Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New Memories

What a difference two years makes-- Elvis has gone all to pot !!

Fireguy the third

Doodlebug Lexy !!!

October 1984

The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan
all alone in the moonlight
I can dream of the old days
Life was beautiful then

I remember the time I knew what happiness was

Barbra Streisand

Monday, October 30, 2006

The "King" Lives !!!

Yup, right here in little ole Yarmouth town,
Elvis lives--
Jeremy has collected all things Elvis for as long as I can remember--
He even has an Elvis room in his home!!
And is it any wonder--- he's a hunka , hunka, burning love !!
Jeremy and Arielle, two Hallowe'ens ago---
a good arguement for reincarnation, n'est-ce pas??
He does a pretty good, "Thank-you, thank you very much!" imitation a la Elvis-
Looking forward to seeing them tomorrow night-- this will be a hard act to follow-----
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Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Bob and Chris"

We all enjoyed listening to the music of Bob Marley, still do

- Chris's place of employment had a pumpkin carving competition his first year there----

I thought he should have won-----

He didn't .
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Survival of the Fittest !!

How was your day, he asked with trepidation as I limped down the front steps of the school, with a pained expression-- every step an exercise in agony!!! The only thing working now is my fingers--- they get a good workout every night--
So here's the lowdown--
All that was really required of me was to press the pause button on the stereo every two minutes as the students moved through 8 rotating stations-- a fitness circuit all set up, ready to go--- skipping ropes, weights for those bicep curls, mats for push ups, leg lifts , and crunches----- The teacher had it all set up-- no brainer--- except:

I couldn't figure out how to start the CD player!!!

One of the Grade threes showed me,shame shame---
so the music starts---- circuit moving to the disco beat, and I remember my own skipping days,wax nostalgic--- so I just had to show off, couldn't leave it alone and just watch the clock, no, that's all I had to do-- watch the clock and press pause---
No , I have to demonstrate my skipping skills, forwards, backwards, pepper, two feet, hopping, and double dutch!!
Four periods of phys ed--- Hey, I can do this, i'm thinking, forgetting that it has been about 46 years since those skipping muscles have seen action------ I'm going to try to crawl into bed--I've become inactivated again!!
But it was a great day!!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Whadda ya mean ??

I wasn't going to post tonight, because I have to work tomorrow----- but when I told Jennah that I was going to be a phys ed teacher tomorrow,,
she doubled in hysterics--- in between her guffawing, she managed to squeak out hysterically,, "But what can you do?? Do you even know how to play dodge ball? All you can do is ride a bike!, And what will you wear--- work out clothes, but you don't work out-- and on, and on,
I'm not amused!!
Then husband comes in to see what all the commotion is about-----
"Oh My God--- how can you do that?? All Day?? What will you do?? Instead of hilarity, he seemed more concerned about the consequences to my health of a day of movement!!! Imminent heart attack??

I wasn't concerned at all ,, till now!!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bad Timing!!

On a shopping trip to Halifax, December 2002, Philip bought this book for Chris.
It's not an easy read, but there was information about a plant used by the Biwiti tribe in Gabon for initiation rites, under the careful control of a shaman--- For years, this tribe has known of the supernatural effects of the iboga root----- it is a psychotropic plant, which I don't profess to know much about--
But the plant has an amazing side effect--- it resets the opiate addicted brain, without going through withdrawal sickness, it is not a cure, but a window of opportunity, because in the resetting it takes away the craving and desire--- you can read about it if you're interested---
Chris was--
he communicated with the author Daniel Pinchbeck----in his search for help---- after calling every facility in this province-- no beds for opiate addicts in the whole province---
He contacted ibogatherapy house in Vancouver, and was accepted as a client for June 2003!
On May 28, 2003, an invitation arrived by email for Chris, from Pinchbeck--- asking him to participate in an all expence paid documentary being filmed at an ibogaine clinic in Mexico, with qualified doctors and aftercare-----the chance of a lifetime------One month too late!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Her First Word !!

It was last week actually--- she has been making random "word" sounds, mama, dada, nananana, in the usual baby rant style, but last week she actually associated spoken language with its physical counterpart--- she "got" the concept, it was so clear you could even read her thought process--- as she looked in deep concentration ----AUUUUU.....TINNNN !
Clearly, she was calling her most favourite and adored cousin-- Austin----- The funny part is, he calls her his brother!!!
It's so darned cute we just go along with the misconception---- we'll leave that up to Mandy to explain--- She goes absolutely crazy when she sees him, squealing and hollering, something like Beatlemania, or 'Trudeaumania (sorry dad)--and he tries so hard to escape her adulation----

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Of Seahorse and Sundry

Note to God:

The Real God, not the one I live with---- Between Fireguy's post about hibernation, and H's distaste of winter, I've been wondering if maybe this whole creation thing might do with some tweaking--- as for hibernation, seems to me eating all spring and summer, sleeping all fall and winter, and waking up SKINNY would be a nice option for some of us mortals---

or what about that pesky bedbug who can live a whole year without a meal--- ---

Copulation ?? that was good, you rock------But menopause is really manostop!!! Should have been a restart button!!

