Tuesday, June 30, 2009

scrapes on the bike

Liv is obsessed with riding her bike. She's become a daredevil. Attempting to ride without hands. Launching her bike off the curb. Racing along beside me to pass.
On Sunday, she had her first 'wipe-out'. Going up on the curb, her back tire missed and over she went. I felt for her. Those gravel filled skinned knees hurt. But I also felt proud. She was fearless enough to ride hard and get hurt.
Don't you remember laying on your clean, line dried sheets on summer evening listening to the birds outside the window while feeling a slight sunburn on your back and nice thick scabs on your knees? Knowing that you had worked hard and played harder. You had had a good day and there was some satisfaction in knowing that you were injured....knowing that you had something to show for your efforts.
But after I had deposited her sore little body on the front steps along with her little brother, I returned to the scene of the accident to retrieve the bikes from across the road.
From nowhere, the loss of Jeff hit me hard. Bent over, I gulped air as the moment of his death replayed rapidly, the magnitude of his loss and the sadness of loneliness without him washed over me. Tears that stung slid down my cheeks and I quietly sobbed trying to push away the sadness.
As I came back across the road, dragging three bikes with me, I saw the two reasons that I get up each morning watching me. We sat on the front step and held each other for a time and I relished what I haven't lost. I am so lucky to have what I have left. If only....If only, he was here to feel how lucky we are together. God, I miss him.

Monday, June 29, 2009

the scourge of the written word

I am shocked that it's been almost a week since I've posted. Whenever that happens, assume that I'm lost in a book. Also, if you arrive at my house and it's a disaster...I am reading a book. I don't know what comes over me. It's like some form of literary drug. I can't stop. I think, "Okay, have to do the laundry, repot that plant, refill the hummingbird feeders, clean the coop and play badminton with the kids.....Naw. I'll just read for a minute. The other things can wait. Not the book....." An hour or five later, the kids are hungry, crabby and muddy, the house is such a mess that I am convinced that the authorities will arrive and deem our house unfit for human habitation, the dog is missing and all the 'jobs' I had before feel like a weight drowning me in a pool of stress (dramatic, yes, but true). I feel worse about everything. I'm annoyed and swear both internally and externally and feel that I will NEVER be on my game again.
So, we eat scrambled eggs for dinner. I wash the kids (at very least, I wash their feet and faces). Read a book to them. Lay with them 'til they are asleep. Start to tidy up, load dishwasher, sweep floor, throw load of laundry in, look at all the things that STILL need doing....and go read my book again.
But today, I finished my book.....So, you'll probably hear from me tomorrow AND my house will be clean!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

when cosmetic surgery goes wrong?

No. Just a bad reaction to a bug bite. Maybe I've sussed out a way to support the family financially, though. Tape off head with the exception of lips (or any other part that needs a 'puffing') and encase it in a box filled with mosquiotes or biting spiders. A bite or two later - Voila!! Angelina lips!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Occasionally, I am now bouyed by a lightness and happiness that I can't explain. I worry at times that I have 'lost the plot' so to speak. That I'm a nut job about to slip over the edge. I mean, really, I've had a shite of a last year. I lost my husband/best friend, my sweet and wonderful grandfather and my beloved 15 year old dog. I am scraping to make ends meet. I am alone. My kids are somewhat damaged from the monumental changes in their short little lives....But somedays, inexplicably, I am happy.
I feel traitorous saying that and even worry that some people will misinterpret these pockets of joy thinking that I don't miss Jeff with every breath I take while wishing he were here to enjoy these upswings and bubbles of bliss.
In fact, I only think that it is because of the loss of Jeff that I can feel this. Before he died, I was bogged down with worry about vacuous and frivolous shit. I could see how I had been wronged in every situation. I could find fault and anger everywhere. I am still 'blessed' with this ridiculous and terrible gift....but I am also learning to be able to turn it off. I am concentrating so hard on trying to see the positive, to feel joy, to search for the good in an effort to not drown in grief, that I am learning to shut out that sinister and nepharious self-destructive voice. When that voice is silent, I feel joy. Pure, warm joy. I can feel sadness and pain alongside it, but I can still turn my face to the light and smile. This, the ability to force myself to stare through rose-coloured glasses, has been the largest gift that Jeff has given me....it is just such a shame that it has been in the loss of him that I have found this gift. I wish we could have shared our life together with this realization in mind....and not just the cognitive recognition of this, but the actual realization that I have had since losing my love.

