December 12, 2011

xmas preparedness : epic fail

Miss Always Organized Early has not delivered a xmas card not wrapped a present, trimmed a tree nor hung a single ornament, baked a cookie or ut up the mistletoe.

And she will not be dragging the misc boxes etc up the stairs to be dragged back down in less than a fortnight, nor spending 4 very good days doing the setup/takedown.

I think this year is my hald century vacation from the pomp of Santa season.

May your joy outshine mine!


December 08, 2011

oh my, i missed November

and santa day is only 17 days away.

Swoooosh! and it was gone.

The trip home was grand. Questions answered, comlpications uncomplicated, and was gifted with a bubbling gurgling little pool of glee by a tall drink of water.

happy santa season all y'all

November 09, 2011

last will & testament

Done, not notarized, but everyone has a copy , executors have agreed and everyone knows my intentions. Last bit of paperwork to do before I leave. I really do need to get a notarized version completed. I'm listening PJ.

Just picked up the last litle tidbits for the trip and making a list of things left to do. Update the work website, pedicure/manicure, 1 load of laundry, water the plants, maybe streak my hair, figure out haberdashery for CDN and Intl legs of flight, pickup bread ham & mustard to make my airplane sandwiches (so much better than theirs.

And I have my nonspill cup from the Growleys for my Timmy's on the plane - YEAH! and THANK YOU.

29 hours. Take a big breath and smell that? That's the essence of happyness.

November 08, 2011

2 sleeps and a nap

It's amazing what anticipation can do for the soul ;D

Almost caught up on everything.

Good to go.

See all y'all in a coupla weeks

September 27, 2011

one month

and I will be 50 years old.


Good for me, and I will enjoy all the rest of the years I'm given.

I will not let experiences that touch my heart diminish me.

I will not waste the gift that is my life in the refusal to take risks.

I will risk my heart on love in all its forms, it is self healing.

September 19, 2011

ms negativity

that would be me.

work sucks
home sucks worse than work
some of my erstwhile friends are really fucked
way too much drama for this woman
the weather is wet and cold and not in a nice way like a puppy nose.
the damn rads are too noisy
my knees hurt
my ankles are bitchin'
and my heart is an empty freakin void.
my brain is in slomo
my memory is in hiding
and I have so many things I'm supposed to be doing that I can't figure out where to start.

tired. so freaking tired.

September 05, 2011

adulthood sucks

What I really want to do is throw it all in a box and sell it off and run away home to where my heart has decided to stay.

What I have decided to do is to be a grown up, rationally think things through, make the plans, take the time to complete all of the details and hang in there till I can leave with Ts crossed and Is dotted.

Making sure that I am conservative in my risks, that those I leave behind have the least worry over MY future, and know that there will be some principal left for them when I am done and gone.

I thrash in the traces of my own making, tearing at the bit of "get this done first", and trying fruitlessly to buck off the saddle of "be financially responsible". My heart chastises me hourly because I refuse to chase down its missing pieces immediately and brings me often to the brink of tears at random and usually incongruous moments.

Yet here I plod, one step at a time, going through the motions so that when I do finally get to follow my heart it will be a successful venture with out the angst and difficulty there would be if I simply threw it all to the wind and left tomorrow.

No wonder I have days and nights where I cannot sleep, and when exhaustion finally pushes me to the limit I crash and burn.

The only surcease the conversations crackling with transatlantic interference, the joint plans and the continual affirmation that we do what we have to to get what we need and we simply have to keep holding on and move forward until we get there.

And all I want to do right now is throw a big hairy hissy fit. But really, what would be the point?

September 02, 2011


pants. stupid pants. ankle smothering knee covering too much material summer is gone pants.


August 22, 2011


I have changed my mind (surprise) and will keep my blog here for personal posts and I am sure the occasional rant, but I have created my own site, domain etc to follow the paths taken for the future move or for anyone else who wants to visit/move learn about Jamaica see you there.

August 13, 2011


Having been a huge risk taker in the early part of my life and then trying to settle to be the mom and look after my kids, with some success and the occasional breakout moments of chaos, I find myself less than three months away from the big 5.0 and pondering what I have done with my life.

The incorrigible child, the sneaky cheeky preteen, the juvenile delinquent with itchy feet, the wife x 2, the mom, the artist, the ex x 2, the student, the teacher, the geek, the explorer and the writer have all culminated to this point. And I find myself once again anticipating risk. The inevitable circle?

At this point in our lives we (some of us) start to really look at what we're going to do for the rest of our lives. I always thought I would work till 65 and then hopefully be healthy and well off enough to do some traveling. Now, I have the opportunity, if the universes work with me and Murphy takes a vacay, to retire EARLY and live somewhere that feels HOME with every breath. It's risky. Some of my friends think I've lost what little of my grey matter I have left, but honestly it just feels right.

I've taken a multitude of risks intuiting that they were likely to fail, expectations of others and all that, but taken them anyway because the payoff would have been grand.

This time my intuition is just saying go Go GO!

Okay mom. I'm all in.

August 12, 2011

back in Canada

shout it from the rooftops. I love a man and he loves me. and to all those negative motherfuckers who are worried that I've lost my fat old ass mind. kiss it baby.

