The Warm Winds of September

The warm winds of September were both well-received and confusing. This was July weather, not fall weather, although who’s complaining? Those fall days were sunny and warm, the bees were buzzing and the flowers were caught between blooming and dying off. The leaves were hesitant in changing colour since nature was telling them to remain their lush green. They were caught in a war of wills between seasonal tradition and environmental interference. The plan changed. The climate changed. July was freezing and cold; drizzly and foggy. While the rest of the world was baking in record high temperatures, we were snuggled down in our fleece jammies ramping up the heat and having bonfires to keep warm. Then August happened; August, with its sunny days and thank-the-Lord warmth. The sun shone, the kids ran amok in the street shouting SUMMER IS HERE! SUMMER IS HERE! And so it was. The flowers came out to say ‘hey’ and the grass grew…so did the weeds, but it’s all relative. We could sit out on a patio without shivering or looking for our hotpaws; barbeques were lit, cold beer was drank and we were able to emerge from hibernation, free from parkas, gloves even sweaters and see the light of day; we watched the sun fade at nine in the evening instead of five in the afternoon. We began to feel what the remainder of the world was feeling and we were damned happy about it.

Heat! Loves it.
Ahh, summer. September extended our August summer into fall, bringing warmth and sun and bright days. Our evenings are shorter, our days begin later but the warmth of September was giving us a well-deserved reprieve from our usual instantaneous transition from hot one day to downright cold the next. Thanks, September and the weather gods for giving us a break….Snow will fall soon enough, but until then, I will relish the lazy ease into cooler temperatures.
Now October, don’t go messing it up…take it easy on us. We need it…

fall leaves

Human Ability

The term ‘disability’ is one I just don’t like. It implies the lack of ability. It also seems to be a subject that few people wish to discuss. Few wish to acknowledge its existence in the world. Let’s close our eyes and pretend not to see the kid in the wheelchair or the one who seems to be playing alone and not want attention. Let’s not focus on the one who requires gastrostomy tube feedings or the one who is blind and hearing impaired. Let’s turn around when the child on the Autism Spectrum is screaming because her schedule has abruptly changed, her routine is suddenly incoherent to her, her safety has disappeared and she needs it back. Now.
Let’s just not see that, or hear that or acknowledge that.
How about we pause for a minute and rethink the decision to not acknowledge or focus or see? How about WE become less disabled in our thinking regarding people with challenges and instead, become more aware, more focused and more accepting?
How about we become more human?
That would be nice. To accept people as they are. To be less judgmental, less lazy in our thinking that because someone has a ‘disability’ that he is less in ability? Less capable? Less knowledgeable? Less human? I don’t think so.
Some of the most creative intelligent people who I have had the pleasure of coming into contact with have been diagnosed with some challenge or another. They find new ways to learn, to cope and to adjust and BECAUSE of their challenge, they become more capable and more creative. They think up new ways to adapt to reading a text book, or interpreting a question or maneuvering their way through a complicated building, even braving a new environment alone.
Nobody’s perfect and we all have our constraints and idiosyncrasies. We all have limits to what we can do physically, emotionally and mentally, but when those limits are made the focus of attention and lauded as something that makes one less capable, less knowledgeable or less of a human being, that’s wrong. No one deserves being made to feel less, of anything.
So, let’s change our language and our focus. Let’s change our attitudes and adjust our thinking just a tad. We are all the same. We all function on one distinct and universal level. We are all human. We all deserve respect and to be treated fairly. We all deserve a voice.
The right to be heard, to be seen and to be recognized as a viable and contributing member of the world is what we all want.
Let’s give those who may need a louder voice, that chance too.

I’ve Done Nothing Wrong…Again.

I watched Oprah’s Soul Sunday last night. Big mistake. Some lady named Iyanla (?)was on ( I did Google her and she has written a ton of books, is a lawyer and ‘spiritual leader’ and motivational speaker, a life coach and has her own TV show. I have a dog who hates people. You draw your own conclusions there) and the big question was ‘What do you Know for sure?’

