Saturday, December 16, 2006

merry knitty feltmas!

some things I've recently finished for xmas - and an old bag i've felted just because... (that's the orange one)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Good Night, Sweet Ed

On July 18 we lost our Eddie. Incidentally, this is my birthday as well, and losing a loved one has to be the last way I'd choose to mark my birthday.
It was breakfast time, and my brother had just made me a fabulous birthday breakfast spread... we were sipping mimosas when Don yelled to me. Ed was under the couch, and not breathing well at all.
We rushed to the emerg clinic and I ran in, thinking I had it all under control, but when I had to speak, I started to cry, and a garbled, "MY CAT'S NOT BREATHING RIGHT!" or something similar fell out of my mouth. They rushed him in and started him on puffers (thinking maybe he was asthmatic) and put him on oxygen immediately.
Later in the day, after xrays turned up nothing, they did an ultrasound, and found that he had heart disease, with scarring as evidence of prior minor attacks.
This one had thrown a blood clot to his legs and lungs, leaving him without the use of his legs and a lung filled with fluid.
I kept thinking, wow, this is really serious, and at least now we know what's wrong, so we can watch for it when we take him back home... but as the day wore on, the painful truth became more and more evident. Eddie was not coming home with us.
It was past midnight when we decided to put an end to Ed's suffering, he wasn't going to be able to breathe on his own, and even if he could, by this time his back legs were of no use. We couldn't make him hang on and suffer through this without hope of regaining his prior quality of life. We had spent a lot of tears that day, in fear that we'd have to face this decision, but it had to be. We said goodbye to him about 12.30 - so far the hardest thing either of us has had to do.

It's been more than a month now, and I'm not sure that I actually believe it happened. It seems so surreal, and so wrong. I had never expected to lose Ed first. He was only 10 years old. It somehow made more sense to me that Lucy, our older cat, or Ender, our dog, would be the first to go... not Ed. It took us by surprise, really knocking the wind out of us. For a couple of weeks afterwards, I just felt exhausted. I am still having the hardest time at night, when I expect him to come pouncing up onto the bed, to sleep on our pillows (strategically placing himself as far from the dreaded dog as possible)
Sometimes I swear I hear his scratchy little meow (a la "Cartman" from South Park) or see his white and silver shape out of the corner of my eye. The dog has stopped peering around corners, deciding that his great white nemesis has left him alone, but I still find myself looking for him, expecting him to be there.
We surely miss Ed, he filled a big space in our family, and we know he will never be replaced. Even though I desparately want this to make some sense, I think I have realized that there is no sense to be made of it, no happy twist to the story, because I have never believed most of those fairy tales anyway.
A good friend told me this past weekend that there is an old Indian (native North American, I'm assuming) story that says our pets will be waiting to greet us when we die. I'd like to believe that, but it will be some time before I can test that theory out.

Ed, my first "Mister," I miss you little Man.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sara Tavares at Lula Lounge

I had the best chill night last night with my sister - we went to Lula Lounge to see Sara Tavares perform. She has a fabulous voice, and for anyone interested in music from around the world, she's one to check out - she sings in Portuguese, and the music has definate african and latin vibes to it... it's amazing!
Click here for info

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

St Lawrence trip

This past weekend we were in Brockville to dive the St Lawrence river - we did 4 dives on three wrecks - one of which was a working dive towards our advanced level - - and it was a BLAST!
We were a bit nervous about the trip, because all the research we had done before hand put such emphasis on the current in the river, we were a bit unsure of what we were getting ourselves into. But the day we were there, the river was kind, the sun was shining - it was a perfect setting for a new experience.
We were also a bit intimidated by the rest of our diving group - all much more experienced than us, most of them were dive masters. But the group was great, and especially Dave and Julie, who took us under their wing to help us learn about the river.
We saw three wrecks: the Lillie P, the Daryaw and the Gaskin.
The Daryaw was a deep dive, and a huge boat - the buoy line brought us first to two HUGE props at the stern.
The Lillie P was a lot of fun - we dove this one twice (on one tank!) They call this the "merry-go-round," because, after poking around the shipwreck, you can swim to an area just off the boat, catch the current and drift around sparrow island. There is a yellow line you need to watch for - and GRAB IT - because if you don't you'll be swooshed around the island, and out into the shipping channel. We grabbed the line the first time - stopped, waited for the boat to come back, and while waiting, decided we had enough air in our tanks to do it again. If the boat had come back, we would have swapped to a new tank for our second dive, which would have given us more time to poke around the wreck. My first dive I was so busy trying to pay attention to the current, that I barely saw the shipwreck. After I was comfortable in the current, I was able to pay better attention to the ship, but wished I had more air. I used about 1500 psi per dive. Ah - but the fun part is this - once you grab that line, do your safety stop (being blown by the current like laundry on a line!)and ascend - you are at the edge of sparrow island - a rocky little globule of an island. It's here that you need to toss your fins up the rocks, and climb out - and potentially right across the island to do it again. We took a break, waiting for said boat, but most people hike across the island right away. And, even after our break, we did the hike, tanks et al on our backs - loads of fun on unstable terrain. But we all made it safely, and slipped back into the water.
We had a great day on the water, the charter operators were great - they had the best dive boat I'd seen, the first deck being totally enclosed, and the upper "sundeck" complete with bbq and stereo speakers!