August 03, 2011

jamaica in summer

Last Wednesday was the longest day in history.
Thursday was oh so much better ... once I was on the plane to MoBay. The flight was totally packed with so many people and pieces of carry on that the steward had to ask everyone to shift some of it under the seats in order to get the big pieces in the overhead bins. Elders, families, babies and children, college kids, rockstars, and the occasional Caucasian all headed to the island. I cannot count the times I was asked “Why are you going to Jamaica?” I simply answered I needed to go home. The furrowed brows and quizzical looks only slightly outnumbered the “Oh, you have a black man there” comments. “I’m looking for a little house to buy so I can move next year”, seemed to take most of them by surprise ;) Culture is a beautiful thing.
Immigration: by the hundred little gods. 28 immigration officers on duty, 3 rat maze lines with 10 snaky bends apiece, each bend holding 30-40 people shuffling along in the nonexistent air conditioning, I’m sure I saw a couple of people go down while working their way through the maze. Not to mention the mash up of other sardines still arriving and backed all the way up the arrival ramps to the top and around the corner at four abreast. The grumbling twenty somethings and fractious children with harried parents all straining for movement forward, hats, tickets and pieces of anything employed as fans.
Me, I was simply joyous to be home. Sweatrag in hand and Chinese fan stashed in my bag I breathed in the humidity and sweet green air (though somewhat polluted by the gent two people in front of me) and waited for my turn. It just didn’t really matter because I knew at the end of it was a lovely ocean drive through masses of humanity and crazy drivers that marks every homecoming.
Over two and a half hours but my suitcase was right there and a cart handy nearby and my knee had not given out. Out of the terminal and into the mad crush of travellers seeking their people or transport, taxi drivers hustling fares, offers of just about anything flying furiously, a smile and no thanks sufficed. Once past the main jamb up I stopped and took another deep breath and heard “DK” over the buzz of the crowd. And there they were Doc my little brother sunshine on two feet and my Ivan.
The rest of the evening was lovely and quiet, got settled in the condo across the garden from the last place I stayed. Doc hauled my stuff in storage down from his place; Ivan ran and got us food from Sweet & Spicy, brown chicken and dumplings, rice and peas, fried plantains and carrot & beet juice. Mm mm mm.
The look on Doc’s face when I handed him a stack of over 200 photos (he’d asked for a few for the house after I brought the last ones in April) was freaking priceless. Then I showed him the clips he could use to make a montage and change it up whenever he wanted. I think I’ll have to be sitting down with him and set it up before I go or they will still be sitting in a stack the next time I get back ;) ~ shiny~
Friday morning Doc made a brief visit after dropping Annette at work. He was running to get everything arranged for the food stand he and friend were setting up in the road between Margueritaville and the Dancing Moon for ATI. He had soup to make, Annette’s fried chicken and rice and peas, breadfruit and corn. Nevermind chasing down the charcoal guy who had disappeared to the hills to tend his animals and was late on the charcoal delivery. Always busy,never missing an opportunity to make some J, in a tourism economy you either work on a resort, are lucky enough to secure one of the few jobs in local shops, make your own job or go hungry.
Ivan and I headed downtown, went to the Cambio for Js, bought a new phone cause mine from Jan was toast, a jug for water for the fridge, groceries at another new market and then it was down to the new fishing beach up under the bridge before the roundabout. Ivan picked up some lovely crabs - alive and kicking - to make curried crab for supper and once he had them cooked off he was down to see Breadfruit about the boat for the next few days and I was in the ocean. I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with the locals and a couple of regulars at Mariners who were in town.
What I didn’t know about Independence week when I hit the beach to meet Ivan at Traveller’s, was that ATI, was the weekend before Independence. This weekend. A combination of Spring Break, Carnival, and Mardi Gras all done up Jamaican style was investing Negril. It used to be held in Ochos Rios, but Ochos was too small so it was moved here. Complete cultural immersion. Karaoke at Travelers with Ivan and a few J&B, then off to Alfred’s on the beach around midnight. Too much tequila and home around 4am.
The entirety of Norman Manley Boulevard, the main seven mile strip, was in a mad state of mini construction as locals built temporary vendor stalls cheek by jowl down the road. But I had no idea what Sat/Sun/Mon would be like, how could I?
Saturday dawned a torrential downpour, clearing as the sun, and then the music began to pervade the resort around noon. We just settled in for a nice quiet day listening to the craziness swirling around us cuddled up talking and watching National Geographic ;) Well, until the people next door to us broke out into open warfare. I hadn’t visited that kind of drama for a long time. The heat, too much liquor and an overabundance of passion melted all the neighbour's filters away. The popo were called in after awhile and it was settled after about 3 hours ... and you do not interfere.
Sunday rose bright and shiny, Ivan was playing a private party at Scrub-a-Dub that afternoon so Doc came and grabbed me to visit Annette between trips to the road stand;) Traffic was already stupid at the roundabout (only 2 lanes), the petrol station a line of ants. Up the road past Shell it started to clear but pedestrians were already packing the roadsides & the little local bars were booming.
Once we turned up the switchback to Doc’s road, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the road crews had actually done some work and filled in a few of the biggest pot holes, especially the place where you had to almost stop the car to navigate the ruttage, and the, lo and behold, for the first time ever, there was no water running down the hill from the water main under constant non-repair to Doc’s place. I was so surprised I had to get him to stop so I could take a picture just for Charlie.
Annette’s garden is growing and blooming like mad. Some of the flowers that only grow 2 feet high in Canada were over 4 feet tall. Doc has the yard lights in but the screen still isn’t up;) Doc started the prep for more soup; I cracked a cold one and settled in for the afternoon. Once Doc was on his way back to town Annette and I sat down and had an afternoon of girltime – I so love her. AND both pairs of shoes fit perfectly and she loved the style of them so it was a win-win with my foot shaped paper cut out ;) We went through the pictures and discussed housing & construction – building vs. buying, what to bring and what I could get here at a decent cost. Sewing and patterns, clothing and recipes, along with some local gossip were chatted over coffee on the doorstep in the sun. Obscured by clouds and warned by sky and the low growl of thunder we headed inside for a cool one and dominoes. Annette is a very good teacher and I managed to actually win a few games using all of the tiles like a real adult(it’s an option as to how many you use). The afternoon lightning show was phenomenal, literally vibrating the house with the thunder but it cooled everything down a bit and the worst was over in an hour. Doc wandered back around 6, and then it was showers, a quick stop at the hotel for a change of clothes, extra smokes and down to Doc’s road stand.
Welcme to CRAZYTOWN.
Bumper to bumper vehicles of every description, loaded with people including their trunks and waybacks with lids and doors open, hanging off the sides of service trucks, riding on top of whatever load was being hauled, standing through sunroofs. Motorbikes snaking in and out of traffic wherever they pleased, going 10 times faster, sometimes with three passengers, than anything else in the road. Music pounding from every direction, the cacophony of street hawkers, and the mouth-watering scents of real food being cooked over open fires up and down the boulevard saturates the senses. Sitting on a cooler in the back of Doc’s food stall I watched the parade wishing for nothing else than my good camera with the telephoto lens ... Everyone was stylin’. All the stereotypes were strolling side by side with those in their Sunday best and some with the only clothes to their name: rastaman, bboy, dancehall, schoolgirl, grandparents, families, and the gamut of singles, sequinned bikini bikinis covered by fishnet shirts or not, with heels or gladiator sandals, little black dresses and a rainbow of colour and ruffles and bling, suits, board shorts of every description, jeans and the inevitable display of men’s drawers ;) Cocktail dresses and daisy dukes (occasionally with front zippers undone to a perfect V), hipster pants & clamdiggers, animal prints, neons, and all the sunbright yellow orange and reds salted with black&white, hats caps and scarves, sarongs, pleather and a hula skirt, skin art and collections of arm bands from the venues. Oh, what a show. Words cannot convey the ferocity of the pleasure seekers, it must be experienced.

July 21, 2011


3 years ago - I had knee surgery on my left knee. debrided the calcium spur and found the piece that was floating around and causing my leg to go out from under me when it wedged itself under my knee cap. Since the surgery everything has been fine.

This afternoon I walked 15 feet from my cubicle and almost did a face plant when my right knee did exactly the same thing. really.

Now wtf is that about. I haven't done anything to the right knee - it hasn't been jostled or twisted, and I leave for vacation in 7 more sleeps. really.

And since then it goes away and comes back and goes away ... and the last time it hurt enough to make me cry. I waited a long time to get in to see that surgeon. I am on a mission and have things to do which include walking through ocean sand and dancing on the grass and climbing doc and anette's little hill to their house. Never mind getting up going to work, and doing the laundry or taking out the garbage or hauling my ass through Pearson airport to make a connecting flight.

pretty pretty please oh hundred little gods of fucked up knees, just make it better till mid august.


July 19, 2011

8 more sleeps

always floating in my backbrain.

a whirlwind of visiting - wings with the peeps, 4 birthdays and a wedding with scrabble on the side followed by some deckadance for the weekend frivolities and next weekend is a nite out of town with friends, 2 birthdays, a steak night , a date with the grands, a pre-vacay pedi with Pixx on sunday and the last f the packing.

Inbetween is pure chaos.

July 11, 2011


In a crowd, with my friends, at work, with the grands, dancing with the ladies on a madcap fraturday, always the pit trap in my heart will not stay closed.

It doesn't mean that I'm unhappy, or that I don't laugh and enjoy a good joke. It doesn't mean that I don't have a great time with my friends. It doesn't mean that I mope around in silence reading trashy romance novels and scarfing down bon bons (though I have considered it).

It means that without you here to touch and taste and smell I am constantly sidestepping, going around, trying to bridge, a you shaped hole in my foundation with whatever is closest to hand. Inexplicable tears well unwonted and unpredictably, that little catch - hu uh - in my throat stops my breath, and the selfsabotage demon will exploit any means of escape from reality.

Tippitty toeing around the edge is exhausting, but I must be ever so careful because the pit is dark and cold and slimy and almost impossible to escape. Got the Tshirt. It's why I promised myself I wouldn't ever go here again.

Apparently heart connections are not a choice thing.

You either grab the reins and hold on or let them fall and always wonder what might have been.

My dad said what he regrets the most is that he has regrets.

91 days down and 14 sleeps to go.

it's a fucking eternity boo.

July 09, 2011

motivation where art thou

The kitchen is finshed ... except for a few small touchups. have to process the pics though, thought I'd done that already ;

Appointment for tub/surround replacement made for September (soonest date available)then install new sink/vanity and flooring.

As for the rest, a little plaster patching and Christopher to paint living room and master, then we will see what we can see.

Managed to get almost all of the kitchen boxes out of storage - still have to clear some stuff there and then my dreaded closet. Out with all the stuff that is too big. done.

And the sewing projects are piling up, can't seem to get it in gear there either.

Maybe it's just summer ...

July 07, 2011

where I'm from

Form for poem stolen via schmutzie from Fred 1st

I am from the soft black tarmac, grid road gravel, and cement from all across this country of mine, the gypsy without a caravan.

I am from a collection of damp & musty lowheaded dungeons with an occasional airy garret and two bedrooms I never had to share with the nasssty sisters.

I am from the dandy~lions that turn my underchin to butter and all the smellpretty tastegood nonedible blossoms in the Winnipeg Conservatory until I discovered the aromatic beauty of gardenias and the dessert properties of honeysuckle.

I am from New Year's Eve family brawls and laughing in the face of adversity, from the upright white gloved pear-brandy-in-the-corner-cupboard teatotaller Grandma Millie and the sweet nail-you-with-the-bendy-slipper-around-a-corner-at-30-mph Grandma Kay and PigTail Patty, the most generous openhearted and stubborn woman known to man, or me.

I am from self inflicted loneliness and isolation in the middle of the crowd.

From born in the barn and if your friends jumped off a bridge... to where the hell are your shoes donna kathleen odette.

I am the only baptized child, Gramma Millie did it, and the only one smart enough to go to church sundays - any church - to avoid dad's hangovers.Quadruply blessed, Presbyterian, United, Catholic, Lutheran, and now a godless buddhist.

I'm from the stewpot of of the north with dragon boats bastard swords bagpipes fjords and the yew, leavened with the holy potatoe, yorkshire pudding and dumplings with the occasional shot of the most terrible homebrew.

From the the first day of summer freedom at the bottom of the monkey bars wailing the blues with a broken wrist and having to walk 2 miles because Lynn Shadbolt wouldn't double me to Grama's. The key keeper to the vintage transportation cousin Les & I attempted to master because that's the way we roll.

I am from the rock garden/strawberry patch/riverbank/treehouse and concrete jungle camera always in hand, the archivist, framily in my heart wherever I traipse and the pics backed up onto a portable drive. Shaped by a little piece of each of the black & whites posted on the soul wall and glued together with the love and respect gifted to me.

