Friday, November 27, 2009

That Rollercoaster Feeling

Can you feel it starting to build? I can. That Rollercoaster is edging its way to the, click, click on the track. The pull of gravity pushing me into my seat. In a very short time we will be right on the top for a second of weightlessness and then - WOOSH! Here we go.....Christmas parties, christmas shopping, christmas baking, christmas wrapping, christmas concerts, christmas kids stuff....look out here comes a corner! WOOSH Christmas family times, Christmas tree decorating, Christmas movies and shows, Buy a new Christmas outfit, Christmas PJs and chintzy Christmas sweaters.

My suggestion? Enjoy the ride! Throw your hands up if you dare and give thanks for the Saviour's birth. Enjoy the highs and lows and watch out for those quick corners that find you exhausted and stressed.
Suddenly, ride's over. You are left grateful and full of life. Can you feel it starting to build?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I have never been a big fan of the month of November, regardless of the fact this is the month is was born in. November is cold, rainy, gray. It is close enough to Christmas to start to make you stress about all you have to do but not close enough to start to get excited about the festivities.
But, lately, especially this year, I have a change of heart towards dreary November. In Ontario we have had gorgeous weather with very little rain. And because of that I have had the time to appreciate November's charms.
The evening and morning skies are painted with the most delicate pastels like baby pinks, peaches and yellows. They seem fragile like a bath bubble and translucent. Gone are all those vibrant oranges and reds from the fall leaves, now shaken off by the wind and scooped off everyone's lawns. Left behind to enhance November's tentative colours are the black brown limbs of trees; etchings in contrast. I'm naturally drawn to this contrast and many of my photos try to capture it - light against dark together. I love black and white photography for that very reason.
November is a good reason to begin layering up in warm sweaters and wrapping blankets around you while you watch a movie. It's a good reason to enjoy hot chocolate laced with a little something to warm your tummy. Comfort food like grilled cheese and hearty soups are on the menu. The harvest moon seems to puff up twice it's size and takes on a life of it's own.
Duncan Sheik wrote a haunting beautiful ballad called "November" that seems to capture it's somewhat melancholy mood.
Soon the Christmas season will start in earnest and our attention will be turned elsewhere. I hope wherever you are your November has been a good one. Take a deep breath of the frosty air, look up at the beautiful sky or snuggle in for a long winter's nap.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Treasure Lost

I had a Birthday in the last week and one of the things I did was meet a coworker for lunch. We were born on the same day, in the same year at the same hospital - seems we were nursey mates! We were definitely not mixed up at birth as I'm a dead ringer for my mother and she looks a lot like hers. But I digress.....For lunch we had Chinese food and upon opening our "shared" fortune cookie this is what we found "A treasure lost will be found within the month." This would have been entirely accurate for me had I opened it a year ago on my birthday for it was a year ago just before my birthday that my car took an unplanned holiday away. This story has been told before, but not to my blogger friends so here goes!
It was last year right after Halloween that we decided to meet our daughter Randi and a friend of hers in Toronto to spend the day together. As she is in school on the other side of TO, this was a good place to meet in the middle and, well, I was missing her. So we packed up a couple bags of left over Halloween candy and met at her friend's place in Mississauga.
The plan was to leave the car in a parking lot and take the subway to downtown Toronto - which is exactly what we did. We had a lovely time and as it was getting late in the day we hopped back on the subway for the 45 minute return ride. Upon arriving we headed back to where the car was parked in the lot but, funny enough, seems the car was not where we thought we had parked it. So we walked around the parking lot, again, and again. Went back inside the subway building and at this point my husband knows where he parked it and he KNOWS it is stolen. I, on the other hand am in denial. Back out to the parking lot we go again to walk around and around. Reality is finally setting in. The car is not here. I'm shocked! This is a 10-year-old car with nothing fancy about it. It was locked when we left it. How could someone just get in and get it started and drive away without a key???
We call the police and advise them of the crime - there is little they can do. This is Toronto and cars are stolen every hour, every day. We call the insurance company and again, nothing they can do. So we say goodbye to our daughter and her friend Heather and get back on the subway to make our way back downtown to catch a train home. At this point I'm beginning to cry. My poor car - all alone with some strange people doing who knows what to it and going who knows where. Not to mention all my favourite CDs in the car and all that candy!!!
When we arrive in Belleville some very nice lady (an angel, I'm sure) drove us home from the train station. We began to get a clear picture from the police. Seems our type of car is very easy to break into and starts with very little effort. Did not know that. Also, very likely it is in pieces by now and will never be found again on this earth.
The insurance company advised us there was a waiting period before we could begin looking at a claim and consider buying another car. I spent the next couple of weeks biking to work or hitching rides. My husband on the other hand was now having visions of a nice new car....bright shiny with all the bells and whistles. He is getting very excited about this prospect.
Then, out of the blue, about three weeks later we get a call from the Toronto police. They had found our car parked a few blocks away from where we had left it along with about 4 other stolen cars. Yes, it was in once piece. A little dirty perhaps but all there.
The old girl was returned to Belleville, washed and buffed and returned to us. Everything was still in the car - my CDs and all our odds and sodds. The only thing missing was the candy! This 10-year old car now has a very extensive alarm system on it.
The moral of the story is this: always remember to ask God's blessing on your journey - complete with his angels about the car. I'm pretty sure those angels stuck with the car and harrassed whoever took it until they let her go. Also, be prepared that husbands will begin to dream of newer fancier models and don't like it when such dreams are pulled out from beneath them. My treasure lost was returned - within the month.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Not that I have to mention it but Christmas is fast approaching. That means all you big kids are beginning to consider what to buy other big kids and little kids for Christmas.
I had given it some thought and for this year and I decided I would try to buy on a more local basis. When I mean local I mean stuff made in Canada, being Canadian and all. I had no idea how difficult this would be. It seems everything is made in China!
Nearly every piece of clothing I pick up "made in China". Every litte kitchen do-dad or piece of plastic "made in China." Toys, stuffed animals, games "made in China." One would think they are just raking in the bucks albeit in small amounts as this stuff is inexpensive. So one has to ask - why is 90% of everything we go to buy cheap and made in China? I even spotted a Roots (clearly Canadian) sweater and upon checking the label - you guessed it "made in China".
There are some things I can guarantee you can buy Canadian without too much difficulty: maple syrup, cheese, local native goods such as moccasins.
I've decided to expand my goal to include Canada and United States. Today I will be going to an art and craft show called "The Maker's Hands". I'm pretty sure it will be mostly "Made in China" free and perhaps I can pick up a gift or two without blowing the bank up.
This is a bit of a challenge and I know there will be a gift or two under the tree compliments of China but with all the focus on local products and our economy I'm willing to give it a go.