Saturday, July 24, 2010

July... oops not sure of the date... or the day... oh my!

Well here I am at the train station in Dublin. We leave today to meet up with the tour for the cycling part of our trip. Here is a sampling of the things I would say I'm grateful and priveldged to have experienced....

First of all you need to know - the food in Dublin as amazing (except for the full Irish breakfast - stay away from that!!). So far we have not had one bad meal - at all. Our first lunch at the Jameson Distillery was wonderful; excellent; first dinner at Hedigan's, lovely Michael teaching us about how the used to serve whisky straight from the barrel over 50 years ago, and even better, that night, an authentic session! Eight musicians, sitting around two tables just playing - banjo, mandolin, two piccolos, a fiddle, two drum skin things, and an eigth guy doing I don't remember what...

The next day we found a fantastic little hide away restaurant - a small, organic friendly, funky little place - we went there for lunch on both days. Delish.... Night number two found us in the shi shi part of downtown Dublin, we had Asian, was fantastic.

And last night, well so ok .. you knew it was going to have to happen ... last night we did the pub thing (and God help me.. it starts early!)... first downtown in Temple Bar ... lots of musicians, lots of pints (eek) ...meeting new people, from Finland, from Texas, one from the Gatineau!! We older women upset that the young and beautiful Jacynthe from Gatineau got picked up by the equally beautiful guitar player!!! Ah.. our misspent youth ... 

And finally last night - we went to the Gravedigger's Pub... holy cow.. its the real old thing for real.. shellaced plaster walls and ceilings, locals only... we were for sure the only tourists! Was great...

And today we're off to Galway.

That's it for now... train whistle is a blowin'!

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19+ .. for Andrea....

Sometimes, when life throws us the curve balls it inevitably will, our compass points get knocked off a bit. We get so wrapped up in our dramas, don't come up for air enough, maybe get lazy, complacent... maybe I've done all that.

I have a dear, dear friend. I have known her longer than any other friend... something crazy like since we were four, five or six... I forget which. Our stories are so intertwined it's eerie sometimes. We share a culture, we share the bane of alcoholism in our families, we both had three kids, a failed first marriage, a divorce. We have been there for each other, lent an ear, cried and laughed with each other. Grown up together. We have had periods of our lives where we have been in and out of touch - and while that may have been ok in the past, it certainly is no longer.

Sometimes, we take our friends for granted. We think they are there, living their lives, happily, busily, without us. Sometimes we each think the other so busy, we think ourselves so busy... Sometimes we don't recognize the impact our words might have ... like even in a Blog.

I promise to pay more attention to that. I promise to honour our friendship. It's funny how we both think the same, both in truth felt somewhat forgotten.... but that could not be further from the truth.

I love and cherish you, always.

July 19.... Adieu...

And I'm on vacation!!!!! What a blissful feeling that is no? And what a blessing that my last day was filled with warmth, insight, hard worker bees making me proud, love and care. I love my work. Now I feel my brain kind of melting, letting go, dissolving... on to new and exciting adventures! Yay me!

I'm plenty grateful. Seas are calm here at home, I aim to keep them that way. I'm packed, I'm excited, let's go!

See you when I see you....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 18 ..Fresh Air...

It's a balmy 26 today. We turned the AC off and threw open the windows. Lovely. It's nice feeling a breeze caress you. It's nice having a home that smells good. We've been tidying, taking care of the nest, each in our corner, but like a team anyway. I feel grateful for that.

Dinner will definitely be out on the deck tonight. That will be lovely too.

Sometimes there's lots of lovely. I just need to soften some to see it.

Tomorrow will probably be the last post for a few weeks. I promise, that while away, if I find an internet cafe I'll send a shout out. If not.. I promise to take notes of my moments of gratitude and share them upon my return.

Be well, and a warm heart to you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17 .... sun, water and poo...