July 04, 2011

kitchen down, onto the bath ...

Huge thanks to everyone who's lent a hand or rather knees to my kitchen project - Seven and a half years in the planning and it's brilliant. Custom oak cabinetry up to the 10 ft ceilings. Metal grilled door inserts, china cabinet, several extra feet of counter space, big deep pot drawers, all painted a deep deep red with lots of stainless accents and appliances. The floor has been all retiled as well. So thanks Brian, Fusion Woodworks, Chris and Mikey.

So now I am going to have the tub relined, replace the old 2 faucet wall sink with a more modern 1 faucet model and new lino. After taht - or during, I am doing some plaster work in Living room and Master and then Chris will paint that as well.

So I can sell it in the late spring early summer next year.

Forward ho!

June 20, 2011

solstice is over ~ come on summer the days are already getting shorter

shhhhh! listen. no really, listen.
That insidious drip drop drip sploosh patter patter patter is gone.
well maybe. for now.

I'll take it. I'll glory in it. Revel in it even.
Blue skies sprinkled with fluffy bits of cotton floating by. ahhhhh ;D

Come on temperature, rise to our expectations.
Ra is playing tag with the sunbeams

June 16, 2011


Here I go.

Time for tremendous life demolbuilding changes.

I have found within myself a new thing or an absence of an old one. space You know that drive that pushes you to get "stuff" to fill up your life with because it is devoid of those things which we all need, like selfawareness, selfknowledge, selfcompassion and love. Well the stuffdrive (you tube George Carlin - stuff)seems to have taken an extended vacation. Over the last few years I have sowly been divesting myself of "stuff", though last year I did venture out on a little clothing binge, which in truth was needed, but not to the extent that I spent resources. And I am in no way shunning materialism nor am I a shining example of non-commercialism, for those things that I enjoy or need. I simply find that there just aren't that many things that I enjoy or need.

For example, I want my favorite perfume, it makes me smile & invites happyness in, so if I find it I will buy it. I enjoy elephants, but I have quite a few, they symbolize some of my favorite people who are gone, they are one of the planet's smartest animals, they are afraid of mice because they don't want to hurt them, they have a language in stomping, they are overcomers of obstacles like Ganesa. I don't need anymore elephants. It used to be if it had an elephant on it, I had to buy it. Not anymore. Same goes with symbols of the buddha. I seem to have internalized much of this and don't need as many reminders to live now.

As for just regular stuff without any symbolic baggage, my perpetual weakness for the shiny has done me in too many times to count. I don't really even want those shiny dishes that are on sale, but they're on sale so I would have bought them before and found them a home later. OH! A of lovely pair of silver earrings, I want them, do I buy them, not anymore, because the shoulder-voice says "and when will you wear them then?" Realization dawns, I likely won't - much. I already have about 6 pairs of earrings in a rotation that I wear and a double handful put away in a box that I do not. So now I do not buy the new shiny ones.

Fake it till you make it works sometimes. Sometimes you have to fake it for a long time till you get there.

Mind you, there have been so many profound changes in my life the past 6 months perhaps I should not be so surprised. I am at the end of another 7 year cycle, also a time of settling matters & starting anew. I have lost a friend a month since January. Death has ceased to frighten or amaze me, it's just a part of the cycle and it makes me sad when it happens to people I love. Lesson: Enjoy the time you are here. Make life better, start with your own, and spread it around, you will be amazed. Share yourself, it's painful and worth it.

And so the clearage has begun.

A mental emotional physical clean sweeping is past due.

I start with who/what do I need? It's a short list. Self respect & confidence. Framily. Laughter. Music. Good food. Enough $$ to be comfortable somewhere warm. My photos and the plethora of art: each a tangible memory, a visual cue of those who gifted me.

After poking around inside my brain the only tender spots are where I made a poor decision, chose not to risk an opportunity, or refused in full knowledge to do the right thing. The toe stubbing rocks of anger and resentment, the stones I used to build my isolationist tower and the bricks that broke my own windows on reality, have become simple grains of sand on the beach. Irritating if they get into the crack of your ass, but gone once you've showered. Now just self evident truths without the need for justification, simply an acceptance of what's done, and another step forward. I must needs remember to sweep the sand aside every once in a while so I no longer get lost in the desert. And have a lot of showers ;)

My heart beats, I love. Always questions but no heart disease.

And then there's the clutter of stuff.
Eyes set on freedom, feet on the path, I do not need an 18 wheeler full of stuff. With the completion of my kitchen comes a sense of relief and an understanding that I actually want to sell my condo. Don't get me wrong. I love my place. It has sheltered me through almost a decade of unimagined growth and provided, unwittingly, the means for my early escape from drudgery.

I have begun to give to my children now, the material goods I was going to will to them at my death. Almost every day I give another thing away, or put one in the keep pile. More away than keep is the rule. Once the kids have all they want from what I wish to part with, I'll start with the framily. I need clear space so I will make some;)

I do find myself picking up this and that for the "need for the move" pile, and I am happy to say that it is under control. mostly.

It will take about a year I figure to get through it all, but when I'm done, I'll be ready.

June 14, 2011

ah well...

I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry ...

nope. not workin'.

Sometimes I miss that old ability to self delude.

June 09, 2011

June the 8th

Between my recent reading and my experience I have come to a crossroads where I have breeched one of the core tenets of my existence and left myself dangling in the breeze at the very very end of a knotless rope. Details are not important at this point. Hah! Nor will they be forthcoming in such a public forum.

However, the cycle of blame and shame is apparently endless when you are the target of both. A limitless spiral into the dark from which one may never rise. If it were someone else I am SURE I would have some pithy phrases or past faux pas to relate. It is purely my own garbage that is burying me.

Why can I find no compassion for myself? No forgiveness of being human and flawed?

Hmmmmm sounds a little Martyr-ish.

Perhaps I will just have to apologize to myself everytime it floats through my brain until I actually believe it.

June 03, 2011

over a month ...

since I've been here. and what a whirlwind it has been. Highlights:

~ started writing old school paper journal
~ my kitchen cupboards are fabulous and the fon-in-law has painted, now just the floor to go. MUST find Leonard.
~ a great Moose Jaw visit with my dad and the boyo
~ several birthday parties including the both the grandkids and a wedding
~ hot tub party at the growley's
~ Anarchy has returned to the flatlands and they are having a BABY!!!!!!!
~ Seth is playing baseball - go Brewers!
~ my best friend from kindergarten found me on crackbook - happy dance Cora Lynne (1 st day of school together, brownies, swimming, church, hallowe'en, we got caught playing doctor with the boys behind her garage in grade 2 Chris, Mike and Doug)
~ missing my Ivan like crazytown.
~ roadtrip to cowtown with KD & the Growley's closely followed by the karaoke crew to visit BGirl and see the Mios in action once again.
~ continued clean sweeping
~ my longest held friend besides Cora Lynne passed away from cancer before her time and without ever having set foot on the island she so longed to visit. Heart hurts.
~ giving my children the stuff I was going to give them when I die, NOW. Why carry it around, or ship it when I move. Enjoy kids. I am spending their inheritance otherwise ;)
~ found out I liked vegetarian lasagna
~ is very thankful for the fluffy new pillow Deb gave me
~ is counting counting the days
~ got 4 new pair of RayBans care of my secret connection: red/white/black/lace and then she gifted me with this mango fruity diffuser scent that smells like the island
~ realized after being asked what I want for my 50th bday in October - that it's a very short list. Indecence perfume by Givenchy, gift cards to Ikea, Chapters or the Tire, and 2 gold bands for my thumbs. Oh yeah! A winning lottery ticket.
~ getting quotes on new brakes for the car
~ searching out international shippers and may or may not be brought into the country
~ my sister had a house fire - a short in the aquarium light results in $1500 in smoke damage and a hundred grand worth of damage by the firedepartment.
~ did I tell you my cupboards were magnificent?
~ has realized since reading eat pray love that she has a far better relationship with the divine than she knew,and has become much better at balancing her chi
~ got a noise violation notice care of some crabby neighbour who complained that 5 of us on the deck talking - with NO MUSIC - violated the noise bylaw (after 11)really. REALLY! It was Friday nite and as soon as she asked we went inside. Who know?
~ has almost caught up at work
~ is repotting the indoor garden
~ has regained her ghosties that have taken a 5 year hiatus
~ made plans to repaint the living room and the master bedroom
~ is doing a little stretching a little yoga a little more walking
~ getting ready for Mosaic
~ has SKD's bd party tonight, baseball tomorrow am, planting pansies at pj's round noon, wine over for the boys tomorrow afternoon, and hopefully the Indian and Jamaican pavillions at Mosaic Sat night.

Whew ... catch you later gator

April 28, 2011

really behind

The vacation was excellent, the condo exactly what I needed and the company simply the best.

Running like the White rabbit crossed with the mad hatter, the White hatter, mad rabbit, or the crazy albino bunny - not sure which.

The cabinets were installed in my kitchen yesterday. The work continues and my brother in law Brian is brilliant!

