Sunday, April 22, 2012

I haven't been around here much lately.  I haven't really figured out where blogging fits into my life.  I don't have many readers and I don't really have a direction around here.  On the other hand, I don't really want to let this go, either.  I always been a journal-er and I love this online form of journaling.  I love getting comments and that helps me to feel connected.  Life is so busy and I don't always get to talk to friends about the things that are important to me.

This post is just going to be a collection of "stuff".  It's been a bit of a tough couple of weeks and lots of things have been flitting around in my mind.  I don't have a chance to write a post about each of them and, frankly, you probably wouldn't want to read them anyway, but I have to get them off my mind.

1.  Funerals.  When I die, I don't want a bleak funeral.  Two weeks ago, the 23-year-old daughter of a colleague killed herself.  This colleague is prickly and none of us know her that well but we all wanted to go to offer support.  I gather the daughter (the one who died) was a bit of a troubled soul, battling depression and she had a four year old daughter (who, thankfully, lives most of the time with her paternal grandparents and so wasn't there for this).  The funeral truly was bleak - lots of people but very little sense of who the girl was who died.  It seemed to me to be more about how she died than how she had lived.  They read a letter from a former school friend who hadn't seen her in years and her mother spoke but it was mostly about her troubles in the last year.  The worst?  The parents (who are divorced) have such poor relations that they had two separate services.  Wait, it gets worse.  The police notified the father, who said he would notify his ex-wife but he didn't.  She found out about her daughter's deal from a condolence text from a friend.  What makes people act like that????

I came home and told dh, I don't want anyone to wear black when I go, I want people to wear what makes them feel good (and frankly, if they want to have a pyjama party, that works for me).  I want pretty wedding flowers and NO lilies.  I want people to sing "Thine be the Glory" and "It is well with my soul."  Please remember my crazy moments and eat ice cream.  Read my favourite Bible texts - Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 91 and Micah 6:8.  A bit of Louis and Ella and Latin Jazz would work for me, too.

2.  My friend M got baptised last weekend along with her two daughters.  We come from a tradition that baptises babies and I love that but I must say, watching M done was incredibly moving.  Surprise, surprise, I cried through the entire thing.  Lovely!

3.  Do you ever have times when you feel like God brings you down just so He can lift you up again and show you how lucky you are?  That was me, this week.  On Friday, my check-engine light came on in my mini-van.  To many people, that's no biggie.  To me, it's disaster.  I think it comes from when I was a kid and my mom would panic when there were financial issues.  It probably comes from HER childhood, growing up as a minister's kid, knowing that they had no savings and were always one problem away from being out on the street.  I'm the same.  We have been really struggling with debt since my second mat leave and while the bills all get paid and we have some extra, I suppose, I never feel secure.  I had an unexpected car repair 4 weeks ago that cost $800 and really hurt the money plan.  I was despairing when the light came back on.  I didn't know when I would get it fixed and how we would pay for it.  The one thing I held onto is that I am married to man who always solves those problems for me.  Yet again, my knight rode in, thinking clearly, and pointed out that the work was under warranty and came up with a plan to get it back to the mechanic.  It was fixed for free, they were wonderful, I got to take Pk with me to LB's music class since Dh wouldn't and had a wonderful morning with my kids and a chance to say thanks to my Dh.  Funny how a problem can lead to such blessing.

4.  I just got an email from someone from work who's more than an acquaintance but not quite a friend, if you know what I mean.  She had a miscarriage on Thursday night.  I can't believe how many people I know with fertility issues and how little I understood about it all before we had our kids.  Honestly, other than the time delay in conceiving LB which we ultimately figured out, we have been so lucky and I can't believe how many women I know who have had horrible, horrible, horrible experiences.  We do each other such a disservice by not talking more about it all.  We never know how to be there for each other and say such stupid things, just because we are all so unfamiliar with it all.  Honestly, why do we not share more honestly with each other?

5.  On the sappy front, we are getting lots of affection between the two kids these days.  It really warms my heart.

6.  I heard an interesting study on CBC the other day about how being out in nature activates different parts of the brain than being in a largely urban environment (which apparently activates the stress centres of the brain).  I know, at least for me, walks with the dogs always lower my stress level.  Last week, we took the kids for a walk with a friend and her kids.  Perhaps my friend's stress level wasn't lowered all that much since her daughter fell into the stream but the kids had such fun!

 7.  Last night was our monthly "friends dinner".  This month, we hosted and the theme was Greek.  We made souvlaki, lemon roasted potatoes and Greek lemon rice (which we decided was more risotto-like than rice-like, I am afraid).  I was pretty proud, it was fairly close to restaurant quality, especially when J brought such a great salad.

 The "big kids" table
 Given our husbands and their senses of humour, I would call this the "bigger kids" table, rather than the adult table.
 We decided that, since none of us are great fans on baklava, we went to chocolate cupcakes and blueberry pie (which was divine!) instead.  Needless to say, M worked her usual magic on the sweets and everyone was in heaven.

 The host usually arranges some kind of activity for the kids (although it often doesn't really get done).  In honour of Earth Day, we decided that each child would get to plant.  I had started tomato plants and morning glories and almost everyone picked the morning glories.

8.  I've finally found some time and some mojo for scrapbooking.  I do theme albums usually, these days, so I got the Halloween and fall entries for 2011 done in the fall album and Pk's fourth birthday done in her birthday album.  I'm not a huge scrapbooker but I do love patterns and paper and, most especially, trips down memory lane!  I always do very photo-heavy layouts.

9.  Pk is hugely into the reading and writing these days the teacher in me is totally getting off on it.  She's constantly writing words on the fridge ("hey mummy, I wrote muppets!")  Most of it is phonetic but it's totally independent.  I love this story - the other day, she started pulling books off the shelf downstairs.  When Dh asked what she was doing, she said she was being a librarian.  Dh told her that librarians shelve books, too.  She went and got a piece of paper and a marker and started writing.  When we went to have a look, she had written, "Librerie is cosd."  Not bad for 4!

 10.  Finally, in honour of Earth Day, we got trees for planting at school.  I love this idea.  I was able to get one for each child, too.  We already have one from 3 years ago and it's amazing to see how much it has already grown.

I'm going to try to get in here with a few short posts this week.  We'll see if it actually happens.

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