Friday, April 30, 2010

before and after

Also posted on Widow's Voice

My three year old nephew, Gabe, told my sister, "Uncle Jeff died, but he still has his imagination."
I love this idea. The belief that 'his imagination' or mind is still intact brings me huge relief and comfort.
What I find interesting is that I am completely willing to believe this to be true. I know that some of my willingness comes fromt he need to believe that Jeff is still with me and the other comes from the somehow inexplicable belief that our society or maybe species has that children and the dying have some inherent knowledge that is lost to the rest of us while in adulthood and good health.
Why is this? We only humour our little ones when they tells us that elephants also come decorated in green polkadots aside from the standard issue 'pachyderm grey'. We smile patronizingly when patient in hospice swears that they will go on a vacation to Disneyland before they pass.
But if a member of either of these two groups tells us something of life 'before' or 'after', we are apt to stare hopefully and relay these messages on to all who will listen. We claim that it is because they are closer to the 'before' and 'after'....But I worry that this is part of the fairytale we tell ourselves.
I do often think of the things that Jeff said to me the night before he died. I know he was feeling ill and he was the classic stereotype of a sick guy making him feel crabby and sad. But some of the things he said, although painful and sad, they also give me 'hope' of sorts, that he knew something I didn't....
So, I will cling to my hope that Jeff still retains his imagination and hang off the words of little ones and those whose bodies are beginning to fail to house their soul....Even if it is a silly belief, it brings me comfort to believe he is with us, holding me when I cry, encouraging me and smiling at his little ones.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


A few weeks back, I wrote about the turbulent ride we've been on in the wake of the decisions the landlord has been faced with. She had repeatedly changed her mind about selling or not selling the house. In the end, she chose to keep the house for one more year and revisit the idea of selling next Spring.
I am a firm believer in the idea that 'things happen for a reason'. It may not be some higher mind that is dictating the reasons for occurrances in our lives, but that we are forced to learn something from every situation we encounter. During all this confusing and stressful upheaval, I have gnashed my teeth wondering, "What the HELL is this supposed to teach me?????" I could not understand for the life of me why and how such craziness could show me anything other than fifty ways to chew my fingersnails to smithereens.
But, unbeknownst to me, I was making decisons, sorting information and finding what felt 'right'. I was exploring options, stepping out of my box, returning to safety when she's decide not to sell and then be forced to check the world out around me when she changed her mind again. I hated it. It was terrifying and chaotic.
But I found that when the landlady finally came to a decision to not sell for a year, I felt almost....stifled and like a large clock counting down to next Spring when she would re-decide whether or not to sell was ticking loudly.
So, I've decided to take change into my own hands. Instead of being at the mercy of other's lives and decisions, I am stepping out of our box and taking life by the pervebial 'balls'. We're moving. Not just houses, but communities. We'll still be on the Island, but two hours away.
I feel good about it. Actually, I feel great. This next month is going to be insane. I have enrolled myself in an intensive Organic Master Gardner course. We'll be packing and moving. And everything will be changing.
The change terrifies me. But it's exhilarating too. This is me. This is me 'growing up' and making choices that are right for us. Making choices based on our needs and wants rather than those of others.
I will miss my friends and my sister horribly....But I will visit as often as I can...And really I'm a FABULOUS phone-talker.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

lucky me

Also posted on Widow's Voice

"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." ~ Dr. Suess

After Jeff died, I had this quote printed in vinyl to stick above my bed to remind me just how 'lucky' I am.
I read it in the hard moments when the kids are in bed, the phone hasn't rung in two days and my poor-me's are flowing.
It reminds me that I'm lucky. We're lucky. Everyone of us who were touched by Jeff's existence is lucky.
He wasn't 'perfect'. He was FAR from a saint. But still, thoughts and memories of him make me smile. And his ability to laugh was second to none.
I got to share his life, his laughter, his love.....And I'm lucky for it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