I had an awesome day. We went kayaking with new friends. The bad news is we went to Riviere du Nord. Little did we know that last year there had been a huge issue with sewage being released into the river and it is no longer safe to swim. Yak! We kayaked down it anyway. Didn't see anything but still - that people can treat the land the way they do is just terrible. The irony too of our newspaper today saying there is only one lake closed in all of Quebec (not this one) - when there is a huge sign on Lac Raymond saying it is closed (even though it's dated 2009). And even though the sign was up - lots of people were swimming!!! WTF?

Anyhow - after the kayak we were treated to an amazing picnic lunch our buddies brought. Yumm! Then they took us to a lake that his brother has a cottage on! And we did swim! And it was spectacular! Nothing like a good swim in a Laurentian lake I always say! Yes of course I ached for Winnetou. I'll be going there in August, bring my dad along, let him have a day there.

The countdown is on for Ireland that's for sure. We'll be wrapping up final details tomorrow - and off on Tuesday! Exciting stuff...


As the tide ebbs and flows between Honey and I - I sometimes find it difficult to find the voice and heart that is authentic. While I'm thrilled with the things I did today - there is a stone in my heart - which makes it hard for me to feel grateful. I guess the stone in my heart - kind of parallels the marbles in my mouth I wrote about the other day - only it's not the words that are obscured .. but my feelings. So I end up feeling distant from what I am writing, sometimes feeling distant period. I soldier on.

Why am I sharing all this? Cause I need to be truthful.

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16 ..... sunshine in my life...

Ok so seriously.... what more do I need to say? No matter how bad the evening, how contentious ... whatever... I come home and find this on my facebook page... I'm grateful. I can not help but coo and giggle .... what a wonderful remedy for what ails you. See if I can't post another one ..

You know what.. this may seem selfish... but I look at little Levi.. and I long for a time when things were simple.

What an absolute Joy this child is!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15.... praying...

After 85 days, BP has apparently managed to at least temporarily stop the flow of oil in to the Gulf of Mexico. I for one will say a prayer that this works. I got worried for a while that the world was forgetting this. It wasn't a front headline on CNN for a bit - oh no I thought, here is that complacency creep, apathy creep ... please, everyone, this oil rupture has to stop. Don't forget about it. Don't go about your day like it's not there. Don't put it in the back pages of the newspapers like the wars. It's here, now, it's real.

Say a prayer everyone.

July 15 but really for July 14....

I tried and tried but was not able to connect last night... and I had lot's to be grateful for on my amazing Princess Day:

My 45+ km cycle! By myself!... was amazing.
Lunch at a sidewalk cafe, wonderful.
Fresh Quebec raspberries... a gift from above.
Dinner with the Mooka folks, always a good time.
Another calm day with Honey.
More prep for Ireland and lot's of excitement building there...

I had a really good day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 13....Flip Sides...

I'm working really hard these days. Lots of people coming to share their journey. I watch other couples, fighting, criticizing, blaming, attacking.... today I managed to calm them down enough, for just a wee moment, for them to realize they were both feeling the same thing - and thus, could connect, right there. I know what it's like to be lonely, afraid, threatened, sad .... I hear that's how you're feeling. I know that. Sometimes that's enough, enough to settle the stormy seas and let something other than bitterness and anger come out and in.

Sometimes, I sit in front of people that seem so sad, I kind of want to cry along with them. I am witness to suffering that extends to such depths it breaks my heart. Sometimes I wonder if I am just too soft for this kind of work.

Sometimes I feel the wrath and indignation of things that have happened, disrespect, injury, crushing of the soul... all these things happen, to all manner of people, to many of us...  time and again.

I have to be honest, some days this work takes it's toll. I come home carrying stuff that isn't always mine, react to Honey based on stuff that isn't always his, feel a little crushed in my own right... but the flip side is, I feel a great reward to all those that have righted their course, held up their heads, accepted whom they are, are prideful now, know themselves to be deserving and lovely human beings. That happens, a lot, my people are resilient, I'm proud of that. A little bit of listening takes the soul a long, long way.