I need to get back to Brockville, there are more wrecks to see, and it's such a great dive environment!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Swimming and the end of home reno?

We're just on the brink of June and the weather has been hot for some time now. My pool is open, and we've even had a handful of sticky days in a row to be able to swim.
We're almost done our bathroom too - which is great news, because it's getting too hot, and the project has dragged on too long now. We were mentally finished with it weeks ago, yet physically we still have to slog away at it. Now the ceiling is painted, the walls are primed and ready for paint and the floor is almost tiled. The bath has been tiled and in use for over two months now, and the shower tiles need grouted when the floor gets grouted. We have yet to put the cabinets together (Ikea - after the kitchen and the bedroom wardrobe, I could do those in my sleep!) and then we'll need to order the counter top and the glass for the shower.

When we embarked on this project, boy were we naive! We seriously underestimated the amount of time, sweat and frustration that would come with completely gutting and enlarging our existing bathroom. Plus, it's been a tough go on top of our regular 9-5 type jobs.
Soon our hard labour will pay off, and if you come by our place, you will see the two LAZIEST people alive, just reading by the pool, flopping about in the pool, and enjoying some cold "ones."

At least that's the plan...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Home is where my Lucy is!

Lucy came into my life almost 12 years ago, in May. My boyfriend and I had just moved into our first apartment together, and decided we needed a “little one” to make it feel more like a home. I had found an ad boasting kittens that were free to a good home – surely we’d be a good home! We worked together at the time, and our boss was gracious enough to let us leave early together that day, and speed through rush hour traffic. We had found out when we called about this little kitty that she was the last one left from the litter, and that three other couples had planned to come and pick her up.
I ran up to the front door and pushed the doorbell. The man who answered the door said that we’d got there first, and he went to go get the kitten. When he returned to the door, my eyes locked gaze with the brilliant yellow eyes of the kitten in his grasp. I was smitten at first sight! He passed her to me, and the next thing I remember I was sitting in the passenger side of the car introducing her to Don.
The man came out to the car and mentioned that she was litter trained, and bade her farewell. I must have been grinning like a fiend. I wonder if he doubted our abilities as “cat people?”
We brought our feisty little bundle home, and she promptly dove under the futon. It was a very obvious choice of cover, since it was the only piece of furniture we had been able to afford at that point. Because I had the next two days off, I was able to spend quite a lot of time lying on the carpet with my head sideways, talking to this stunning little nymph who absolutely refused to leave her hideout. Eventually we struck a bargain, and she started walking around the place like she owned it – I’ve been happy since to claim that any house of mine is owned by my Lucy first!
Lucy and I bonded very closely, and from her very early days, she would sleep nestled in my hair, kneading the back of my neck with her paws (and yes, sometimes claws!) You’d never see me happier than when I was lying in bed with my kitten scratching the back of my neck.
As a kitten, she was a wild thing, who routinely leapt through the apartment at a height of about 4 feet off the ground. She obsessed about nailholes in the walls – and used to jump at them for hours. She also used to call spiders down - - well, she’d call to them, and I’d have to thwack them down for her to play with – come to think of it, she was really calling me.
She has a different meow for different occasions – a very distinct “TUNA NOW” meow, a special meow to call Ed (our other cat), a lonely, “where are you??” meow, and a very distinct “come find me” meow, among others. She also has a fabulous purr- like a finely tuned Japanese sportscar, it’s tight and buzzy.
Even now, after the addition of another cat and a dog to our little family – I’ve not had such a bond with another animal before.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Well, I didn't vote for you!

I went to bed dreading an outcome that's been confirmed this morning, by logging onto the beloved CBC... our Prime Minister is now Stephen Harper.
Thanks to dimwits everywhere, voting as a kneejerk reaction to propaganda surrounding a liberal scandal, there is potential that we about to see abysmal changes to this country we call home. Under a Harper government we may see very Canadian staples like the CBC, government sponsored healthcare, our privelege NOT to participate in silly war activities like our neighbours to the south - oh yeah, and our basic human rights. After these changes, I suppose we can just call it America instead.
Sure he's proposing tax cuts, but all the money in the GST won't pay for what he's threatened to take away. Most everyone can afford to pay a %7 tax on items they purchase, but definately not everyone can afford to pay for access to healthcare. But, Stephen Harper and his corporate buddies can, so I guess that's what matters most.
At least only a portion of us lost our heads, and they are only a minority government. We'd better hold on and pay attention - we're in for quite a ride...

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Half Baked Sundae

Yup, it's all in the name -don't ask - how else could we have come up with this?!
Anyway, for a fabulous munchie of your own, try this!