chick-a chick-a boom boom

Out of the dozen eggs we placed in our incubator, 11 hatched!!!!! I am pretty proud of ourselves, I have to say.
I attribute our major success this time through to will-power. Liv and I adore candling the eggs (candling is a term for holding an egg up to a bright light to see the contents - hopefully a squirming chick) and we do manage to find a plethora of excuses for 'checking on the eggs' most of the time. This hatch, we managed to contain ourselves enough to only check at one week and two weeks to ensure that we weren't keeping any infertile or rotten eggs within the 'sacred chamber' that is our incubator.
Unfortunately for five of the wee chicks, our hygrometer (an thermometer like thing that measures humidity) seems to have become inaccurate at the end of the hatch. The poor little ones were stuck, cheeping madly, within the tiny confines of their partially open eggs for two days. Although you are NOT supposed to ever 'help' a chick hatch (because they can bleed to death if their umbilicus to the yolk sac has not completely closed over), I felt compelled to do just that. I washed my hands twice, sterilized my hands and the tweezers with rubbing alcohol and went to work quickly chipping off the shell. I found it tense yet exhilarating having to work fast enough that the chick didn't get chilled. The feeling of their tiny, damp bodies pressing intermittenly against the shell in an attempt to break free reminded me of giving birth to my little ones. I felt very.....motherly to these little ones and rejoiced when they managed to squirm from their egg-shaped prison (by rejoice, I mean jump up and down in staccato and quietly, so not to wake the kids, made "Yeah! Yeah!" noises while pumping one arm as I have seen athletes do at sporting events...)
Anyhow, the extended stay within the shell caused three of the tiny birds to have crooked toes ranging in severity. They can walk but....well, it looks awful and uncomfortable. In an attempt to find an answer, I turned to the trusty, yet sometimes questionable, information that the internet provides. I came across a site where some crazy peacock-loving soul gave instruction on how to fashion tiny orthopedic shoes for poultry. Delighted to have found a solution for my poor special needs chickens, I quickly got to work gathering and preparing materials - pipe cleaners, medical tape, scissors, wire cutters. With a deep breath to bolster my confidence, I grabbed the first mal-footed chick and went to work attempting to attach these ridiculous pipecleaner 'shoes' to the poor tramautized little soul. Although a chick's mode of defense seems to be absolutely terrifying gyrations that mimic seizure, I managed to adhere one set to the 'lucky' chick who I had deemed worthy of this life altering prosthetic.
Speaking lovingly and comfortingly to the little guy, I slowly lowered him/her back into the brooder box and gently placed him/her with his/her fellow 'peeps'. Without missing a beat, the others lunged at him/her. Incessantly pecking at the 'shoes' they rolled the strangely footed one on his/her back and were having their way with his/her orthotics.
Panicing, I hastily removed him/her from the box and attempted to slip the footware from his/her feet as smoothly as possible....But medical tape is meant to STAY ON!!! I was terrified of ripping off the chick's toes, but worried that if I took too long the chick would get chilled, be completely freaked out (like me) and have a heartattack (something I hear can happen in poultry) and die in my hands so soon after feeling it be birthed from its' shell-encrusted 'womb'.
I managed to remove the tape, sans chicken toes, after a few chaotic moments filled with horrific swearing, silent crying and loud cheeping that seemed to resembl pleading, and have decided that crooked toes are LOVELY. This malformation allows diversity within my flock and thus also enables me to tell one fluffy black chick from another by the severity of its' crooked feet.
Oh, Mother Nature, you are so wise. I promise, I will try to remember! Leave well enough alone!!! You know what you're doing!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

the thoughts of little ones

Our vet sent us a bouquet of beautiful and fragrant flowers with a sympathy card expressing her shared sadness for the death of Freckles.
The seemingly omnipresent and exquisite scent of the lillies has Liv wondering which part of the flower contains recepticles for the fragrance. Although we've done some research online, we have been unable to pinpoint the exact location of....well, the smelly part.

