Me, spilling out all my thoughts, inner and outer, on just about anything! Lots of poetry, short stories from past experiences, anecdotes about teaching elementary school, music, relationships....garage sale type thing...Something For Everyone!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

"Undeck the House"?!

I never tire of the decorations with the little white lights.
There is lots of greenery in my house adorned with simple bows and cones.

I think I could just keep them up and call them Winter Decorations after pulling all the Santas. We do have many Snowmen already which will fit into the January's theme..if we ever get real snow!

Angels too, can always be included into house decor for reasons other than Christmas. They were indeed needed by me last year when I went through all my health scares!

The reindeer are so simply "Laplandish" which inspires thoughts of snow and winter! Maybe they'll be lucky charms to bring it on!

My favourite piece of furniture is the old cherry wood pump organ that belonged to Great Grandfather and which still works beautifully. In my dining room, it is especially beautiful when the lights are on at night. It makes me think I'm in some special alcove of a unique heritage restaurant. So peaceful, warm and inviting!

The hanging rug is a Victorian picture called, "Winter Deep" and shows the couple skating on a pond. I'll keep that up.

The tree and wreath will come down soon after New Year's but I shall savour the others just a bit longer. My Winter Delight.

Mother of Invention, in no hurry!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Felines' Christmas!

My cats, Mooky and Socks, (the one with the white paws and chest) had a great time at Christmas!

They pulled off and played with the bows, guarded the tree, posed under it, fought over who got to lie on the tissue paper, drank from the tree stand, knocked a few ornaments down, ate a few ribbons, barfed them up along with some twist ties, and slept on our freshly unwrapped clothes pile! You could say they've read the book on how felines are to act at Christmas...well maybe wrote the book is more accurate!

Mother of Invention, wishing sometimes that I had the simple satisfaction of being a cat in my house!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Group Outdoors!

This goes with the post below...blogger wouldn't upload on the actual post!
As you can see, it was a green one in Southern Ontario, Canada! My dad insisted we mark the mildest Christmas by taking an outdoor pic of our family.
My husband is on the far left and I'm beside him with the blue scarf.

Pivotal Christmas Moments

High-Keyed Time!

We arrived at my parents' at 11:30 a.m. and everyone was already there except my sister Joannie's son, Glenn who came later after working at Music World. We had the traditional cheese balls, crackers, egg salad sandwiches and these toasted cheese melts with walnuts that disappear immediately! Gotta get my mom's recipe for that!

The next few hours were spent talking to everyone, especially my nephew who has been working in Germany, and my niece, who has been in the States at school in Ohio and then in Houston. I hadn't seen them in a year. Then, Joannie's 26 year-old twins were so neat to talk with too. They're cute and bubbly and very entertaining!

My 87 year-old dad was in fine form and because it was so mild, he demanded that we all go outside in the back to have a group photo. It was priceless trying to get organized with the camera tech savy, and the "NOT SO" people setting up their cameras on the BBQ, trying to figure out how to set them on auto, and then attempting to run back into the photo in 10 seconds! Some were tripping over tree roots, the BBQ cover and even their own feet in the scramble! We had to do it about 6 times! It was absolutely hilarious!

As always, the present-opening was a hoot too. I wish you could have heard and seen the room filled with all these fun, lively people, cracking jokes and yelling out funny comments as we all revealed what was inside the wrapping . The room was just a'buzz. A sociogram exercise with the wool you see in the sociology textbooks would have been amazing!

And of course, after all was done, my dad handed out the traditional envelopes with their generous gift enclosed, in a manner of great ceremony and emotion. He got us all choked up as we watched his eyes tear up, saying how proud he and mom are of this wonderful family and how much they love us.

In the usual procession, we all went up one by one and hugged them both, and my dad got choked up even more, reaching for another kleenex. Naturally, this evoked the same response in us, as we all calmly looked around at each other, taking in and savouring the precious moment, now a freeze-frame in our memory.

