Tuesday, September 30, 2014

take two

I was lost today.
At first I just didn't know where I was going.
But I knew where I was.
That isn't really lost but it feels so awful it may as well be.
Then, after I had hurtled past my freeway exit and the three that followed, and had pulled off the highway into a busy truck stop and had found someone local who knew the lay of the land.......
I found myself headed back from whence I had come with that dizzying feeling you get just as you slide over the cliff....
"We're going to be late," I said, hopelessly.
"Will anyone care?" my mother asked.
Well, I cared....but really, probably no one else would....
I was able to talk myself calm.
I heard once that if you are lost, just change your destination.
I've actually done that once with wonderful results. I'll tell that story another day.
I've also heard that if you are late, just change your arrival time.
I was skeptical but it actually worked.
'You aren't late,' I firmly told myself. 'You won't be late til it's past eleven.'
It was a bald faced lie but amazingly, the knot in my stomache untied and I felt myself depressurize. Yes, eleven, I could do that.
And I did.
It was later going home that I got lost.
Sort of Anguish/Take Two.
For a few brief moments, in an unfamiliar place, I not only didn't know where I was going, but I didn't know where I was.
And I had consulted a Google map that very morning too.
My afternoon at home had more frustration waiting in the wings.
Now why does life do that to us.
When we are teetering on the brink, it huffs and puffs us over the edge.
When I was younger, I spent a lot of time falling over the cliff.
I spent way too much time picking my bruised self up off the rocks.
I've come to recognize that honesty is the best policy.

When I asked myself, kindly, that is important.... the kindly part....when I asked my self why I was feeling distressed, the answer came in a heartbeat.
I am afraid.
I am afraid that I will end up as my mother has, unable to remember all the things I need to remember, the important and unimportant things that make up a life.
I'm afraid of losing my way......

Monday, September 29, 2014

rudbekia rules

These flowers say September to me more than any other flower. I started with one little plant, but following the advice in my Lazy Gardening book: reward plants that flourish with more of the same, I now have three large clumps. I'm not sure what I love most about them.
  • look like daisies 
  • have wonderful brown centers that rise out of the center into great, prickly cones
  • multiply and flourish through benign neglect
  • add a sizzle of yellow that's probably visible from space
  • age gracefully, oh so gracefully
Rudbekia rules the autumn garden.

month of wonders

Isn't a parcel in the mail a thing of delight?
Last week I received box number one from The Well Seasoned Kitchen.
Box number one with five more to go.
Each month for six months, I will be plucking a nice big package filled to the brim with kitcheny goodness from my mail box.
Winning a contest is heady stuff.

My September box contained-
1. Marich Premium Chocolates- Natural Coconut Curry Cashews
Roasted cashews coated with a blend of white chocolate, curry and coconut. Haven't opened the package yet but they look intriguing.
2. Glazed Maple Oat Scones dry mix by Sticky Fingers Bakeries. Just add water to recreate their ultra-popular scones at home.What a brilliant idea. I'm really looking forward to trying them out.
3. Sea Salt with Red Wine grinder. My sister has been enjoying salt from a grinder. She says it adds a little crunch. Just the perfect bit of crunch. I'm pretty excited about trying this too. Perhaps it will be as big a revelation as freshly cracked black pepper.
4.Garlic and Rosemary Infused Oil. I love fresh dressing for salad. Just a dash of oil and vinegar and maple syrup. That is the destiny of this lovely oil.
5. Bengali Panch Phoron by Monsoon Coast.
A blend of five seeds; cumin, black mustard, fennel,fenugreek, and nigella. I love East Indian flavours and will bravely attempt the included recipes.
6. PapaJohn Dolmadakia. Tender grape leaves wrapped around rice in a seasoned oil. Now this I opened right away. So addictive. They would be a wondrous addition to a platter of smoked meats and cheeses and pickles. They were pretty wondrous on their own.
Oh, and I got recipes and tips too.

I absolutely loved my September box.
So many new things to try.
A month of wonders.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

never does

I cropped my siblings out of this picture. Isn't that just the sort of thing a 'youngest' would do?
I must be barely four in this one. Barely four and finding life rather heavy going. Couldn't anyone see that I needed a nap for goodness sake. Or a snack. Or a hug. Sheesh. Look at that little face. Zero spark of joy.
I love that my feet barely reach the floor.
And that I am wearing leather shoes with buckles and little holes punched in a design that I could likely still draw.
And leotards.
Saggy leotards as almost all tights are at some point in the day.
They act as a sort of barometer of mood.
My plaid skirt was a nod to my Celtic last name. Might even have been the right colors.
My hair was swept to the side and clipped with a metal hair clip that looked like a bow. It seems to me that I just had the one clip from birth to grade six when I seized control of my own destiny briefly and parted my hair in the middle.
Dear little girl.
I must tell you that my sister who was sitting beside me, whom I so ruthlessly cropped out, was smiling. And not just any smile. A perfectly joyous, happy smile.
It just didn't seem right.
So now I am all alone.
But it hasn't made me any happier.
Never does.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

still like to

My grandson suddenly appeared at my elbow, his small face sober. "Great Grandma just told me I should go outside," he confided in a whisper, glancing warily towards the living room.
"Oh, let me tell you about when I was your age," I laughed.
"Great Grandma didn't like us to make noise in the house when we played. She called that 'horsing around.'

It's no surprise that I have a wheelbarrow full of memories of outside play.
Isn't it kind of funny that once upon a time, great big families lived in little tiny houses, and now little tiny families live in great big houses?
Just one of those cultural shifts.
But kids still like to horse around.

did you

'Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?'
A.A. Milne

breaks through

I write things down.
I jot random things on random scraps of paper.
Little pieces of my mind.
Things I think, or want to remember that I thought.
They tend to waft off, caught up in the swirling eddies of life in my house.
Then I come upon them some time later.
It is always an 'aha' moment.
Some time ago, I came upon a scrap of paper marking a place in a Sudoku book.
It contained one line.
A question.
Doesn't kindness break your heart?
I've thought about that ever since and have to agree that it does.
Kindness breaks the heart.
It breaks through the toughness.
It breaks through.