Monday, June 22, 2009

not me monday

I always mow the lawn. I have never stared at the copious amounts of brilliant yellow dandelion flowers dotting our lawn and declared that they were too beautiful to mow thus allowing me to get out of a dreaded job. Not me.

I don't ever listen to some fabulous song and imagine myself dancing fabulously in time with the music and being the object of other's jealous stare because of my girating abilities. Never.

I make sure that I don't have spider legs protruding from my bathing suit and that my armpits are always perfectly hairless before accompanying my children to the swimming pool. I don't feel the need to ensure that my lower half is always submerged thus hiding my hairiness and attempt to keep my underarms from being exposed during aquatic activities such as ball throwing or lifting children from the pool. Not ever.

I have never regretted sending my kids to their own beds and lain awake missing their warm little bodies breathing loudly forcing me to go and either retrieve them from the warm cocoons transplanting them into mine or climbing into their cozy little beds to have them nuzzle up against me in their sleep. I would never do that.

I have never forgotten a word while speaking to someone that intimidates me and instead used a word that just suddenly pops into my head as a substitute all the while hearing it slip from my lips knowing full well that it has absolutely no relevance to this conversation and then hoped that they didn't notice what a dumbass I am. NOT me!

I never, ever am such an idiot. Not me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

celebration for their father

Today is the day that everyone celebrates their own father. Bringing trays with breakfast in bed. Having a BBQ. Washing dad's car. Having extra hugs. Calling long distance.
But today, my little ones weren't able to supply Jeff with burnt waffles and spilt orange juice. Last year, we spent our first Father's Day without Jeff. As others were walking hand in hand with their daddy, my little ones sent love letters to him in 'Heaven'.
This Father's Day, we again followed the tradition that began last year. We wrote notes and drew pictures for Jeff. Liv, heartwrenchingly, wrote Jeff the same words that she has written so many times and drew a flower on the back. Briar drew a 'monster truck' and poked holes in the paper to pull the string through. I poured my heart out with tiny handwriting into a letter of longing and loss for my husband and the father of my kiddos....It was cathartic and freeing to write and 'send' it up to him.
The wind stole the balloons from our outstretched hands and watched as they rose higher and higher into the sky. I kept praying that they wouldn't pop as we watched as I'm sure we would have all sobbed. But they didn't pop. They rose higher and higher. Whisked out above the ocean. We silently watched until we couldn't see them any longer hoping that somehow Jeff would know what those letters contained.

Friday, June 19, 2009

ahoy mateys

My girlfriends, Jill and Lynette, have thrown a "Pirate Ball" two years in a row now to benefit the kid's trust find. Last year, I was too bereft to leave the house to attend but this year, I made it. I am so amazed what these women can accomplish!! It was such a great time!
This year, I felt that maybe the help that we have received should be 'paid forward' in some sense. So, Jill split the profits in half at my request and is sending half to the trust fund....the other half will go to a very deserving cause....I am only hinting here so far as I want to be able to hand over the cheque personally on July 17th *BIG HINT*.
I want to thank both Jill and Lynette for their hard work and their creativity. They both work so hard and have been so kind and empathetic to us as we struggle through. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, chickies, I love you so very much!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Q & A

Briar: "Mama, did you eat Olivia when she was a baby?"

Me: (confused and suddenly gripped by awful visuals that are part of an 'overactive imagination') "No. I didn't eat her. I ate food."

Briar: "How did she get in your tummy then?"

Me: *pauses while rapidly mentally testing out a variety of responses* Um. She wasn't in my stomach. She was in my uterus.......And she didn't get there from my mouth.....Um."

The other day, as a larger man walked by, Briar asked, "Does that man have kids?"

Me: "I don't know. Maybe he does. Does he look like a 'daddy' to you, love?"

Briar: "No, but he has breasts. He must feed some babies."

I love this. Questions and answers that I would never think of if I tried. Kids are geniuses. I hope my little ones NEVER lose their sense of wonder and thinking outside the box.