Oh, and the OHans deck is up!

April 18, 2011

back to Canada - jiggity jig

A deep double lungful of sweet moisture laden Jamaican air and the first thought off the plane at landing was "GODS, it's great to be home." And it struck me. I may still be living in Canada, but it is only the place where I work so that I can move home.

The simple truth is that I am more alive there than anywhere I have ever been. My body ceases to be a traitor and my brain kicks into overdrive. Everything is soft. My hair, my lips, my skin - even the greebly bits on my elbows.

April 05, 2011

32 hours to go ....

My heart clenches and unclenches like a dairy farmer's hand on a teat. Not painful, just verklempt. Breathing ratchets up, shallows out and then ceases compleatly for a mo. Heat uncoiling from the base of my spine enwrapping all those tiny bits.

Brain cycle engaged, question partial answer meltdown question.

The catch in the throat and the lump in the middle of the chest for no particular reason and it is NOT a cold.

Anticipatory slow death by desire, la petite Mort.


April 01, 2011

April the 1st

8 attempts by others to April Fools me. Epic fails all :)

I on the other hand - could not even get my grandkids - they're pretty quick on the uptake.

The countdown continues, 5 sleeps and a nap to go and I will once again be where I have always belonged even though I didn't know it til I finally got there. The suitcase is packed and I still have 13 pounds more room for stuff for my framily on the island so it's off to the dollar store for kitchen gadgetry for Anette, still looking for a whetstone for Doc, and a tap & die set for Ivan. That would be tomorrow's outing.

Tonite it's relax with a pedi to beachify the toeses, a tan, and then to dewhiten the hair, all while quaffing la vino with a few of the ladies and my fave JW. Supper with the kidlets Sunday and hopefully a java with HRH Miss PJ.

Today is clear the work off my desk day, in the vain hope that by the time I leave on Wednesday there will be only current items on my desk and no big stack when I get back.

On a side note, my adventure camera went missing at Pretty Girl's birthday party almost a month ago and yesterday it was delivered anonymously back to me via my workplace. YAY!!!! I don't care who took it or why, I am just happy to have it back in my clutches, so a BIG thanks to whomever sent it back.

The kitchen renos are set to begin around April 20 or so, my seester Patty is going to help get the 20 year old toilet seat off so I can put the new on, and frother Jeff will do the plumbing for my new kitchen sink and maybe help me fix the one in the bathroom. Then it will be Christopher week and the painting will commence. Living room, bedroom and kitchen are all getting a new coat. So by May sometime It will look like a whole new place! Then there will be a great damn party! Maybe right in time for the return of anarchy to the prairies ;) crossing my fingers!

So I hope all y'all have a magnificent weekend. It may still be chilly out, and yes it might still snow, but the morning out there is sunny and beautiful, go for a walk people, we've been trapped inside for far too long.

Big Love.

March 25, 2011

12 more sleeps

Alrighty then. The back has loosened up and seems to be healing in record time. Only one knee took any serious harm this time. Note to self: being very very careful when walking on ice does more harm than ignoring it completely.

The suitcase is mostly packed and presents gathered. The reservations are all confirmed and only have to arrange the pickup from the airport details with Doc, which I will do this weekend. Another week on the island - it's so close I can taste it.

The kitchen project is delayed yet again. C'est la vie. We'll be doing it when I get back. What's another month when you've been waiting 8 years - really?

My dad isn't feeling very well, kidney problems, and it seems like part of it is caused by side effects of a cholesterol medication he's been on longterm, so to make him feel better, they had to take him off the medication, which he has needed since his heart surgery, and which causes other problems. catch 22.

The sun is out again but it is still chilly enough to need gloves till the car warms up. I'll take it - at least it "looks" like it's nice out so it's easier to delude oneself when you are inside gazing out the window.

And on a positive note - I am off to work the last day of the week. Have a great weekend y'all. I am having Kory bbq roast beef with lobster at the Growleys with KD, biff girl and SKD tonight and maybe Eagles Idol Sat nite, with Scrabble on a Sunday with the Malibu and crew.

Have fun!

March 22, 2011

platitudes my ass.

You know those people who smugly mouth meaningless annoying pithy little phrases in response to someone's very real and heartfelt angst? Well fuck them and the horse they rode in on.

Distance does NOT make the heart grow fonder it creates an epic ongoing case of heartburn that no amount of gaviscon can even begin to take the edge off.

It creates an twisted celtic knot of rusting iron in your gut that wrenches your entire being every time you get a text and you don't not want to get the texts because they make up the rope that you are hanging onto.

You promised your old self that you would never allow HAH! yourself to go here again and yet here you are, in an even more complicated situation than you've ever been previously.

The visceral wash of joy upon hearing that voice speaking of the simply mundane spans the distance in a nanosecond leaving you breathless and wanting and you refuse to give that up even though it kills your focus and leaves you as distraught as an 8 year old who has just let go of their prized helium balloon in the middle of wascana park on canada day.

It is NOT fine.

Please grant me the favour of working through my own riotous and perhaps misguided emotional roller coaster without demeaning it and trying to make it less than it is.

March 19, 2011


My baby boy is 28 today. I remember 28. I got married for the 2nd time when I was 28. He was there. He was one happy little 7 year old dude all dressed up in his tux just like the groom. We have him on video doing the fist thrust when were pronounced hitched. I gave him free reign at the buffet and he came back with an entire plate of cheese. He still loves cheese;)

He accrued 3 or 4 belts in karate, was a goalie in soccer and decided competitive fastball was not his thing. Loved kung fu but not scouts and the first book he brought home from the library was a cook book.

He finished grade 12 - on time and without interruption. He has held down a job for the most part since he was in grade 10. He is bilingual. He has a serious work ethic and a passion for both family and food. He's been cooking for a living for 7-8 years and is now THE CHEF at his restaurant Table 10.

He has taught me several things about cooking and broadened my food choices. He likes to feed people and to make the tastiest dishes out of the cheapest ingredients.

He is smart, intelligent, handsome, argumentative (in a good way most days) with a real sense of what awesome actually is.

I am very proud of him. He's turned out well despite the poor choices made by a young mom ;)

March 14, 2011

Dear solaris:

Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you.


Thank you.

No frost on my windshield. No need for remote start. PUDDLES! No scarf mitts or hats and I think tomorrow will be a NO SOCKS day. People are happier I'm happier, even the bitchy old lady downstairs is happier. Sunshine. Warmth. It was light out when I went to work and still light out after I finished my running around. HUZZAH!!!!!!

I was so freaking productive today that I think I may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And I got to spend some time talking to my sugar.


March 13, 2011


Startin to feel better which is good cause work will be crazy this week.

Looking forward to my new custom kitchen cabinetry in 2 weeks and another trip in a little over 3.

Looking back on a friendship that has bridged 34 years 5 children between us and a plethora of experience and adventure. Even though we don't talk sometimes for 5 years we always we're there. Vickie's been terminally diagnosed with the big C - a spider tumour, has had the chemo and radiation, lost all her hair and been sick as a dog with all the side effects and STILL is one of the most positive people I have ever known. Spent an hour on the phone with her today and by the 100 little gods she is awesome. And I am ever so thankful for my life.

March 09, 2011

Day 3 - stalker cold

The cold I have been trying to avoid for the last month has finally stalked itself into my head. damn.

It's almost midnite on Wednesday and I have pretty much been sleeping since Sunday except for going to work on Monday. I am SO tired. What a suck I am. The sinuses are clear now, the ears are plugged and aching, the chect is clear 0 I thibk, but man my head is just throbbing and the dry hack won't stop no matter how I medicate it - or how many hunks of garlic or brown sugar onions mustard plasters or whatever I take. blechhhhh. have only been up half hour and it's too long I think. I am canceling thursday and off to the doctor we go with all those other germ spreading sickos in the waiting room. He'll probably tell me to go home rest, advil, soup liquids blah blah blah.


March 08, 2011

belated blogiversary

Perusing old archives I found that my 4th anniversary came and went silently on December 15, 2010.

I was doing reverb and here's what it was: ironically it SO fits.

Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

This year has so many memories that 5 minutes just won't cut it, which is but one of the many reasons I am such a camera freak. My friends call me the Archivist ;)

Thus and so:

The juxtaposition of the poshness of the resort with the paucity of choice in the market. FRESH blue mountain coffee. grilled lobster on the beach. tropical downpour. my connection with my planet, guess I'm not alien after all. the grandeur and the intimacy of the ocean. Kory & Bren, biff & SKD, Kerry & Beffie - Marguerita ville and Rick's - too much fun. crispies. airplane rides;) fluffiness. air so heady you can smell the jungle growing. curried goat & jamaican patties.