Liv has taken to doing her own scientific inquiry into the floral scent glands....
And has been coming up with her own hypothesis...
Which Briar has been testing by sniffing her face.

At this point, they have agreed that the smell from a flower does not reside in the pollen.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo from BitchNewYork

I have realized through my recent, brief and unsuccessful foray into the world of widowed dating that I am most definately not looking for Jeff. It is not that I am measuring how certain men stand up to the man that Jeff was. It's that I am looking at them through not only my eyes, but Jeff's as well.
Yesterday, as I stood in line at the bank, I furtively checked out a spiky haired, bad-ass in a leather jacket. "Yummy...", my inner voice whispered. "Yeah and check out his studded ass!!!", my 'inner Jeffrey' bellowed with mirth in reference to the bejeweled rivets decorating curliqued crucifixes on the man's back pockets.
Hmmmm....Now that Jeff pointed out these...uber-embellished buttocks, I couldn't help but also notice the overdone and excessive use of flaming skulls on his motorcycle helmet clutched in his hand.
I realize that Jeff's 'voice' is also my own, but it is with the remembered view of Jeff's world that causes me to see these guys as he would and choose my action accordingly.
I'd not looking for Jeff (he was one of a kind); I'm just hoping to find someone that Jeff wouldn't refer to in derogatory terms....such as 'Mr. Fancy Pants'.
And, yes, I know I shouldn't judge a man by the copious amount of rhinestones on his pockets....but, occasionally, Jeff and I do.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I haven't really written what has been occurring in our little house since Freckles hasty departure. We're having a hard time without him. I have trouble sleeping because I seem to feel the need to be the one listening at night for intruders, fire, chicken-hungry raccoons, undetected ice-encrusted meteorites on a high speed course for our home, etc.

I would immediately head out and find ourselves another bundle of furry love if we only knew where we would be living and if another landlord would allow the presence of a four-legged, loving and slobbery security system.

This lack of knowing where we will be in three months has vexed me completely. I don't like instability. I abhor the unknown when it comes to living conditions and food supplies. Call me crazy.

So in a generally terrible mood caused by lack of sleep due to the non-dog status of our home and a houseful of energetic and seemingly rabid children, I did not mince my words when the landlord called to announce her plans to contact the realtor in the morning. After she inquired about my general mood and the happenings in our little home, I answered in an frustrated montone, "Well..... I'm not looking forward to moving. I can't decide whether to plant my garden or not as I don't know if I'll be here to reap the harvest. I'm attempting to put together a garage sale and can't find an affordable house to rent.....And the dog died."

I admit that it felt truly wonderful to just let go. Tell it how it is. To hell with polite empathy and consideration. In that moment, I just felt the need to pour it out. I'm not usually the person to do this. I attempt to find some small kernel of justification for the other party. I put my needs aside. I won't mention it if I feel upset....or if I do, it will be so watered down by my need to not upset you, you may not hear my tiny protestation hidden in my words. (In fact, I was once having a conversation with a very sweet older woman on the street. Unprovoked, her insane and blood-thirsty dog latched onto my leg with it's teeth peeling back my skin through my jeans. For the time that the psychotic dog stayed attached to the back of my knee, I struggled to continue talking without clenching my own teeth as I spoke. I stoically attempted to not limp away as I departed lest I alert her to the blood now trickling into my shoe.....Anyhow, long story short, I didn't want to upset or embarass her so I didn't tell her of the stress her fucked-up dog was causing me.)

