Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Namasgeo"

From 39,000 feet I greet you with "Namasgeo"... The geography geek in me honours the geography geek in you ... If you have no inner geography geek this post will likely not excite you.  But as for me and my inner geography geek... We had a blast at 39,000 feet looking down on topography that I used to find so hard to decipher in Geography 300 at university.  Here are some of the gems from the 500 hundred shots I took above the earth between Vancouver BC and Edmonton AB.  















Monday, May 18, 2015

PDX-ness

I once described Portland like THIS

Having just come back from my 5th or 6th trip to this fine City I can honestly say
it is a City that at once defies a specific description due to its widely diverse neighbourhoods and yet very much projects a specific personality....urban, well-heeled hipster.....or something.

I had the pleasure of showing EV some of my favourite haunts.... river walk, Portland Saturday Market, Powells, Pioneer Square, The Rose Garden and the food cart scene which, for the first time, was very disappointing.











Together we ventured to the Alberta Arts District for an American breakfast of Biscuits and Fried Chicken and sausage gravy which we are determined to perfect the art of at home...because...sausage gravy is the bomb. We wandered in and out of trendy boutiques while the natives queued outside the hot brunch spot on every block in their plaid shirts, rolled up jeans and bushy beards which never ceased to cause us equal amounts of amazement and amusement (we started calculating the  percentage of bushy beards in every store or restaurant we went in to.....never less than 75% btw).









We happened upon an art walk in the greeny elevated air of Mount Tabor and loved the craftsman houses as much as the art in them after we walked through their truly stunning gardens (including curbside veggie gardens of course).



We had a wonderful hour in the sun on a patio at a HopHouse...snacking and drinking beer.  


We had two memorable meals - one a fine dining experience in the NW at Paleys Place and one in a tent on a deck off a busy road but with amazing Thai wings at the  inimitable Pok Pok Noi.  (We will not speak of the traffic-induced brain fart that caused us to eat a burger and salt coated fries at Applebees on our endless drive to PDX..(we apologise for our culinary transgression but cannot promise it will never happen again because, as it turns out,  we are allergic to traffic....it makes us do weird things).

 

We loved our little attic suite in a craftsman house in the Hollywood District and I can now unreservedly score one for AirBnB.

Two days in PDX felt like longer thanks to the time warp of weirdness and hipsterness and leafy green perfection.

We gave up hiking in the Gorge today to avoid triggering our second serious allergy..... borderitis....and were rewarded for our sacrifice with a 15 minute crossing...with wine.

EV - you are a travelling partner extraordinaire.....this is the start of something good my friend....Oh the places we'll go!  Thank you, thank you!

Portland - keep it weird - we'll be back!

PS ...I ate a grilled duck heart... I didn't like it but I did it! Thank God for beer to swish it down.



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Standing on shoulders


I am such a blessed Mom today.  

My children's cards, generous and thoughtful gifts and sincere attention brought big tears to my eyes this morning.  Not to mention all the things their Dad showered on me too!

And a deep joy and feeling that for all the many many days I have failed miserably at this job I never interviewed for or was vaguely qualified to do.....that together with my husband Allan, my parents David and Lesley and a vast village of friends, teachers, health professionals, coaches, neighbours, church, fellow citizens we have done something right.


And this is my abiding thought today..... 

This mothering thing cannot be done alone.  

I am here today, a little over 18 years into this journey, with two children who are still alive and thriving because I stand on the shoulders of those who mothered before me (especially my Mom), holding the hands of those who parent ahead and alongside and behind me and those who are not parents but love my children and I, sending prayers daily for grace and energy and wisdom and patience and joy for me, for us all.

You are my team and I am deeply, deeply grateful. 

Lindsay and David - you make me so proud.  You are such wonderful, smart, loving, caring, sassy, funny, gorgeous creatures.  I couldn't love you more or be more grateful that I have you to mother. Thank you for forgiving my short comings and loving me so well. 

Allan - we're in this together buddy, always.  And I am so lucky to co-parent with you.

xoxoxoxo


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sufficient

If you hear a strange noise tomorrow it will be me.... "singing" TGIF at the top of my lungs.

And meaning it.  

Every.single.word.

It's been a BIT of a week.  

Drama, unnecessary, uncalled for and unjust.  

A week of struggling for the moral high ground, trying to keep perspective and trying to walk through some muck with those nearest and dearest to me.  

It will all be alright in the end but this week......just crappy.

Except for this.

It is always in these sorts of clarifying moments that you get to know who your true friends are.   

I have been blessed by love and support and flowers and hugs and hand holding and the tears of some truly great people who I am beyond grateful to have in my life.

I didn't need THIS to know I have great family and friends and colleagues but it sure is a HUGE blessing to see your army emerge when you need it!  


As I was wearily coming home today this magnificent rhododendron, in almost full bloom now, greeted me.  

It took me right back to the day, over a decade ago now, when we stood on the sidewalk, took a deep breath and made an offer on this house.  