Friday, June 12, 2009

simple sisters

My sister, Kirsten, is away for work....The silence is killing me. She is one of the few people left in the world not in the twenty first century. She lacks a cell phone and cable tv. (Strangely, she is hugely more informed about world issues. Must be due to her incessant CBC listening.) I can't contact her and am literally counting the hours til her return. I don't really have anything of great urgency to announce to her. I just want to chat.

My life goes something like this:

Me: I'm bored. *call Kirsten*

Me: I'm lonely. *call Kirsten*

Me: I'm angry. *call Kirsten*

...You get the point. Even before Jeff died, we were in constant contact. Really, instead of a phone, we should have walkie-talkies. She'd be 'Brute Force'. I'd be 'Will Power'. "Come in, Brute Force. Some grossly scintillating news. Come in. Over."

My poor brother-in-law has a lot to deal with. Work, twins, renos, dissertation, fabulous and amazing wife....and a sister-in-law who comes over unannounced to eat more than her share of his dinner, help herself to gross amount of chocolate chips (They have EIGHT bags!!!!!! I'm working on whittling it down for them), and monopolize his wife's ear.

Kirsten is one of the few people I know that I can tell everything, and I mean EVERYthing, to. And, best of all, she still loves me! (Although I think she's too kind and empathetic of others to come right out and announce that she thought anyone was a 'schmuck'. *Note to self: Ask Kirsten if she does think I'm a schmuck and is too worried about hurting me....)

Chances are if I've achieved some half-witted stunt, she has performed some variation of the same theme at sometime too. It is immensely comforting to be in good company with another 'idiot' whom I think is funny, brilliant, kind and sweet. Like the time I unwittingly walked through town with pants split from the rear waistband all the way to the crotch. Each step alternately flashed one large white buttock and then the other. *Flash!* *Flash!* Since I wear a thong (did I really just tell cyberspace that I wear floss in my ass?), there was no 'cheek coverage'. When people slowed and stared, I genuinely thought they were stunned by the beauty of my dog. My stupidity astounds me now. Mortifying.

But when I called my sister, she had had a similar experience while walking down a busy street in Vancouver. With each step, her skirt had slowly been hiked up under her backpack. Gradually she was showing her (luckily for her) round little underwear clad bum to all who walked past. She had sweetly wondered at the amazing joy emitted by all that day. They had smiled at her and she smiled back. So sweet and 'simple'.

It's these things that make me love her. I am never alone in my naivety and bumbling way through life. But Kirsten, she finds joy in the small and silly things that life presents. Even her complaints cause me smile. She can't bitch about anyone without defending them at the same time.

This morning, I went to grab the cheese from the fridge. I noticed there was a sour smell eminating from within. Thinking this was strange as I had washed out the fridge two days ago, I got to work preparing cheese slices for my little man. Like being struck upside the head, I suddenly remembered that I turned off the fridge to clean it thus saving electricity....on WEDNESDAY. I'm an Earth-friendly gal. I can save the hydro and save some cash, right? But now, whatever I saved in electricity and money, I have now wasted in wasted food. Bloody hell. Initial though, "Damn it. I'm gonna eat it anyway. Can't waste good food on stupidity." Second thought, "Dude. I sound like 'Mom and the composting onion' (long story). Gonna call Kirsten and admit my stupidity. Kinda like the time she melted foil to the bottom of her new stove, right?"

But she isn't home. So I write about it on the blog. Now if I collapse and die from food poisoning after ingesting rotten condiments, she won't immediately know the cause when the cops pull up to her door. Maybe she'll read the blog after and figure it out.....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

too cute

I've just finished making a matching set of dresses for two sisters. The picture is rather impromtu (and the larger dress needs to be ironed) but I think they turned out so sweet!!
I've got a couple of other dresses on the go for custom orders too. I'm thinking of adding another few styles in awhile and possibly a couple of adult peasant tops...maybe.
It's so wonderful to feel that I can do something to put food on our plates and clothes on our backs by my hands. I feel useful and self-sufficient.
I've made a few dresses for the shop but my poor little model is sick now and I'll have to wait until she's up to snuff to post them in my shop.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

just gross

I am throwing myself a pity party tonight. If you don't want to read about a grotesque amount of 'poor me', then look away.....Really. I am a sad sap tonight.