Childbirth, nasty twist. Might I suggest on your next round we may be fashioned after the seahorse, whose male variety cares for the young, or how about those marsupials-- wouldn't it be a lot easier if that teeny tiny fetus just crawled out on its own and found a way to our pouch???

Aren't there arthropods who can regenerate missing parts---- you might want to rethink those barbs on the stingray, now as for the male horse.....................

Saturday, October 21, 2006

V Day- tomorrow !!

Mema comes home tomorrow!!! Verdict Day !! Her room is put back together, ceilings and walls painted, drapes cleaned and all knick-knacks sparkling----- Two problems though---- Say it ain't orange !!!! and of course the missing red vase, that used to sit on top of the china cabinet just out of view on the right---- its pieces now reposing in landfill !!

Sometimes it's what people DON'T say that speaks volumes, you know when you have just had a haircut and they look at you with furrowed brows and say," Oh, You got your hair cut!" AND LEAVE IT AT THAT!! And what you really want to hear is an immediate and resounding "Oh , your hair looks so nice!" or some such equivalent----

So last night, Frank's brother Bruce and his girlfriend stop by to discuss new doors and such, they both look at the room wide eyed, and say
"My, you guys have been busy----- she'll like how clean it is--------

What's wrong with these curtains,,,, doesn't green go with or,,er,, tan?? What was she trying to imply?---
I was hoping to hear such phrases as :
"Wow, what a difference-- I love the beige colour!!" (With deep feeling !! )
OR-- "It's so much homier and cosy--- the colour looks so nice--- perfect!!! "


I think I'd better start cooking her favourite meal for tomorrow-----

Friday, October 20, 2006


I know, I know, it's so rude I can't even bring myself to type it let alone say it ---But I was watching the Rachel Ray show the other day, ( another I know,,her voice is grating but I like to watch all the cooking tips that I will never use!! I cook vicariously) I nearly switched channels upon seeing that Jessica Simpson was her guest, but the lure of pretzel chicken reeled me in---Even thought to myself that perchance I may cook this someday- the someday that never comes!
Mom took delight in bragging about how well-behaved her children were (ususally when one of her grandchildren was misbehaving) and how she never had to move a knick knack out of their way--- She recalled quite frequently the episode in the car, long before seatbelts, when I, a toddler jumping in the backseat, said "Shut UP!" whereupon, without skipping a beat , her hand lunged back and slapped my mouth----I don't recall the incident, so whether it was the pain of that moment, coupled with shock and awe, or the frequent retellings, but to this day, saying shut up to anyone is abhorrant----even when those words are screaming to get out of my head, I resist-- it's like a line I can't cross---

but there was Rachel Ray, talking to Diane Sawyer about some new fangled cosmetic doodad (lipstick with a light). and she kept saying,"Shuuut UUUPP! Shut up! Shut UP!!
There , I said it, but now it means AWESOME!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Saving Graces

She's been doing the telvision talk show book promotion tour-- Today she was on The View, and I always take note of her words--- I think this will be a good read, as I can relate to so many of the things she has said about finding solace and strengt from the kindness of friends and strangers---Not only did she lose her teenage son, she was diagnosed with breast cancer while her husband was running with John Kerry in the last US presidential election. I admire her strength of spirit, her courage, and gentle wisdom--- I think it was Soledad O'Brian of CNN who asked her how you go on after the death of your child and she responded-"You have an obligation to their memory." So true, when I feel myself descending , it is the thought of Chris feeling responsible for my pain that pulls me back--BUT-- she said something today on the View that I just cannot agree with---"The gift of the death of a child is that everything is put in priority" or something like that--- I know what she meant, how it puts the small things in perspective,, but I can never think that losing a child is a gift--- no matter what lessons are learned---

