What?! I Like Beans. And The Beach. And Even Cats…Mostly

Spending my time at the beach last week had me wondering what it would be like to actually live in a tropical environment.  The warmth.  The sun.  The sand.  The sea air. A chair on the sand watching the waves while sipping a drink. Or five.


But,  I’m not sure I could handle a Christmas without snow or freezing temperatures.  I’m sure I could do without the sleet and freezing rain, but what about Christmas Eve bread?  What about the tradition of doling out homemade bread to ma peeps?  I’m not entirely convinced I would feel compelled to bake in 90 degree heat.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.  And who would I bake for?  Unless all of my neighbours and friends came down to my tropical island at Christmas, there would be no point in baking 16 loaves of bread.

Would it feel the same?  No warm fires or candles or early darkness at 4:30pm.  No hot cocoa or cold noses coming in from shovelling or walking the dog.  No parkas, boots, wet gloves or frozen windshield wipers.  No snow tires, layers of clothes and worrying about slipping on the ice during a run.   Wait…what was the point?

That beach, though.

Sand, sun and warmth.


I think I could manage.  Walking the beach every morning and sipping coffee on my balcony as the sun comes up.  I could sit out in the evenings without swatting flies or shivering from the 110+km/h winds bellowing around me.

As someone says, the grass is always greener, but in this case it literally is.  Greener.

I’ve been back to work one whole day and I haven’t stopped shivering since I walked in the door.  Not that it’s overly cold here, but I just haven’t been able to acclimate back to cooler temperatures.

I think I got used to heat and humidity.

And sand.

And sunshine.

And wearing shorts and tops without worrying about what kind of shoes to shove on my sockless feet.

Yeah, it sounds awesome.  I wonder what it’s like in Key West this time of year.  I could be Hemingway-esque and hove away in a house somewhere, drinking until the wee hours and writing until my computer conks out.  But then, I would just be another alcoholic reclusive writer living with 40 cats and eating beans from a can.



Ernest Hemingway’s humble abode in Key West.  I could live here.  And drink. And take care of the cats…is that a can of beans I hear opening?

Deep Breaths And Wine

The vacation planning and the ongoing struggle to remain a human being whilst juggling the tedious, yet ever-so-important mundane task of breathing is getting exhausting.  
If you just read that SENTENCE and you aren’t fainting from the mere lengthy run-on-edness, then yay for you! You have more stamina than most folks who checked out after ‘the’.  

I know, “vacation planning…Ooooh so sucky to be you right now”, but wait! I’m a let’s-stay-at-home-and-find-something-interesting-to-do-around-here-that-doesn’t-involve-lenghty-lines-and-blistered-feet-and-quotes-of-GAWDIDON’TKNOWWHEREIAMRIGHTNOW!-kinda girl. I love to go away at the beach, etc. but SOME people get so worked up a week before we go, it’s like dancing around a campfire in a drunken stupor knowing at some point you are going to go headfirst into those flames and it ain’t going to be pretty. And nobody wants to see that go down.

Vacation planning sucks. That’s what I’m saying.

It’s all good once the vacay has commenced, but this week is fraught with anxiety and hand wringing and exclamations of “WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE DON’T HAVE THAT BOOKED?!” Gawd, don’t have a cow, it’s not like there are NO HOTELS ANYWHERE IN TORONTO. Or…where are we going, again?  

Yeah, it’s like that.

I should heed advice and not get so upset when SOMEBODY rips my head off because THERE ARE NO GRAPES IN THE HOUSE. WHO KEEPS EATING ALL OF THE GRAPES?! Because, obviously the secret minions of grape-land come in late at night and eat all the friggin’ grapes and it’s really not the grapes that SOMEBODY is upset about, but the getting on the plane and hoping there was nothing forgotten and hope we have enough money for that and let’s not lose the kid this time or fall down and almost break your face, remember that?  

Yeah. Good times.

Truly a hard go at this stage in the game, and with the whole WRITING OF THE EXAM, THE SEQUEL going on, it’s a little testy around these parts.  

I’m basically trying to keep my head on straight and secretly ordering batches of wine to be delivered to my room once we get to the sunny south so I can drink away the voices in my head still screaming DID YOU REMEMBER TO BRING THE PAPERWORK AND YOUR STURDY NO SLIP SHOES?!  




A Family Photo Wouldn’t Be Complete Without A Diva Not Wearing Pants

I finally found the family portrait I’ve been tearing the house apart trying to find.  I knew I had it, I just couldn’t figure out where I put it.  It’s one of those things I always meant to have framed, but due to the condition of the photograph, I was reluctant to do it.  It was once a coloured photo, but it has since faded with age.  It was taken in and around 1969, putting me at around aged 3.  My parents and my brothers and I are all standing on the porch of our house in Wallaceburg, Ontario posing rather nonchalantly at the guy with a camera pointed at us.   I actually remember the day.  My Dad’s friend agreed to take the photo since he had a good camera and some film.  We all rushed outside.  It was windy and even then, I hated the wind.  Luckily, somebody remembered to put shoes and a jacket on me.  Too bad, no one was worried about my obvious lacking of pants.

Blackford family photo 1969

I’d like to think it was my choice to go pants-less, in a sort of  ‘hell-no, I do want I want’ sort of three year old rebellion.  Not, ‘oh, she’s cute in her pigtails and underwear.  It’ll be fine.’    Thanks. 

My mom had on a nice dress and heels.  Her hair was combed and done nicely.   She even wore lipstick.  The boys wore jackets indicating it must have been a chilly day, and I DID have on a jacket.  Who needs leg coverings, am I right?!   My older brother had the misfortune of growing out of those pants at an alarming rate, while Kirk holds a big dice in his hands that I think was a paper weight.  He loved to play with it.  As long as he wasn’t throwing it and using his little sister’s head as a target, I think my parents were happy he was occupied.  Dad had on his signature cardigan sweater and oh yeah, PANTS.

Apparently, being the youngest affords one the opportunity to not trouble about trivial matters such as clothes, or in this case, pants.  I was more concerned the wind would take my breath away,  which is why my hand is over my mouth in a “OH, MY GAWD CAN SOMEONE TELL THE WIND TO PLEASE STOP WITH ALL OF THE BLOWING AROUND!” kind of moment.  It’s not a look of shock at my lack of attire, like one would normally think.  Not “DAMMIT I FORGOT TO WEAR PANTS TO THIS PHOTO SHOOT” kind of thought.  I think my parents were hoping my pink jacket was a tad longer to make it look like a dress, but sorry guys.  It just looks like I’m standing in my underwear shocked and appalled that someone actually took our picture with the little girl with no pants.

At least my red Keds were okay.  And I had that feathery toy that looks like a boa.  Wait…I HAD A BOA AND NO ONE THOUGHT TO PUT IT AROUND ME?!  DAFUQ PEOPLE, WORK WITH ME, HERE.

If I couldn’t have pants, the very least you could have made me look glam and put that feathery pink thing around my neck.   Gawd….