Fall Feelings of Futility

Fall Feelings of Futility

I had a thought today on the cozy heart warming pleasure there is in taking a fall walk through rustling leaves.

I find the sound of shuffling my feet and kicking up the russet carpet to be a very satisfying one as listening somehow takes me back to childhood. Not to any one particular event mind you, just a feeling of youth.

That gentle comforting thought lasted through the first step into the yard as G2 and I headed out for a little fun bagging leaves. As I gathered piles to scoop up he did just the opposite. I tell you that child got lots of exercise and fresh air and I got a healthy dose of frustration until finally I got into the fun of it by developing a sense of humor and so in our own way we worked away and I found I just needed to work faster than he to make headway.

But there is a question that crosses my mind now and then, generally at this time of year. Why do we even have to pick up leaves? It seems to me that leaves provide a warm blanket, a sort of protective layer between the lawn and snow.  Is that not one of natures natural fertilizer?  That the leaves will rot and provide nutrition to the lawn?

It will be obvious to all of you by now that I am not a gardener of any sort, and I hope my question doesn’t sound too silly, but really doesn’t it make sense?

Living Two Lives

Living Two Lives

So truth be known I never completely left my ‘other’  life when I took on the role of Queen of Hamilton or Granny Nanny depending on the POV.  Most weekends I return to Kitchener and stay with my sister who lives in the same wonderful building I lived in..you know..the one with the pool and the wonderful view over the city.  Our life would not be considered wild by most standards..it usually includes dinner with friends rampant with laugh and innuendo and the gut wrenching joy of memory.

My sister..also known as Sister Act in my comments had a RAK (random act of kindness)  performed on her today.  She and her daughter Janice were at breakfast and when she asked for her bill she was given a card which read ‘random act of kindness.  Some stranger paid her bill and passed the card to her.  So now the impetus is on her to pass it on.  Pay it forward.

We should all be passing it…paying it forward…what would you do?

Big People

Big People

Almost every weekend I journey from Hamilton, where you may remember I am Queen and Granny Nanny privileged to be a daily part of G1 and G2’s life in a wonderful world of excitement, imagination and adventure filled with giggles, laughter and an occasional time out.  It is the most loving environment where I sometimes learn more than I teach….hmm truth be told more than sometimes.

I used to wonder if I had the energy and found I do and when tiredness sets in at the end of the day it us well earned and treasured.  My return to Kitchener for one or two nights is the chance to catch up with my best friends, otherwise known as Sister Act and SIL and other family and friends.

Friday night is typically dinner at our neighborhood fav eating spot Crabby Joe’s, where everyone knows your name or at least our names.  The gathering may be small or large depending on commitments and the next morning it is breakfast with more of the same congenial merry makers.

Kitchener and Waterloo are hot spots with lots of exciting things going on, great clubs, entertainment even dancing for those so inclined…at least that’s what I have heard. My days are usually spent puttering along and it occurred to me this evening as I looked around at Sister Act deep into a book, and me. curled up with my book that this is a pretty nice life.

Then I started to giggle, infectiously enough for my sis to start laughing although she had no idea what the joke was.  Finally she stopped and looked to me for an explanation.  “Well I said between chuckles, do you realize how tame our life is?  We joke, eat, drink and go to bed by nine most nights I visit?”

Yeah that’s what we enjoy.  Mind you we get all excited when an actual evening occurs.  When her staff Christmas Party comes up or some other evening event we are thrilled because, and are you ready for it?  We then comment on the fact that, “Tonight we actually get to stay up late, like big people!

My sister has noted that my shower singing songs that ring out each morning haves changed.  Without my realizing it my repertoire now imcludes the oldies but goodies; ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY and Z, I’m picking up my baby bumblebee….and….I’m a little teapot….hmmmmmmmm.

If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours

If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours
 
One or two years ago, thirty odd to be almost exact, I took my children to the Haliburton Highlands each summer to a cottage. It was a delightful little rustic dwelling with a wood stove and screened in porch right on Lake Haliburton with a shallow beach ideal for wee ones and a diving platform further out. When the odd storm came up we would wrap ourselves in blankets and sit on the porch and enjoy nature’s fury as the wind blew horizontal rain and thunder clapped and lightning provided a better show than man could ever construe.


 
Most times the weather was ideal with sun and gentle breezes rustling the leaves of mighty oaks, elms and maples that sheltered us in a world far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. No TV or Internet just games, running, laughing and splashing ourselves into deep untroubled sleeps at night. The only goal was relaxation and community with other cottagers.
 
We met many people over the years but one family in particular remains a frequent memory. When we first met they were just ordinary folk on holiday and then they told us about their lives. Family singers and musicians were very popular then and this whole family sang and produced records.
 
I don’t remember if we bought the most recent LP (long playing record) or if they just gave it to us but ‘If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours’ quickly became a favourite often played once we returned home. Shortly after that holiday I flew out west to Vancouver Island to visit friends with two young children and took a copy to them.
 
The family of singers have no idea how much pleasure they brought to us and I have no idea what happened to them but for one summer the very thought of flavoured snowflakes brought smiles and happiness to a few of us across the country.

