "Mommy, I'm home, they sent me home from the hospital (????). They told me my contractions are only 4 minutes apart and I should wait for my doctor's appointment later this afternoon (???? are they crazy???)."

I got a call at what was it... 11:30 a.m. "Mommy, we're going to the hospital now!"

I got a call at 4:30, from a seemingly somewhat loopy Peanut: "Hey Mommy, I am dilated 7 cm, they gave me a nice epidural, I'm feeling good!"

I got an email at 7:31 pm "She is dilated 10cm, Baby is high and they are working on getting him down". There, I don't feel so all alone anymore.... that's where I'm at. It's 8:53 pm. Truth be told I'm worried.

And at this moment in time, it is incredibly difficult to separate past and present, my feelings about not being there and my feelings about my own mother not having been there. And those feelings get mixed up with plain old fashion worry. What's taking so long? Is everything ok? Peanut are you ok? I swear I feel you from over here. Can someone please call? Deep breath, deep breath... we have all had babies, and we will all continue to have babies, and babies will come - come hell or high water. There....

I'm going to go wait....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 13 ... Pride and Joy

So middle daughter had a bit of a drama yesterday. Today is the first day of a three week intensive work schedule. She was not expecting any hiccups in the plan - and couldn't really afford one - and of course that being the case, there was one. The issue revolves around parenting support and care for my grandson. So last night as we chatted I tried to soothe her, reminded her of all the obstacles she has already overcome, pointed out her strengths, told her we were there for her.

Later in the evening, after speaking to Honey, I decided that if need be I would drive up to Levis this weekend to be of whatever help I could. I then wrote a note to middle daughter explaining - that if she wanted it, I would be more than happy to come up this weekend rather than next (which has been planned for some time) - and to pitch in. I offered this not from a place of anything other than love and support, and a true belief in her capacity to deal with the situation. I feel that she is working so hard, and doing so well, that this unexpected hiccup shouldn't have to be a hardship on her. I want her feeling supported and strong.

So this morning I hear from her. And my wonderful daughter said, while she would so very much love to have me there, it was going to be fine with out me. She wrote, "I have to learn how to trust those around me sometime don't I? I have to show myself I can do this on my own Mom. I have to step up now and take care of things."

My daughter is showing such maturity, responsibility, poise, and intelligence... I am so very proud of her. It is such an absolutely wonderful feeling to hear thanks mom, but I can handle this one. Of course you can daughter, of course you can. I adore you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12 .... Princess Day...

So.. .while I had other plans today.... young pregnant daughter has me on the phone with her, sitting through contractions! Holy Cow! So Grandson number two on the way. Little J, grandson number one, has a loose tooth! We are already at the loose tooth stage with Little J, imagine that how much time has gone by already. I get to see him next weekend! Very excited about that.

My flight is booked to go see young pregnant daughter - sadly only at the end of June. We are in fact both thrilled I'm going. How I long to be there to welcome the new baby into the world. Alas it is not going to be. However this reaching out she is doing is wonderful.

I am chatting with middle daughter, on the phone with young pregnant daughter - I am very happy.

Ok well .. and addendum... no baby yet. My heart goes out to young pregnant daughter. These last hours can be quite the ordeal.

Hang in there girl. You're almost at the end of this. Or the beginning ...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11 .... Hope

Let's see.... there is hope in the air here... that in and of itself is worth gratitude. Hopelessness is not a pretty state, so when hope comes around, I think it's a good thing. When things feel hopeless it's kind of soul crushing. Hopelessness feels like drudgery, leaves me with a low grade anxiety, who needs that.

My apologies... I have had a very full day and after the last two rather intense posts need a rest on introspection... so I'm keeping it simple. The hope arriving at the door is a big deal, I needed it, am excited by it, am grateful for it. Welcome Hope... you can hang here for a while.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10 ... more understanding...

So I can't just have a post like yesterday and not do some serious reflecting. My kids teach me something everyday. Middle daughter especially - called me a drama queen (ish) and gently reminded me I take things too personally, when they aren't meant to be taken at all. Coming from her that's funny, endearing, loving. I'm grateful we can talk the way we do now. Young pregnant daughter too, patient, kind, understanding that it's not about her.

