39) Banquets and Bouquets

December 31, 2010

The year started out in a flurry of petals...

One thing I’m finally starting to get after forty some-odd (some very odd, yes) years is that I need a little structure in my life. Unfortunately, structure has been a touch slippery in my life and hard to grasp a hold of. Whoops, there it goes again. I feel as if I’ve been drifting all these years refusing to seriously select a destination (i.e. goal) for fear of making a mistake. I keep forgetting what Lilias Folan once said on her show in the seventies, “there are no mistakes just miss takes”. Instead, I’ve worried that if a make a wrong choice and start cultivating the land on my life’s horizon, land with soil watered by my sweat, nerves and possible tears, I might get anchored in the mud or worse, sink. Then what would become of me? Problem is, in avoiding to choose that (whatever that is) goal to follow, I’ve wound up in the very place I feared I would fall. Stuck.

This coming year I will be (eek!) forty-five and I still have no real clue of what I’m after (how did this happen? read the first paragraph.) True, I’ve set my sights on a few endeavours (writing project, French lessons… ) but my navigation system is way off. At times I feel like there is an electrical pull inside of me constantly yanking me away from my semi-goals, forcing me to do things the way I’ve always done them and it can be exhausting. Also, some of those things simply do not work.

Einstein once said – Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

How true.

2010 has been a pretty good year and as always I am thankful for my health, my family and friends. I am so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by some mighty beings. I feel grateful for my job, the roof over  my head, my table and everything on it. And, most definitely I’m thankful for Bill.

My hope for tomorrow, 2011, though, is that I turn it up a notch or two. I want to keep on doing what I’ve set out to do – but better, stronger and with more effort involved. If my life were a recipe (and it is in a way) I hope to season it with fresh herbs and flavourful spices. I want to stir it up, dip my finger in to test its consistency and then remove or add whatever might be required. I don’t want to get stuck on what’s been written. I want to add pepper to taste (my taste) and adjust accordingly. I do not want to simmer or stew or mull it all over until its over-cooked. Or, take it off the stove before it’s ready. No… No more half-baked meals for me, please. I want to harvest the wisdom I’ve gathered all these years and create the best dish possible. Me. On my forty-fifth birthday this summer I’m going to celebrate my accomplishments – whatever they are. In the meantime, I hope to fill my days with life’s beautiful, overflowing bounties.

I fell a few short of 52 lists this year but let’s see what the new year brings.

List 39 – In 2011 I hope to…

  • keep looking up and around
  • take more photographs
  • write
  • drop the P word from my vocabulary (procrastination. Buh-bye!)
  • try new things and go new places
  • travel
  • laugh as much as possible
  • shed the tears that need to be shed (let me go!)
  • eat, drink and me merry. Healthily. (with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure.)
  • spend time with my family and friends
  • spend time with myself
  • grow… grow… grow…
  • keep blogging (actually you might be seeing some changes over here.)
  • rest and feel more energized (lose the bags under my eyes!)
  • get rid of the excessive clutter
  • tackle as much of my list as possible
  • keep listing

There is so much I want to do this coming year I could go on forever.

... and ends with a flower, too.

May your New Year be filled with banquets and bouquets!

Gone Fishing…

December 29, 2010

I reeled this one in from the archives, taken in Jasper, Alberta over a year ago.  I certainly haven’t been snapping as much as I’d like to these days – pictures that is.

I’m off from work today (yipee!) and amidst a few loads of laundry, several mini fist fights with some mighty dust creatures and (hopefully) a couple of batches of cookies, I plan to head outdoors for a much needed boost to my creative drive. As a friend and I were discussing the other day, we’re almost looking forward to this festive time of years coming to a end if only to stop the excessive drinking and binge eating. And I wish I could say it was due to endless party invites and social get gatherings (or do I?). The venue I’m referring to, in relation to all this seasonal imbibing, is my couch. It seems any excuse to let myself “go” is welcome. However, I’m to begin feeling just a wee bit run down and bloated (yes, baking cookies is the ultimate cure) and my head needs a good shake (again) to clear out the fog. Despite the gray skies hovering above me I plan on taking advantage if this incredibly mild weather and inhaling some fresh, winter air. A good stroll on a trail in the city is on my agenda and I’m packing my camera along as my silent companion because I seriously need to wade through these murky mind waters and get my creative self flowing again.

