Monday, 22 May 2017

good Methodist kid

We are all amalgamations of our upbinging. Good or bad, that's just the way the chips fall, and it's up to each one of us to tweak these parts and bits and make ourselves into who we want to be.

That process can take years. A lifetime, even.

Two tenets I carry with me are the Methodist creed (commonly attributed to John Wesley, although not found in any of his writings)  'Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.' And something less famous, although no less thought of, ' Do nice things, and nice things will happen to you'. Call it karma, call it common sense, call it whatever you like - it's something I believe in.

Today, at the end of a brilliant three day weekend, one where we all did something fun, both collectively and by ourselves, three days of blue skies and open-window freshness, I went to the car to pick up Cass at the beach where he was with a group of friends and found not one, but two gifts meant to make me feel appreciated for a small thing I'd done.

I love them.  I've been smiling all night. If you do nice things......

Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Lovely day Lovely day (A lovely day)*

This has turned into a most awesome day, my friends.

 The first day of a three day weekend, weather switching from melt-your-face-off heat into sweet late spring sunshine, and so much possibility in every sigh of the wind.

Bear called up the stairs "Want to go to breakfast?"

I actually had to wake the kids. They sleep harder now than when they were small. After enjoying food not-cooked-by-me (yay!)  we went through the car wash, drove through the countryside in search of a new flooring shop that has been advertising itself all over Facebook but was still not open on Saturday ????? and chatted and laughed and I only had to stop two sibling puckers. (Named, of course, for the faces I get when I shut the arguing down.)

Cass's music boomed through the speakers. Now, Cass and I don't always agree on music -he's been going through a shudderingly awful rap stage- but this was bouncy. And techno, in a way that brought to mind the (unimaginably number of years ago) time when I was in my first car, going to go pick up my friends for a high school dance. Weirdly similar. I was musing on how everything old is new again (oh my god, rompers are back!) when the boy informed me with a smug twinkle that he knew I'd love it, as it was a song from 1986.

Apparently he'd heard it on the bus heading home from the track meet, and now it was on his playlist. So everything old IS new again. (But this time, NO ROMPERS.)

We stopped at a lovely new market, then drove home, planning a barbecue. After Bear remembered that our grill is out of commission, he and Cass found an old washer, yanked it's insides out, and now I have a fire pit.

I am so excited to try it out. Not tonight for supper, tho', as there's a partial fire ban on, and we can't have a fire until after dark. But SOON.

Tonight we're eating the first batch of potato salad.

Hello, summer.

*title, of course, from the Bill Withers song

Thursday, 30 March 2017

spring needs to spring

It's been interesting around here lately.

We're just coming out of an unseasonably late ice storm, which whirled the trees and coated everything in frozen water and despair. Today, the sun came out again and people squinted and smiled at the glints coming off the still frozen branches, amazed at the blue blue sky and hoping that this truly was the last, that there will be spring, and soon.

My daughter is struggling with something at school, which has impacted the way she sees everything around her.  She's asked for help and been blown off twice by adults that ought to have taken her concerns seriously. Suffice to say, I can't *wait* for parent-teacher.

Meanwhile, the teenager has been recommended to go into 'fancy' math classes. I plan to ask him more about those tomorrow while I take him to go get new glass in his (three-week-old) new glasses. (Long story short: the teen was with a group of friends at a hockey game, someone rooting for the other team shoved one of his friends, Cass dove in to save his friend and.....forgot????.....he had glasses on. They sailed through the air, skittered under some seats and boom! Weren't crushed or broken but had some horrible scratches. You know the news is not good when the first thing you hear when you answer the phone is "Mom, I'm sorry") Thank god for Vogue Optical. Vogue definitely isn't the cheapest, but their repair or replace promotions have been a god-send the last few years.

Tomorrow is work, appointments, popcorn and movie night. This weekend is possibly a tea festival, definitely another hockey game, most likely some walks with the big camera and welcoming spring.

Because jeez, after the last month, we all need it.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


It has been a long, hard, slog of a day.

Work was the usual, with just a soup├žon of extra crazy. Many phone calls today, many clients talked to. Manymanymany.

My cat has a mysterious chunk of fur missing from the back of her neck. I suspect she and her brother have been wrestling again.

I've started drinking more tea than coffee. Who am I??? I have always loved coffee. Tea, right now, just feels homier and more comforting. And since I was gifted a tea-monkey (it's a tea strainer shaped like a wee monkey and it's arms grip the sides of the cup!) I've been drinking loose tea.
But tonight is all about a straight tea bag of lemon zinger in an old cup, pyjamas, and going to bed early.

My brain, she is tired.

Monday, 20 February 2017

something smells like French Toast

Lolling in bed on the last day of a three-day-weekend, I have things to do but the bed! She whispers sweetly about naps and reading and no, I must be strong and GET UP, for I've things to do, work keys to find, and a walk to take. Catch you later.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Second verse, same as the first

Holy hell, is this thing on? (Taps mic)

Well. In the latest round of The Song Remains The Same, I've left two jobs I very much liked and gone to one full time (full-time!!)  gig that, it's hard to describe how I feel about it. It's a fast paced always-changing never-the-same-two-days-in-a-row job that I both love fiercely and loathe, but it comes with fantastic coworkers and (usually) leaves me feeling like I've done something productive and meaningful at the end of the day.

Still two kids, one husband, a dog. But we've added a house rabbit.