Her answer: I know for sure that God loves me and that I have done nothing wrong.
That statement hit me hard.
I almost threw my glass of wine at the TV.
I’ve done nothing wrong.
How many people can say that they’ve done nothing wrong? Ever. Like, never done ANYTHING wrong. Is that even possible?
Like, you never climbed the tree your mother told you not to and then ripped your pants but instead of coming clean, you lied about it then confessed later in a sob-filled snotty cryfest that made your mom say that God was watching and not to lie anymore and you still had ripped pants only then you felt even worse ‘cause God knew you lied and then your mother knew you lied and you just ended up being a big crybaby lying liarface afraid that God will watch you the next time you climb the tree your mother told you not to and then He would be up there nodding His head and writing your name down on some blacklist that says ‘that lying-red-headed kid is going to be trouble’?
Not that that’s ever happened to me personally, I’m just asking.
Is she saying that in a metaphysical existential way, like I can never do anything wrong because no one can judge me, but God? So, ‘being wrong’ is never an actual state of being because nobody can be wrong, because God is God and only He can judge who is right and who is wrong? So, extending that, if you follow the golden rule and follow what God says is right, you can never be wrong?
That sounds a bit over-confident. Maybe even a tad arrogant.
Arrogance is wrong.
Ergo, you are wrong.
According to God.
And me.
I just confused myself. And used the word ‘ergo’…
I didn’t do anything wrong…this time. I think. My pants are still intact. I didn’t climb any trees lately and then lie about it, so. I’m good…
AND THIS is why I shouldn’t watch Oprah.

That's right!  I'm awesome!

That’s right! I’m awesome! And have never done anything wrong, either!

Fun Times

The month of July felt more like October and the dawning of August remained daunting, at first. Once August fully arrived, however, I was pleasantly surprised by the final arrival of sunshine and warmth. It seemed to bloom and flourish with the fervor of a kid on a new bike. The flowers grew skyward, the birds sang songs of joy, the grass finally turned a dark shade of green and we were able to sit out on our patios and decks with drinks in hand and relish a season we thought had forgotten us. Ahhh….summer. A few precious weeks we knew would be short lived, but we savoured every minute, nonetheless. During those evenings of peace and wine sipping, I made a mental list of things that I had vowed to do this year and managed to accomplish…or not.
Since making my New Year’s resolution (remember that?) to have more fun, I think so far, I’m getting that. I managed to conquer my fear on the shortest but most effective zipline ride evah; I vowed to train for the Tely 10 and managed to train and run the ten mile race despite my weak final kilometer; daughter secured her place in rowing history by making the ‘First Ever’ list in the local Regatta. She is the first and only female to cox a men’s team to a championship Triple Crown. That was hardly my accomplishment; however, it was fun to watch and exciting to lay witness to a local historical moment. I got some house stuff completed like staining decks, painting the main floor of the house and planting a new flowerbed in the backyard. I read a few books, and have entered a new foray of fitness by joining a local early morning bootcamp. The Bootcamp was more for getting out and doing something out of my comfort zone than it was for the actual exercise.

Oh sure, who doesn’t enjoy getting her ass kicked three times a week? My point by joining the group was to experience something different and new with different people. Getting out there and enjoying something that may be challenging and fun at the same time. Being brave enough to venture into unknown territory and come out still standing.
Who knows what I’ll do next? That’s the joy and ‘fun’ in doing something outside of your own line of sight. There is always something moving and shaking in your peripheral. See it, grab it and do it if you dare. It may be something you love or hate, but you won’t know until you at least try.
Speaking of fun…. I decided to buy a bag of those Dairy Milk chocolate buttons. They’re chocolate AND they’re buttons…how fun is that?! They basically fool you into thinking you’re only eating delicate little buttons of chocolate instead of a huge bar. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…. It works out to the same thing, but I like the delusion, okay?
Anyway, when I opened the package, THERE WERE NO BUTTONS!   WTF Dairy Milk?!    It was one large solid hunk where all the little buttons had melted together and then cooled into one solid mass. Ugh. I was so looking forward to little buttons…. Not deterred, I sauntered on down to ma basement and took out the biggest hammer I could find, and hammered it to bits. Take THAT Dairy Milk! They are no longer buttons nor a solid mass, but little itty bits. I’m not sure that’s better….maybe I’ll melt them again….

iphone 2015 538
Fun times.

I Remain Aloof and Ambivilant With a Side of Fog-Induced Misery. Good. Times.

