01 December 2014

beginnings & endings

Another weekend over ... and suddenly! it's December! The snow has come & gone (a few times). Yesterday was so warm I went out for a chai latte & brownie in a cardigan & scarf. Sans jacket! Ah, it was great. I have no idea where this past year has gone. It feels like the year has seriously flown by. It feels faster every time I get to this time in the calendar. Now it's time to start thinking on my one word for next year. Also, it's the time of year where I step back, look over the past year & see how far I've come. Oh Monday. Let's see what you've got hidden up your sleeve today. I would like it to be something sparkly, happy & pretty.

I spent a good portion of time on Saturday working on my Secret Santa gift for the office. I hope it's well received! I usually make jewellery for Secret Santa, but I didn't feel like doing that this year. I *may* pop in a pair of earrings inside the gift itself ... maybe. It's definitely a departure from my usual!

I couldn't get to the laundry this weekend due to a sheer lack of interest in doing it coupled with other people doing their laundry when I started thinking about doing mine. Oh well. Here's to putting together a wacky outfit for Monday!

18 November 2014


november 14, 2014
You should have seen my face the moment I pulled my curtains open on the 14th. There may have been a swear word or two. I had no idea that snow was even a possibility. I still have sandals under my desk at work. These grey days sap my energy, make me want to put on sweaters & two blankets & dive into a bucket of hot chocolate. Also, winter seems to have arrive a month early. I missed the slow descent into the cold, the morning full of liquid golden light & frost delicately layered over grass & windows. The seasons seems to have skipped that part entirely. Since this was the first snowfall, everybody in town seemed to forget how to drive in it. I was almost hit by a Mercedes who didn't look around the parked cars on the street before turning out almost directly into my path. The frustrating thing was that I was less than half a block to my parking lot for work. Luckily I didn't get hit, but it was a close call. My ABS brakes were doing their thing, but I was still sliding on the ice/snow that day. This morning, a Mercedes was behind me on the crawl to work & the driver had the nerve to flash their lights at me. Not sure what that was about. I couldn't go any faster since the traffic in front of me was crazy slow. That kind of rushing & being a jerk is what causes accidents. 

november 18, 2014
This morning as I looked out at a pale pink dawn to more snow & wind. So VERY windy. I could hear it whipping around the building all night. With the wind chill, it felt like -18C today apparently. That is ridiculously cold for this time of year. I broke out my North Face jacket this morning. This is a serious jacket that usually doesn't come out until the end of December, early part of January. The four block walk from the parking lot to the office was very cold. So, cold, that my thighs felt like they were burning.

I'm still in a bit of shock that it is winter already. I'm simply not quite emotionally prepared for it to have arrived yet!

08 November 2014

filling the void

My pewter keychain broke earlier this week. I thought I had simply dropped my set of keys for a split second. I was still in the fog of this cold. However, the hollow bonk! as the metal bounced off the bench, then hit the floor told me that the metal had actually worn through. Also, I realized I was still holding the actual keys in my hand. I was strangely upset when I realized the pewter keychain was no more.

a reservoir of grief. 

I've been carrying this pewter keychain since 1996. Every day. I bought it when I knew I was going to be leaving St. Catharines due to a horrible roommate situation, a distinct lack of a job & a limping return home. I hadn't told anyone else yet that I was going to leave. I just knew I couldn't stay. This keychain was a goodbye of sorts. 

Even though I loved this keychain, it was a huge reservoir of grief, longing & sadness. I didn't realize that at all until I started reminiscing on buying this keychain & the circumstances surrounding its purchase. Something so small & seemingly insignificant carried so much emotional baggage. It's mind blowing. One of my first thoughts after realizing the keychain was broken was a need to replace it with something new. If there is a sudden void, rush to fill it. 

I suppose it's a sign to lay down the grief, longing & sadness in my life.  I don't need to carry it around with me anymore. I was a bit bewildered by feeling upset that the keychain broke. Now it becomes clear ... it's time to let go of the past & move on. To let go of it all. With a lighter heart into joy. 

01 November 2014

the veil

I finally got my curtains hung up after a week of just leaving them. The sheers kept falling down & I was beyond frustrated. Since I look out over the parking lot & an adjacent apartment building, I desperately need curtains for privacy. I was surfing around Apartment Therapy & came across a post about using bedsheets, eye hooks & picture wire to section off living areas as needed when the sun was too intense. So, I rooted around my stash of stuff. Eye hooks screwed into the casing & a few lengths of picture wire looped over the ends of the rods. Super easy. I can't believe I hadn't thought of it before. Take that stupid, awful, gross concrete walls. 

That blue sky through the window didn't last for long today. I saw a wee amount of snow dusted on the cars & grass & balcony. Shocking. Then, it grew overcast & started to snow again! I decided it was probably a good idea to consider turning on the heat. I'm starting to crave another hot drink. I popped out to Starbucks tonight & on the way back into the car, the wind cut right through me. Absolutely freezing. It always freaks me out a little when it's windy. It makes me feel unsettled.  At this time of year, it makes me wonder if the wind isn't really the veil being jostled around. 

