two weeks of february gone, two weeks to go. don’t stay on our account honey and don’t let the door hit you on your way out. weather is creating havoc throughout the united states and canada, freezing rain, freezing temperatures, tons of snow, not enough sunshine. as my friend kelly says, “oh february, you promise nothing and deliver less.”
my february however did deliver this tiny little bundle of joy.
and alex who turned 24
i flew down here on my 61st birthday, not a bad present if i do say so! this week i have had lots of baby holding time and an equal amount of web time. susannah conway also celebrated a birthday in february and she’s offering a wonderful collection of personal stories on aging. i discovered madelyn mulvaney’s beautiful blog and i read all the recipes and stories on manger. my Pinterest boards are still my middle of the night best friends.
have a lovely day everyone.
It occurs to me that, for some of us, our homes always hold some of our personal energy, even when we are away from them. There are times where wanting to go home, “I need to go home now”, becomes an urgent desire. Heading home to replenish our souls, to recharge our energy, to be safe and at peace. Home may be where you hang your hat, but the hat probably is reminiscent of your home in some way, colour, texture or shape.
I love looking at clean, minimalist design but know for sure that I wouldn’t be able to resist surrounding myself with sparkly mercury glass, flowers, candles, art, lamps, colour, books and collections of corks, erasers, wool, matchbooks and the like.
The things in my home are there to provide me comfort, there is a photo from 1960 of me barely able to sit on my own, pudgy baby plopped in the middle of that plaid wool blanket, yes, that blanket, the blue one that today is draped over the back of the red chair, my history, part of me always. There are the binders that hold my knitting needles, knowing that margie has the same binders, they make me feel connected to her. I light flickering scented candles, making our home smell like our home, familiar and warm. A mishmash of art work, all bought, not because we have a certain style, but because we couldn’t live without them, they were ours before we ever saw them and brought them home.
When we travel, or move into a furnished apartment for a season, I immediately stamp it, imprint it with the essence of us. I unpack, arrange our things, rearrange what doesn’t suit me and then I feel comfortable.
I use pretty things at work, a colorful tape dispenser, thumbtacks that are reminiscent of typewriter keys, wooden boxes and a bright blue stapler, work is my environment for a major portion of my week, of course I want my desk to make me feel inspired.
Today I am home, a sore knee forcing me to reside on the couch, and as I sit here I am struck by how important my environment is to me. I need a reflection of home, a trinket, a scent, something that feels like home, with me always.
We like to play and colour. We collect little toys and they appear unexpectedly as part of the decor in our homes. Margie’s troll sits nestled amongst some gorgeous porcelain vases.
Margie and I were texting yesterday. Her newest Grandbaby is due four weeks from today We were saying that Harry is probably going to be a little unhappy at times with the introduction of a new sibling. One of Margie’s kids, Sarah maybe, said a week after Sam’s arrival, “Who’s baby is that anyway?” As in, “Maybe they should pick it up, it’s been here a long time.” We remembered the birth of her children and I said, “they hated getting a new baby so much”. Margie replied, “Everyone does.” I challenged her that she loved me from the very beginning, she replied, “I don’t remember!” I am choosing to think she did.
A few months ago some texting about baby names resulted in Margie deciding she wanted to be called Coco. It is such a great name. Now when I call her, I say, “Bonjour Coco!!!” and she replies, “Bonjour Kiki!” We pretend to speak french to each other. It is silly, wonderful and makes us happy.
When I visited in September we were standing in a parking lot saying goodbye. Again, silliness took over, we drew stares when we started full-on Lucy and Ethel fake blubbering, crying. Now we do it automatically when we leave each other.
I took two paper ketchup cups from a fast-food restaurant and carefully put them away, waiting until Christmas day when I knew Margie and I would both probably need pain killers, having done too much as usual. I snuck upstairs, got us each a pill and brought them down in our paper cups, just like a nurse. We stood in the kitchen while the preparations swirled around us, time stopped and we screamed with laughter.