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cat's Cradle

When he died, he left no earthly possessions of value, monetarily that is----- no special rings, jewelry, watch, no car, property, or cash-- nothing tangible--except for a journal---- one that I haven't been able to open since the first voracious read, days after his death-- the mere sight and touch of the book -- brings on another "heart attack"--- but I've been thinking about it lately, and I know I will try picking it up again--- for inside the front cover, it is dedicated to his karass--- he names the people , his four brothers and sister - he calls them his karass--- and throughout his writings , he refers to that word, how he has become enamoured of it, how it has come to mean so much to him--- but he doesn't explain it-- he says, "look it up"-- as if even way back then, in 1999, he knew we would be reading it--- he didn't understand why he was writing , but he knew there was a purpose and it would be clear someday---- that day was April 26,2003---
So I've been thinking about the word karass, especially in relation to this "blog thing", and how much it feels like the karass he described------ and what a wonderful purpose it has served--- and I want to share some of his writings,,, soon----- when I am sure I can pick it up without getting "shocked"---
and the other thing-- his guitar--- accompanied him on his last journey----- oh, about karass, google it ,,, YOU are a part of it, and I am so grateful to every one of you in ways that you can't even imagine.

karass link

another one

Cat's Cradle

Monday, October 16, 2006

Life Breaks

It was this post of Houseband's that got me thinking about "life breaks" and sabbaticals !

For all of my working years, there was the magic number, 85, to which we all dreamed of-- that was the year when your age and years of service totalled 85, retirement !!--- we sit in the staff room and discuss what number we were at, how many more years left to go, and who was next on the to go list---

I always envisioned years of blissful nothingness, house paid for, kids launched into sucessful self- sufficient careers, and Frank and I having some time to travel this country by train (I can't relax when he drives--we always fight!) or buy an old camper and just go roughing it in the wilds-----so many people reach that retirement age and one half of the couple or both have health issues, and time runs out ----

Well, it came-- that magical number--- house still not paid for, kids and animals multiplying, and more people are dependant on us than ever before----- but when I think of my druthers, I wouldn't change it for that empty nest syndrome or barter away a day of life with Mema or lexy or Austin, or etc.etc. etc. and we still have a fairly good RV for sale,,, only slightly used !!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Deathly Parlor/pallor

Looking eerily grotesque,, as if they've all been pronounced dead and the sheets are raised---- rigid sihouettes leaving one to imagine what must have happened---


And on another note,, have you ever noticed that when you open the can of paint,, the colour bears no resemblance to that little patch of paper you took days labouring over to choose--- and just so you know,, Mema knows this is happening, she helped choose the colour, but methinks we are in for trouble--
the sample SHE CHOSE definitely looked like beige, creamy beige, kind of like a latte coffee beige,,,NOT ORANGE OR PINK!!! So please funny face, don't mention those dastardly colours that we both hate, please say it looks brown to you--- or if you must be honest, try salmon or peachy, even coral but please dont say orange or pink------

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gold in Them Hills

It's only now I can listen to this song without tears--- most people don't even think he's that great, Ron Sexsmith, that is --- but he touched our hearts----only a few months after Chris died, Frank was following me in mom's car with his old beater upper truck, whose radio could only tune into the local CJLS station,, the one I usually listen to, but he prefers CBC and talk programs------ On that day, a haunting voice sang a song I had never heard before, but i heard it that day, as if Chris was singing in my ear--------- and I knew it meant something----- when those goosebumps appear, heart skips, and breathing stops momentarily----- When we reached mom's to return her car, Frank opened his truck door , with tears streaming down his face, hugged my sobbing frame and wiped away my tears----------- You heard it too!!!!!!

Get music codes at Bolt.

Friday, October 13, 2006

While the Rat's Away.......

...the cats will WORK THEIR BUTTS OFF!!! She's a bloody packrat!!!! I love my mother in law,, but,, she saves everything ever given to her,, from everyone forever,,--
She is now enjoying a couple of weeks with her sister in Stellarton, across the street from tuffysmom's new abode--- she's probably sitting at the kitchen table, smoking a cigarette and sipping coffee--- whilst we spend our weekend removing six years of accumulated grime and nicotine----- getting ready to paint----
The hard part about being married to god is not just that he's always right,, but rather than press his point, he waits patiently, letting me have my way,, until I get in the inevitable mess he so aptly foresaw,,, and he doesn't even say I TOLD YOU SO !! He told me we should have emptied everything from the crystal cabinet before moving it away from the wall, but I thought we should just take the easy way, and push it gently--- until my fat arse bumped into the upper portion---- I just know the first thing she'll notice, in spite of a newly painted room, clean drapes, javexed blinds,, will be the missing red glass vase that graced the top of her crystal cabinet !!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Substituting for Dummies

8:30---Administer Provincial Literacy Test (quiet)
10:00--Silent Reading
10:15 --Recess
10:30--Math: Defer to Student Teacher
11:30--Science: Moi, Insert "Bill Nye, the Science Guy" Video (30min.)
12:00 --Lunch Break
12:45---Phys. Ed --specialist teacher
1:15 ---French--Specialist teacher
1:45 --Health--- Lesson prepared by Student Teacher
2:15 --Dismissal !!! Phew------ What a busy day!!! NOT !!