The current weather conditions have prompted Hubby to exclaim his dedication to moving, so he has taken to looking up prospective real estate on the mainland. This has included my hometown, where I have to say “No, that’s not Chatham. That’s actually in Tilbury” to which he shakes his head and says “So?” Yes. Exactly. So? So why are you even looking over there? So, there’s no real viable based-in-reality prospect of us moving to Southwestern Ontario within the next 4 years, but he loves to toy with the idea just to see my reaction. I remain ambivalent and aloof, until the next day which has me looking up real estate in ACTUAL Chatham, not the near-miss towns, and then I get all sentimental and ‘what if’ and then I snap out of it when the IB book list looms over my head reminding me my teenaged son has yet to graduate highschool. And drive. And get a first part-time job with actual customers yelling at him because he messed up their beloved double-double. To relocate the junior would be detrimental to my sanity…and his.
Life marches on and the weather we are experiencing plays a major part in mood and enjoyment of life. The entire month of July has been one big kick in the ass, day-after-day of rain, drizzle, fog and near freezing temperatures. After a while it has one dreaming of beachy vacations amid sand, sun and surf, and possibly even selling it all and moving to an uninhabitable tropical island to become beachcombers and vagrants…is that even possible? Can one still be a rugged beachcomber living off the sand, building a straw hut and eating coconuts and bananas all day as the warm sun sinks into her skin? Ahhh….I think I want to try that.
People are starting to wonder if the sun will ever shine again in our skies. Flowers are not blooming, the barbeque remains unlit and the deck hasn’t seen occupants the entire month. We are now thinking fall will just come swiftly, leaving summer a distant imaginary friend waving at us from our driveway as father backs over her with his car. Poor Summer. She never had a chance with Dad at the wheel.
As the rest of the civilized world bakes in a heat wave, we shiver and huddle in our masses and homes, fires lit in the fire place, blankets abound and the umbrellas and nanny bonnets at the ready. (Nanny bonnet= rain bonnet old ladies wear to protect their permanents. These are Dollar store finds that the senior women use on windy, rainy days, currently in abundance these days. I threatened to don one yesterday as I headed out into torrential rain and 60km hour winds)
You may laugh at our inconsequential whining of ‘no summer weather’ however, we only get two months of summer-like temperatures to begin with. Now take away an entire month, and we are left hoping and desperately pleading with the weather gods to make August a more warmer and sunnier reprieve from the onslaught of winter. We know, we choose to live here, and most of us will not trade places with mainlanders, our island being our homeland as we remain stoically patriotic, however, that tends to wain as the days of rain, drizzle, fog wear on and our spirits begin to drag. A day in the sunshine is all we ask.
I hope with a new month beginning tomorrow, Summer will make an appearance in my driveway. I’ll remind the drivers to watch where they’re going so she can safely wave and maybe even stay for supper.    I’ll turn on the barbeque….who wants a hamburger?

Look!  There it is!  Ahhh...warm....

Look! There it is! Ahhh…warm….

Since Summer Has Evaded Us, The Least We Could Do is Drink…Or Something Like That

Epilogue to this post

I live in Newfoundland and Labrador.  We are now experiencing a summer to go down in the history books…THE COLDEST SUMMER IN THE HISTORY OF EVER!!  Apparently, NL doesn’t give a shit about El Ninio or Global Warming. While the rest of North America is wallowing in ‘heat waves’, we sit with our woolies on contemplating using the kids bunk beds for firewood.   Apparently,  NL only cares for pissing off peeps desperate for some sun and temps warm enough that the furnace doesn’t click on and hope we have enough propane to last until fall arrives…next week.   Ugh. We have had only one day above 20C so far….

I have a lovely group of friends who tolerate my inane sense of humour and my ever-incessant need to email them on a nearly weekly basis about the happenings of the ‘hood or mainly, my life.  They seem to wander on over to my blog every now and then, but I email them out of a sense of desperate attention seeking behaviour and all the applause I routinely receive following an epic monolgue about kids and house paint.  Here is an email I wrote yesterday that they actually read.  I know because they told me.  Now I’m letting you in on the email.   Enjoy….

What up Ma Homies? (Yes, I often address them as ‘Ma Homies’.  They like tolerate it. See?  THEY ARE WONDERFUL)

I hope this fall- like weather has you in the mood to spend some quality time in front of a roaring fire and burn down the nearest weather station.  Or, like me at 6am this morning, ready to throw a brick through the television set as the anchor woman declared “it’s so hot in the Boston area right now, it’s going to get to mid to high 90’s, you should all head to the beach to cool down….” I think I heard the words ‘fuck off’ in there somewhere, and I then went a bit delirious and started talking in tongues.  I was looking for sharp objects when I thought I should get ready for work….