**Thanks to Google again.  A search shows the song  was by Sandy Offenheim and all my favs are there including Let’s Play a Statue Game.  The bio says that Sandy Offenheim is a Canadian teacher, children’s song writer and performer, who recorded four albums of her original kids’ songs with her husband Harold and their children, Nadine and Stephen while they were growing up.

Well I am glad I had that memory today and want to thank Sandy and her family for providing such wonderful entertainment.

Is That a Light at the End of the Tunnel Or……

Is That a Light at the End of the Tunnel or….

I used to love the whole idea of a light at the end of the tunnel – the tunnel being a long and arduous path, some great feat, challenge or test of endurance – and then one day someone commented that instead of it being a light of attainment it just might be a train coming straight at you.

I am still in the tunnel!  As per my previous post on activities which included a Christmas party in August and moving, events are trotting along.

The party was amazing, organized by my two nephews and their Dad.  Two fire pits grilling corn on the cob and beef and chicken and enough salads of every imaginable kind.  And desserts.  Lots of desserts.

My nephew’s country property sports a pool, swings, slides and a trampoline that kept the youngest generation in giggles for hours and triggered tears in the youngest when it was time to go.  A great big Santa stood proudly in the midst.  G1 and G2 could not make it as the whole house came down with a bug but a good time was had by all who did.

That was Saturday and Tuesday was THE MOVE.   I am in awe of anyone who does a move well.  I have gotten settled in..sort of… but must return tomorrow for final clean up which of course is in the  midst of more social activity – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Muscles I did not even know I had hurt….okay I probably do not have them but pain has settled where they should be.  I keep thinking I must look toned and ripped but a glance in the mirror, when it cannot be avoided, just reveals an exhausted not so hot looking shadow of who I think I am.

I can’t quite see the light yet but at least there are no train whistles.

First Failed Flush of Love – Actually

Ah First Love

First Failed Flush of Love Actually
 
These slightly overcast hot humid July mornings sometimes serve up, in addition to a light sprinkling of temporary rain, a particular memory from a land far away, a time long ago. Actually a time long ago not so much on the land faraway, except it does seem in my mind to have been a million miles away. A land distanced by time I guess.
 
We were going on vacation to a cottage probably somewhere in the Haliburton or Muskoka region of Ontario where lakes meet forest meet city dudes for a limited week or two each year. It had to have been the late fifties, a time before, air conditioning, seat belts, road service and car radios that could receive signals outside a city limits.
 
Cars broke down all the time, or at least threatened to, but were easily fixed with a patch, hot air, or a good smack along it’s frame. I remember one trip where the engine kept overheating and the only solution was to drive with the heat blowing on max on the hottest day of the year.
 
There were seven of us that year, two parents and five kids and I cannot remember what kind of car it was but it easily accommodated four or five wee bodies. I’m thinking we were between twelve and six years old. I was the oldest and considered myself a diva of sorts without knowing that word existed, and for sure possessed that false prepubescent sophistication where really, nothing associated with family was good enough for this princess and Mom and Dad became Mother and Father and really, what kind of car we drove and where we went was below my level of interest..sigh.
 
I don’t remember much about the cottage except it must have had walls, enough bedrooms and probably and indoor loo as that is one memory that would have caught my royal attention.
 
One day on the beach, no, not white sand, probably a stony beach with large rocks lining the shore, I found myself talking to a boy. There was none of the discomfort or awkwardness that preteens often start to feel, just nice pleasant conversation. It turned out that he lived very close to my house and knew my brother. Then the conversation took a turn that screamed, ‘hormones at work here!’ but of course I would not recognize that message for a few years.
 
“How old are you?” he asked.
 
Not sure what to say here as all of a sudden it occurred to me that I did not want him to know I was just a silly kid (it seems the diva devil flees in the face of true love). After a pause I countered brilliantly with, “How old are you?” feeling much like Baby must have felt when she uttered the words, “I carried a watermelon.”
 
“Fifteen,” he replied, head down, hands in his pockets and kicking dirt with his right foot.
Whew, I knew it was safe to lie since he obviously was not fifteen.
 
“Well I’m fourteen,” and he nodded. He said that his family was going home the next day, (and mine still had a week to go), and asked if he could call me for a date sometime.
 
Our week passed and I soon forgot about the encounter but a few days after returning home I got a phone call. Now phone calls back then were rare. No one actually phoned unless there was a specific purpose to said call. And there were party lines so every conversation could be heard by most of the neighborhood.
 
Anyway, the call came on a Saturday morning and he asked if I could go to the matinee that afternoon with him?
I asked my Mom, and explained who this fellow was, and my brother corroborated his decent character, and Mom said yes.
 
I was a bit in awe at the potential of a first date but was pretty cool and calm about it, while my mother made me put on an actual dress and comb my hair (I was pretty much a tomboy like Trixie Belden then so gave no thought to ‘dressing up.’
 
Then I waited. And waited. And waited. I was not particularly upset, just a little confused maybe but I had not invested any hopes and dreams in this guy so it was no biggie, although looking back; it probably was for my mother.
 