So when I have an evening ... where I have been able to create some calm, where I have been able to bring them back to the original little block of whence they began ... help them to retouch that spot... and everyone softens, and there is silence... and we recognize the humanness in ourselves and the other.. and I bring that home.... I'm grateful for what I do.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12... marbles in my mouth

Lately, I'm finding myself getting upset with the difficulties I'm having being authentic. I have words in my heart and mind, but when they get to my mouth they are like marbles .. they loll around but don't come out - and the words that do are somewhat "obstructed" by those marbles, they don't sound right, don't seem to be understood, don't get across what I desperately want to get across. And then I give up, and suffer in silence. 

I had a fantasy that as I got older, as I matured, did more therapy, learned more about myself, made it through menopause ... that I would get MORE authentic... not less. What's up with that? 

I'm grateful that I can recognize this cutting off I'm doing as something I am doing and not what someone else is doing to me. This gives me a measure of control over how my story will go ... or so I tell my self. Ah yes, the stories we tell ourselves - for comfort, security, indignation, fear ... I guess the journey to being authentic, like every other journey, begins with yourself, myself. 

I would like to wish young daughter a very happy birthday. I'm very proud of you Peanut. You are a beautiful mother - keep up the great work. Feel better.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11 .... weekend get away...

I had a wonderful get away weekend. No computer access so hence my absence. I won't be able to post while in Ireland either, so 365 days is going to be off by a few.

I had a lovely weekend: 45 kilometer cycle, amazing sites, spectacular huge deer, bunnies, herons, fields and valleys full of summers bounty and scents, beautiful. Today was a day out on a boat, swimming in Massawippi, laughing with friends, beautiful weather.

We took the scenic route home - I live in an amazing land. Hot air balloons, vast farmlands, just beautiful. I ventured to share some of my observations with Honey ... noticed how thats been absent of late.

Connecting with my wonderful girlfriend. My confidante in these troubled times. And yet another one on-line. I feel fortunate for the relationships I have that nurture me, hold me up when I'm needing that, validate what I'm feeling. Thank you women. You too, are beautiful.

Now, off to go nurture this nasty sun burn! Too much fun.... :-)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8 .... aging gracefully?

I have a confession to make. Maybe confession is too strong a word - because anyone standing very close to me might maybe notice what I'm about to confess. Ok.. here it is: I have a - yes "a" - beard hair that grows on my chin. It's the thing I stroke when I feel like being Sigmund Freud. I yank it out every three to four weeks. So in my head, that's not actually so bad.

I used to have a friend, who was pretty much older than me, that had hair growing on her nipple! Jesus Christ! She told me this - that's how I know! But serisously - on my nipple??? That might be the jump off a bridge moment for me, I don't know.

I won't go into "hair creep" in other areas.... let's just not go there.

My little guy, this one little beard hair, has turned into sort of a pet. Like I say - I do a S. Freud imitation when it's there, stroking my chin...  Someone once suggested electrolysis, but that seems so damn severe. And besides, doesn't that hurt? Burn? Something?

What does all this have to do with gratitude? Well first off my nipples, thank the Lord, are free and clear. Yay me! Second of all... I only have a group of one... one lovely, little beard hair. A solo act. I'm very grateful for that!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7 ... it's not January...

So as you've noticed from the recent posts... we have air conditioning. As well... it's +35 outside... still.

At the moment, we are sitting outside on our deck. We've just finished a rather nice BBQ dinner. We're enjoying a few pints. We're sweating like pigs... funnily so. It's stinking hot. I asked Honey ... "Why the hell are we sitting out here when it's nice and cool in the house?". His reply was ..."It's not January. You can't do this in January." He's right. 'Nuff said...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 6.... hard not to be obvious...

I would like to post something profound and witty, something about family, shared values, getting through hard times....

However, due to the fact that it is plus 40 degrees out there... and life is hard on many a soul at the moment because of this heat wave... I am one of the ones that does not have to suffer because we have air conditioning. And hell yes, I'm grateful.