I have the stomach flu. Briar had it two days ago. Now me. I am sure Liv will be next.

But for now, I feel so very sorry for myself as I sit on the can so long that it forms a large circular indent on my arse while cradling an old ice cream pail on my knees. I attempt to not stare at the small stains at the bottom of the vomit recepticle while wondering/obsessing over what they are. Dust? Small bits of broken fly bodies cleaned from the window tracks? Pieces of old dried up rotten food lodged there from cast-off in its' home under the kitchen sink beside the garbage can? The reek of vinegar and orange oil does NOT help with the nauseousness.

I cling to this plastic pail wishing that I had someone in my life who would bring me a clean bucket. Who would entertain the kids so I don't have to keep answering the questions, "What's wrong, Mama?" and "Will you play with me?" or "Can I have something to eat?" Someone who would tuck me into bed and bring me ginger ale. Someone who would reassure me that I am not going to die on the shitter with a filthy pail on my knees leaving my children orphans who will have strange emotional issues surrounding the abandonment by both their mother and father to some fast unseen illness.

Life truly sucks when you're alone.....Especially when you're ill. No. It blows. It blows chunks.

Monday, June 08, 2009

not me monday

I do have so much going on. I could blog about it. But I need to process some of my thoughts a tab more...Also, I was up the majority of the night with a poor, nauseated little boy who managed to vomit on every bed and couch in the house. Consequently, my brain is mush and I am elbows deep in laundry. So, instead, I am following a fabulous woman's lead and having a 'Not Me Monday".

When making cookies with my little ones and watching them like a hawk to make sure they don't scarf down the batter from the bowl, I never turn my back to them and shove a big scoop into my own mouth when they aren't looking. Not me!!!!

I never get excited for Thursdays for the simple fact that the store flyers all come in the local paper that day, especially since I am completely against all the waste, consumerism and junk that these flyers promote. Not me.

I never ignore my kid's scream of angry indignance aimed at eachother while torn between wanting it to stop and wishing they would just figure it out themselves. Not me.

I never tell Olivia that the Abba CD must be at home while hiding it under my thigh on the carseat because I can't bear to hear 'Nina Pretty Ballerina' even just 'one more time' today. Not me.

I never, ever drop trou and pee in the backyard rather than run into the house. I especially don't enjoy the thrill it gives me to have the fresh air on my large white hiney. Definitely not me.

Okay, now that my grandmother is horrified that I didn't admit that I urinate outside, I think I'll try to save a few more things that I so do NOT do for another time. What don't you do?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

what you're missing

My love,
I've been trying to not keep score. To not notice the events that have passed. The moments you have missed....But my attemtps have been futile. With every new milestone, with every new experience, I note your absence.
Briar has had two birthdays without his daddy now. How did that happen? TWO birthdays? He is only three. You were here for the day of his birth and his first birthday. It breaks my heart that he won't remember you. We talk about you often to ensure that he grows with a sense of who you are and ,hopefully, reinforces the memories that he DOES have of you.
Yesterday, he started at Farmhands with Liv AND his first set of swimming lessons. He was so proud to show me the 'rocket ship hands' that his instructor had shown him. He rode the pony at Farmhands and grinned the entire time he was atop his stead.
The week before you died, you taught Liv how to ride her bike without training wheels. I am so thankful for this tangible connection she will always have to you. When you died, she balked at getting on her bike without the training wheels for a very long time. Suddenly, she has become confident with her biking skills again and is so enthusiastic to ride for such long periods of time. She'd like to have a 'bike riding party' with her friends.
You became a grandfather last week. It saddens me so that your daughter, Jessie, will never have you grin at her with pride over the little babe she brought into the world and that this little boy will grow up never meeting the silly and loving man that was his grampie. That he won't experience the incessant teasing that you are known for and the comfort of your all-encompassing embrace.
I hope that, in some way, you are out there experiencing all these events with each one of us. Sharing in each joy and staying close to us with each painful experience.
You are so missed and each new happening highlights the void you left. We all love you.