That is always the pivotal moment of Christmas for each one of my family and this year was no exception.

Do you recall having any of those this Christmas or in the past?

Mother of Invention, cherishing my family even more now.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

We're Into The Light!

Thanks for all your comments recently. I will gradually get caught up in reading the blogs I've missed during this hectic couple of days to come.

I had a fabulous birthday on Dec. 22nd! A once in a lifetime; turning 53 from my birth year of '53! I'm a Solstice-First Day of Winter Kid! (Does that mean I'm balanced?!!) From the minute I was born and on all my birthdays, there comes a tiny bit more light every day until we complete the long crawl to Spring.
I prefer to think that this signifies the special and unique light I bring to the world and all people and things in my closer world. One can always hope that he/she can make a difference no matter how big or small.

All the best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous NewYear for 2007!

Mother of Invention, getting a feel for 53!

Friday, December 22, 2006

This Is My Absolute LAST Trip to The Grocery Store!

No More Seasonal Magazines For Me!

Seems I’ve spent far too much time and money at the local Zehrs food store in the last week. Other people must be doing the same thing because I now recognize them in the lineup, as we pick up the idle conversation just where we left it the other day! After all, what else is there to do while you are tenth in line at 11:00 a.m.? (Yes, I have taken this long to get my act together and over to my favourite store and it took awhile to find a parking spot!)

Well, I have discovered that there IS in fact something else to do while waiting; something that is well designed by the magazine marketing scheme crew. You guessed it, and I admit that I have succumbed at every opportunity, much to my chagrin. Do not mistake me. I have not even looked at The Enquirer, let alone purchased it! Instead, my hand shoots out and grabs yet, another one of those, "Beautiful Homes December Issue" type magazines with the gorgeous photographs of the most magnificently decorated house in America on the cover.

The woman on the inside pages looks like she doesn’t know what the word stress means. She appears healthy and happy, her makeup job is professional, and she hasn’t a hair out of place! She is dressed in an expensive holiday dress from Talbots and her totally-calm-all-round-beaming children are posing in their matching outfits from The Gap.

You can’t tell me that she’s just finished baking those marvelous cookies, (from the highest level of difficulty section of the recipe book) that appear on the opposite page!! Why do I look so different after I’ve had my third disastrous attempt at Christmas-shaped cut-out cookies? Perhaps it’s the flour in my hair, on my face, (that’s MY makeup job!) pasted to my Santa sweatshirt and reaching my faded jeans that I recently bought from the second hand store!

And it gets worse……

The pages that follow, feature each room of the 4800 square foot house in its entire Christmas splendor! Every piece of furniture is adorned in natural greenery, beautiful bows, vases of natural holly, and gilded fruit. Each room is more elaborately decorated than the one previously shown. Unique wreaths grace every wall and the four fireplace mantels are draped with boughs, red bows and ribbons, white lights, bells, and of course, hand made stockings. Thick, pine garlands with gold bows and tiny lights are wound around the oak banister of the staircase.

In short, viewing this magazine that depicts the perfect people in their beautiful home, exquisitely decked out for Christmas, is quite disconcerting for me. Now, I have to go back to my small, inadequate home and face my own shabby decorations, which only an hour ago I proudly thought were looking pretty amazing. We don't even have a fireplace.

I become increasingly disgusted with this family staring disdainfully out at me from those glossy pages. They represent everything I am not….. the unattainable….the ultimate American Dream Lifestyle. And they make it look so natural, as if everybody lives like this. I’m getting angry and agitated just looking at them!

I am just about to hurl the magazine back somewhere near its rack when the cashier nudges me back to reality with a loud, "You’re up, dear!"
With everyone in the line-up now staring at me, I quickly thrust the magazine down on the conveyor belt. Bending down, I unload the cart thinking, "Oh, what the heck! Maybe it’s not too late!"

Another trip, another magazine to add to my coffee table collection!