Mix up some cookie dough, preferably something with chocolate chips. Bake whatever dough has escaped being eaten as raw dough. Take the cookies out of the oven BEFORE they are totally done - they will be slightly crispy at the very edges and very soft and melty in the centre.
Serve warm cookie over small scoop of ice cream (it's okay, I said "small scoop," see?) Delish! The melty cookie softens the ice cream and this is sooo yummy! Plus, depending on how much raw dough was consumed, you might even have some cookies left over to eat the next day! (a la suggested serving on the package)


My Grandma Pat

This was something I had written for a yoga magazine contest - they asked for a piece of writing about a person you have met that emodies what it is to be a yogi. I wrote the piece, and, true to my fashion, did not procure a FREAKIN' STAMP in time to send it... (I never seem to have a stamp when I need one, does this happen to anyone else? I'd like to see a new system, one where each address has a code of some sort, and all outgoing mail can be billed to an account associated with that code... but that's a theory for another day.)
I thought I'd post this here, just because this is where things of a typed nature should be. So, without further ado, enjoy:

They say, “Children and animals know things.”
Even as a young child, I knew that my Grandma Pat was a bright light, a precious gift. I feel blessed to have had her in my life. I was too young while she was alive to know that she was the first yogi I’d met. It’s only now that I’ve begun my own study of yoga, that I realize she was far ahead of me on the path already.
She was gentle, loving and patient. Her presence did not COMMAND attention, her ways were far less intrusive. Instead, you felt compelled to take notice, to take in every word, to be touched by her energy. Whatever was brought to you by her presence or her voice was a small gift to be cherished forever.
Pat exuded strength. She was widowed early, left alone to raise four boisterous boys, and their princess-come-tomboy sister. (my mother) She was loving, patient and handled conflict with endless equanimity, her mantra being, “This too shall pass.” She passed her wisdom and ways on to my mother, and I find myself striving to live up to them as well.
She was a teacher throughout her life, and in her last teaching position she worked closely with new immigrants, not only teaching them English, but helping them acclimatize to their new country, often on her own time.
My Grandma Pat was a great lover of life, nature and the universe. She adored violets, sculpting the clay she dug from her garden, and watching the lake beside her house. She had a profound respect for everything from the smallest insect to the vastness of the night sky. Some of my best memories include evenings spent curled up with her on the couch watching Carl Sagan on Cosmos.
She even had a bit of a physical practice, yet I doubt she would have called it yoga. From a very young age, her parents had her go outside every day to do breathing exercises, regardless of weather. And her physical exercise was comprised mainly of a series of stretching movements, which, looking back at it now, were very rooted in yoga.

There are many times I find myself thinking of her in the quiet that comes to me at the end of my practice. It is in these moments when I feel close to her again, where I feel a connection with her thanks to the balanced calm. Although I only had her in my life for ten years, she has been a part of me always. And although I have always recognized how special she was to me, it has not been until I began my yoga practice that I have rediscovered a connection with her and learned the one word which acknowledges her for what she was. I think of her each time I say it: Namaste.

Go On, ask me if I feel targeted!

Lately, I've noticed a curious and not completely undisturbing phenomenon. I'll be out shopping, for groceries, at the drugstore, at IKEA for dog's sake, and I'll hear some catchy tune from my youth, blaring over the speakers. I first noticed it when I was walking up an aisle at the grocery store, and they were playing Duran Duran. Then, as I started paying attention, I noticed that many places where I was spending my money were playing the songs I knew all too well. Cure, New Order, Duran Duran, Banarama, the Go-Gos, early Madonna, A-Ha... the list goes on. I think I heard Spandau Ballet somewhere the other day.
Now this is not the music I currently listen to, but it was at one point... and the more I started thinking about it, the more I realized that I'm now part of somebody's (many people's, apparently) target market. That's a creepy feeling, when you really think about it.
I remember chuckling to myself and friends about bad seventies make-out music and all that happy-crappy fifties stuff, or Elvis, being played in such places... but now, I'm just lumped in with the rest of those old folks, those of us with increased disposable income, and decreased youth.
Yes, it makes me feel like I have a bullseye on my back, but I guess it also means that I'm getting older, something I can't do anything about.
So I might as well just grin and bear it, and hum along with Culture Club, OMD and all those other golden oldies!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


When did I stop creating?

>>full time job - - I began wanting things and places

That's when
Misplacing value, putting it where it does not belong.

At the same time, I stopped having fun, being fun, being silly...
and shifted focus to what others thought about my actions, my words

although they were all mine!

This must be what it is to grow up?

Can it be undone?


Feels smooth and alive, and tastes clean and sweet, a bit sharp.
Rumoured to be the colour most easily processed by the human brain, and that our blood appears green at a certain depth beneath water.
Green bounces: my cat's green eyes watching a green ball

Green is giving, sharing, growing - - how odd the ancients decided it should represent envy, and the almight dollar in the south.

Green is toy slime, rolled beneath my five year old hands
The christmas jello with the cabbage in it.
A praying mantis named Eunice, my pride and joy for a brief summer.

The crunch of a tart apple covered with soft caramel.

Rude numbers on my alarm clock.

Sweet smelling grass to lie in.
Dry rasp of palms blowing in a tropical wind.
Fresh basil and Lime