Yes, I think I’ll jump right in.

38) Boxing Day Wish List

December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I may be a couple of days late in posting my Christmas wish list but my timing is perfect for  taking advantage of the ubiquitous Boxing Day sales. So, without further adieu…

List 38 – Kim’s Christmas Boxing Day wish list in no particular order:

  • The book Stroll by, Shawn Micallef.
  • A good pair of walking shoes and/or boots.
  • Cross country skis.
  • Season six of Rescue Me.
  • An iPad.
  • Unlimited world travel. If you’re going to dream, dream big.
  • Photoshop and/or Aperture. And an operating system to support them.
  • A new laptop. Yes, okay… so my computer is in fine condition. A bit older then some and it could use more space and a few upgrades but asking for things you want but don’t necessarily need are what wish lists are all about, no?
  • A hand blender. I broke mind recently when it toppled out of the dish rack. I’m surprised how much I miss it.
  • Flat screen television to replace the monster we have now that gives off a good image but takes up half the living room.
  • Yoga Classes.
  • Swimming lessons.
  • A week at a spa in the country somewhere.
  • Someone to organize my office.
  • Someone to organize my home.
  • Someone to organize my life. I could really use a mentor. You’re never to old, right?
  • A few hot (and by hot I mean cool, not stolen) lenses for my Canon Rebel T1i.
  • A new desk and shelves for my office.
  • A toaster oven to replace the nasty one we have now that works really well but is a major eye sore.
  • Overhead lights for my kitchen and living room.
  • French lessons and accompanying lodging in FRANCE.
  • A new wardrobe.
  • A year’s worth of manicures (by someone who knows how to deal with troubled cuticles. I haven’t met that person here in Toronto so if you have a handle on someone you’d better let me know.
  • Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream. Mmmm…
  • New Fly shoes or boots (some of the Yellow and Cherry/ Morganne lines really work for me). Hopefully, I’ll take care of that one today.

Wishful Thinking

December 24, 2010

Giant gingerbread house spotted at The Sweet Escape Patisserie at the Distillery.

T’was the morning before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring… except for a few (okay, maybe several) aimless, infant sized dust bunnies and me heading out the door for my last shift at work before the “holidays”. Yes, I will be resting at home, tomorrow, binge eating (and hopefully drinking) whilst couching it for a mini-film fest, before heading back to work on Sunday. I work at a live theatre and in showbiz speak, as we all know, the show must go on regardless of the time of year. (I just escaped, by a hair, working Christmas day.) I had really wanted to post a few lists here before the first Noel rolled in but perhaps I will have them up in time for Ukrainian Christmas. I like to use whatever calender works best for my purposes.

At any rate, have a wonder day and try to avoid the shopping malls.

December 23, 2010

Check out another take of the lunar eclipse from December 21, here, at Daily Dose of Imagery.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

December 22, 2010

Because I have no idea what day of the week it is, despite several new sources proclaiming the event, I missed this:

December 21, 2:23am – 3:37

On the upside, I did sleep rather well.

 

December 19, 2010

Yet another shot of Taylor Creek.

May your trails be filled with sunshine and your streams reflect your natural beauty.

Happy Sunday.

As Luck Would Have It

December 17, 2010

I’ve been reading the book, Lies My Mother Told Me: A Memoir by Kaylie Jones, the daughter of James Jones, author of From Here To Eternity. It’s a good read in which Kaylie writes about growing up with alcoholic parents, especially her difficult and complex relationship with her mother. One day, on a bus in Manhattan, Kaylie notices this poem (as part of Poertry in Motion) placed above the windows along the space usually reserved for ads.  It was a poem written by Langston Hughes called Luck that goes like this:

Luck

Sometimes a crumb falls

From the tables of joy,

Sometimes a bone

Is flung.

 

To some people

Love is given,

To others

Only heaven.

Over the last few days, I’ve read this poem many times. I’m struck by how these few lines reveal such honesty, beauty and pain. So much like how life can be at times, for some of us more than others.