I've started cleaning and purging, which usually means Spring must be on its way. Given that last week we had huge snowdrifts after a blizzard wound its way over Nova Scotia, this may be wishful thinking.

But I hope not.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Crowded house

There are multitudes in my head tonight. I really have to start journaling or at least jotting things down, because the characters in my head are getting louder - and now they're all having conversations with each other, and things are getting muddled. That's never good.

I've been toying lately (or the idea has been toying with me, I'm not always sure who's leading who) with what makes me happy, and writing things down?? That makes the list, in spades.

So! Here I am. How've you been? That's a great colour on you.

Let's go on an adventure, shall we?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


I have Got to start writing again in this space. I had a dream last night that I came here and it was gone -swept away like so much blog-dust.  And that would be sad.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Beneath the waves

Porter caught me to him as soon as the door closed behind her, and I went, shuddering, into his arms.  "That was terrible, Katie. Are you okay?"

I took a deep breath of his scent, searching my heart. Was I okay? Sad, yes. Heartbroken for how sorrowful my mother must have been. Chagrined by her life had gone from a cheerful, happy existence to a black and grey shroud of depression.  But okay? "I think so."

"It's good to know that she didn't walk away from us." I told Porters shirt front. "And horr-" my voice broke, and I took a big gulp. "Horrible to know that she couldn't."

He murmured something and brushed my lips with his. Dizzy, I tightened my grip around his neck and sighed.

"What are you going to do about Maud?" 

"I don't know yet. I know things can never be the same between us. God, Grand Dad will never forgive her. No matter what happens between she and I, her life will never be the same."

"Will she tell him?"

He was really so, so kind. Did it make me a bad person that I wanted to lose myself in him and forget for a little while what had happened today? Tempted, I stared up at him and sighed.

He caught my look and his lips twitched. "Later, Katie. Right now I think you might need a little diversion. Come with me." 

Taking my hand, he led me out to the disreputable old truck. "We," he said, smiling a bit, "are going for a drive. There is to be no talk about what happened. We'll come home in a few hours and talk it to death, I promise. But not now. Right now we need fresh air and something else to think about."

Although I thought it was a crazy idea, I was charmed.

Porter kept it light and casual as he turned the truck toward the hills that fringed the area. He pointed out squirrels and cows in a field and kids with fishing poles, all heading home for their suppers. He patted Wood when the hound insisted on laying his head in Porters' lap. It wasnt hard to follow his cheery statements with nonsensical replies until a swell of misery overcame me and I stared into my lap, ignoring his banter. I thought I was hiding my big fat treacherous tears well, but he slowed and stopped on a hill and reached out to catch one on his fingertips.

"Oh, Kate. I'm so sorry."

I was undone. 

He tugged me closer, undoing my seat belt and folding me against his heart. I snuffled and snorted and wept against him until I reached a point where I felt marginally better, and then he kissed me long and deep and pulled me out of the truck to stand beside him.

"Look at the sky."

It was a fantastic display of pink and orange, shading down to grey. Here and there, tiny points of light showed through as the first stars peered out. In the valley below us, porchlights and streetlights were beginning to come on. It was a magical and comforting scene, and I sucked in a breath, sadness forgotten for a moment.

Porter took my hand, stroking my fingertips. "I know you're sad and sick and angry right now. But look, Katie. Look at the town, and look at the sky. Can't you feel your mother's peace? Look at the stars.  She's with you, Katie. Every day. She always has been."

Looking out over the display, I felt something hiccup in my chest. Something creaked, like an old rusty door cracking open, and suddenly I knew...Porter was right.

Mama had never left me.

The next day was hard. The family was all there, Grand Dad looking older and sadder than I had ever seen him. Ford hugged me for a long time, his usual smile gone, all bonhomnie absent.

I drank a lot of tea with Clay, and listened: to the birds, the bonging of the grandfather clock on the mantel, Maud's explanations interspersed with her noisy sobs, Wood's tail swishing across the floor, Grand-Dad's voice, sore with unbelieving and despair, ringing through the closed parlour door.

It was a long, turbulant day. At one point Grand-Dad asked me to take him down through the gardens to the riverside. I nodded and walked beside him, matching his heavy step. 

He paused at the lower field, smiling wistfully at a grove of peach trees. "Your Mama," he said, "started those trees with pits from peaches she brought from my house. She said they were the sweetest things she'd ever tasted."

He sighed, lost in the past. "You have her eyes, Katie-girl. And her laugh. She was always laughing."

At the bank, he stopped just before the dock. "So. It was here, then."

I nodded over the lump in my throat, missing the memory of Mama but more touched and sad for my Grandfather's breaking heart. He looked greyer and tired beyond compare.

He stepped out and looked at the rushing water, lost in thought. When he spoke it was with a heavy cadence. 

"Will you leave me for a bit? I need to think."

I nodded again, stretching up to kiss his cheek. 'I love you, Grand-Dad.'

I wandered through the gardens past the clump of peach trees, topped the rise, and saw my house. I was taken aback suddenly by how much I loved this place. Everything -the curtains, the trees, the windows, the way the porch beckoned, the gingerbread of the house itself - created a picture that made me heart swell in my chest. This.....this was home now.

What would happen now? The summer was almost over. My life in Rowland waited. The house was finished - would Grand-Dad sell it now? It held no ghosts for me, but how could he bear to know that his daughter had died there near the spot his granddaughter was having her morning coffee?

And what about Porter? Did the summers' end spell the end of us?