The only challenge of the day was getting the Video to relay from VCR to the overhead projector---and do you think I could do it??? Nope, ,, mechanically or technically challenged disability kicks in, and I have to ask the student teacher to help me get the video working---- which she did!!!!!
The big surprise of the day was running into Fireguy at school---- surprise for him too!!!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Better Late than Never !!!

I am writing with a much lightened heart, some weighty burden has been lifted, so when I speak of Chris, know that I am celebrating his life and am not in a bad place emotionally,,, thanks to all of you!!
Poor Chris, I am always pleading with him to leave me just one more "bouquet"---and God knows I have received gardens----- and absolutely never when I expect it--- for example---
this picture was taken on Feb. 02, 2004,,, the first birthday after his death--- All day I waited for something, anything, some kind of sign, but as the day ended, so did my hopes -- it was a difficult day, but I took a picture of the sunset on that day, for whatever reason-- posterity-- to memorialize his birthday in some way---
After reading H's story, I thought about that picture, and found it archived on an old CD---- Sure looks like a Ruby Sunset to me !!!!!

"Tell mama, that at every ruby sunset, when the Sun is aglow with red, I will be by her side, watching her beautiful smile.” H, Ruby Sunset

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Touched By an Angel named H !!!

After posting my blog for tonight, I checked out my favourites, and found this most precious gift ! It is soul-stirring-- --Once again, he has found a kindred spirit ---
she knows !!!!

Little red-haired boy with sister Jen, twenty years ago!

Fireguy 2 !!!

Preview of Aussie's Hallowe'en costume----- another firestarter, er, firefighter in the family!!!!
Seem to be having bloggers block since my last rant, but figured if I just sat down at the keyboard, maybe somebody would channel me through--- nope, isn't working----
Lexy has had a fever for the past two days--- do you think she caught it off of D in the Philippines??
She's so pitiful--- listless, achy, tired, but still trying to smile and goo------ We've been giving her Tempra, and hoping that each day brings relief-- taking her to outpatients would be a last resort--- my problem is I can't relate to Celsius---having brought my babies up during the Farenheit years--- so what is considered a high fever in Celsius??
Is anyone out there willing to admit they've been watching the Bachelor? I can't help myself from watching it, but get so embarrassed for the female gender----- the women are disgustingly phony and backstabbing beeeithches----- nothing like reality ,,, right ?? right???? So desperate for a man-------
Another female that bothers me is Rachel Ray (I'm not backstabbing, i'm right up front with it) Actually, i like her ideas and recipes, but it's HER VOICE---- TOO LOUD AND GRATING!! GIVES ME A HEADACHE AND I AM FORCED TO CHANGE THE CHANNEL-------Our family is quiet, low volume, mostly mute------ Heck, we could go for days without speaking---- I guess there's something to the "opposites attract"-- theory---- Frank's family on the otherhand-------------------------

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Promoted !!!

Hard to pick up and get going again----- feeling spent emotionally, and physically-----
Austin keeps us going, in more ways than one------

Everyone who knows us, knows that Frank should be and quite possibly will be deemed a Saint, mostly for having put up with the likes of moi all these years, without nary a complaint, (as far as I know!!!) I think the process is called canonization, and is based on public opinion----- But
Last week, as we were relaxing after the nonsupper that I didn't cook, he said to me,
"I've got to go to work tonight and check on the solar system!"
I married God !!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thank-you !!!

"Thank you" somehow seems so inadequate for your outpouring of love----Mandy, Connie, Tammie,Mikki, Gillian, H, HB,Mike , and Dad-
I thought the mere act of venting would bring relief, and it did to a point-- I thought there was nothing you could say or do that could quench the pain--- I was wrong--------

Aussie will be coming soon for the weekend, so I will probably not get a chance to blog---but know that your words have touched my heart very deeply, and I realize now how much I needed you all to quench the fire ---- and so the volcano ---- though still in a state of perpetual activity, will lie dormant, until the next stirring----

The days that you can see coming, birthdays, deathdays, mother's days, etc---- are never as bad as you anticipate--- because you fortify yourself and brace for the storm---- it's the unexpected typhoons that wreak havoc----- Love to you all !!!