I had an epiphany in the shower this morning. Remember that yesterday I felt very twirled up in these different facets of motherhood - my own, my mother`s, my daughters`experience of their mother (me) and themselves as mothers.... goes kind of round and round .. but I digress. So back to the shower ... that it occurred to me that this overwhelming insecurity I sometimes feel in relation to my kids belonged more to my mother than to me. That it was a model I had learned from her. And no of course I am not looking to blame - not at all. Its a function of context for me. I seek understanding. This model tells me that I should expect to be hurt, expect abandonment I guess, I wonder how much of that I have passed on.

I remember once a friend talking to me about her daughter. I was sharing my worries about my kids pursuing their education. She said she didn't understand that somehow, that with her daughter it was just understood she was going on in academia. I would imagine too, for many, it's just understood you love your kids and your kids love you. It just is. I suppose that due to the many different choices I have made as a mother I have not taken that understanding for granted, doubted it even. Maybe it's time to change that, make my own model and share that with my kids.

There is no hiding that motherhood is an extremely loaded issue for me. It's a long road to where you want to be. I'm grateful for the company I have here....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 9th... The Mother in me.

I remember for the very longest time, always finding myself sad around Christmas. That Visa commercial, the animated one, with the decorated house, smoke rising from the chimney, the dog and cat happy around the hearth, big family, lots of love and turkey - always seemed to point out everything that was missing in my life. It would prevent me often, from feeling grateful for what I did have: a solid, good relationship with Honey, my kids may not all or any have been around, but they were reasonably OK somewhere, my dad always participated, our pooch was with me, food was good and plenty - there was an awful lot to feel grateful for. And yet I managed for many a Christmas to miss that and feel sad anyway. I'm not going to be to hard on myself, because our consumerist society, that pummels you to no end about family and Christmas spirit, does a number on the best of us.

And truth be told, Mother's Day is not much different for me. I set myself up. I get excited, especially this year, when most of my relationships with my kids seem better than they have ever, ever been. I set myself up with stupid anticipation, merciless expectation. And even worse, God help me if I'm pmsing - the emotional heights I take myself to, or depths I guess, are painful and horrible. I set things up in my head: who will call, when the calls "should" come, a card, an acknowledgment, and when these things don't show up in the form I hope them too I fall from such a high precipice. I give myself a broken heart, that literally feels like a torn ligament in my chest, it's awful. Even more so because inevitably the call comes, the cheerful happy voices, the well wishes. And I crumble from the intensity of it all. It shouldn't be this way. I shouldn't be this way.

I realize I am the one that creates the space for this pain. I think I was trained by my own mother, and her alcoholism - somehow there is a link for me. The inevitable disappointment in my deep, deep wish for her sobriety. It never came. Maybe my fear (irrational as it may be) is the "reality" of the relationships I have with my kids are not what I imagine (wish, hope) them to be, and that the slightest indication of that (not getting a call when I think I should) sets me into despair. Holy cow - that's a lot of therapy for one Mother's Day.

And now both my daughters are mothers (almost!!) themselves and I have a wish that we share joy among us. I have a wish that we respect each other, hold each other in high regard, celebrate the fact that we can love each other, that we don't in fact cause each other grief, that we can count on each other, that we each know deep down we are loved. As a matter of fact, I realize now, this is not a wish, it is what already is.

I will forever be your mother. Happy Mother's Day to you.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8 ... what a Saturday should be..

Today is the kind of day those Italian gardeners warn you about. Lot's of folk I am sure have set about planting their gardens, vegetable or flower, believing that the most spectacular March and April we have ever experienced in this hemisphere, would surely make it time to plant. Well aha! I say - you were wrong!

My mother, who grew up on a farm somewhere in Austria, taught me about something called the "Ice Heiligen" - not sure if I'm spelling that right. It would sort of translate into Ice Holies .. and sure as shooting, no difference what kind of Spring we have had - we can always count on a chill before the real planting weather begins. I am sure that other cultures (those Italian gardeners I was talking about) have their own myth about it - which is why you never see a real Italian planting before the Victoria Day weekend.

All that to say, cold, rainy, chilly day. Merited turning the heat on for a bit. Windy, blustery, a moment or two of sun, but nothing you could do anything with. Ran around doing errands, enough to get wet, cold, damp - yuck. Came home to nice Pea Soup - I mean is there anything better on a day like today? After noon nap, wake for a sec to find Honey covering me with a blankie.... I smile, feel warm, safe, taken care off... and doze off again.

My kind of day....

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7 ... Pictures worth the words of gratitude...

I decided I would share some of my gratitude pictorially today. You'll see why in a sec...