Mother of Invention, thinking that I look darn good on the cover of MY OWN magazine!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Plea For The Season

(The following was a piece I wrote and it was read over the Toronto CBC radio station on the morning of Christmas Eve 2004. It applies more and more each year.)
The Christmas Retail Advertising Season is in full swing, and whether or not you have your own children, or any on your gift list, you have probably already "bought" into the idea that the more you buy and spend, the better parents or aunt you are.
As a primary school teacher, I can often see the direct effect of this whole notion on kids and their preoccupation with the acquisition of material possessions. Their Christmas "wish, want and need" list grows longer by the minute as Christmas approaches. I think we should shift the focus of this upcoming holiday season to downplay the "getting". It would be easy to highlight the "giving" and foster some wonderful close family feelings by making a few small changes in the way we celebrate.

You, as parents, have the opportunity and can ultimately choose to create your own "Christmas Greeting Card" through which you can show your children the merits and intrinsic rewards of giving. Perhaps then, the gifts they do receive will be much more appreciated and memorable. You can teach them that often, the simplest things bring the most precious joy. And they don’t have to cost a lot of money. It’s the shared family time that’s the most important element of all. There are several ways you can achieve this.

Savour this Simplicity of the Season!

You could all help at The Food Bank by sorting and packing food for the hampers and count your blessings as you do. Hopefully, they will realize how fortunate they truly are and the good feeling of helping others will stay with them for a very long time.
Watch the movie, "Pay it Forward" in which a young boy proposes this "giving" idea of passing a good deed on to a new person instead of "paying it back". It ends up spreading throughout the country, all stemming from a school project! Such an empowering thought that he could really make a difference by giving!

Go caroling one night before Christmas and watch the surprised looks on friends’ faces as they witness your family reviving this very old and special tradition. Spread the cheer.

Sing carols in your own backyard while the moonlight shines on the crispy white snow and let your voices ring outward and upward for all to hear.
Then, go your own backyard where you can sing purely for yourselves. Afterwards, make some hot chocolate to warm you up under the Christmas tree.

Listen to a richly textured recording of Handel’s, "The Messiah" and get chills up and down your spine. Visit a local church and hear a choir’s Christmas music resonating with the most amazing acoustics anywhere. Marvel at the beautiful stained glass.

See the movie, "The Polar Express", a simply delightful story of believing! Listen to the tape, narrated by William Hurt, and get lost in the magical illustrations, while exchanging wide-eyed looks!
Absolutely enchanting! Then, give each of your children as well as yourself, a silver bell to wear around your necks and clink these bells together to toast your belief in the goodness of the Giving Season!

Huddle together on the couch and watch, (for the hundredth time!), the old black and white version of, "The Christmas Carol" starring Alistair Simms! Re-confirm your belief in the goodness of generosity as you see Scrooge’s heart melt.

Find a place where you can enjoy an outdoor fire and huddle closely together to watch the dancing flames, each of you lost in your own private reflections. And yet, your spirits closely linked as never before.

Make your own family Christmas sweatshirts each year with some commonly, as well as some individually created elements! Maybe your own logo?! And wear this special tribute to your family with pride.

Take a walk in the Dufferin County Forest on a snowy day and wonder at the number and size of wild turkey tracks alongside the tiny tracks of small mice zigzagging on top of the snow. Treasure the sight of a deer holding your gaze with her big brown eyes, while snow is falls lightly all around. A beautiful scene from your very own Christmas card!

Search for an outdoor hot tub to use on a quiet clear night and fix your eyes upward until you all see the same falling star! Or drive down a country road and stargaze from the hood or roof of your van, cuddling each other under warm wool blankets. Share the hot chocolate right from out of the same thermos. A sweet family communion indeed!

Do some absolutely crazy, zany things that will cost nothing!
Drag a toboggan over to the park and scream all the way down the hill! Build a snowman or "snow-cat" and get someone to take your pictures standing beside it!
Construct a snow-fort and ambush each other with "snowmanition"! Try your luck at carving and laying the "bricks" to make an igloo!
On a whim, throw your skates into the car and head down to City Hall and admire all the lights!