Deb finished her Diss! Taraarah boomdeay's 30th bday at Malibu's place!Losing my friend John. sworn in at Eagles. Lloyd. St Paddy's where the OHanlons crew migrated to the Abbey for $5 pints and a place where we could smoke without having to wait in line to get back in. Devi's 10th birthday - salon & limo ride. Brad's wedding. penis puppets with Anna. Mur & Nola's open house feed the masses party. Queen review with Stacy. Handsome Joe's 30th bday. Seth's first baseball team winning the City Champs. Castro. Davis Beach and the sanitarium. camping. Goldie's unicorn. Swan River reunion and getting to know Michael. fusion's new website. new teeth. Jase and Dave and wine. karaoke. Murray's new smile. booking my next vacation. painting stuff blue for dad. new clothes a smaller size. Amanda's sunday dinners and Chris' helpfulness.

Found old poetry and older pictures. Brent's 40th. sleepovers with the grands. Brenda running away to Hollywood. made new old friends. the Keg for my bday. lunch at the Creek with Amanda. all the new babies. Anarchy leaving us. Kevin's hardwood floor. Winnipeg with Kory to see Brenda,Solid Gold, Hooters and the crazy cast. grey cup. turning 49 ;)my new kitchen light and plans for kitchen in Feb 2011.

scribbles by dk on 12/15/2010

March 07, 2011

wedding invitations

... and the design for the invites & RSVP cards is complete. Digital copies approved by the bride & groom. Taking cardstock over for approval tomorrow. Cross your fingers.

March 06, 2011

taking back the dance floor

So the crew went out dancing on Saturday, which quickly evolved into Fraturday, for Pretty Girl, Renee and Cameron`s birthdays. Much fun, much dancing, much taking of pictures.

I left my camera on the table for other people to use and went for a smoke.

The camera disappeared.

Not anywhere we could find and not in the lost and found today.

Very very sad. I love that camera - it`s been everywhere with me and there were at least 300 pictures on it that I need. And it has my 16G memory card in it.

Here`s hopin`one of the friends stashed it away cause I wasn`t there and it`ll show up soon.

patterns of sevens: from can you

Years ago when book learning was my thing, it was explained to me that we live our lives in stages of 7 years. Though I hadn't though about this for a long time it just popped back into my brain yesterday and really made me think. Upon some examination here's what I found:
0-7: sucking up everything like a sponge and learning to be a complete little individual
8-14: expanding my horizons, starting to ask the big questions and asserting my independence
15-21: paying the consequences for said independence, 1st marriage & starting my own family
22-28: realized I love the kids but not the dad. singlehood, university, married 2nd potential mr right
29-35: working for a living, changing goals, new career with benefits, trying to work shit out
36-42: back to school, teenagers, kids done, financial goals accomplished, ended 2nd marriage, turned 40, convocated university, realized I'd lost me along the way. workin' on that.
43-49: (I will be 50 this october)made a decision at 43, after after successfully navigating the 1st relationship to end with both my dignity & wallet intact, to step away from the intimate and spend my energy building friendships that would last a lifetime instead. Practicing personal compassion by giving myself room to breathe, make some future plans and find the inside self that has been missing.So I shut down the "lookin for a man" vibe for a long time - 6 years, invested myself in some really great friends and have been LIVING life for me.

A year ago I took my 1st real vacation ever with the attitude that it was a gonna be a party. It was and I certainly got my groove back. All the little pieces of me that had fallen by the wayside, the ones that I had given away by choice - or had been taken, and especially the tiny most important bits that I had tucked away inside and forgotten how to find came back to me all in one fell swoop. I changed, apparently overnight, even my friends commented upon it. I was reconnected to the great planet as I hadn't been since my teens. My internal 8 year was once again alive and well. And all those womanly bits - not the mother ones, the other ones were knocking down the door. So I allowed for some temporary indulgence and found that the extremism I experienced in younger years wasn't so much any more.

I had developed a distance between the heart and the physical - who'd of thought? Now don't get me wrong - I am totally a touchy feely physically grounded sorta woman but it usually came with some serious sentimental attachments. I had divested myself of that connection, a true relief and found myself capable of maintaining both my true friendships and an ongoing physical relationship without losing my head, heart, or sense of direction.

50 and beyond
(i`m just about there)
So now I had what I wanted - right? We'll go with that. I was happy and successful for the most part, and thankful, truly, about where I was in my life. I was making plans and watching them come to fruition before my eyes. My children were growing into better places for themselves, retirement plans began to grow, career choices were slowly becoming more available, I had a large group of friends that always keep me busy and laughing albeit with the odd touch of drama here and there, I have lots of options.

And then I took my 2nd vacation of my life. Back to the island, where the moment I stepped outside of the airport I was assaulted by a physically dizzying and heartfelt sense of HOME. Like when I went to my grama millie's when I was young, and as still happens every time I step into the farmhouse on the homestead in Swan. It is a visceral smackdown that tells you "you are where you are supposed to be" felt from the roots of your hair to the tips of your toes. And it was exactly the same as it had been the year before. I could feel my heart settle into the land, my whole body connect to everywhere else all at once, spidey senses tingling and synapses firing like AK47s. My nirvana.

The trip this year was about the framily I had made on the last visit, sharing cooking secrets with Anette, authentic Jamaican cooking for fancy baking, eating together on Sundays, singing and dancing and enjoying time spent with people who walk into your heart and fill it up, long conversations about beliefs and politics, really learning about each other's cultures. Time spent simply lazing in the sun and relaxing without any other particular goal in mind except to enjoy each other's company.

And then my friends interfered with my plans.

After Doc & Brent had already been chatting about me to one of Doc's friends, and after Anette had been talking said friend up to me, she physically pushed me out the house laughing all the way, to go and talk to him because he was interested in meeting me. He had apparently seen me in and out visiting and wanted to know who that woman was. I tried to explain that wasn't the purpose of my holiday, that I was quite happy with my independence, I wasn't looking for a good time or any entanglements, but no - all of my arguments fell on completely deaf ears and she simply grinned at me, Doc and Brent laughing all the way, "it's just a conversation".

Intuition? An understanding of parts of myself that I have been studiously ignoring? Perhaps the fear that maybe what I really wanted was that which I refused to look for. I had long ago decided that if it showed up on my doorstep fine, but I was NOT putting myself out there, and NOT going to be the one to make any kind of first move in that general direction ever again.

Too late now.

We both looked each other directly in the eyes through the barbed wire bean growing fence that divided his yard and Doc's, started to talk at the same time, and laughed like silly children with our hands touching in the cookie jar. It was a long conversation.

Both of us direct, bare bones, this is who I am and I am comfortable with exactly who I am. History is, unless it impacts the now. Why aren't either of us attached, because neither of us willing to settle and we know what we want: truth, love, passion, intelligence, laughter, music, creativity and drive. A discerning combination and almost impossible to find. Fifteen minutes in we were making ground rules for something that didn't yet exist. In fact, at the same time, "I don't share" was out our mouths. Silence. He suggested we go out and talk & asked for my number, I handed him my phone with "yes but you will have to call me, I'm old school", he laughed and said he would. And the conversation continued for about an hour and then Anette was calling me for supper and Brenda & Kory arrived, and I had no idea what I had just gotten myself into.

3 hours later Kory and Brenda headed back to town, my phone rang as the car pulled out of the yard, did I want to go to a little place in Good Hope? Nope, not going to a strange township with a man I don't know in a foreign country even if he is a long time friend of the framily. But I wanted to. He called back 15 minutes later, suggested another place closer and explained that he had already arranged for Doc to go with us as a chaperon so I would feel safe. Damn.

I had just hung up when Doc walked in laughing from driving the kids home, and he laughed even harder when he looked at my expression. Fluttery like a school girl, that hasn't happened for decades, and could not keep the grin off my face. Apparently when you stop looking the universe provides.

A nice little place with a pool table so we had something to do while we danced the little dance, Doc grinning from his stool. The touches that aren't, but are so much more at the same time, the easy sway of a hip in passing that made him lose his shot, a breath on my neck that made my heart stop and I missed mine. After 3 games neither one of us could play anymore so we took our drinks out to the steps and just talked into the evening, completely forgetting that Doc was even there until he plopped himself down, took a look at us and asked if I was ok. "Completely," so he told Ivan in all seriousness that he was responsible for me and I am family. Ivan promised to get me home and Doc left us to the night.

I think we sat on the steps for another hour or so intensely questioning each other like preparing for a jeopardy tournament, and every time someone went in or out of the pub his arm would snake around my shoulders until it just stayed there. "Let's go somewhere else", and we were off to a friend's music yard with an outdoor bar and speakers as tall as I am. He introduced me to some of his friends, and some lovely old gentlemen who were all just characters and atrociously flattering ;) He spun a couple of tunes while i listened and then we danced in the grass until a few slow ones came round when we just swayed, me leaning back on him, his arms wrapped around me breathing in my hair like it always had been, and all my alarm systems stonecold silent. Effortlessly in tune, singing to me all the while but changing the words, sparks almost visible at every point we connected.

And then I had him drive me home.

You know that hollywood kiss that melts knees and oh so many other wild and wonderful places, where he holds you just right and everything fits the way it's supposed to with no awkwardness nd your breath is gone and you totally lose yourself in it till you have to come up for air. Yeah, that's the one.

And I said goodnight baby. Call me.

And he did ...

