Archives: July 2004
Fri, 30 Jul 2004
26things - Delicious
New 26things photo:
Delicious. This was Matt's birthday cake for his sixth birthday in June.
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February: Thinking of Flowers
by Jane Kenyon
Now wind torments the field,
turning the white surface back
on itself, back and back on itself,
like an animal licking a wound.
Nothing but white--the air, the light;
only one brown milkweed pod
bobbing in the gully, smallest
brown boat on the immense tide.
A single green sprouting thing
would restore me. . . .
Then think of the tall delphinium,
swaying, or the bee when it comes
to the tongue of the burgundy lily.
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Tue, 27 Jul 2004
I guess it was time for a change. I've been so cold lately. Winter is taking a very long time indeed. I needed some hot pink to help cheer me up. Photo from istockphoto.com.
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Sun, 25 Jul 2004
Today is okay
The boy next door tried to commit suicide a couple weeks ago.
He is a quiet lad in his early 20s - a friendly, polite boy who lives with his mother, walks the dogs, volunteers at the SPCA and always asks if he can help carry my groceries if he sees me struggling up the steps laden with shopping bags. He feeds our cats when we are away and talks with our boys.
His mother is away at the moment having chemotherapy for breast cancer, so he has been on his own for several weeks and I know it must be difficult for him. Even so, he always seems cheerful when we meet him, and says that his mother is doing well. He is quiet and reserved, and seems to like his privacy, so we have not intruded beyond asking if he needs anything when we meet him on the path.
So, as I am leaving for work one morning, I see this trail of blood running down the footpath, down the steps, across the road, and down the path to a neighbour's house across the street. When I see the blood, I can't figure out where it has come from. I think it must have been an injured animal, a catfight, perhaps.
But even as I am thinking this, I have this uneasy feeling that it is human blood. I quickly shake that thought out of my mind.
That night when I park the car, the neighbour across the road is parking at the same time, and she comes up to tell me the news. She tells me that it was the boy next door to us, and that he had slit his wrists around midnight, and then had run down to her house, knocked on the door, bleeding profusedly, and begged her to call an ambulance.
I am completely stunned at this news. How can you live right beside someone and not know that they are about to slit their wrists? Why did we not know? We see him just about every day. Why did he not come to us? Why did we not check up on him more often? Why didn't we make sure he was okay?
I ask myself these questions over and over.
And now I am terrified that he will kill himself. Every night I check to make sure the lights come on in his house and that I can see him moving around.
Last Thursday morning, I am getting the kids ready. The phone rings. It is Mary, his mother. She tells me that she has been trying to ring him, but that he is not answering, and she is afraid that he has slept in. "It's important right now that he goes to work," she tells me with meaning in her voice. And I know what she means. So she asks if I will go over and knock on the door.
I send Matt over to knock, and wait at the back door watching him. Matt bangs on the door loudly, and the dogs in the house start barking. I am praying like hell that he wakes up because I know if he doesn't, I'm going to have to go over and see if he is okay. I am so unprepared to find a dead body.
Matt pounds again, and then I hear a door open, and I see the boy emerge at the kitchen window and he smiles and gives me a thumbs up.
I breathe a sigh of relief. Today is okay.
And I wonder what darkness must be going on inside his head to want to take his own life, and what was so awful about that particular day. I wonder if he ever wakes up and thinks, today is okay.
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26things - Stretch
Another 26things picture - Stretch:
Stretchy noodles. Yum.
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Thu, 22 Jul 2004
Okay, I normally don't pay much attention to these things, but this site is seriously cool - typogenerator (thanks to Deb at Sugarfused for pointing this out!).
Warning: typogenerator is addictive! Just one more hit... just one more.
Here are some of the results:
Okay, they don't mean anything. I'm just a sucker for pretty pictures :)
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26things - Green
Green, with a little bit of pink.
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Mon, 19 Jul 2004
26things - exotic, missing and liquid
More 26things photos:
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The Frog Prince
I first came across this poem by Stevie Smith in college, many years ago. My friend Carla read it aloud to me one night, and I always remember the sound of her voice, and the way she read it. She made me love that poem, and I carried it with me around the world on a piece of paper. I lost that piece of paper a few years' back, could not find it anywhere. I searched the Internet for the words, but to no avail.
I'd been thinking about that poem quite a lot lately, and thinking maybe I should buy a book of Stevie Smith poetry. We have one book of her poetry in the bookshelves, but it doesn't contain The Frog Prince.
So there I was last Tuesday evening in Bizy Bee Secondhand Bookshop on Manners Street, amid the poetry books, and it jumped out at me - Stevie Smith : a selection. A battered book, owned first by a Jenny Scrivener and then C.Shields, both with their phone numbers beside their names - it must have been some time ago because both phone numbers were only six digits!
So, $12 later, the book found its way into my waiting and grateful hands.
The Frog Prince
by Stevie Smith
I am a frog
I live under a spell
I live at the bottom
Of a green well
And here I must wait
Until a maiden places me
On her royal pillow
And kisses me
In her father's palace.
The story is familiar
Everybody knows it well
But do other enchanted people feel as nervous
As I do? The stories do not tell,
Ask if they will be happier
When the changes come
As already they are fairly happy
In a frog's doom?