Right up there with the crappy weather is the onslaught of home redecorating that’s going on at our house.  Or, as I call it “The Great Paint Off”.  I’m realizing that as I paint one room, the room next to it looks awful, so I have to paint that one and so on.  There was a debate going on about colours ( I wasn’t sure about the Nimbus Gray which is actually blue, but is called grey to piss everybody off,  and question their Kindergarten education) On advice from the “paint experts” who claimed the paint darkens as it dries, I literally sat down and watched paint dry for almost an hour to see if I could notice the colour change.  Sad but true.  And it did change a little bit, but to actually admit I sat and watched paint dry, is tragic in and of itself.  AND, just to prove that I am a glutton for all out punishment, I decided to paint my backsplash in my kitchen.  OH MY GOD WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WAS I THINKING??!!  This is where I should have a logical angel sitting on my shoulder whispering to me “ Now, Kayjai you know that’s going to be a lot of work and you will be painting and stenciling until wee hours or until you at least you go crosseyed because you know how anal you get about paint lines and colour coordination…” but no. Instead, I listened to all of the paint peeps on the internet and the glossy home reno mags that stated “Stenciling is fun, easy and inexpensive.  Can be done in an afternoon”  I GOT ONE SQUARE DONE IN AN AFTERNOON!  And, ‘fun’?  That seriously depends on your definition of ‘fun’.    Mine involves beach, sun and alcohol.  Obviously, you are limited in your fun adventures, internet-painting-peeps and glossy-magazine-editors.  Get a life.

 So, in the absence of intelligence I started…and now I can’t stop.  Two  Three days and massive hours later I have all of ONE wall done.  ONE.  That’s it. The only reason I had to shut it down temporarily is that I have a job where I have to leave the house and be available…but I really want to go home and finish the damned stenciling to then see if I like it, wherein, if I don’t, I HAVE THE OPTION TO PAINT OVER IT.  I think I’ll get a bit cranky and stabby if I decide to paint over three plus days’ worth of back breaking stenciling and listening to the remarks of “Ugh, aren’t you done that yet? Mom, I think that square is crooked”  OR, my favourite yet, “Mom, not to be critical or anything, but how are you going to finish the bottom half?  You know that that part there is kinda off from the rest right?”  STABBY.

Oh, and just to top it all off, my training for the Tely sucks, by the way.  Yeah.  I ran almost 14k yesterday and I got a sore foot and more freckles…from the clouds.  Apparently clouds gives me more freckles.  Yay me.  I’m too old for this shit.

So, hope you are all having a stenciling-free week where you can sit back, crank up the heat and drink yourselves into oblivion…Since summer has evaded us, the least we could do is get drunk enough to appreciate bad weather and poor judgement.

My love to all and if you see stencils blowing around outside, just ignore that…I plan on stenciling the sidewalk with this phrase “Fuck summer.  I choose wine.”


The stenciling project from hell...

The stenciling project from hell…

That Day Where Hiding is Better With Wine…Yeah, That Day

I had a hard time with my run today. My legs felt like they were filled with cement and I just didn’t have my heart in it. I was too quick to give up and no matter how hard I started, I ended up flailing and fumbling. I finished it, but it was sucky at best. Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow morning and I will have a better go at it.
The rain is coming down and I’m feeling tired and cranky. I don’t want to do anything but curl up under the covers and watch bad movies. Maybe the dog will settle down enough to do that with me…wine would be good too. Yeah…some wine.
I have a bunch of projects ahead of me that need tending to, and daughters who need attention (even adult daughters seem to need me) and a son who is flying through exams and a Hubby who is busy at work…I’m feeling in over my head…did someone say wine?
I have holes in my stockings, my head hurts and I STILL can’t finish this god forsaken book that drowns everybody in its path with depression and rain soaked misery. Anybody want to borrow it? Ugh…
It’s obvious; I’ve lost my enthusiastic verve for anything resembling flowers and sunshine today, so I’ll just give you this:

Pretty much sums up today

Pretty much sums up today

I hope your day is going better than mine…