My landlord apologized and again explained that there would soon be a sign on the front lawn and the realtor would be contacting me to take photos of the house. After I hung up, I threw myself into a fit. Wailing and crying, I took mental stock of all the very worst things that could happen next in the kids and my lives. I told myself that at eighty years old I'll be working in a rat-infested fastfood joint ensuring that each ice cream has the signature curl at the top. Liv will be strutting her stuff outside in some article of clothing that does not even contain the same amount of fabric that her "Little House" dress has in its' sleeve. Briar will be too busy to notice some creepy, comb-over tressed, middle-aged man in a station wagon approach her since he is staring into the depths of his golden testicle emblazoned monster truck's hood wondering why it isn't sucking up even more gasoline through the enormous engine and out the ludicrously huge tailpipes thus allowing the people five blocks away to be alerted that he is here to assuage all their mind-altering illicit medication needs. It was a dark night. A sleepless and horrible night. I went through a lot of kleenex....I didn't even attempt the handkerchiefs.

Anyhow....First thing in the morning, the phone rang. I was tempted to ignore it after realizing that the number was again the landlord's - the bearer of terrifying and sorrow-filled news (yes, a tad dramatic). But I did answer it....It seems that she too had an entirely sleepless night. She had been a single mother as well. She did not want to cause anymore unnecessary fear or financial hardship upon us, if possible. She told me that if she can find someone to replace the deck and do some minor repairs for less than had been quoted, she will keep the house....And allow me to rent for longer.
*To recap - She has told me that she would be selling the house, then that she wouldn't, then she would, now she might not......*

I am hopeful and annoyed and touched and frustrated. I so appreciate her thinking of me and the kids. I am so amazed and touched that she is struggling with her decision because she does not want to cause us any more upset. I could hug her and croon softly in her ear for this. I may even kiss her on the mouth!
But, Thor Almighty!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like a gnat on a yo-yo string. I'm going insane....faster than I was before. I don't know whether I should pack, get a dog or advertise my free chickens.

P.S. Briar now rides a two wheeler and sports a mohawk....

Friday, April 09, 2010

uses for a dog

I come from a 'non-dog family'. It's not that anyone in my family dislikes dogs; it's more that they don't....know dogs. Dogs are seen as more work. Work to pay for their care. Work to clean up after. Work to pay attention to.
Growing up, I wanted a dog so unbearably I would have shovelled literal mountains of their 'lawn chocolates', gone into child labour at a toxic plastics factory to pay for their kibble or stolen someone's beloved canine from their fenced yard and claimed that it followed me home willingly just to spend a few hours pretending this dog was 'mine'.

When visiting my father's parents, who were dog-people, I'd walk their black, toy-poodle, Cindy, with my tiny chest puffed with smug pride. I'd rejoice when a passerby would stop to ask questions about this tiny pup. Pretending Cindy was mine made me feel loved. I could imagine, almost taste, what it would feel to be so very loved by an animal.

I gloried in tales about all things canine. I studied dog-care books, poured over novels with pet puppies hidden in their pages and put myself to sleep fantasizing about having one of my own one day.

When I became an adult, one of my first actions was to find a dog for me. I wanted one who needed me as much as I needed him. I found Eli. Not once did I ever regret having him in my life....not once. When someone would suggest that my life may be easier if I didn't have a hyper, energetic, furry dependent to care for as well as myself, I would teeter between annoyance at the misunderstanding that this dog was perceived as 'not my family' and smug humour knowing that they did not understand the love that this dog fulfilled in my heart.
Years later after Liv had been born, Freckles arrived on our doorstep. Our attempts to find his true and original owners failed. We offered to foster him for the SPCA until his 'people' showed up....They never arrived. During this time, that silly blond worked his way into our home and our hearts. He was forever at our heels...or stopping in just the spot you intended to walk. He filled a hole we didn't even know was waiting for him....even if he chewed that hole while we were out.

