Sunday, December 9, 2018

looking marvelous

The wind tried to drive me back as I trudged to the gate, but I pressed forward, each step a win over winter's wrath. Tears were pouring from my eyes as the wind blew icy breath into my face. The trees roared either in anguish or support, I couldnt' tell which. Perhaps they were also mourning the passage of summer. Be patient earth... huddle down and in 4 short months the warmth will once again tickle your toes.

I was glad to get back to the house and immediately snuggled under my lovely down blanket. It had the makings of being a relaxing afternoon, until,  donk, donk, donk... the musical notes of a dripping tap started to drill into my brain. Jump up... seems that I fixed it... this deserves one of my last gingernut cookies from NZ.

Yesterday I went with Trudie to a shop in Winchester that is going out of business. Colin, the proprietor, has racks and racks of clothes, mostly one off's so I really had to search for stuff. I did come home with a new black & white top, and a black velvet "burn-out" scarf that will be a great coverup for some of my dresses.

The dilemma is what outfit am I going to leave at home if I bring this new one. I could possibly go on a 30 day cruise with all the clothes I have now!

The other crazy thing (speaking of invasion of the body snatchers) is practicing wearing high heels around the house. I totter around and wonder "how the heck am I going to wear these on the ship without breaking my ankle". Standing on one foot is good exercise for ankles too, and I might even try them on the treadmill this afternoon. They do look good though - you must remember Billy Crystal from SNL "it is better to look good than it is to feel good"!

Marie's birthday was Thursday so we gathered at her place to help her celebrate with plenty of bubbles. Eight of us gathered around her huge table for a pot luck feast. Trudie had brought a smoked chicken (I scored the carcass to make soup). There was no lack of spirited conversation - I hope that everyone had as much fun as I did discussing these interesting topics.

Friday night I put the instant pots to use again. They line up on my counter like fat silver drummer boys. Potatoe soup using broth made from the smoked chicken carcass simmered in one pot, roast cooked in the other for a tasty pot roast. My newfound love is potroast. I had leftover coconut rice that I'd taken to Vashek & Marie's the night before which had also been made in the instant pot. The only thing I used my stove for was to keep the bowls warm, and to make garlic bread. We were joined by Pat, Trudie & Leo so we had another interesting night of conversation.

I'm groggy today. At 2:30 am I took a sleep aid as I was tossing and turning and my mind was flitting from one scene to another, the gruesome and the beautiful, the kind and the evil. We'd watched 'the Shape of Water' last night and while good (it reallly was an excellent movie), it was perhaps too much for my bipolar brain to deal with. It tends to grasp on and ruminate over anything that upsets, and there was lots of scenes in this movie to grab my attention. It's really quite irritating - I'd love to watch more movies, but it just isn't worth it, and to this day I haven't found the trick to distracting my mind or turning it off.

It's a bit like an earworm where the brain acts despite instructions otherwise. Even as I write this, and surely the exercise of writing should distract, I am reliving certain scenes. They are likely to haunt me for days.

But enough of the bad. It was a beautifully filmed movie that was a delight to the eye. I don't think any detail was accidental. The theme of water ran throughout the movie, and even the light had an erie underwater feel. Brilliant.

"“Unable to perceive the shape of You, I find You all around me. 
Your presence fills my eyes with Your love, It humbles my heart, For You are everywhere.” 
~Guillermo del Toro

Monday, December 3, 2018


The poodles had a hair cut yesterday and now are buzzing around like energizer bunnies. Bella had been panting a lot - too much fur was making her hot. Spike must have been hot too - today he galloped at top speed to get my socks, energized by the cold morning. He feels the cold more than Bella, maybe because he's little. He sleeps under a blanket at night and curled into a ball against a fluffy pillow during the day. Neither of them seem unhappy to be nearly naked.

I can see the Norway Spruce's along the road thrashing their branches. The wind gusts and howls through their limbs. We are cosyish in the house - I say 'ish' because the house still hasn't warmed up from its overnight low.

Pat came for supper on Saturday night and we were joined later by Shane and Inga. It was a lovely evening full of interesting conversations. Kirsten called while they were all there and laughed that it seems that whenever she calls we have company. I guess we might! One of my strategies for keeping mentally well is lots of company - it always perks me up.

Yesterday we were at a party for a neighbor's birthday and retirement. When we got there the house was full of people we didn't know. Oh boy... This is not a situation that I thrive in... but I girded myself and walked up to a group of ladies having a conversation and butted right in.  It wasn't my best moment, but I did it and didn't stand by the door looking lost - I survived the afternoon. It was a relief to get home after 2 hours of small talk - that's exhausting for me - I was barely in our door when I collapsed onto the sofa (after changing into comfy jammy/lounge pants of course).

We were out and about this afternoon: visiting Dad and Graham, shwarma, shopping. One of our stops brought us into a rather good liquour store so we took a lookie loo to see what was on sale. A sauvignon blanc from Hawkes Bay, NZ caught me eye - I'd been there! We always drink red wine so this was a bit outside our norm - well, chilled and with a bit of extra-old cheddar and it might be my new favorite. I love the slatey floral bouquet and the burst of flavour is well... fantastic! Yay New Zealand!

Friday, November 30, 2018

lost and found

I can't believe it! I finally found those %*&^ pink headphones. Over the last year and a half I've spent days looking. I tore apart the house several times in my mad quest. Where could the darn things have gone? I had no idea and eventually gave up looking.

Today I decided to play a bit of Christmas music from my phone. I dug out the speakers and opened the tin they are stored in... and there... in all their pink glory sat the ever searched for headphones. I will admit to shouting a few expletives, partially in joy, but also with some level of frustration. So much time wasted...

After settling into a grand old funk the last few days I knew I had to do more than what I had been doing, but what? Well, Christmas is coming, and with that our annual New Years Eve supper. I had to get the house looking a bit festive so I dug out a few bins of decorations to strew around the house while Carm carried the Christmas tree triumpantly to it's annual resting spot. With a flourish I removed the sheet that protected it through the ages. All decorated, it was an instant mood enhancer. Especially when I plugged in the lights, and the bright twinkle shone through the gloom.

Cue the Christmas music (at least until Carm gets home from his errands). A glass of eggnog would be perfect about now.

And there it is: my favorite song already playing. Davie Bowie and Bing Crosby singing 'Little Drummer Boy' and 'Peace on Earth' in an emotional medley. And over too soon.

A strange knocking sound echoed in the house. What the heck? A walk around, listening to the basement, the garage, the front door, didn't reveal anything. It was only when I noticed the woodpecker on the tree outside the greatroom that I clued in. Yup - a medium sized woodpecker was knocking on the evestroph downspout.  The house always seems to be under assault from one bird or another. In the spring the cardinal likes to fling himself against our bedroom window... at the crack of dawn :-(

Some pleasures: finding my headphones; twinkling lights on the Christmas tree; a walk around the field in this grey day - gosh where is the sun? puttering around putting out a few decorations, just enough to be festive, but not so many that it will take me ages to take them all down; duck plop soup for lunch, with a warm biscuit with butter and jam; setting the table for company tonight; a flash of blue in the spruce tree.

"A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all — he's walking on them."
~Leonard Louis Levinson