I have been a frog now
For a hundred years
And in all this time
I have not shed many tears,
I am happy, I like the life,
Can swim for many a mile
(When I have hopped to the river)
And am for ever agile.
And the quietness,
Yes, I like to be quiet
I am habituated
To a quiet life,
But always when I think these thoughts
As I sit in my well
Another thought comes to me and says:
It is part of the spell
To be happy
To work up contentment
TO make much of being a frog
To fear disenchantment
Says, it will be heavenly
To be set free,
Cries, Heavenly the girl who disenchants
And the royal times, heavenly,
And I think it will be.
Come then, royal girl and royal times,
I can be happy until you come
But I cannot be heavenly,
Only disenchanted people
Can be heavenly.
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Mon, 12 Jul 2004
26things - lines, through and out of reach
My latest 26things photos
out of reach
I also have a 26things gallery page set up.
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Fri, 09 Jul 2004
Conversation between me and Matthew:
Me (exasperated at some huge mess the kids had made): Why would anyone have kids?! Why? Why would you do it?
Matt (matter-of-factly): Mum. If there were no kids, there would be no grown-ups.
Matt: You have to admit, Mum, I have a point.
Okay, since when do six year olds have points? Since when do they debate logically with their mothers and win?!
Sheesh. I'm such a sore loser.
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My first 26things offering:
Long blades. I think this is a cordyline of some sort... maybe?
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Lumpy Potato Sack
Well, I've been going to the gym now for 7 weeks, and I'm definitely noticing the difference in my fitness and my strength. This week was the toughest yet.
Every week my trainer finds new instruments of torture with which to cause me pain. On Wednesday it was the leg curl weights machine. I hate leg curls. I'd rather go to the dentist than do those.
Me, after one set of leg curls: God, I really felt that. I hate this one. Do we have to do leg curls?
My trainer: Yes.
My trainer: Tell me where you felt it.
Me: My hamstrings.
My trainer: Exactly. That's why we have to do it. [There's that we again!] You're a cyclist, and cyclists get lovely big thigh muscles, and great calf muscles, but they don't use their hamstrings much. So, it's leg curls for you.
Man, I hate it when he knows what he's talking about. Which is all the time.
Today, after my half hour with him was up, I went on the treadmill and he hung around and chatted with me for a long while about life, love, children and marriage woes. Well, he talked and I huffed and puffed and sweated as delicately as I could given I was powering up a hill. When he finally left, I laughed and asked him if the counselling services cost extra.
Funnily enough, I don't feel self-conscious at the gym. Well, not usually. The other day, though, when I arrived for my session, my trainer was just saying goodbye to his last client who was, I must say, a simply stunning woman. Blonde hair, immaculately dressed, coiffured and made up. Just beautiful.
I don't know how some women do that - look immaculate without even trying. I don't look immaculate even when I do try. At best, I can manage to look slightly less scruffy than normal.
So, as I was standing there waiting for him, I suddenly felt like a lumpy potato sack. That's so not a good feeling.
Ah well. At least I'm a fun lumpy potato sack.
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Fri, 02 Jul 2004
Well, it's that time again... Sh1ft.org are doing another round of 26things, and I'm going to do it again. Well, at least I'm going to try. I can't promise anything, but I really enjoyed the last two I did.
Anybody else keen?
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Thu, 01 Jul 2004
I have had no time to spend on the computer recently. I have so many photos to post, so many entries that I think I should write. But just no time. My life seems like it is on fast forward. Work, eat, sleep, housework, kids, work, eat, sleep, housework, kids.... and on it goes. There is always something to be done.
And it's the middle of blasted winter here... freaking cold. Okay, not cold in that Canadian, North American snow and ice sort of way, but still cold.
One thing I have been doing completely for myself, though, is going to the gym and seeing a personal trainer. It is the best thing I have ever done. It's the same trainer I was seeing about a year ago, but this time I have kept at it, and it is paying off. I am feeling fitter, losing some weight (slowly.... groan) and can actually start to see some definition in my leg and arm muscles. It's a long term thing for me. I really want exercise to become part of my life. I feel so good about training, and I love pushing myself.
And the trainer is fantastic. He explains all the exercises, what each exercise is doing, why we're doing it, where I should be feeling it. He is a little older than most of the trainers - around 50 - and he understands the lifestyle of a 40-year-old woman better than those young twentysomethings. He understands about having kids, and no time, and a jelly belly from pregnancy. We get on really well, which is important. We can joke around. The other day he said to me, as I lay exhausted across a swiss ball, "And now we're going to do another set of 12 chest presses".
"We?! Who's this we, white boy?" I exclaimed in exasperation. He laughed.
All completely professional, of course, I hasten to add. No flirtation or anything like that. I guess that costs extra. Heh.
The thing I like best about the whole thing is this: I spend almost all my time doing things for other people. Getting the kids off in the morning, work, travelling, grocery shopping, housework, picking kids up. Never any time for me.
Except for the gym. The gym is 2 hours every week where I and another person are concentrating solely on ME. It's kind of like having a massage or getting your haircut twice week.
It's my time and I love it.
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