Belated thankyou to Cheryl,Marsha, and Diane---- the continuous cycle of rewind, replay has stopped playing in my mind------ and on this Thanksgiving weekend, I give thanks to God for all of you---- and the gifts of Grandchildren!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Imminent Eruption !!

Thr rumbling restarted yesterday---at school--a voice from within tried to warn me, but I had to ask X:

"So , what do you know about the arrest?"
"It was on the radio-- the police confiscated 75 thousand dollars, GUNS , and cocaine."
"What do you think will happen to him?"
"Probably not much, the rumour is, he's an informant"
"Was your community shocked?"
"No, everyone already knew."
"If everyone knew, why wasn't anything done about it---doesn't anybody care?"
"Yeah, but they're afraid of him---- why do you think I'm whispering?" he says, furtively looking around the staff room, as if HIS life could be in danger if any of our colleagues were to overhear this conversation.
"Has he ever hurt anyone?"
"He gets even with people who owe him money!!" My heart tightens, and it takes every bit of strength I can muster to keep from completely falling apart----- OH my God--- I had never thought it could have been that voice on the phone -- and I feel as if I'm going to burst wide open with the pain---- but I hold on until Frank picks me up----- and I cry, wail, sob, weep, moan,----

Flashback::: March, 2003--- Message on phone, "Hey, buddy, when are you going to return my to0ls?"
Number on display--- same one that's been on my phone bill , repeatedly every day, for the last few months---- just a friend, Chris said. (He's not handy, and never borrows tools)
April, 2003--'MOM, can you lend me four hundred dollars?"
No, I'm not paying for your drugs!!! Didn't ask why, should have known if he was desperate enough to ask, it must have been important-- I didn't want to KNOW--- I said NO !
April 25, 2003---- It's payday, MOM, should I pay my lawyer or THE FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS?
Pay, your lawyer, I reply--- he ususally, never listens to my advice anyway, and what do I know about organized crime--- NOTHING___ I didn't want to know------- so I told him to pay his lawyer!!!
April 26----- body dumped on lawn----- found out later he paid his lawyer earlier that day-------

I don't know what happened that night, that night I didn't even raise my head off the couch as he went out the door, and said good-bye, I don't know what he was wearing, the clothes were too bloody, ------ ---- and now I don't know how to forgive myself---- I know he forgives me, because that's the way he was, but how can a mother get over the torment of not knowing if her actions or inactions resulted in the death of her son---- The guilt is torture, and I don't know what to do with it----- So don't tell me I was a good mother, I know better, I was there, and the scenes keep rewinding and replaying over and over----- yelling at him, kicking him out, just wanting the PROBLEM to go away---- well, it did !!!
I guess I'm not asking how you can forgive yourself, because there is no absolution for this one, it's much too big a monster, the question is how to live with this beastly guilt -----

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Look Ma--- No Hands !!!!

The learning curve is steep--- amazing what development occurs in nine swift months----- am enjoying watching the daily advances, never did get to be a stay at home mom !!! Another thing to guilt over---
She strains to balance , and wobbles like a trapeze artist on high tightrope, gauging the distance between she and me------- can she make it-------- Outstretched hand clutches mine, and we both laugh in glee---- a small step for man--- a giant step for ---------- Lexy!!!
Worked today in "my" old classroom---- funny thing, though, it most definately did not feel like mine--- all ownership has evaporated---- like it never was---- no nostalgia, no regrets---- and it makes me really look forward to watching Lexy again tomorrow!!!!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Lotus of Bahapur

I'm wondering if H in India has seen this structure in New Delhi. There is a House of Worship on each of the continents, all unique architecturally, to relate to the country in which they are built, yet all of them follow certain requirements--- basically circular in design , open to all directions--- nine sides to signify the nine major world religions, and inside the scriptures of all the religions are read--- They are Houses of Worship for all persons, regardless of race, religion, age, status, etc. Physical manifestations of the spiritual concept that we are all the leaves of one tree, the fruits of one garden, the waves of one sea----- The earth is one country and mankind its citizens------
As I worry and wonder how Houseband fared through the storm, and think about H , Lizza, and all the others on my blogblock, I am reminded over and over how the differences between us are superficial and ephemeral, and what connects us is the essence of who we are, our hurts, hopes, fears, joys, and caring for each other--------

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Lots of Company Tonight !!!

Baron Billy Dog, St. Franklyn, and lovely Lexy !!

Mema, Frank's Mom

Aunt Nonie (Mema's sister) and Uncle Eddie

Cousin Darlene and Aunt Glady, Mema's sister

Travelling Man - My Dad

Fireguy relaxing !!

Day of Rest

Not going to blog today, but just thought of a solution to the hamster gone wild problem!