I only wish I could share the smell with you. Wonderful... and all the better that these babies are from my own backyard! There are apple blossoms from the Miniature Weeping Crab Apple tree my son got me some Mother's Day ago. And the lilacs are also from a tree he gave me as a birthday gift. It's wonderful to have a son with gardening centre connections!!

Tonight this same young man is taking us out for my yearly Mother's Day/Birthday dinner. Lovely... looking forward to righting the ship, and feeling grateful.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6 ... another Indian Food story...

Aaahhhh.... that's the sound of the world after Honey gets a haircut. And yes, oh yes, I'm grateful.

Poor Honey has a curse. In no time at all, a perfectly lovely haircut turns into long womanly locks of hair, some locks looking more like they are meant to hide things, than others. It gets sad. Then his gray hair starts to get a pubic-y quality, it's not nice. Even worse are the relentless days of his parents calling: "Hello? Heidi? Is that you? Did he cut his hair yet?" This last round they reduced themselves to bribing him. They have gone off to Poland for a holiday. In the car, on the way to the airport, Honey's mother chirped "Well, here I thought I would at least see a hair cut. I got bubkus! That's it, little balls of shit!"

The last round of hair cut drama just around his birthday, was no exception - Honey stubbornly refusing to cut his locks, his parents pressuring me for him to cut his hair, and by the end of it, me worrying about Honey's mental state given his disregard for his appearance.

On the night before he succumbed to the pressure, we went out for our usual Friday night Indian food dinner. Honey sat with his back to the rest of the restaurant while I faced the crowd. Our waiter (Kabal, remember!) came rushing to our table, with a big smile greeting me, and when he arrived and saw Honey he had a look of surprise and then started laughing away. He turned to me and said "Oh Madame Dansak, I saw it was you and I thought you were with another woman" (meaning Honey!) and he howled, "But it's not it's Mr. Bangalore, mwahahaha"! I didn't need a special invitation, I howled right along with him. Poor Honey, all he could do was order the beer.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5... Princess Day...

I love when a Princess Day is actually a Princess Day. Sometimes, I book the whole day up with things I think I need to do. Sometimes I actually need to do them. Today was a day where I more or less did what I wanted to. I like that. I could do that more often.

While the day began with a 7:30 meeting, it mercifully ended early, and there wasn't too much crazy stuff so that was good. I then decided to go hang out with my girlfriend Y. She is coming along really nicely post-op. We went for a great lunch, had some real lovely heart to heart, listened to each other, and hugged and kissed. I love Y. She is very, very dear to me. Getting to spend some nice time alone with her, without our respective husbands around, was nice. More of that on the agenda!

I then went and bought myself bras and panties. Is that not the drudgiest of chores? I'm not fond of it - except for days like today when I find stuff that fits! So yay me. However the story goes like this: I go and try on 72 bras (I'm fussy I guess what can I say). I manage to find three that fit and feel good and so on, so I'm happy. I pay for my treats and wander around the rest of the mall, looking at shoes, looking at dresses, before I decide I have had enough and head off to my car. Halfway through the parking lot I'm horrified to notice my top is on backwards!! And noticeably backwards, like the only thing missing was the helmet to protect myself backwards... know I'm sayin'???? What's with people who can't say to you umm, Madame, me thinks you're a wee bit askew???

I once sat in front of clients, two of them in a row, to find out later at a doctor's appointment I had been sitting there with my top on inside out. NO ONE SAID A THING??? I dunno... I don't get it. Anyhoo.....

Once I got home today, Honey and I went for a lovely bike ride to visit Bubby. All is well there. What was wonderful was the scents out side - all the lilacs in bloom, all the apple trees in bloom, fresh cut grass, scented tulips... I had a smile on my face many a time today. It's been a lovely day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4 ... Prepping for Ireland... the proper way!

I have been up since 5:45 a.m. I dunno... but I decided to take advantage. Honey followed not long after. So here we were caffeinated and done by 7:30. I suggested a morning bike ride. I got an OK, thats a great idea - which Honey, you need to hear, I'm grateful for! No knee-jerk reason not to do it, just a whole-hearted yes! Lets go!

So off we went. We decided that we would go as far as we could until the alarm went off and that would mean we had to turn back. I finally found something useful to do with my Black Berry!! Well that would have been good except the rain started long before the alarm went off. However, crazy as it seems.. it was beautiful. It wasn't a hard, driving rain but a gentle one. It was bearable. So we decided this is what Ireland might be like and that would be ok.