26 October 2014

fallen leaves & woodsmoke

The kettle is about to boil. I am making a ginormous mug of hot chocolate that I plan on diving into. I feel a bit sleepy & lazy this afternoon. My feet are cold. This week of holidays draws to a close. Laundry is mercifully done. The dry stuff is put away & the hang up stuff is hung up to dry. It is a windy & chilly day again. 

the sky has fallen into the creek
The neighbours put a big Canadian flag on their balcony & when the wind catches it, the sound is makes is almost like someone running hard or rain falling. I thought for sure it was pouring this morning as I lay tangled up in my blankets. When I got up & looked out, I was really confused that the ground wasn't wet. I haven't had time to grow accustomed to the sounds the flag makes so it freaks me out a little. Every time the wind blows, more leaves blow off the trees. I love seeing them swirl through the air. My balcony has collected a few leaves.

the bittersweet nostalgia of old places
This is my favourite kind of street ... full of old houses, big trees, weather beaten sidewalks. Aged. There has been a few lives lived on this street. Each house looks different from its neighbour which gives the neighbourhood such character, unlike the mass produced modern houses. As I walked down this street, I was rapt, looking around at all the houses, the small architectural details, noticing everything. Then I realized a lady was sitting on her porch totally staring at me. It was a bit awkward. I may have  been mumbling to myself under my breath at how gorgeous everything looked. 
I've noticed lately I am starting to prefer everything I surround myself with has been worn in with a patina of age. 
I did splurge a little on 'new' stuff. Found a replacement fabric laundry hamper marked down to $4.49 & picked up 2 pillar candles at Target earlier this week. Why do plastic laundry baskets always rip & get destroyed so easily? I don't understand why that always happens to my baskets. When I lit one of the pillar candles, it made me feel so peaceful. There is something about candlelight on an Autumn night that just makes my heart trip. 

I had to reinstall Ubuntu on my laptop. It was giving me a broken pipe error on boot & I was just too frustrated to try to keep playing detective on the problem. It was also taking way too long to boot up, probably due to the broken pipe! Stupid computers. Now it boots up super fast & that makes me happy. Got rid of a lot of cruft I didn't need in the process. I saved everything important on a couple of DVD's so I can always access the stuff I didn't put back on my laptop when I want/need to. Of course I put back most of my documents & photos. I even organized my photos! Mostly. Now it feels like it's time to put on the glasses & dive back into my book.

15 October 2014

let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. it will not lead you astray. - rumi

I have midweek brain fog settling in pretty deep. On the weekend, I finally got all my laundry done! I had a bit of a backlog because the washer broke down, repairs took about a week & then everyone else in the building seemed to go crazy doing their laundry! I just wasn't interested to cart everything to the laundromat & back. So towels & sheets & tea towels built up until there was a mini-mountain of work to be done. It felt really good to have that clutter dealt with. Lately, I've been noticing that clutter has really begun to bother me. No idea why, but it makes me feel a bit frazzled & tense. 

The sunrise on Tuesday just about knocked me out. I almost felt like I was bathed in colour as I stood barefoot on my balcony. (In October to be barefoot in the morning! absolute craziness) It was akin to being underwater & feeling the hush of being underwater. That precise crystalline shimmer of water & sunlight as you look up to the surface. Fleeting, beautiful & haunting all at the same time.  

On Saturday, I sewed a new lining for my overly floppy bag from an old dress. It's still fairly floppy because I didn't use interfacing, but whatever. There should be some floppiness to this bag because it's got that bohemian vibe. I feel pretty proud of myself for putting slips pockets in that are deep enough to hold my cell phone & creating an opening so I can still use the zippered pocket on the original lining. Heck yeah. 

Played with gouache & pretty much love it. I bought a super cheap starter set to see if I liked working with gouache. It dries super fast, so I am glad I started off cheap. I haven't compared to a higher end brand, but I'm pretty happy just playing & experimenting. Getting back into drawing is getting those neurons in my brain firing again. I feel a bit awkward as I start to draw but it's also amazing to stretch into those spaces again. 

Remains of the apple crisp I made for myself the other week. It was so good I may have made unbecoming moaning noises while eating it. Next time I make it I need to add more oats, a bit less sugar & cut the apples a bit chunkier. Oh yes.  

28 September 2014

sacred space

"Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower grow.
There cannot be a lotus flower without the mud." Thich Nhat Hanh

I have been feeling really fatigued lately. Downright exhausted. Not exactly physically, although with the fatigue I've been dropping off to sleep much earlier at night. The fatigue & exhaustion I've been feeling was more like a drain of energy, or spirit, some indefinable quality that just wasn't getting replenished each day. This did make me feel physically tired. Tonight, I felt my reserves begin to fill up.
Shadows & Light. 
I've realized that I've been taking on other people's emotions. Completely unconsciously. I just intuit what is going on around me & adapt to it. I went out last night to grab a sub because I was starving. I flicked through the radio stations & just left it on some dance music. It was way too stimulating, but at the same time I liked it. There were teenagers about, strolling through the parking lot, looking for entertainment, danger, an excuse to be out & about. They were pumped full of energy, primal as a jungle cat stalking its prey. The energy of a Saturday night was actually overwhelming to me. Thank heavens the sub shop was deserted!

I didn't invoke shining clouds of white light or clutch a crystal to my bosom to create a protective cloak for myself. I cleared out the random flotsam of clutter that was piled on the floor beside my desk & it seems like this small action released something inside of me. A knot I didn't know was twisted inside. Internal feng shui? I don't know, but my place felt different this morning.

the sacred space of the kitchen table.

Also, I made a proper meal from scratch & ate it in silence,  no tv, no music, just savouring each bite, the clink of fork & knife on my plate, the cool, clear water I drank. Oh, and I took a nap this afternoon too. I deserved one since I did not sleep in on Saturday or Sunday. Waking up without an alarm at 6:47 am on a Sunday morning is just terrible. I'm pretty sure it's against the law.