Wednesday, December 14, 2011
remember, we are never as nice as we think we are. its a shame but nonetheless true.
i sent my mother a big box filled with guilt. puzzles, books.... small tokens of my eternal guilt. and today i'll send my mother an express envelope containing gift cards - the cash equivalent of guilt.
i've been reading on facebook recently a lot of chatter about bringing "my christ" back to christmas. because i rarely think things through - i thought it must be one of those word scramble things. well obviously i found christ right away, but where was my. there was ma christ but that sounded gangster. man, let's hang for "ma christmas" sorry my street talk needs some work. i then found sam christmas. that was a sort of a da vinci code moment for me. had i found some hidden message. i decided not. so in the end i failed to find my christ in christmas which is probably just as well because i would expect a present from him.
HONESTLY i love christmas and i am an extremely kind and generous person. but this time of year does require some resources to be diverted from my needs to meet the needs of others. and that sucks.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
i went on an aeroplane. that practically ruined my entire summer. the anticipation of the crash. of whether i would ultimately sacrifice myself to save other passengers or in the flush of adrenalin i would toss them out in hopes of creating a soft pile to land on.
in the end i went and we did not crash. i hated every second of being on that plane. i sort of forgot about falling from the sky and instead found considerable issue with how uncomfortable i was, how confined and chubby if felt, how goddamn much a mini can of pringles cost, how long it was taking....
6 days in my mother's house. 6 days of sleeping on feather pillows that were created before WW2. 6 days of not eating any vegetables except canned peas. 6 days of laughing and laughing. 6 days of realizing i no longer belonged in this place. 6 days of soaking up the song of a people that is still my own. 6 days of my dear susan
i grew up among people who valued the art of the telling over the art of the tale. which meant we thrived on the details. god how i miss that. i miss the sheer thrill of the tell. where facts are passed over for the more speculative approach. where judgements are passed before plots have unfolded. and to have 6 days of that wonder and recognizing yourself in the words and cadence of those around you is just to lovely for words.
during those 6 days i had use of my mother's car. firstly she said - "i would appreciate if you didn't go over 80km." i didn't see that restriction coming. that's the great thing about my mom - you can't predict her next move. her offensive game is just outstanding. mom had other rules regarding her 1991 ford focus. no driving after dark. no rough roads. no unlocked doors or windows left down. and under no circumstances was i to hit a deer. hmmm...
the first time i sat in the car. i said "ok little ford focus, you better keep your frigging mouth shut about the next 6 days or i'm going to slam your tiny, god damn ass into a deer."
those 6 days were filled with immaturity and joy. my baby girl got to see humpback whales with here auntie sue. we ate clams and lobster and fish. we slept in the ancient lakelawn motel where we found blood, mysteriously smeared on the door and top sheet. we all had our theories and we felt delighted to have been assigned this family double. we found sea glass and iridescent blue plastic tampon holders on the beach. we picked apples and ate them unwashed. we sang filthy,dirty songs about sailors and german soliders.
we had the time of our lives. but at times i looked in the face of my friend and found a happiness that i cannot find on my own.
Monday, April 18, 2011
god i hate spring in alberta. the never ending blizzards followed by the ridiculously hot weather. sometimes it thunders and lightning and snows. its like mother nature is trying to birth a 12lb baby. the thigh high snowbanks and the ankle deep muck. did i mention we farm. cows calve in the spring. my husband just came back from the vet's with scour medication (calf diarrhea) he bought so much the vet gave him the cardboard display box. the annual defrosting of fields and corrals, filling the air with an aromatic mixture of a winters worth of animal dung. i really wanted to say shit but i'm trying to clean my act up. i know now it's only a matter of time before my mother finds this blog. the day of reckoning is nigh. she found me on facebook. i spent over an hour explaining my selection of friends. was i involved in any funny business in chatrooms. my mother says faceBOOK, the emphasis on book. its only one of the charming terms from mom's technological vernacular. she also has a very CB radio view of the world wide web. she has been known to ask whether i can bring in nova scotia on my computer. let's face it she still thinks the answering machine message is live. every time i return a message from her she says "russell came on and SAID you weren't home" her message is always the same "russell" russell (long pause) its mom have bev phone me.........i am so going to hell.
