Friday, July 24, 2009

Fleeting Summer Days

Why does summer seem to fly by at breakneck speed, and yet winter takes its' sweet ass time dragging by for what feels like endless chilled days and subarctic nights? And yet, THIS summer, it hasn't even really felt like summer has arrived what with the crappy rainy weather. I keep waiting for it to be hot and sunny with nary a care on the horizon. Not so much.

The last two weeks (ish) have been a blur. My Mom was here visiting for a month and we were busy pretty much on a daily basis. It was good busy though. We went to a wonderful restaurant for lunch for my husband's 40th birthday. We travelled to a little town close by to window shop and browse the antiques. We attended rainy soccer games and visited with neighbours and friends. We enjoyed my Mom's yummy cooking and special meals and treats. She cleaned my silver tea set (yah!) and mended anything and everything that needed sewing. (Have I mentioned I don't "do" sewing?) My husband bought me my first piece of Fire King Jadeite, which I had expressed an interest in collecting.

My eldest came home from camp after a week. She had a great time, but was sick when she got home. We spent three days with her stomach being unwell and then it turned into a stuffy nose. Don't worry-it wasn't swine flu. I checked the symptoms and we were in the clear! The bad news is, then my Mom and I got it and felt horrible for a few days. I ended up getting sick to my stomach, which is just frankly, un-summertime behaviour. I was not impressed.

As of the 20th, we are now on holidays until August 4th. We ventured back "home" for a visit and did our yearly physicals with the doctor. Now THAT'S the way you start a vacation! My eldest also had to have a cavity filled, which she did with no freezing. She pretty much rocks, if I do say so myself. We visited with my sister and her family, all the while celebrating my nephew's 6th birthday and my husband's 40th.

I had organized with my brother in law for a golf day as my husband's surprise. My brother in law would take him golfing and he'd show up to see all of his friends. They'd spend the day golfing and have lunch. Well, it rained. Some of his friends bailed. Some had to work. He still went with those that could and had a great time. While they were gone, my sister and my eldest made a crazy, amazing cake. It was a castle with a dragon and knight. The significance being, "Welcome to the Middle Ages" for my husband. Yes, I'm cruel. But it's funny! We had a family BBQ and the cake and my nephew opened his gifts. While home I had a pedicure, which really is a gift to my husband as well, and saw a few of my best friends. I had dinner with my three best friends and then spent a few hours the next day with my other best gal and her family. All in all, a great trip home.

We're home now for a few days before we head out again. My stomach is still "off" and I'm still pretty tired. I'm trying to catch my second wind for the next round of our holidays. My youngest has her "best friend's" birthday party tomorrow (which is also one of the reasons we came back between trips) and I want to clean the whole house, top to bottom, before heading out again.

We're off to another city to spend three days and sight see, while also visiting my uncle and my cousin. Then, we'll hit the beach for two days and then we're home again for the long weekend.

The above message is my excuse for lack of blogging, and my warning that I may still be MIA for awhile longer yet. Now that you have my itinerary, I hope you understand, and I hope that you, too, are enjoying your own busy, fun, happy holiday time with your loved ones.

And I hope the sun decides it's time to show up for a few weeks!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Watching Trainwrecks

I'm a total buzz kill lately and I'm sorry to unload this on you yet again, but it seems lately like all around me, everything and everyone is a train wreck either happening or waiting to happen.

Firstly, my Dad. Sigh. He was just about to "turn a corner" and we were feeling pretty good about how his health was going and that he was coming along. He was talking again, they had taken him off of the ventilator, he was doing physio, and they were talking about getting him on "real" food again. Well, that all changed the other night. He stopped breathing. They found that he has pneumonia in both lungs. This is the same pneumonia, likely, that he's had since the very beginning and just never really got rid of completely. The fact that he's been a smoker for the past oh, 60 years or so, probably doesn't help his situation. So, he's back to the CCU and back to treating the pneumonia and back all the amazing steps he had taken forward. Honestly, it's more than a train wreck. It's a constant daily roller coaster of good days and bad days. He's getting better, he's dying. You can't prepare yourself emotionally for the inevitability of something happening, because its constantly changing status. Not that you can ever really prepare for that eventuality anyways though.