March 02, 2011

Letter to mother earth:

Just because you're omnipotent does not mean you have to be such a cold-hearted bitch. Really.

-31 and cold enough with the wind chill that the weather dudes don't even want to post how cold it, is not a great way to make people happy in the morning.

Do you think you could see your way into having a hot flash or two and direct it our way please.

... from a prairie popsicle

February 28, 2011

from my other space: fallen

self delusion rendered to tiny bits of flotsam,

fading into the aquamarine.

ephemeral technology the lifeline that stills the drowning

the voice, velvet steel soft,

reminiscent of evenings of music, real food and secret promises.

feeds the soul.

fingers twitching to trace spine and skull in a single sinuous line.

hand trapped like a fragile bird in an iron cage,

sweet breath in my hair.

an arched back, an elbow, a flexed knee.

the slow rumble of belly laughter and a smile.

feeds desire.

the discovery of almonds, the same cadence walking.

the protective hand in the middle of my back,

possessive yet barely there not interfering with my freedom.

silly ditties, serious conversation and silence that never really is.

feeds the heart.

and decade old walls come a crumbling down,

bits of sand into the whirlwind

to fade into the aquamarine.

Last day of February

whoosh and It's gone. bye bye winter - get the hell out of dodge.

I may have missed 3 weeks of January, but SNAP - February wasn't much better. less snow, but holy hannah it was -50C a couple of mornings with the windchill. 4 days - 4 my car wouldn't start! In the 4 years I've owned it it was maybe 2 days a winter.

Ah well - the warming trend will continue. Even if it's a cold summer, it will still BE summer.

As for the rest of the vacation notes, those will get posted as I find the time. Suffice to say - it was GLORIUS!

Cannot wait to go back ;)

February 21, 2011

the too long weekend

Caught up with family, framily and famdamnily.
Wings at eagles,bbq, key lime pie at Table 10, grilled roasted beef at Kory's, stirfry with Devi, brekky with the girls, scrabble with Mailibu, bday drinks with Tararaboomdeay. Errands, and stuff for annette, gardening supplies and a pressure cooker, lottery tickets for Sheri and I. Martinis with Shane & Joe for the bday, shenanigans at OHans, coffee with Amanda's crew & cocktails with Patty's. Cleared some more crap out of my room, fought, almost lost but eventually won the battle between the cold and the running of the dAKar. Groceries, APPLE PIE, gas and fuel injection cleaner. Serious Martguerita's, Mikes Hard and a bottle of Wolf Blass along with great company. Today's plans all awry, Dan called away and Murray sick.

Murray promoted to THE chef at Table 10, looks like Chris may have a handle on a better job, Autumn made the range team (we nordquist girls seem to have an exceptional aptitude with weapons)The kitchen reno is delayed a week and Deb is off to Cowtown tomorrow.

Then its back to crazytown fallout from the fullmoon and the highrise stack of work on my desk that I need to clear before the boss gets back next Monday.


February 16, 2011

past the ides of February

... and just realized that I am missing half the holiday stuff. searching.

In the meantime:
My big news this week is about my shopping trip on Sunday. As we know I have been losing inches - and I have almost pantsed myself at work when my black pants got too loose. So I took my fanatical paranoia of to Penningtons (they had a sale on) and determined that I was not leaving until I had a pair of pants that fit me.

Two armloads of pants into the dressing room, the sales girl shaking her head, and an hour and a half later, I found a pair that I liked AND were too big. OH NO I wailed to myself in my head. They're TOO big... and for sure the next size down will be TOO small... wahhhhhh. At that point the sales girl was starting to worry about me and came to my rescue as I threw the pants in question over the door and whispered "bring me a size smaller please" as if a normal voice would shrink any clothes she brought me.

Voila - she brings me the pair I like by MXM a brand that I have not been able to wear because they don't go as large as I used to be. (They say they do but they fit a size small) and it is 2 sizes smaller than what I was wearing in December. I swear I sat in that changing room staring at them for 15 minutes before I would even attempt them.

Hola my friend - they fit (they're a bit stretchy) but they fit well! OMG.... only $45. and then I found 2 more pair of same style different season for $10 each. I have now worn each pair to work - keepers all and tonight I am going home and tossing every pair of jeans I own larger than the ones I have on. (And my ass looks terrific ;)

And I started deep water aquafit (Y MCA north)yesterday - twice a week, and I think there is aquacize at the Y downtown twice a week too, and once the ice is gone I'll be walking to work again.

Woop Woop - we'll see how long this lasts ;)

However, the big fat lump that used to be my back is in the process of melting and has been reduced to what look like they may be side curves and 6 baby back breasts.

These days its all about finding that balance baby!

February 14, 2011

happy VD

I haven't been even remotely interested in Valentine's Day for over 7 years.

And now when I am, the distance slays me.

Thank the 100 little gods for the telephone and texting.

But it's still just not enough.

February 05, 2011

Holiday Sun-Wed Jan16-19

With Kory laid up we were sticking pretty close to home, mind you this trip was pretty laid back already and I was loving it. Magic coffee and a book 1st thing in the am while Bren fed the resort kitties.

A sashay out somewhere to have/get/pick up breakfast. A dip in the ocean, some beach time and then back to the rooms for a nuncheon - usually wraps from our forays at the local HiLo. A visit from Doc &/or Brent, a trip to town if supplies were needed (read beer, rum cream or cell minutes).

Some patio time with the brother, an afternoon siesta to avoid the worst heat of the day and any chance of sunburn;)and up again in time for some more ocean or a visit to the beach bar before foraging for supper. I would recommend this to anyone.

More specifically, Fri and Sunday nites were usually spent at least partly at Traveller's doing Jamaican Karaoke. Several shopping trips with Doc - awandering in order to figure out what we were bringing back with us. A visit or two to the local Cambio to exchange money. Making friends with the locals - some of the people staying in the condos have families that have been coming here for decades. What a cast of characters!

I had the chance to discover some local "not tourist" attractions - little teeny restaurants where they serve "real" food, rice & peas, plantains, dumplings, curried goat, oxtail, yams, callaloo, brown chicken, jerk everything from fish to beef and even on salad, coco bread, saltfish & Ackee, grilled lobster all at half the cost of the bigger restaurants - and my god the portions. I don't think there was one meal that I could completely finish. The flavours and seasoning to die for, and the joy of watching some of your meal being prepared right in front of you. Of course there was also the pattie man just down the road - always a treat, and I like the beef ones best. The plethora of small roadside bars is amazing, and I didn't find a single one that didn't have ice cold guinness for less than $3. Every time I went to a new place and ordered guinness it was an experience, since it is apparently rare for women in Jamaica to drink it. It's considered a "tonic", mind you the foreign export is 6.5%. But it is soooo good. The bonus was that once I'd been to one place, every time I went back they knew what I wanted.

And music music everywhere - The horn language of the cars, taxi rados, shop stereos, boom boxes, restaurants, all the bars roadside or beach, I swear Jamaica must have the highest number of speakers per capita in all the world. It was fantastic. People breaking into song at random moments, dancing along the verge of the road or on the beach and if I knew the tune I was singing too - not well perhaps but always enthusiastically. Whether they enjoyed my additions or were just amused by the crazy lady didn't even matter cause we all just laughed and kept on along ...

Kerry & Beffie landed at the RIU on Sunday. Brent P had to leave us on Monday, Asquith on Tuesday, but we knew that Thursday the Rowleys, Ray Ray and Charlie would arrive so there was some balance. I was just glad that I could park my generous seating capacity on the beach and not even consider winter.

Pants? Mittens? Coats? What the hell are those?

holiday saturday the 2nd, Jan 15 ~ the damage

Ocean, tropics, friends, lazy days - if only Brenda and I had known, one of us surely would have gone to watch the Steelers. Unfortunately, neither of us is prescient and so my dear brother stepped in a pothole when catching the taxi back to Mariners after the game (which we abandoned him to watch alone)and the ankle went one way and the knee the other.

Holy crapola was his leg swollen. Sat nite in a foreign country with the closest hospital an hour away, the local medicenter closed till Monday and the 800 number for our Travel Insurance agency NOT working. Thank the hundred little gods that it wasn't life threatening. Even the direct line for out country emergency calls put him on hold 3 different times for over half an hour on international cell phone rates. REALLY!

Improvise & overcome. Leg up and immobile, pain meds & red stripe until Doc could get a pair of crutches for him from Savannah la Mar - 30 miles away. At least he could get around the room a bit and out to the patio. Our friends the Rowleys brought in a metal reinforced knee brace from Canada the following Thursday which saved our asses I am sure. It was 8 days before he could crutch hobble the block to the restaurant for a meal NOT served in styrofoam or takeaway containers.

Thank goodness for friends, the fridge and the microwave in their room. Lots of company - Doc & Annette, Brent P, me & Ivan, Brent & Sheri R, Ray Ray & Charlie, Asquith, Statement, Kerry & Beffie - but still a hell of a way to spend half your vacay. Upon arrival at home his dad took him straight to hospital where it was determined over the next few days that he had a fracture in his knee and 2 in his tibia - so he's off the leg for the next 6 - 8 weeks. But since we did what our docs would have done except for the Xray etc, being in Jamaica was waaaay better than being in the -41 degree C temps here at home.