back to the farm. i have a bit of a rage on for this pioneer woman. truthfully i have a bit of coveting going on. she's the internet sensation, famous for marrying a farmer, discovering ranch life and blogging about it. she even has a cookbook - which i bought for $30 just so i could lament over her genius. it could have been me. didn't i marry a farmer - didn't i have to learn to be the farmer's wife. i cook. i have children. one of which insisted on wearing her spurs everywhere for almost a year. i have cows, horses and various other farm animals. i even until recently had 2 morbidly obese turkey's named stump and potpie. we calve out cows, put up hay, plow fields. isn't my life full of pastoral pastimes like horseback riding and home canning. we even pursue more western pursuits like branding cattle and testicle extraction. hell we even eat the testicles and to top it off weren't my pretty brown hens hired by a hollywood production company to be in a movie being shot in southern alberta. and weren't those pretty hens paid $100 for their efforts. and didn't the hollywood production company phone again wishing to rehire the hens for another movie shoot. but tragically the hens were not available having been picked off one my one by stealthy coyotes. this rural life of mine seems noteworthy...... god that woman is living my life and getting paid.
Friday, March 18, 2011
first let me say this post is not meant to rain on any one's religious parade. it is simply my experience.
i remember going to church from a very early age. i can recall everything through eyes that spent about 45 minutes every sunday studying their surroundings. the smells and sounds are still with me. our minister was a quiet man who lead his flock in a voice free of fire and brimstone. his sermons would wash over his parishioners like a warm wave. i think my people came to church to rest. their week of labour over, they relaxed into the steady hum of praise for our god. there were no stars in our choir nor they did not sway to music. there was no band, just my aunt on the organ. our services were not interactive - there were no amens or praise the lord shout-outs. communion was truly a communal affair with little nuggets of bread and tiny glasses of grape juice that were always received sparingly so the leftovers would keep children quiet for the rest of the sermon. through this instruction i learned about god. he was very nice man who loved children. he had a place for you to go after you died. the description was a bit vague but we would be walking around on clouds. there really was no big interview process for getting into heaven. do your best and try to love everyone. the most important thing i learned was that god was love. it was that simple. the potential to follow these simple guidelines were in us all. there was never any mention of not succeeding. this love we possessed was a part of us like our eyes and legs and almost impossible not to use. it was a very good feeling and i took it to heart.
somewhere along the way this message became a bit boring for some people. a new church opened to complete for the souls of our community. it was flashy, raucous religious theater. i was introduced to new players in faith scene. in a lead roll was this devil guy, who lived somewhere in the middle of the earth. he was a mean bastard, with a tail and pitchfork. also there was a new god and he was fairly angry. there was some sort of war going on between the two of them and we were the prize. i must tell you it was all very exciting but it had nothing to do with me. i had my spiritual instructions and they definitely did not include any of this foolishness. so honestly, it was entertainment to me. i sat enraptured not with the message but the players. there was crying and shout outs. there was talking in tongues and moaning. people raising their hands and going forward to confess some very interesting sins. at times i had to sit on my hands to keep from clapping.
when the new church came it caused a division in our extended family. some family members preferred the big show to quaker-like silence in our church. there was great pressure to convert. the old guard stood firm." we are an anchor that cannot move, steadfast and sure while the billows roll". those words are from my favorite hymn and they remind me of that time. a great wave of religious revival was washing over us but most of us remained firm.
deliverance through fear is a very powerful concept. killer bees and army ants on their way, the end of the world, the fiery pits of devil's hell, and it unfolded that this new vengeful god had a fair number of conditions about entrance to heaven. there were in fact a set of gates on the place, pearly, but nonetheless gates. i understood they kept the undesirables out but maybe they kept people from leaving. and to top it off this god did not accept everyone. non-believers, homosexuals, jews, muslins the list was long and impressive. this heaven i thought must me quite roomy - an exclusive destination that specialized in exclusion.