Get your family photo taken with Santa!
Go into one of those camera booths that used to be at Woolworth’s and get five wacky poses taken!

For New Year’s Eve, let each one of you put on a favourite lively song and dance around the kitchen together. Then mimic each other’s dancing style in a loving, affectionate way!

Make a family pact that you all choose some of the holiday activities you liked best to carry on; creating a new sense of family tradition. The memories will last a lifetime.
On New Year’s Day, share a couple of highlights from The Best Of 2006 and have a positive look towards 2007. Each of you think of one important goal you want to accomplish and make a plan to help it happen. And promise to help and support each other in making this a reality.

So please don’t give in to the usual, "Buy, spend, followed by Huge Visa Bill = Merry Christmas". This year, add a new, yet old and wholesome flavour to your celebration and watch it warm your holiday hearts.
Mother of Invention, wishing all of you the merriest of the season!
Happy 2007!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Believe in Santa

This is the most touching Christmas memories that I've received on e-mail this year. I don't know who wrote it..perhaps Santa himself.
Believe in Santa Claus

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma.
I was just a kid.
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb:
"There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world- famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm.
Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me.
"No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars.

That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.

The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.
I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.
Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.
"Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
(A little tag fell out of coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible.) Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."
I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes.
That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.
May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...
And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Mother of Invention, with my belief in Santa firmly in place.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Seasonal Meme With a Few Additions!

Favorite seasonal movie? A Christmas Carol - original black and white with Alistair Simms!
Song you most enjoy this time of year? The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting...) Nat King Cole
"Holiday Greeting"? Merry Christmas (spoken)
Decorate, inside? outside? White lights on railing greenery, on grapevine around our red front door, and on 2 potted spruce, wreath with deep wine colored bow, green pine garland around the poles of our office sign with deep red bows on all greenery.
Do you make a list? If so, how many people are on it? I have lists of lists! About 35
How up to the last minute do you shop? I can finish getting little things on the 24th but I've got most everything done by the 23rd.
When do you open your gifts? Stockings with coffee first. After dinner at in-laws, after lunch at my parents' on Boxing Day
Holiday food you most savor? Gotta say Turkey! All gooey squares for dessert..Nanaimo bars, marzipan squares, shortbreads!
Favorite holiday book? Miracle on 34th Street
New Year Resolutions? To exercise more.

Okay, I added more from an e-mail I got!
Wrapping paper or gift bags? BOTH
Real tree or artificial? Real Fraser Fir
When do you put up the tree? Dec. 17th
Do you like eggnog? Yes.
Favorite gift received as a child? A Pink Stuffed Pug Dog
Do you have a nativity scene? A little wee plastic one my husband gave his mom when he was 7!
Hardest person to buy for? All the males!
Easiest person to buy for? My sisters
Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Old Lady Bloomers underwear!
Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

When do you start Christmas Shopping? Jan. Sales!
Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yep.

Clear lights or colored on the tree? Only clear
Travel at Christmas or stay home? Away at parents' and in-laws'.
Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Ahh, most I think!
Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel

Most annoying thing about this time of year? commercialism and busy malls.

Not tagging anyone at this busy time. Your call!

Friday, December 15, 2006

63rd Wedding Anniversary!

My parents got married on December 15, 1943 so this is their 63rd. Truly amazing.
When my father found out he was being posted to England in two weeks, he phoned up my mom and said, "Let's get married next weekend!"

I guess many young couples were in that position was either now or perhaps never.
I think my mom was a gorgeous young girl and my dad quite a handsome man. They still make an eye-catching couple and look quite stunning when they get all dressed up in fancy clothes.

When they recently went on a cruise, the Captain greeted them at the door and told them they looked so elegant. They were invited to sit at his table the next night!

My mom and dad had three girls and they are very proud of each one of us. They have enjoyed watching five grandchildren grow up and come into their own. Mom is 85 and my dad is 87, and are lively, bright, intelligent people. Their health is still relatively good.