Then, I'm watching marriages all around me implode on themselves. It's a very strange reality to see two people that lived together a week ago now refusing to communicate in any capacity except through their lawyers. I think it's the most bizarre dance of anger and sadness mixed with a hefty dose of being too darn stubborn. I don't know if it's around our age, or our length of marriage time, but couples are falling like flies on a fly zapper.I guess the reality is, they didn't know how to communicate while IN the marriages, why expect them to know how NOW when they are out? Or even have the will to want to try. I just think when there are children involved you need to set your differences and your petty arguments aside and just deal. It might be painful and most definitely annoying, but them's the brakes. You married this person, had children with them, spent years with them and now it isn't working and you want out. Fair enough. But you should be able to shelve the issues for a few moments to make your child's already shaken world a little more steady. I know, easier said than done and what the heck do I know.

I'm watching passing trains collide and burst into flames, while desperately trying to slow down another train's final trip before it gets to the station. Sometimes in life, it's best to put on the brakes a little and take the scenic route when you can.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Is The World Spinning Off Of Its' Axis????

What the heck is going on out there in the world at large? I'm not a conflict avoider by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm tempted to pull the covers over my head, put on some rose coloured glasses and dream about lollipop trees and sugar mound mountain ranges.

Every time I turn around, it seems like tragedy is lurking in the dark corners of the lives of those around me. It's also on the news, in the newspapers, in my silly, frivolous magazines. I know celebrity deaths don't affect me personally, but it further enforces the general pervasive feeling I have lately of doom and gloom.

It seems many, many, many friends marriages are or have fallen apart in the last year. Others are being diagnosed with chronic illnesses or diseases. In the current economy, others have lost jobs and their incomes, even their very homes. Children have been killed and families torn apart. Between custody battles and counselling sessions, it pummels the soul into inertia.

I read daily about the horrors happening all around the world to children, to women, to men, to families. Lately, there have been a string of articles on child kidnappings. Is there any hope out there? Anything good to cheer a weary and darkened heart?

I had a friend that would refuse to look at the newspaper or watch the news. When 9/11 happened, it was infuriating to me that she had no clue what was transpiring every day on the streets of New York, or anywhere else for that matter. I was living and breathing CNN during those long, dark days and she was going to the spa and the gym!!! I couldn't understand how she could abide living with such an ignorant attitude. While I'm not condoning living in an egocentric bliss, I'm starting to understand her point.

The more I read and see and hear, the more I'm absorbing a general feeling of hopelessness. Worse still, it makes me paranoid about daily living type activities. I don't want to become a shut-in, but I also don't want to turn a blind eye to the crisis that plagues the many nations of the world at large.

For every horrific image or headline I read or see, for every sad news brief I receive from friends, for every loss of life and love and innocence, there is an opposite story out there somewhere of hope and joy and faith. Sometimes, it takes some scrounging to find it, but I know they exist.

I do believe there are still good people in the world. I do believe the world still holds many miracles and magic moments. The key is to find them amid all the clutter that holds them at bay. It's difficult to cut through the heavy veils of despair at times, but if we lose the desire to continue seeing the positive, all truly IS lost.

It reminds me of my favourite childhood movie, "The Neverending Story". The "Nothing" is consuming the enchanted land with darkness because people have given up dreaming and imagining and hoping. All that is needed to conquer the despair and sorrow is happy, fantastic dreams of optimism and life.

I won't let "The Nothing" cast its' shadow across my hearth and home. My soul still soars above the clouds whenever it gets a chance.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Personal Secretary

There are days, in my role as a Mom, that I feel more like a personal secretary for my family. I'm the one booking and confirming appointments, making contacts for play dates, packing and organizing bags for sporting practices or games, even typing up an itemized list for the suitcase going to camp. (in order to maybe get at least half of the clothing returned with the kid!)