Now, for the very first time in my adult life, I am without a canine companion. In the last few days since Freckles passing, I have noticed all the things that a dog is 'good for'. I've realized that although he occasionally often drove me nuts, Freckles was always on my mind. Dictating the time we were needed at home to let him out. Determing how many plastic bags lined my pockets to pick up his 'deposits'. Causing me to fall back to sleep reassured when I've heard a strange noise in the night.
Tonight as I picked up the wayward dinner dandruff off the floor for the first time in 17 years, I mentally made a resume of sorts for a household dog:

Career Objectives

To obtain 'employment' in a warm, safe, active and well-fed pack


Security - Not only can I alert you to any out-of-the-ordinary occurrances, I can protect you should the need arise. Just as you protect me from the elements and from starvation, I will protect you from any harm that I am capable of fending off.

In my presence, you will feel more comfortable and secure. You will know that in a room of judges, I will find you innocent no matter what you have done.

Sleep-Aid - My soft snoring throughout the night will assure you that all is well. When you rouse from your sleep to get a glass of water or check the locks, I will accompany you. You will know that if I am asleep, all is well.

Maid - Although some of us do have moments in our lives where we display our joy or discomfort with acts of destruction, most of us earn a portion of our keep by joining the clean-up crew. If a portion of your meal, be it a plateful or a measly crumb, drops to the floor, I will clean it up without any insistence from you. In my presence, you will never have to tidy up the baby's attempts at a career in food fighting. You do enough for us, I'll take care of it.
Heater - Whether the power goes out or you get stuck in a snowbank, I'll be there with my warm, wiggly body to keep you comfortable. I'll reassure you with my warm kisses that it'll be alright, because we are together. Nothing can hurt us, or freeze us, with me at your side.

Clown - I have a fabulous sense of humour. You may not be laughing as you turn to see me with my four paws splaying against the slippery wood on the dock with the last reachable line clenched between my teeth as the boat floats three metres from the pier....But you will later.

Counsellor - Over our time spent as a pack, you will unfortunately have to deal with some form of heart ache. I take it as my personal quest to be your confidante, counsellor and shoulder. I will tell no one of your humiliations, failures or heartbreaks. In fact, I will view each one of these episodes as triumphs. In my eyes, you can do no wrong....ever.

Expected Wages

In payment for my devotion, loyalty and love, I ask for only a few small things in return. Food, a bed, companionship and love. I am willing to share these with you - I am the sharing type.

The work that some complain of in the care of a dog is really in their own heads and of their own preference...I couldn't care less if you clean up my fur. It actually makes the floor softer. I don't mind if there is poop in the backyard - It IS outdoors afterall! I know that you will find that you may want to take care of these issues....I'll keep you company, I promise. It's the whole lack-of-opposable-thumb-thing that is hindering my abilities. Don't hold my disability against me, please.....

**This post contains photos of all the dogs in our lives....Although Eli and Freckles are gone to be with their 'daddy', the rest of our furry friends are alive and well to play with when we can. Thank you Cedar, Rufus, Diesel and Gangster for your licks and loving! We love you right back....

turning tables

Photo by Mike_Rowe1
Also posted on Widow's Voice

I'm sure that every widow/er has done it....Wondered if their spouse would have 'managed' had the tables been turned. Pondered over the differences that their loss would have created rather than their spouse's.
Jeff was known for his laughter...Would it have returned?
Would he still be sleeping with our little ones tucked up in our bed each night, two years after my death?
Would he have fulfilled his physical needs in the arms of another by now?
Would he worry about his abilities as a grieving parent or still feel his trademark confidence?
Would he need to learn to rebuild his definition of himself without the constant reflection I provided him? Or would he just still know?
Would he have gone back to work on the sea, leaving our kiddos in the care of someone else? Or would he devote every second of every day to them?
Would he still feel a palpable hole in his heart where I once resided, years after my passing?
Would he talk about me or shy from voicing the memories?
Would he be coping better than I am?
Would he succeed where I have failed....or fail where I have succeeded?