 

 

37) Sink or Swim

December 11, 2010

I just might have to grab onto this buoy

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Yes… Once my nerves start to rattle and my head becomes all fahlalalalahlaladdled it’s safe to say Christmas is on the way. For me, the busy is all about work. My job entails selling a product that could be considered a good gift idea by some and so my workload increases by a percentage in the high double digits. Of course, I’m happy for the business for without it I wouldn’t get paid. But, do I feel wiped out at the end of the day? Oh yes I do. Now remember, on the calmest of days (on the job or otherwise), the rest of my life can set the switch to high in fraz mode, so with the added pressures of non-stop shoppers things can get a bit… blurry. At this time of year, if I’ve learned anything from the past, I know I need to keep things as simple as possible. After my last french class on Monday (I think we’re having a test. Merde!!!) the plan is to turn things way down to low. When I was a youngster, one of the best stuffers wedged into the toe my stocking was one of those sugary sweet and shiny books of Lifesavers (remember those? Butterrum was my fave) these days however my life savers come in many different forms so when it feels as if I’m going under, I be sure to grab ahold of one my rescue remedies.

List 37 – Holiday Buoys

  • Books – nothings like plunging into a good read with a morning coffee, on a lunch break, or on the way home on the subway to pull one out of the deep-end.
  • Movies – I love watching movies of all types but for the next week or two nothing heavy please. I don’t need any help in sinking. A well made piece of fluff is exactly what the doctor ordered.
  • Deep breathing – several times a day. The trick is to avoid hyperventilating.
  • Clean house – The less cluttered my house is the better I feel. I better start tossing a few items in the closet.
  • Eating well  – I cannot stress enough (or maybe I can) the importance of eating properly during a busy spell. I have every intention of preparing some lunch ideas for the week ahead because, if you’re anything like me, there is nothing worse than wasting precious break time perusing the food courts for some salty, oily and often over priced (if it’s made well) bit of take-with.
  • Abstaining from alcohol – I will try my best.
  • Releasing all illusions I can do it all – Somehow I will need to study for my test on Monday (I should actually be doing that now) but after that – c’est tout! I will blog here and there and do this and that (maybe) but I will not beat myself up if I can’t tackle that giant to do list I’ve been avoiding since Y2K. It’s waited this long.
  • Be patient – with myself and others. Some days I have less than zero patience and the constant eye rolling gives me a headache.
  • Chant – This too will pass.
  • Daydream – Mmmmmm…
  • Avoid any shop or café blaring Christmas songs – Sorry, but they really get on my nerves.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Go for a walk with my camera.
  • Breathe – I can’t say it enough.
  • Stay in the moment – Deal with what is in right front of me. When I see a long line stretched out in front of me it can get a bit creepy.
  • Be kind – Silently chant this mantra I read in a the book A Path With Heart, by Jack Kornfield (over and over again dammit) that says,  May I be filled with loving kindness. May I be well. May I be peaceful and at ease. May I be happy. Sounds good to me!
  • Go swimming – which would help me, I know, if it didn’t entail waking up a 6:15. So until the end of the year I am going cross that one off the list unless I happen to wake up early enough to go. I always enjoy it when I’m in the water – and not sinking.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – It’s amazing how tired I can get after a mind frazzling day but then when it comes time to hit the sack my eyes refuse to close. I’m hoping this year will be different (oh please, oh please).
  • Always show up to work on time and DO NOT rush – I am often jamming as much as I can into a limited time span which usually has me running. There is absolutely no need to start that one last task when I really out to be putting my coat on.

Musical Interlude

December 10, 2010

Take a few minutes off from the pre-Christmas hustle, grab a cup of something warm, a glass of red, whatever suits you. Pop in the ear buds or turn up the speakers and let Joni’s lovely voice lull you for 4 minutes 11… This is one of a handful of (kinda) Christmas songs I can actually stomach. Sorry, I was unable to find a version of this tune with Joni performing but just close your eyes and create your own version of a music video. It shouldn’t be too difficult, what with her always descriptive lyrics and enchanting voice.

Note to self: Get your skates sharpened.

Enjoy.