February 04, 2011

and in the meantime ....

a new religion that will bring you to your knees ... black velvet if you please.

gotta love the retro

February 03, 2011

from the holiday - told you I'd catch up

Thursday coninued: So I left off at the beginning of the great cake experiment. Suffice to say we were excited to see if it would turn out. I used a from scratch pound cake recipe, added an extra egg, an extra tsp of baking powder, several ergs of beating (after smacking Brent's fingers that he kept sticking in the batter) I had to promise him all the bowls to lick after:
and then we split it into two cake pans. We added a shwack of cocoa to half the batter, and then a bit more because it didn't smell quite chocolatey enough, and had some fun making marble patterns in the pan. Meanwhile Doc hacked up the fish outside with his machete - which we took away and replaced with an edged knife and started to get the fish stew he was cooking under the house going.
28 miutes later and VOILA - 2 marble pound cakes - almost left them in too long in fact. Then it was icing time - more beating - Annette did most of that - and garnished with flakes of choco-cinnamon stick Doc puts in his tea. Here is the result:

This is Doc cooking:

Supper was delicious ;) dessert was wonderful! And there's enough ingredients to make another.

And then it was Friday - brekky at Traveller's on the deck overlooking the ocean - a beautiful beach day. Hit the ocean and then to relax and enjoy our almond tree as we watched the people in the neighbourhood stroll the beach:

Big surf and I love my waterproof camera. Thank you Canon.

And Steve West is playing troubadour today. Where but in Jmaica?

After sunset it was back to Traveller's for karaoke with Brenda and Kory, Brent, Doc, Annette, Ivan and I - OH what a shoooow! And of course the lovely Brenda was a smash hit - songbird that she is:)

Little did we know that it would be Kory's last night out with us before the pothole incident that resulted in what we eventually found out was 3 fractures in his leg. But that's for another day.

singing ABBA - take a chance take a chance

take a chance take a chance
take a chance on meeeeeee

62 days

February 02, 2011

small things

A discussion about how to grow the fattest peas and what to use as insecticide on leafy greens and everything is all bettah.

January 31, 2011

I will catch up ;)


January 18, 2011

on holiday - forgot to post

Wed Jan 12

ANd another beach day off to a good start, got all the pics to date uploaded. Got to the beach around 10ish and cracked some cold ones. Hung till around 1 when Ivan, Doc and Brent all showed up about the same time. Had another smoke and a beer. Doc & Brent headed off to play Indiana Jones at the abandoned hotel two resorts down. The whole thing would need to be bulldozed and build new. Apparently the materials they used to begin with were pretty shoddy and it's completely dilapidated now.
Chilled with Ivan for the afternoon, and we went to Lingah for supper - mmmm coco chicken and shrimp - tasty - sitting on the patio overlooking the ocean ... serenity abounds.
Kory's a little toasty today - he and Bren stayed out on the beach longer than I did so they headed for a siesta.
Brent and Doc and Annette came down round 7 or so for some evening cocktails and she & I got into the rum cream. Too hilarious. Went over the shopping list for tomorrow's adventure, bright and early and we'll be heading down the coast to the Savanna La Mar market for baking supplies and fresh fish for supper. Realized I hadn't taken any pictures today except for the tree.
Turned in fair early - round 11ish - all good;)

Thurs Jan 13

After checking with Barry in Regina the day before, we determined that there were not alot of options for cake that you could bake in a 250 degree propane oven besides sponge cake or fruit cake. Annette, however wanted to learn how to make a marble cake so it was off to the drawing board with a little improvise and overcome mixed in for good measure. So I decided to hell with it, marble pound cake it is, made the list of ingredients and baking implements we'd need and after Doc & Brent made a hanging nest for the laying chicken that decided to go back into production the four of us were off on a road trip.
Doc and Annette live in Sheffield a township just outside of Negril in the beginning of the hills and we were going down the south western coast to Savanna La Mar, the biggest town in Westmoreland. Lots of shopping there but only half as far as Montego Bay.The drive is through cottage country with small roadside businesses thrown up beside half million dollar contemporary and traditionally styled manor homes set back from the roadway. The degree of difference between those who have, and the majority of the population, is a study in stark contrast. Tropical forest and cane fields dot the countryside, little tiny houses nestled into the sides of the foothills, the crazy road veering to and from and up and down like a Herbie the Love Bug rally on steroids. Little glimpses of ocean whoosh by on the left and the valley and the mountains hover in the distance on the right.
Like cottage country everywhere the townships sort of melt into one another and if you miss the sign you may not even know you've passed into a new one, unless the schoolkids are out waiting for their buses and root taxis. Most of the schools still use uniforms and every school has its own colours. Clean and pressed, white shirts, skirts and jumpers, short pants and trousers, like flocks of birds swirling down the sides of the roadways.
Once we got to Savanna La Mar, and NOT on a regular market day I was amazed at the people everywhere. We paid the local parking cop for parking - no meters, and headed for the largest covered market on the coast road. Each vendor has their stall and you could find just about anything fresh that could be found. Annette and I wandered, talking to folks as we go, showing what the different produce was and what it was for, what it would be cooked with and how it's prepared. All the while there's the singsong murmur of the merchants vying for customers' attention. Doc and Brent wandering as well. Then it was around and through to the fish market where Doc took the lead looking for fresh fish for supper. We were there a little late for the morning catch and after checking a number of stalls, Doc decided we needed to go elsewhere. Then it was to Bashco where they sell everything from furniture to small appliances - much like Zeller's before the big chains started selling food. I was looking for an electric hand mixer - no go - though they did have a big mix master - it was more than we needed for a cake;) So we grabbed some wooden spoons and a good strong whisk, cake pans and measuring cups etc, and I found a small electric kettle and some enamel mugs for my room at the hotel (Morning coffee).
Then it was down a couple of blocks to the supermarket for the ingredients, Annette decided we she I and should walk it. That was an interesting walk. Annette acted as translator when comments were too fast for me to catch, I'm picking up the patois but there's no way I can catch all of it, that'll take either years or complete immersion, but the comment I heard most was "champion". Apparently a good thing according to Annette.
We made out like bandits and found everything we needed after some concerted searching, well except for Doc's fish.
We stopped for some fresh coco bread on the way south out of town on the search for fish. We finally found this lovely red snapper at a roadside stand somewhere in Belmont - I think - a few townships past Savanna La Mar and then it was back up the coast to Negril to get home and start the great cake experiment.
Annette and I got work and between us, with a little improvisation - - after all the recipes told us we couldn't do it.

January 13, 2011

Holiday Mon & Tues #1

Mon Jan 10
Breakfast on the deck and sittin' on the beach. Got my new room on the ground floor MUCHOS better and a king bed to starfish on YAY!
Doc & Brent came by and we kicked back on the patio for a bit.
Headed up to the internet cafe for Brent and got sidetracked dropping off the burger king for Annette. Several red stripe later we was all dancin' and singin' round the dining room.

Tues Jan 11
Kory, Brenda and I walked down to the BarB for brekky. They even made brown stew for them on request. Met some other people, enjoyed an omelette and magic coffee and of course had to take pics of all the drink menus.
Back to Mariners and Kory & Brenda's ground floor room was ready so we got that all in gear. Then it was off to Sun outlet for Brenda shopping, a quick stop for Kory at the Canoe bar and hit the HiLo for red stripe rum cream yogurt and catfood so Brenda could feed the resort kitties.
Ivan was over for a bit, then Brenda's friend Statement came by and we just chilled on the patio for some time.
Next stop Negril Escape to see Freddie MacGregor. You walk down this curvy path till you hit the dance floor right on the cliffs - beautiful. Good vibes great company!

January 09, 2011

holiday sunday

I was up really early so I popped down to the lobby to upload some pics and met some of the regular guests. Mary and Bill have been coming here for years - and their friend Carl. Funny and tart. From Wisconsin.
YAY! Doc found my cards. They must have fallen out of my new jeans at Scrub a Dub and someone turned them in. Double YAY for whoever found them!

AND Annette and I spent the entire afternoon cooking. I made Jamaican deep fried chicken and learned to make rice and peas the RIGHT way.So we made homemade supper for Brenda & Kory, Doc, Brent, Leon and us two. It was terrific and Annette said I did a great job with the chicken. And I wrote down all the instructions and took pictures. Apparently what I was doing wrong with my attempts at curried goat, was that I should be using a pressure cooker. Good to know.
I am going to try and find a recipe for scratch cake that can be cooked in a 250 degree max oven and Annette and I are going to make marble cake.

So happy Brenda is finally here! Wish so many others were too. Charlie's chickens are getting bigger and populating the coop, so there will be several egg layers soon. You should have seen Brenda's face when I told her Annette and I went out and caught a chicken, chopped off it's head, plucked and butchered it for supper. And i DIDN'T HAVE THE CAMERA READY.