I will never know how he would have reacted....Just as I could have never know before losing him, how I would fare after his death. But at times, I do wonder.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

goodbye, my friend

Yesterday afternoon, Freckles went to be with his big brother and his 'Daddy'. We will, and do already, miss him.
Even in such illness and pain, he managed to thump his long and hairy tail a few times for each person who entered the vet clinic as we waited for his turn to be released from his body. He was a true lover of all.
His constant companionship has been such a comfort. Although I have found immense annoyance in his special way of displaying his sadness with the loss of Jeff and Eli, I am surprised to find that I also found solace and respect in his choice to do so. He did what I have been unable to do. He effectively protrayed his pain despite anyone's else's discomfort or raging anger with the execution of this portrayal. That takes balls... (which he no longer had, I might add). Although I don't feel that I have the luxury of falling to pieces with each and everyone of this home's occupants relying on me, he fell to pieces for both of us and announced our sadness and anxiety.
I find that in the loss of our sweet boy with not a single bone of mean in his body, I am afraid and cannot sleep. Since 18, I have always had a dog to hear the sounds outside after dark for me and announce something out of the ordinary needing inspection. And although Freckles would have assisted any burglar in his transportation of any valuable items from our house, I do not believe he would ever have allowed harm to come to his children.
It seems that the noises in the night that I had always just assumed were of the large and furry variety, and as such, provided me with some comfort of not being alone, were not the dog. The house feels empty and soulless. The kids and I haven't gone downstairs asside from letting the chickens in for the night. Liv used to insist that Freckles accompany her to the basement (or bathroom, or outside, etc...) to assuage her little fears of burglars and bogeymen. It seems that I will have to now escort her to every bathroom visit or romp in the backyard....Unfortunately, I won't be able to do it so unquestioningly or patiently.
Damn it, Freckles! First you destroy the house, then you wreck your body and now you leave a hole in our hearts...Damn it.
I do love you.....and I so hope you know it. You're a good boy, Freckles. You're a good boy.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

guilt and sadness

This guilt I'm feeling is enormous. The hours and days that I have spent being angry with Freckles for destroying the house. All he wanted was to be close. He has been afraid and lost without Eli and Jeff.
As always, he has laid beside Liv's bed while she slept offering calm reassurance to her that all is okay in her world. He has patiently allowed Briar to sit on his back while staring balefully ahead waiting for the little boy's dismount. Freckles has waited each night until the kids have fallen asleep and then lumbered out to lay by my feet while I work at sewing dresses or typing out some new observation only to return to Liv's beside when I retire for the night. His devotion to me and kids has been tireless and gentle.
In the last few weeks, he has stopped tormenting the chickens. I had thought he had gotten used to their pecking and clucking as he laid in the grass with his rubber chicken squeaking in his jaws. Apart from removing the contents of the garbage can and displaying them upon the kitchen floor last week, he has ceased his destruction of all doorways and windows within the house. I had assumed that his medication was working....or that he was getting used to the fact that Eli was not going to bound in the door ready for another play with his buddy. I am horrified that these developments that pleased me were possibly or probably the effects of him battling cancer.
Last week, while Liv was on a playdate and Briar was at preschool, he had accompanied me for a run. Neither of us seemed to have the energy to complete the circuit....We stopped beside a waterfall, sat on the rocks and I sobbed with his head in my lap. I was missing Jeff, Eli, my grandfather....I had no idea that I would soon be missing Freckles as well.
For all my sermons on remembering to notice the little things, loving the ones who love us back and looking forward, I missed the point. I noticed the obvious but was oblivious to the quiet, little things. I have taken our little poultry killer for granted. I have used terrible curse words as adjectives accompanying his name. I have occasionally thought of him as a burden rather than a gift.
All he wanted was my love. And I do. I did. I just forgot to pay attention to it.
I love you, Freckles. And I loved you even before you laid on the kitchen floor, puffing your breath with pain-filled gasps, and needing me to hold the water bowl for you as you attempted to get a few drops down your throat.
It is agony to watch this descent. We have to wait for the test results to be sure that this is what has so quickly and silently ravenged his soft, fluffy body. I am hoping they hurry. I need to help him be comfortable....I need to know what I can do to ease his pain. Our poor puppy.....
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." ~A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

flip-flop crazy f-n life

I wrote that the landlord was selling the house. I had started to write a post in which the landlord called to say she had decided NOT to sell the house and how this both pleased me and pissed me off. I was overjoyed that the kids and I didn't have to move, but frustrated over the ridiculous amount of sleepless nights, crying jags and flow charts her inital declaration had caused.