Along the canal, there were Red Winged Blackbirds. I learned recently that they are migratory birds, so I'm happy to report, they're back! And beautiful as ever. The cycling path along the canal is not that busy at this hour, on a weekday morning, when it's raining. So it was lovely, and peaceful.

We'll definitely be doing that more often.

Now, off to work! Happy Day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3 ... Best Friends Forever....

I woke up to a text from my "oldest" best friend. A and I have know each other since we were both about 3 or 4. Her parents bought a country inn that was about 5 miles from my cottage. My mother worked at that inn before her parents bought it, and my father delivered bread to that inn. That is where my parents met. That is where A and I met. We grew up together - in our summertimes anyway.

There has always been a strange parallel in our lives. Our stories are very intertwined. We both come from serious German stock with its familiar rigidity and authoritarianism. We both have families that dealt with addiction - namely alcoholism, we both had parents that leaned heavily toward the narcissistic, we both had three kids, both got married to guys with mustaches and drove off from our respective weddings in muscle cars (we have pictures to prove it!!!), we both got divorced, both watched one of our own kids suffer the ravages of addiction, both found new relationships (although she married I didn't). Often we both struggle in our relationships - over many of the same issues - money, kids, sex, how similiar we really all are.

In her text this morning, she asked if she were being a good enough friend. It breaks my heart that she even needs to ask. Through all we struggle through on any given day it's sometimes hard to remember to reach out, hard to let the bitterness of the moments we are swept up in, melt away enough to reach out, to let someone in. Those sound like excuses though don't they? I love A .. deeply, honestly, for always. I am extremely grateful for her presence in my life. Her young heart, her beauty, her energy (minus the anxiety and worry!!) are beacons for me to aspire to. I know we ground each other. I know we remind each other of what we have been through, of our collective and individual strength, of what it means to be there for each other.

I can't wait for next year. We will both be 25, ok 50, and I plan to spend some serious girlfriend time with her, on some island out on the west coast. You start that planning now lady ... cause it's gonna be spectacular!

Much love to you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2.... techno challenge

I spent over four hours today trying to figure out how to download music on to my wretched Black Berry. The music that I wanted to download in any case. Let me tell you they sure don't make it easy! Someone please explain to me how it is my life is supposedly simplified with this thing? I will take responsibility for part of the problem. I am someone who learns experientially. What does that mean? Well I learn by doing - not by reading manuals. It is much to my own disadvantage that I behave this way - because I am sure I have wasted easily hundreds of hours trying to figure things out - cameras, phones, DVD players, Ikea crap, whatever - without reading the instructions. I don't know if I consider it a testament to my perseverance, it makes me feel smart to figure things out without a manual, my sheer pigheadedness .... now you know too much about me! - but I just refuse to read a manual. I can figure this out I chirp to myself.

I get to listen to some great music now in between appointments - and when I do - I will savour the victory over my Black Berry. I have triumphed yet again!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 1!!! Wow... Relationships

I had a lovely dinner out with friends tonight. We had a wonderful philisophical discussion about relationships, and how could a relationship be cultivated on the web, or email, or virtually and I argued that they could, and my friends find it difficult to understand.

We came to the conclusion that we are online as we are in life - if we're reclusive and withdrawn in person, so will we be online, and if we are outgoing, and trusting and sharing in person, so will we be online.

Two years ago (or was it three??? Gaad I don't know) I joined Weight Watchers online. Losing weight was not the only gift I got from that experience. I met M there - on the community chat boards, where we as members went for support, to share our struggles as well as achievements, to motivate and be motivated, to find other like-minded souls to connect with. M and I developed a very strong connection. For the last two years we have written most every Friday night, and depending on what we are going through, we write as often as we need to. Her marriage ended, she sold her home, her kids have moved on to college, mine moved away, is having a baby, the relationships we're each in are/were hard, demanding, we needed a place to find solace and comfort. We gave that to each other, we listened to each other, no judgement, no criticism, honest support to get through tough times. I have never met M in person. I hope to some day. I wouldn't trade what we have for anything. I have grown as a person both through her kind words to me, and from being available to her through her hard times. The fact that we have never met in person hasn't delegitimized the value of the connection for me. I am authentic, honest, available, loving even .. and I like myself like that. M brings out those qualities in me, I revel in the intensity of our intimacy - what we allow ourselves to share. We trust the other person holds us sacred and respects what it is we are sharing.

I'm grateful for the relationships in my life that nourish me, no matter what form they come in. They help me grow as a person, make me feel like this world is a better place, make me believe in the goodness of the human spirit. That's a good thing.