All in all a wonderful day.

Brent picked up a few things including a juicer for Annette - lordy if only you could have seen the unmitigated joy on Doc's face when he was using it to make orange juice. Priceless.

holiday days 2 &3 (Fri/Sat)

Fri Jan 7

Up at 7, Kory was already up and about. Headed down to the beach for brekky at Lingah. By the 100 little gods there's nothing like sitting on an open patio, a tropical breeze wafting through your hair, surf singing along and bacon & eggs with dumplings topped with magic java.
Kory came sauntering up the beach from Mom's place, so we had a sit and figured out what we needed to do today. Called Doc, and got the biggest brightest damn hug when he got here. His laugh just makes you smile!It was off to Digicell to pick up a couple of payasyougo phones - it's a long beach and we aren't always going in the same direction ;) So now Kory Doc and I have matching red cells.A stop by the HiLo grocery provided us with a few cases of guinness, red stripe,and watah. Found the rum cream and they have a new flavour - "COFFEE" so I had to get that too. Then stopped by the Sun outlet to collect some more hugs from the lovely Annette and pick up aTshirt or two and a beach chair towel.
Once we got everything stored Doc was off and running so I Kory and I lotioned ourselves up and headed for the beach.
My pool noodle experiment was successful and it does stop me from getting pushme-pullme'd all over in the waves and let's me just bob on the surface like a message in a bottle. Sun baking commenced with a nice shade tree and loungers that didn't creak when I sat down. When hunger started to growl we wandered down to the Traveller's Inn for lunch - it was AWESOMER. And they have karaoke Fri & Sun. and brunch Sunday too.
Just before sunset Doc & Brent joined Kory & I at the beach bar where our evening shenanigans were planned, a visit to Scrub a Dub - a carwash long since converted to a "strip club" seemed to be on order and the boys would pick us up round 11:30. Kory headed for a siesta, the boys to ppick up Annette, and Myself and some of the locals toasted the sunset and danced on the beach well into the evening.
Beverly, the resort's masseuse and I share a taste for the rum cream & guinness and we had a blat with Sharee and Deano and a few of the long time visitors to the resort. Good music, great company and no stress.

Sat Jan 8
We all slept in until 10 this morning which might have had something to do with the fact that we didn't get back from Scrub a Dub's till after 3 in the morning ;) did some banking had breakfast on the beach and with no desire to do anything but laze the day away Kory and I hauled the cooler down to our oceanview loungers and did just that.
My discovery that my credit cards and ID were missing, while we were waiting for pickup to watch some football at Margueritaville came as a nasty surprise. I used it last on Friday morning at Sun, and was pretty sure I put it back in my purse but after searching evrything I own it is still missing. Have to check with Sun in the am and otherwise call and cancel everything. Damn.

Sun Jan 9

Br& Kory are going to run into MoBay to get her and Annette is going to show me how Jamaicans really cook ;)

January 07, 2011

on holiday day 1

Despite fighting a nasty cold I have been so excited that REM sleep has generally eluded me for the last several days.Not that it mattered cause today I was going back to Jamaica mon.
Work flew by, picked up the last few things I needed, had a pint with Mur at the Abbey and collected some hugs, and then booted over to Amanda & Chris' for supper and a game of monopoly with the grands, and it was time to go.
Chris hauled me to the port and dealt with my luggage (wonderful guy) and took my coat back to the house with him. Despite my great paranoia about luggage weights- it was all good and I checked both cases, picked up my smokes from duty free (less than $100 for 2 cartons), and sashayed my way through security without at hitch. Kory was already waiting so I grabbed a Timmy Ho's and we chilled until the flight was called.
Surviving the hazing from my friends about the blowing snow and winter weather, the flight left ON Time at just after midnite. Kristeo and Selso were on it, a few other people from work, and at the last minute Brent Pool showed up too!
If only the 2 children seated behind me could have seen their way to settle, stop crying and quit kicking the back of my seat, it would have been better. The "Please return to your seats" notice when I was in the head caused me a bit of panic, but really when you've already traversed the micro aisle and managed to wedge yourself in there, you might as well finish what you started, it was only a bit of turbulence so really ...
The lights of civilization at night was an amazing experience, and the storm out to the east as we overflew St Loius was phenomenal. Seeing lightening from the top down - BOOYAH! It looks like a mushroom cloud explosion when you're above it, a sentiment that my seatmate didn't apparently appreciate. The lights along the Florida keys were a glowing necklace and the total void once we were over the ocean was astounding.
The sun was just starting to peek over the edge of the world when we reached the island.
Immigration was quick, the JUTA transport was about 20 minutes late and Margueritaville closed but our driver Franklyn found us a roadside cold beer stand just outside of MoBay. Tourist prices for red stripe that early in the morning - but really who cares;) I was so happy to be driving along on the coast road that I found myself actually crying for joy. Frank was hilarious and is quite adamant that before we look anywhere else we should go to Port Antonio for real estate.
The Mariner is one of the older hotels on 7 mile, a patina of age comfortably settled across its shoulders. They found Kory and I a room to stay in until check in time at 2. Our King rooms won't be available until Monday (thank you expedia you jerks), but the ones we got are clean and serviceable. The safe in my room however, doesn't work. So we got cleaned up and wandered through the garden getting our bearings and looking for eats and cold bevvies around 10ish.
Lyngah by the Sea is the local outdoor restaurant perched on the edge of the beach with an endless view of the ocean. The service was great and the food ..mmm.. awesome! jerk chicken salad with this tangy mango sauce and blue mountain coffee with rum cream. Kory had the jerk chicken dinner and from the looks of our remains it was fan-freakin-tastic.
I could have just sat there all day.
Wandered a bit about the property, there's a minimart, 2 gift shops, the pool, and a beach bar. Big sand, l,ots of loungers and some pretty good shade trees for afternoon napping.
So Kory and I started walking the beach in the early afternoon - we sauntered down to the BarB Barn and had some cool ones there, and continued on to Alfreds where we had supper. Scampi for me with jamaican cole slaw and rice and peas, fish for Kory. Delicious. Will certainly go there again.
Having traversed over 2K of sand walking and being sleepless foe most of 3 days I grabbed a cab back to Mariners while Kory continued his trek (another mile) down the beach to Margueritaville.
A few cool ones at the beach bar, splash in the ocean, a shower and crisp clean sheets and it was nighty night little girl.
Sleepin' with a big ass grin.
...and my cold is almost gone;)

January 04, 2011

and a one and a two ...

Packed and ready. One more day of work, a visit with the kids and the grands and in 24 hours and 30 minutes - lift off.

Here's to great weather for the prairies while I'm gone. I'll miss the people but not the snow.

I can hear the waves lapping on the beach already.

Ciao bellas.

January 03, 2011

back to work

I have code id by dose. I've not had one in several years. It blows.

3 trips to the medi clinic to get some antibiotics to head the chronic bronchitis off at the pass considering I'M LEAVING ON A JET PLANE WEDNESDAY At midnite for my happy place. Got there at 2 today and brother was that a lucky call. Their walk-in is only open noon till4 and I was the last client they would schedule today. Doc says so far just a cold but better safe than sorry. The pharmacist also suggested some advil cold and sinus (he is taking it right now too) to deal with the yucky part of the symptoms.

So I gathered everything up, hit my last fake bake which also felt better and made myself some chicken noodle barley soup - mmmm. Realized that even though I thought I was packed - I forgot to pack mend and pack my fave beach shorts, then add the sunscreen & prescriptions - and change the clothes I'll be wearing on the plane.

The kids are going to take me to the port and keep my winter wear so I don't have to deal with hauling it in the tropical heat along with the big case, carry on and laptop bag. I am going for 3 weeks ;)

Tomorrow I'll drop off the reno plans at the condo board office (thank you Liza & Brian). Go to work, hopefully have coffee with the boyo and then Deb is going to make indian food for supper ...mmmm.

I think everything else is in hand to go - I just have to stop myself from crawling out of my own skin in anticipation. This is SO much different than last year's adventure because I KNOW what I am looking forward to, and I think better prepared. DaMN - Did I pack the hat? hmmmm

Ah well, had to put the other stuff away anyhoo.

Don't know if I'll post everyday but it'll be often. There's not a lot to do at 6am as you're watching the sun come up on the beach so it's a good time to catch up.


January 02, 2011

new year's resolutions

who needs more pressure?

improvise & overcome

... and why would I choose to associate myself with a term that most used used in a derogatory manner?
In order to change the meaning of a word or create a new meaning for a word, one must own the word. Over time and use the word may evolve to mean other than was originally intended & to that end...
my definition: an independent woman

dictionary definitions:

1. informal term for a (young) woman
2. an unsupervised umarried woman
3. a young woman or girl, esp. a peasant girl.
(usually facetious)
3. a woman servant
4. a wanton woman
5. Archaic: a strumpet
[Origin: 1250–1300; ME, back formation from wenchel, OE wencel child]

synonom :"dame"

Women Entitled to Nothing but Complete Happiness

International Wenches Guild

what do you believe?


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