The rhodie was flowering that day.  

And so here I am noticing and being ever so grateful for our home, the gift that it was and is to us and to others, and feeling somehow grounded by the fact that through all the ups and downs that life delivers to us that the world keeps on turning and flowers keep on blooming and we are given Grace that is sufficient for the day...THIS day.

Night.

Monday, May 4, 2015

My daughter - The Spy

So Lindsay I hear that your death may be imminent?  Please tell me this is not true!

It's possible but not probable......Mom.

What is the "game" you are going to die in called?

Spy vs Spy 2015

So you are a spy?

Yes.  I work for the academy.

Is that like ISIS?

We only use water guns.  
And we only target teenagers. 
Specifically willing Grade 12 participants.  
Who signed the waiver and paid to play.

Oh good....so are you a target?

Yes - I am a spy AND a target. This is how women will succeed at this - we can multitask!

I see - How do you know who your target is?

I have been given a dog tag with my targets name on it.  And someone else in the Academy has a dog tag with my name on it.

What does this mean.....?

I have 2 weeks to find and kill my target which involves stalking them to find a suitable time and place (there are rules about this) to hit them with water while being undetected.  Once hit/killed they have to surrender their target to me....and they get their own dog tag back which means they are done/dead/out of the game and I move to the next target. 

And someone is trying to do this to you?

Yes.  And I am slightly paranoid.  

How can you avoid certain death?

Trust no one.  
Be the best.  
Don't leave the house!

Ok but really - are there people stalking the house?

Probably. Where are the binoculars anyway?

How can we shield you my darling?

LOL....good luck Mom.  It's a blood bath out there....be alert!

Can you be killed while killing?

It's complicated Mom but technically yes....I can't say anymore or the Academy will come after me.

Can the Academy kill you?

No Mom - they made the game - game makers don't play. 

This is a game.  You hate games....why are you playing this one?

I don't hate games.  I just hate losing.....games.  So I am not going to!    

Great - that makes me feel so much better - instead of dying you will be a killing machine?

You better believe it - this is the daughter you raised!  It's only 75 targets to kill.

And your code name is?

Bambi.....because who would kill Bambi?  Right?

Right..... excuse me while I speed dial a security company to stand guard at the house and escort you to school for the next 6 weeks.

Awesome!  I love you Mom.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

On Assignment

David had a photo assignment to do..... shoot the "found" alphabet..... so.... find a naturally occurring "X" or "O" in the landscape.

He decided he wanted to do this somewhat thematically and decided to shoot them all at Granville Island.

I was a very willing assistant!

We headed out at 7:30am today under cloudy skies and we very quickly found 2/3 of the letters.

Then we had breakfast.

And then we battled through the final 1/3 because finding shapes that resemble "B", "Q" and "G" are very hard to find! 

But we did it!  

I was the official list checker-offer and he took photos.

Except I snuck out my own camera a few times.....

















We had lots of fun together.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

ARGH to AHHH

There have been no end of frustrations in this day.

1.  To the person driving erratically in front of me, all over the road, and then who finally blew the red light almost killing someone.....you are lucky I only got the first three numbers of your license.

2,  To the wait listed parent who, having been offered at least two spaces she declined, saw fit to take off on me, level ridiculous accusations and demand her $25 back after 5 years..... the children are happy to give it back to you lady and I am happy you declined our offers.

3. To the flappy chicken lady who haunts me at Jazz.....I am sorry you have a hearing problem and seem unable to take any direction at all  and fling your weights around like an octopus on speed....I also think rhythmic gymnastics might be more your "thing"....Let me get you their number,

4.  To all Richmond Drivers......for the love of God use your signals.....a simple click of the lever and we won't all have to guess which direction you might be wishing to turn.

5.  Starbucks - we have had this talk...... why, when I have my own cup....which I give to you, do you make my coffee in a paper cup and pour that into my cup??? The earth, waste, global warming, yadda yadda. ...seriously?

6.  I had to write this email today. I am sure you will find it amusing.  I assure you I was not amused.



I think I have made my point and I am sure you agree that the glass of wine I am currently consuming is wholly justified.

But as I simmered away in my head today, as the steam threatened to come out of my ears FOR REAL...... I decided to employ the growing philosophy of gratitude as the antidote to all things.

Well almost all things..... there is no help for the flappy chicken.

So I made a list in my head (while trying to not look at flappy chicken lady) of things that I was grateful for today:

1.  I did not die in a fiery car wreck.
2.  I got an uncharacteristic hug from someone I care about - it was lovely
3.  It was baking day and I got warm baking delivered to my closet desk.....twice......
4.  The above email made a couple people laugh...hard.
5.   I took the moral highroad instead of being pissy. #maturityforthewin
6.   I managed to connect with all my peeps even on a day of crazy schedules
7.  Tomorrow is Friday

Aaaaand.....perspective regained.

Night!