We play well together. Harry will play well with his new baby too. I am sure of it, it runs in the family.
coffee time is a little like the chicken and the egg, which came first? i most certainly need that cup of java in the morning and another mid-afternoon, i make the time to brew and enjoy my coffee. i am particular about the cup, i have many and depending on my mood i do actually care which cup i use. most importantly though is the bonus time a coffee break gets me, time that i can talk to kath by email or text, time to read a few lines or visit my on line friends, time to make a list or plan dinner. so what comes first, the coffee or the time?
one of my 2014 goals is to become aware of how i use my time, how do i prioritize, schedule and of course, waste my time. the soeurs have stepped into the world of the day planners, journal du jour if you must. we have a plan that allows us to efficiently use our planners and yet with all the gadgets and skills we have, why is that we still can’t seem to get everything done. i am starting to think that the time management i have learned is a waste of time for me.
my strategy for this week is to keep detailed notes of how i use my time. i realize that i can’t possibly manage my time if i don’t actually know what time i have. i want to identify the important but not urgent. this week i hope to learn the time of day i work best and how to say no.
i have a new focus for 2014, it’s me.
You lose touch with feelings, ideas, friends and even the weather when you step away for a while. Barry and I have lived in Southern Ontario for ten years, we’ve grown soft with our mild winter temperatures and skimpy snow falls. We drove to Ottawa at Christmas, wanting to be amongst the first to toast “Cheers!” to Margie and Andy’s new home.
We left our own home in a surprisingly ferocious snow storm but as we rounded Lake Ontario and drove through Toronto, it cleared and the day turned sunny. A few hours in, it was time for gas and coffee at the same stop we always make, we are creatures of habit for sure. Barry and I hopped out of the car, boots untied, puffy vests, no gloves or hats …. I remember exclaiming ”SH-*!!!!!! – I forget how cold it gets, we are wimps now!” Just two hours into our six hour journey and the drop in temperature was shocking.
As I write, we are experiencing the coldest temperatures we’ve known since our move to Niagara, sucked into the Polar Vortex. We find ourselves once again, this time here at home, marvelling at how easy it is to fall out of touch, forgetting how cold really feels.
My reaction to the clear, cold weather has me thinking how Margie and I fell out of touch with our blog. Like the heavy coats and hats, closeted away and brought out only when we are reminded how cold it is, our thoughts have been tucked into email, texts and phone calls, hidden to just the two of us. Photos have been made but not shared left packed tightly in our cameras. When I picked up the camera to shoot at Christmas, I was surprised to see the last photos were taken in September and before that the download was in May. Long enough to forget how it feels. Our too short visit with each other at Christmas reminded us that we have missed not only each other but our internet friends who visit us here.
We are finally settled back in, cozy and comfy, unpacking our thoughts and photos and as Margie said in the previous post, we wish for company, so we hope you will join us again.
andy and i have moved yet again, this time for the last time. we had a vision of where and how retirement would play out for us and i am happy to say that we have landed exactly where we want to be. it is a townhouse in a neighbourhood we like with enough space to enjoy children and grandchildren and a park for the puppy. the contractor moved out on the 20th of december and we moved in that same day.
on the 24th of december we served dinner to 35 of our family and friends, on the 25th it was a dinner for fourteen and on new year’s eve, six of us celebrated.
still she wished for more company and whoever she may be, she is a lot like me. this weekend the two boys from montreal will come to visit, skateboards and skates in tow.
our new kitchen will come alive again with company.
come any time, i love the company.
this pretty much sums up our blog life these days, g*d forbid we should cross the threshold and post occasionally. the soeurs have been busy! we have relocated, renovated and recuperated collectively and individually but the new year will see us back here with new dialogue and photos.
have a happy holiday everyone.
margie and kath
hands down it is the the classic september grade school, tell us what you did last summer.
i don’t remember ever sitting down in october to write about my summer but this year,
the 2013 october dragged summer out like there was no tomorrow.
she pumped up the temperature,
she sent the sun out for a full days work and for that alone i want to give her the month of the year award.
early mornings were drenched in mist and afternoons soaked in sun.
it was a hard summer,
we sold, we moved into a rental, we are renovating a townhouse
there was a heart attack and a puppy
there were children
lots of visits for the soeurs
not enough summer and then
october, you stepped up
the soeurs had a visit with this sister