this all became personal to me when my dad died. my father was a lovely, kind man who worked tirelessly for his community. he had the power to lift people up and make them believe that their voice was important. but he was also a bit of a hell raiser - he was a chain-smoking, liquor drinking, potty-mouth man with no alliance to any god. i am sad to say i have very few memories of him. he died when i was 6. i knew he loved me and i him. people told me wonderful stories of his good and bad deeds. after some time had passed my uncle took me aside one day after sunday school. (by this time the sunday school in our church had closed so we converged on new comers). my dear uncle whom i loved told me my father was in hell spending eternity burning alive. he told me my mother was headed that way as well because she would not convert. my father could not be saved but i could save my mother if i accepted jesus. this was all quite distressing. how in the hell did that happen. my father had been caught in the crossfire of this parallel religion. i had never even imagined that this could happen. of course i cried and then did what came naturally, i told everyone i knew this news. views were mixed but the general consensus seemed to debunk this theory. well, that was reassuring. this troubling theory stayed with me though, a nagging little problem in the back of my brain. i went over various plans of rescuing my father but mostly i wanted to make hell a bit more hospitable. i wanted an audience with this devil guy. if this new god was capable of vengeance and judgement then i reasoned this devil could not be all bad. i would explain to him that there were apparently quite a few of us coming his way and perhaps we could talk this out. no more fire, maybe a tv and ice water to drink. through it all i knew for certain i wanted nothing to do with this new god fellow. denying my father entrance through the gates was enough to get my ass up. i thought that maybe when i got through overhauling hell i could possibly agree to take on heaven.
as i grew up i was reminded often how sinful i was for not accepting jesus christ as my personal savior. that sounds silly now as i write it . personal saviour. its a bit like personal trainer or personal assistant or personal banker. but apparently back then personal attention was a new concept. i went through a period when i would cringe when hearing the world jesus used in any context other than cursing. i was only happy to judge my judges'. i finally realized that somewhere in this must be the lesson i am here to learn. i sometimes feel like a roman soldier and his lion that have been ordered to job retraining. i understand that when you lead with love the rest will fall away. but trying to love the enemy is a very hard pill to swallow.
i must admit that i have yet to fully make peace with the past. in many ways i am still that little girl quite willing to face the fires of hells, rather than take a peek behind the pearly gates. they do say "better the devil you know, than the angel you don't" i know for certain there is far more love in me than disdain or hate. my nana used to say that hate was just fear in really bright clothes. fear can makes enemies of the nicest people. i have never thought as god as a real person or heaven as a real place. i don't know if that makes me a heretic and i have ceased to care. i learned long ago that god was love with no strings attached. i may be far from a model citizen but i do find myself filled with love for almost every person i encounter from cashiers to babies. i feel a sense of tender responsibly for them all. we are all together on this planet. what will be will be, but for now, all we have is each other.
Monday, January 10, 2011
jesus people, that's going to leave a scar. if you had warned me i could have mentioned that i haven't seen my mom in awhile and i'm in no way battle-hardened.
but onto the business at hand. the private correspondence of bev and sue.
a big prairie yahoo goes out to........ SUE. the - what would i do without you sue. big close mouth kisses to you and a big padded envelope full of thanks.
that's right, sue also won the surprise bonus. a selection from the new melissa frances kitchy kitchen line and some of the gorgeous new ribbon from webster's pages.
i'll retreat now
Monday, January 3, 2011
and so it begins - a new year - a new set of impossible expectations. i for one love it - starting things and then disappointing is one of my specialities. i thrive in no-win environments. but let's not give away the ending before the show has begun.
the RESOLUTION. there it stands, an irresistible temptation.. it beckons and you can't help but be seduced. whether it be secret resolve or public declaration, you announce your intentions
and so i come to you with list in hand and eager to proceed. my many pledges include...
- learn to use my camera
- gain weight
- discover i am talented embroiderer
- swear more
- be fearless
my 2011 motto comes courtesy of my dear friend eminem who often says to me "it's time to pull your dick out the dirt and go (bad word) the whole universe"
and trust me, he means that in the nicest possible way. so let's go.
these little notebooks were made by simply covering small composition books and adding a few accessories. they are quite plain and the stitching on the one is truly atrocious but it is what it is and i was in a hurry and the sewing machine wasn't working. i think jane (the cat) did a good job posing. you can purchase the note books at the dollarama for the low price of 4 for $1.00. or if you're truly desperate, i have a couple that i will sell you for a slightly inflated price. i used the new, october afternoon line - modern homemaker. it is so incredibly yummy that i think i peed my pants a bit when i first laid eyes on it. it is available along with all its irresistible sundries at the store.
which provides me with a nice segue for the following. i'm giving away (yes that's me, beautiful and generous) a modern homemaker 8 x 8 paper pad. all you have to do is leave a comment or if you're shy, an e-mail and say something nice. the nice comment doesn't necessarily have to be about me - but i'm just saying... then i will randomly draw a winner and announce it next monday(10th) you have until sunday(9th) midnight to enter and i don't care how many time you do it. i'll then collect your info and it will be dispatched to you forthwith. here's the prize
so ta ta my pretties. hope to hear from you. be back soon