There is also a calm that has settled into the household. I am not sure how sustainable it is truth be told but I'm grateful for the reprieve anyway.

Pretty simple stuff for now... maybe that's the point. It's worth being grateful for simple things. Obviously.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5.... a reprieve...

I'm out on my deck. I hear evening birdsong.

I just had dinner and a nice Caesar.

We aren't fighting.

It's 40 degrees. I also hear what my mom used to call Heat Bugs. I think they are called June Bugs. Honey calls them Cicadas.. but I'm not sure we have them here. They make a long, electronic sounding hum and when you hear them you KNOW it's hot.

We aren't fighting.

I have air conditioning in the house.

Not a bad day all in all.....

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4 .... how to be grateful

So yesterday's absence was due to it being a travelling day. 4 plus hours driving through the amazing Kananaskis National park - the long and winding and spectacular scenic route to the Calgary airport from Canmore. Wow. There is not much else to say. The landscape is so mindblowingly beautiful it's hard to even keep a conversation going whilst you're driving. So much gratitude to young daughter for the awesome limousine service.  Of course, my grandson was perfect through out. There is the second thing to be grateful for. The strength with which the love in your heart wells up inside is so powerful - it makes you wonder how there is any trouble in the world. It leaves me weak knee-ed and happy, and loving .. and it's the most amazing feeling ever.

It's interesting. Honey and I are in the midst of some of the most difficult times we have ever gone through. When coming to the computer to write I thought how the hell will I ever pull myself out of this enough to write. In Canmore, rather than be in the present whilst with my daughter - I fretted and stressed about what was back home. I can't blame anyone for that but myself. So I am grateful for the moments that I did have that were there, focused, about love and babies and daughters. It was wonderful. What I began with though about this being interesting - before I sat to write .. I thought myself somewhat consumed by anger, worry, stress.... but sharing about my daughter and grandson, and the mountains, has softened that. So gratitude isn't hard to find.  Yet I let the heaviness of other things drag me down. Truth be told it's why my blog has been so uninspired of late (to me anyway).

Some times too, the swings between this happiness and love with my daughter and grandson (sometimes even Honey), and how that bangs up against what's going on here at home now.... it's exhausting to live so much stuff at once. But I gotta keep motoring, keep putting it out there....good or bad... I will keep looking for the gratitude, it keeps me sane.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2 .... like riding a bicycle...

It's my last night here and so I gave the kids a break. The two have gone out to dinner for some much needed alone, adult time. Yay me... I'm alone with delicious little Levi. Was I worried? Was my daughter? No and I don't think so. I feel glad she has this faith in me. I have given him a bath, fed him twice today, coaxed him to sleep... and here I thought I forgot how to do all that...

It's so nice and quiet in the house at the moment.... that sleep should come so peacefully to all of us.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1... Happy Canada Day...

I went to my first parade today (no seriously, I don't get out much I guess). A Canada Day parade, in a small, beautiful Canadian town, filled with so many children.. as a matter of fact, I have never seen so many kids amassed in one place ever. It does my heart good to see these families. My line of work puts me into contact with troubled families, troubled kids; the big city I live in has it's share of troubled everything.  I am sure Canmore has it's "issues" - even so, it is a very different life here.

Canmore is nestled in a bowl of Rocky Mountains. No matter where you look there is Nature bearing down on you.  It's a real small, family oriented town. Most of the young women I see are either pregnant or walking with new babies. Families hike, walk, cycle together. As a matter of fact one of the "floats" in the parade was a huge group of kids, and little kids, all on mountain bikes. We met with people today, said hello to everyone who walked by us, and they in return said hello to us. The kids ran out into the parade because part of the tradition is that candies are thrown out for the kids to catch - we can't have that in Montreal can we? There were horses and dogs that participated in the parade, kids, cadets and veterans. And all along the parade route.. kids sitting on the street, waving and cheering.

What a beautiful day. Happy birthday dear Country of mine. I'm proud and grateful for the breadth and beauty I'm privileged to be a part of.