Later that day a hurried whispered call came from my suitor who apologized for not showing up because his Mom had gotten mad at him and grounded him. He sounded totally humiliated and embarrassed.
“No problem,” said I, quite sincerely and meaning it. And then I promptly forgot about it, except every now and then on a hot humid overcast, July morning, my mind does that little time travel thing, where I find myself standing on a stony beach.
 


*The ‘Actually’ series are stories of childhood and family and memories.

Thanks to Photobucket for providing photos.

I’ve Got Your Back JanieG

Peace


I have Your Back JanieG

The times they are a changin’

In this year of losing control

Our lives are battered by circumstance

As we tumble, stumble and roll.

A year of deep frustration

To many in our inner fold,

Lives ripped from comfort existent peace,

As we tumble, stumble and roll.

You are my best friend and sis,

My rock and buffer when winds blow.

My back to reality check when

As we tumble, stumble and roll.

Nary a day passes by

Without a tea, a laugh or crow

About the day, our victories when,

As we tumble, stumble and roll.

We all will find our footing.

This turbulence and wind will go

And while the miles will be a bit more

As we tumble, stumble and roll

The essence of what we are,

Cast in genes and love will console.

The miles are few, the laughs are many

As we tumble, stumble and roll.

You’re not losing your best friend,

And we are gaining more control

As those vicious winds calm  no more will

We tumble, stumble and roll.

Signed with love, as you love to say,

Your Royal Highnass!

A Poem for Mama Kat

Prompts:
 
1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills.
2.) Write a poem inspired by a picture you took last week. Share both!
3.) Create a bucket list of 50 things you want to do this summer (with or without the kids!)
4.) A country you would like to visit.
5.) What is something you could stand to learn from your significant other?
 
2) Write a poem inspired by a pic you took.
 
A quiet night two boys sleeping
When the clouds gathered
Then two boys weeping.
 
Thunder shook the walls around
And one voice calling
Gramma, GRAMMA! sounds.
 
I flew down the hall with a plan,
Banish these fears
Make fun if I can.
 
Two boys one bed shaking, forlorn,
Fingers in ears pressed
Yea! I love a storm!
 
Storms are great said I above the noise
The angels are bowling
Don’t you love it boys?
 
Not so much it seems so I stayed
Telling stories fun,
About nature made.
 
The source of fear caused a blister
Not easy to calm
The source was Twister.
 
We huddled twice at midnight and two
Uncertain smiles now
As the storm still brewed.
 
Finally the storm abated,
The children asleep,
And still I waited
 
And watched in wonder two wee boys
Whose only call rang
In the midst of noise
 
GRAMMA!

and the thunder rolls

music

to

my

ears!

The B**ch is a Dog

The B**ch is A Dog

Well here I am for this week, dog sitting and house sitting and cat sitting while the family is in Disney.  The biggest part of the job is the dog.  She’s a lovely yellow Lab  who at six months seems monstrously strong.  Let me clarify – she is monstrously strong, although it only took the first walk for her to heel and walk and sit.  This is a good thing since should she decide to take off after a child, or car I would be spaghetti at the other end of the leash.

We used to have a black lab when the kids were growing up named Fagan who was wonderful.  I guess granddogs are a lot like grandkids.  You get to appreciate them more when they are the only focus so I see or appreciate more of her personality.

I know  Labs are very social animals.  Bree will accompany me where ever I go. To the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom, and the bathroom.  The bathroom is a problem so now I firmly close the door as her curiosity makes it just too difficult to focus on the chore at hand.

Labs instill guilt even more than children.
When I firmly close that door, the look on her face is pathetic as though I am abandoning her on the side of the road.
She brings a treasured toy to me and deposits it on my lap and those brown eyes beg me, just beg me to play just when I am exhausted and have no more play left in me.

Labs love to be outside and this one wants company so about the time I am ready to go in, she stretches out on her belly and more tortured pleas are cast my way.

Labs also will eat anything ..I repeat anything.  She seems to favor plastic and I have no idea where she find it, so I spend time gently removing said product from jaws of steel.  .she also eats or chews on stones.

This dog is all love and she misses her family.  She will lay her head on her paws outside one of the children’s room and sigh and whimper.  She also tries to crawl in my lap!

She loves to show off and yesterday when a neighbor cooed over her she started leaping around the back yard tearing out great amounts of grass and throwing them in the air.

I had considered getting a dog for my apartment but now think just visiting Bree now and then will do just fine.

But my question is…if the female dog is called a bitch..which she is not…what is the male dog called?

Great time at the WEDDING..and

And…

Will catch up on my daily posts…does 3 in one day count? As catch up? The wedding was great..and OMG have so much to tell you..not the least of which was how lovely the MOG – mother of the groom was..c’est moi!

The chef alone was out of this world..and will do a blog just on him with an interview of this incredible man..and it doesn’t hurt that he is totally hot. Okay getting a grip on myself here…What was the funniest thing..what was the best thing..were the kilts au natural…of course…what was the worst thing? What was it like staying in one of Toronto’s oldest hotels?

And what of the directors and producers present? Did I, in the throes of wine dance joie de vivre help or hinder?I cannot wait to find out…oh my….
Chris

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