Today was no exception. The only thing was that I was making more appointments than in a typical time frame. I called our eye doctor to make our yearly checkups for our eyes. That one is for the whole family. I confirmed our dental appointment for my eldest daughter and a check by the dentist on my younger daughters spacing between her front teeth. They may decide to snip the muscle there, or not. I made yearly physical appointments for the whole family. I made an ultrasound appointment for myself that I've put off for a year. And last but not least, I made a solo appointment for my husband at his doctor.

Most of these appointments are all taking place during the same 2 day period when we travel back home, yes, on our vacation. It seems like a hell of a way to spend time off, but really it's the best time to do it and squeezing it in gets it all over with in one shot. No pun intended.

I've entered the info into my handy dandy calendar on my blackberry and I'm awaiting confirmation on two of the dates and times.

Any calls you need me to make? Anything you need set up? Fresh coffee or your dry cleaning picked up? If not, I'm going to sit here chewing gum and filing my nails.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

On Hiatus? Not So Much

The last blog was June 19th. That's a few weeks back! Oops! What can I say? It's been a busy few weeks and here's my excuses to explain my current absenteeism from the blogosphere!

School ended in a whirlwind of open houses, field trips and end of year parties. We also travelled back home for a dental appointment in that week and brought my Mom here with us. She's visiting for awhile, mostly because my daughter begged for her Granny to be here for her birthday. On that note, my eldest daughter turned ten the last week of June. I can't really even fathom that I have a ten year old. A decade has passed? How, and where was I? Oh yes, I was the tired one running about in a state of half frenzy and half stupor! She's a wonderful, beautiful girl and I'm delighted I had any part in bringing her into this world. She's an incredible artist and she explores that medium in various formats; from drawing to painting to sewing to knitting. She's sensitive and intelligent and lately, sarcastic. Most of the time that sarcasm is quite witty and smart though, I have to admit. Even though I put on my stern "Mom face" and tell her to knock it off!

We had a sleepover party replete with meals and snacks galore. She gave each girl a pair of pyjama pants and a hairband and various other loot bag type stuff and had a fabulous time. She got many cool gifts, her favourite I think being a jean jacket she's coveted for over a year now.

We celebrated Canada Day with neighbours and friends, pitching in to make parts of the meal to share. My husband then set off fireworks in the middle of our street, much to the delight of our non-participating neighbours (ie curmudgeons) I'm sure. Oh well! Happy Canada Day! Hope we didn't set off any Pacemakers in the process of our celebrations!

In the middle of all of that celebrating, we also had the last swimming lesson until the fall, had many soccer games (including one in a torrential downpour of rain) and practices. I finished up my Spanish lessons for now, which will also restart at an "intermediate" level in the fall. Uh huh. Look at me, all "Not Beginner" and shiz.

Which leads me up to today. A bittersweet one for Mom. My eldest is gone to camp for the week. Her first time away from home for more than a night. And far away. Three hours away. I can't just nudge my husband to send him to go and get her because this whole sleeping over thing isn't going to work. I pray that she's sleeping and learning and having an all around good time. However, knowing her as I do, I know that she won't sleep well tonight. Maybe not even tomorrow night. But I hope it gets better after that and I hope that she is so tired out from all of her daytime activities (swimming, canoeing, crafts, archery) that she just sleeps easily and peacefully. This is going to be a long week for Mom though. While she hasn't been away for more than a night, I'm also not used to her being away for so long. When you are a bit (cough, sputter) of a protective mother with a natural tendency to like to control situations, it makes it difficult to just "let go." I'm trying though. So, this gives us both a chance to spread our wings a little. She teared up when I left, and I managed to keep it inside until I sat down in the van and closed the door. It was the first day of school all over again. Sigh. So, I may be a bit on edge this week and I'll be counting down the hours, minutes and seconds until she's safely within my grasp once more.

And now we're back to Monday. I'm starting my other daycare child full time this week, so that should keep me on my toes and my mind focused. Other than soccer one night, we should also have a little more freedom in our schedule, which will be nice.

I'll be doing lots of deep breathing and distraction tactics to keep my mind off of worrying. So, consider my "hiatus" over. I need the sanity that venting to all you poor suckers (I mean that in the nicest way possible) provides.

I'll look forward to you all talking me down again tomorrow, please and thank you!