My dad will take mom to a wonderful dinner at the same high class restaurant they always have gone on this date. They will start with martinis and order rack of lamb. The conversation will be strong and the time together will be savoured.

I toast you, mom and dad on your 63rd! You have been truly blessed.

Mother of Invention, clinking my glass with yours!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mooky's First Christmas Part Two!

Mooky's First Christmas
Part Two!

Strings upon strings
of tiny white lights
spilling out of their boxes
tangled mess
of spaghetti
on my floor
plugging, yanking, testing
and kitty pouncing
on every "blinking" one of them!
tail entwined
cords pierced
by tiny sharp teeth
she is one wired cat all right!
And as each string finds its way
onto the tree
so does Mooky
leaping upward
we must work fast
no time for fastening
we are racing against her
’round and ’round
simply dizzying
for all of us
until the angel
is reverently placed
at the top
in all its serenity
even Mooky
is compelled to stare
in awe

the lid is lifted
and all the shiny balls
have survived the year
and the seasons
in the attic
but will they all survive Mooky?
she is totally mesmerized
as each one
is gently lifted
and hung
onto its own special branch
hanging in just the right way
reflecting a million sparkling lights
the yearly sacrifice
of Christmas
is about to be made
which one of us will it be
the globes all wonder
Mooky sees herself
in one of the strangely enticing mirrors
Oh, Resplendent Kitten
within My reach!
she begins
her batting game
with the ill-fated ornament
in only three swipes
she fells the other feline
the shining one
and it drops at her feet
sharp slivers
fragments of its former self
Mooky is pleased
Mission Accomplished!
downright proud
the short attention span of kittenhood
has her searching
for another victim
we have foiled her plan
and discovered the unbreakable decorations
bought at ½ price after last Christmas!
she still bats
but now just chases the fallen
until she
as all kittens do
suddenly tires
becomes the fallen
curling up on the soft tree skirt
for the first time
under a Christmas tree

she was the finishing touch
and now
the tree is fully decorated!
Mother of Invention, hoping she won't climb the tree when she awakes!
(The picture on the left is actually, Socks, our other cat. I'll try to capture Mooky this year! Had some others but Blogger will not let me upload any today!!???)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mooky's First Christmas!

Mooky's First Christmas!

kitty looks incredulously
at the fir tree
horizontally placed
on our back porch…
sick tree, she concludes,
runs around it
jumps in and out
of its branches…
5 minutes of pure fun…
and it’s only just started!
she sits,
hiding in amongst its pricklies
little gray tabby
with the distinctive "M"
on her forehead
she thinks it stands for "Mooky"
and it does,
barely visible through the greenery
huge slate blue eyes
looking out
wondering what comes next?
the fir is pulled along to the door
with no regard for her dish
on the back stoop
spilling its contents
and toppling down the steps,
free ride for Mooky!
"and a tabby in a fir tree!"
the small feline clings as mightily as
her little pink paws will allow
we stand the tree up…
no easy task!
Christmas brings a whole new perspective
even for cats
but she wants down
and her kitten memory has failed her
(how DID I get out of that thick cedar
I played in last summer?)
we extricate her with
"The Jaws of Life"!
Big Long Leather Gloves
especially designed
for handling prickly needles
sharp claws of terrified stranded kittens!
and now
for the strings of lights!

(to be continued on the next post, once we replace all the chewed up wires! We didn't get pics of this but this is Mooky exploring evergreens and various highlights in our back yard last winter.)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shortest Post...Poetry Friday!

The word was "dark" or darkness" and it seemed too dark and depressing to write about so I had to turn it around. This is really an ode to my birthday, which I like to think represents my "light" brought into the world after the shortest day of the year!

of winter solstice
comes the light
from a baby born
on December 22nd
it increases slowly
ray by ray
it stretches
across the universe
touching everything
until finally
it reaches its eternal summer
Mother of Invention, thinkin' this looks like a candle!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Me In My Weirdness - x 6!