But then, alas, another call....She IS selling the house. A fickle creature my landlord is appearing to be. Fuck.

Now after a impromtu trip to the vet, it appears that Freckles has lymphoma. He may have between 30-60 days to live....or less. I'll know more on Thursday evening.....

Fuck. If I believed in such stuff, I'd think that some asshole deity had a hit out on me and mine....Welcome to my snowglobe.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

powerless life

I'd like to purchase a hand-crank blender. Get rid of all my electrically power appliances. Use a rotary dial phone.
We've had a windstorm here. Large tree limbs and plant debris litter all the roads. It smells like Christmas outdoors due to the snapped pine boughs. The power has been intermittent and all the home appliances have been silenced.
Liv has been in heaven. She and Briar all perpetually begging to have candlelit dinners, olden days evenings and scheduled time to unplug every electric convenience. Each time the power has been restored, Liv has groaned and sighed despairingly, "Ahhhhhhhhhh....I was hoping it would stay off for ten days!!!!!"
I have to admit that although the laundry hamper has been suffering from the weight of its' overly abundant load, I have been enjoying the silence. The lack of 'need to's. The pondering that takes place while washing the floor on my hands and knees rather than with a steam mop. The reconnection with my home. The time spent being present in my house while not being entertained with electronic devices. The satisfaction and joy felt when helping the elderly neighbour repair his fence. The enjoyment felt when playing 'Hi-Ho Cherrio' on the kitchen floor with the kids or playing hide-and-seek in the backyard (with the time I would have been studying status updates on Facebook).
In all honesty, I had thought that we were pretty 'unevolved' in this sense. Although we have a computer and a dishwasher, we do not have a Wii, a breadmaker or even, cable tv.
I make our laundry soap. I scrub the soap scum from the bath using Bon Ami and elbow grease instead of the tempting and toxic sprays that foam and lift all organic material...even skin from your hands. I feed the chickens our leftovers and compost the rest.
But really, I'm just barely scratching the surface of self-sustainability.
I have found the frequent power-outages of late have caused me to work hard....with my body. I am reminded of the satisfaction of making something myself....instead of having a machine provide it for me. I have stilled my thoughts and quieted the worries without the sounds of the dryer, the fridge, the vacuum all humming in the background.
This all has me thinking about solar tank heaters, larger veggie gardens and more 'family time'. The need and happiness found within our communities. The ability to be found within ourselves to provide food for our families. The satisfaction in being able to 'do it ourselves'.

P.S. Check out this podcast with Cam Mather - pretty cool and informative!!!

Friday, April 02, 2010

lost and found

Photo by Nullalux

I often can't help but thinking that I have mourned each facet of the loss of my love at least once. Each sad thought, each emotion explored or mulled over for its' initial contemplation. I feel that often times, I am going over previously pondered thoughts and ruminating. Picking apart and reassembling.
When I find a grief spot that I had not touched out of avoidance or by simply not being at that 'stage' yet, I am surprised. New territory can be terrifying and lonely.
As I get farther down this widows timeline, there are far fewer of these new frontiers and I now know where to look and turn for support when they arrive. I am pleased that there are less new ones....but I find that rethinking previously explored territory is often deeper and more thorough.
Although there are books, other widows and theories to act as a rudimentary compass, there are no maps for this journey. We each have to decide our own path to the destination known as 'peace'.
I just really hope that my revisiting of old places does not signal that my trail is going in circles!