Saturday, December 13, 2014

Brunch Babes

"Let's look silly," I say just before a male restaurant patron turned photographer takes the picture. We tried not posing - mostly.  As I look at the picture now hours after our brunch, I'm thinking we might need to practise silly. I mean honestly, whatever happened to girls gone wild?

We don't want to be our mothers who complain and try our patience and forget to say thank you. We need to step up our game ladies. Create more laughter. Do something outrageous. Shed our conservatism. Let the girl soar.

I'm the one wearing the hat. A cheap Target straw hat that makes me feel sassy and stylish. It's the middle of winter. A toque might be more appropriate. A toque messes up your hair. You look more like a snowman than a babe when you wear one. Bring on the cheap Target hats.

Bring on 2015 and sass and silly. We're old a long time.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bunica Nanna Granny Grandma Grand-mère

My only memory of my grandmother is of her cooking in a steamy tiny kitchen. Her faded calico dress hung where her breasts should have been. She wore horn-rimmed glasses and she had nylons rolled up with garters just up passed her knees. She served us potatoes in a red pyrex bowl. She smiled and kissed our foreheads.

The other memories of her come from stories my mother told us as we would look at the photo album. My grandmother birthed a dozen children during the depression. She filled her empty bra with tissue and would pull it out when she needed to blow her nose or wipe her eyes.

I never knew my paternal grandmother. Stories of her suggest a timid woman who suffered with kidney disease.

Now I am a grandmother. Because Alberta doesn't live nearby, times together will be limited. I love Skype and Face Time for how they can connect us. I want to read books with her, take her for long walks and explore along the way. I want to introduce her to Mahler, Marie Laurencin,  Chagall and  teach her how to make a pie.

She'll teach me too and introduce me to a world that often leaves old women behind.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My Mother's Shoes

The other day I searched for a pair of shoes to slip on so I could make one last deposit to the garbage bins. I keep a basket in the front closet for such needs. I grabbed the first pair I could find and dashed out the door. It was only on my way back to the house that I thought about the comfortable shoes and that these had belonged to my mother.

Over the last few months, we have donated, given and thrown away all of Used to Be Mother's personal effects. Only her shoes remain as tangible evidence of her existence.

Studying her shoes, I remembered the day some years ago when she purchased the Mephisto's. She needed a walking shoe that didn't hurt her feet. She was appalled at their price but the clerk assured her she would never need another pair of shoes. The clerk didn't know she was prophetic.

A very noticeable dent on the left shoe reminds me of UTBM's hammer toe. I see the stretching on the sides where the shoes made way for her bunions. The constant rubbing had worn the leather thin in those areas.

Her feet were so twisted and gnarled from years of wearing ill fitting shoes and working on her feet. I think of the epsom salt baths she would take once in a while to relieve their burning and discomfort.

I remember her gangrenous feet hours before she passed away. For the last few weeks of her life, Mum didn't wear any shoes or socks.

I put the shoes back into the basket. It's good to walk in those shoes even if it's only a few steps.

I miss my Mum.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Firsts for September

At my age, it's tempting to feel like you've seen it all. This September proved me wrong. Here's a list of firsts for me:

1) A skunk ducking into the junipers of a neighbour's yard
2) Snow creating a Treemageddon
3) A pocket gopher taking up residency in my garden bed
4) Vole traps
5) Red lily beetles

See what I'd miss if I lived in a condo.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Morning Walk

Fernando and I went for a walk early this morning. If you had been with us you would have:

seen the sun illuminating the downy bellies of the Canadian Geese flying overhead

heard their honking as they journeyed north

seen the work of a very ambitious and, judging from the size of the web, a very hungry spider

seen hundreds of piles of dirt evidence of voles building their underground network. You have to admire that little beast's snout and ability to move dirt

seen the blue sky without a cloud. Juxtaposed with the yellow leaves and red crabapples, it looks bluer than blue. 

felt the crisp air on your hands and face

watched Fernando disturb a mallard duck couple as he went for a dip in the storm water reserve

heard the hum of the city in the distance and the chickadees nearby

noticed the dew on the grass and how the sunlight made it look like crystals

admired a few yards who are ready for fall - one in particular has pumpkins outside and tall willow branches in an urn with autumn leaves around the base

hated to come home.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Blogging has taken a back seat to grand mothering, travelling, facebooking (is that a legitimate word) and studying for the GRE. I've learned words that people seldom say but you read often like the title of this post or incarnadine and adumbrate. I mean, really, who talks like that and if they did would you want to have a conversation over lunch?

Having said that, vocabulary and comprehension reading are much easier than quadratic equations. This test is not a measure of my ability nor intelligence but it does put into serious question what I was doing in high school when Mrs. Gilmour was teaching Algebra.

Monday, August 4, 2014


I'm mulling my options for graduate school. When my brain is busy like that, I need to keep my hands busy too.

I finished this today:

and this:

Friday, August 1, 2014


Drinking Plunger Punch (AKA Colyte) for the last two days may have helped the doctor conduct the colonoscopy, but its volcanic effects have made me glad we have flush toilets. Wow! A few episodes felt like my tonsils would be torn from my throat and hurled into the bottomless abyss.

Two hours after I drank my first two litres, I asked Bob "When does this start?"

Bob: "The better question is when does this stop."

If you have had one, you know what Bob meant.

In the last year I have had a camera in my mouth, down my throat, up my bum. I'm running out of prepositions.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I've wanted to obtain graduate studies since I received my BEd many years ago. I looked back at the sea of graduate and doctorate candidates and knew then that I couldn't stop learning. In fact, at that moment I realized I didn't know much of anything.

Most USA schools require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) where students are tested in reading, writing and arithmetic. The test is not difficult but it is tricky and requires preparation. I'm dedicated the months of August-October to prepare and write this test.

You may ask what graduate program I want to pursue. Fair question. To which, I cannot reply. I'm looking at several. Obviously at my age, this isn't going to be a career move. It's an open road with many options.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Floating Down the Bow

Ingredients for a perfect summer evening:

1 raft
6 friends
6 paddles
6 lifejackets

Set into the Bow River at Baker Park in Bowness at 6:30 p.m.

Don't overpaddle.

Look at the osprey nest. Enjoy kibitzing with the sunbathers along the way.

When you hit the white water - don't laugh there is a little - hit it straight on.

Pull out at Prince's Island just after the Peace Bridge.

Carry the raft through the park with all its awkwardness.

Meet 2 more friends who help and join for a bite to eat at Eau Claire.

Serve with ice cream cream.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Party in Your Mouth

I completely ignored heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market last season.  The odd shaped fruit with irregular colour often paled to the hothouse tomatoes.  This week, a farmer offered me a taste. He cut off a wedge and passed it to me. Juice dripped down his hand and mine. I popped the whole thing into my mouth.  It was sweet,  juicy and not acidic,  I don't know how they are for cooking. I never have any leftover.  Some fresh bread, sliced tomatoes, pepper and salt and voila, super relish. 

Speaking of bread, I made some yesterday. My new friend TC came over to show me the tricks of whole wheat bread making.