First of all, I want to thank you all for reading and/or commenting on my last post. Each one of you is yet another example of all the good things that have come to me in the past year and at this time of year, I am especially grateful for every gift I have received.

Annelisa at Words That Flow, (on my sidebar...sorry I haven't mastered the link thing!) tagged me for 6 weird things about me....and I'm the first on her list so I'm not sure if she already thinks I'm the weirdest or not but here it goes!

Me Be Weird...Let me Count The Ways!

1. I was a major thumbsucker as a kid and engaged in this activity constantly with a blankie named, "Ki-Ki Ni-Ni Williams until about 5 years old. (I am still pretty wimpy and sucky as a adult!) Ki-Ki was involved in many adventures from which I have created many animated stories. I have told these to kids in my Gr. 2 classes when we were doing Franklin's Blanket and I made them part of the follow-up activity, asking them to choose their favourite Ki-Ki story, tell why, and illustrate it. There was Ki-Ki Goes To Kingston, Ki-Ki Gets Lost, Ki-Ki Goes To The Drugstore, Ki-Ki Goes To The Shoe Store to mention a few, and then the final "Goodbye Ki-Ki"! Other teachers would never do this sort of thing but the kids and parents thought it was excellent. I guess that makes me a pretty off-centre teacher compared to many!

2. I have several Obsessive-Compulsive actions! I have to have the first cup of coffee from the coffee pot...(at my house, not the coffee shops!). I need the first bite of an apple, or a drink if I'm sharing. I'm fixated on getting Christmas lights and decorations up on time. I eat my toast upside down...(see old post called, "The Upside of Toast!") I used to have to sleep with the hall light on when I was a it's toned down to a night light! I ritualize my actions when I was a camp counselor, my friend and I smoked a ceremonial butt and hid them in the tree to see if they'd be there the next year...stuff like that.

3. Some things in my life are eerily I was a sugar and candy addict as a little one and then I became diabetic at 13. No one else in my whole family ever was. I developed an acute back problem when lifting boats at camp and ended up marrying a chiropractor! I feel very connected and sensitized to this world and the one beyond. My theory is that when I was in a diabetic coma at 13, I crossed over to the other world briefly (they actually told my parents they'd lost me and to come) but came back, having picked up a motherlode of an unusual amount feeling and sensitivity. Many things affect me more deeply than others I believe and I have a great degree of empathy.

4. I name inanimate objects and give them human clothes. There's The Blue Rag, The Watermelon Dress, The Lilac Dress, The Mom's Mabley Slippers ....! I make my descriptions of my cats seem very much like people.

5. I usually find something humourous in almost when I supposedly had Liver Disease, I said, "Well that does it! No way I'm ordering Liver and Onions again!" (I hate liver and have never had it! Just cat food to me!)
In group dynamics, I take on the role of "social-emotional tone-setter". In summer camp staff meetings, teacher meetings, classes of any kind, choir etc. I always blurt out some funny line about something and everyone just breaks up. It usually provides comic relief and brings affection and unity to the group. I did this in my own class that I taught too so the kids would always feel warm and happy to be in school.

6. I have entered tons of contests. Once I won the animal caption contest in The Toronto Sun 29 times and got t-shirts for each one. I passed them on to the winners in my Gr. 3 class for the same creative thinking contest.
I used to send away for all kinds of crap on cereal boxes and the like....I got Tiger Socks from Frosted Flakes, Koolaid jugs, Crystal Light T-shirts, Cheerios mug and bowl set. As a kid, I just had to buy junk with free prizes inside.

I have tons more...I could write a post on each one of these! I'm not tagging anyone at this busy time of year. Just happy to share more of my funny ole self with all of you!

Mother of Invention, celebrating my weirdness!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's Here Again.....And So Am I!

It's sometimes hard to believe. I stare in amazement as I unwrap each carefully tissued and cushioned precious ornament from the box that has been resting in the attic since last January.

This time a year ago, I was sick with what I thought was the flu. As it turned out, certain enzymes that are indicated in liver disease were quite elevated (775 where the norm is 90-120) and warranted cat scans and perhaps a liver biopsy. The initial visit to a surgeon was on Dec 22, my 52nd birthday. I sobbed the whole way home. Talk about scared!

I was totally stressed, having just gone through report cards, and writing and performing the "Seasonal Concert" at school. I held it together throughout Christmas and took a leave in January to deal with whatever loomed before me. Liver Disease...yikes...people die from that and it didn't look pretty on the internet search which perhaps I should not have done. I cried all over the keyboard.

I tried to keep things in perspective as I slowly and sadly packed up the decorations and returned them to the attic. My tears flowed as I couldn't help thinking that I might never see these beautiful ornaments again. But then I thought how joyful it would if I did. Little did I know what would happen next.

On Feb. 23rd, I had what doctors called a mild MI, a heart attack. I was lucky that there was no heart muscle damage and they put a stent into one clogged artery. Things have stabilized and I am enjoying a more simplified lifestyle. I still don't know what might happen but I'm doing the best I can.

As I unwrapped the first ornament this year, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was connecting full circle to my state of mind when I'd put these away. Indeed, I have lived to do this again. I must be blessed.

If I feel as if holiday preparations are stressing me out, I remind myself that I could just as easily be watching this from somewhere else beyond this earthly dwelling. Whenever I feel like I'm going to complain about the hurried tasks of the season, I quickly intercept with a thought about how much I value even the opportunity to have these jobs to do.

Yes, that time of year is here ...count me in!

Mother of Invention, convinced that I can still see the tearstains on the tissue paper, which perhaps nudged me to share this story.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Crowded Mall or Craft Sale?

Picture ten times the people you see in this picture and you will have what the malls will be like any time in December.

People will be running mad in all directions trying to find the elusive present in a time limited shopping spree. Children will be whining and babies will be screaming as you try to squeeze by their strollers!
Ah, the seasonal joys of Christmas Rush!

Now, picture a craft sale at the local church. Even if there is a short line-up to get in, you enjoy talking to all the people you know and probably see yearly at this same event. There's Thelma, bringing in her famous apple pies. Louise will have her delicate and popular tree ornaments at her table alongwith her husband's stained glass angels. The church ladies have a well stocked table of home made jams, salsas and pickles. There is a fabulous selection of knitted hats, scarves and gloves. Everyone flocks to the rummage table where the good old barter system is still in effect! Just make an offer to the old retired pharmamsist who always presides over this table.

The baking table is superb and I hear the $5.00 lunch tickets are going quickly because Bea has once again, made her cabbage rolls! With a salad, sandwich plate and a piece of pie, you can relax and chat with friends while watching the flurry of activity. You just can't beat this small town phenomena. It is part of our heritage.

And I, for one, would much rather spend my time and money supporting this local annual event, than put myself in that crazy crowded mall after driving around for ten minutes trying to find a parking space!

Mother of Invention, checking names off my list after the craft shows!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Poetry Friday Word: CANDY!

ode to candy
craving the crunch
tantalizing taste
hail to chocolate
and make haste
PMS or Menopause
not sure which
but that's the cause
impossible to satiate
oh, why does it all taste so great?!
my sugar fix fixed me!
daddy take me to the store
i'm out of candy - i want more!
the candy man's gone down our street
go chase him down for something sweet!
mo-jo's, blackballs, taffy, fudge
give me lots and I won't budge
eebie-jeebs and chocolate bars
kit-kat, coffee crisp and mars...
Divine Intervention came one day...
and I would pay!
my nemesis had come to pass
it overcame this wee young lass
I got sick, the candy stopped -
sugar in blood had finally dropped
and daily needles, sometimes five
have helped to keep this girl alive
thanks to Banting, a drug was handy -
but sad to say,
Mother of Invention, the sweetest thing since Sponge Taffy!