Thursday, November 21, 2013

waiting for time.....

well, here i am. i hope i have something to say.  my life has been altered, rearranged in a way i never saw coming. my sweet husband is gone. a summer filled with treatments, driving, pain, forms and more forms. a fall filled with long good byes. whispers of a life well lived, of love and laughter. and of course tears.

we never asked why? we never bowed our heads and asked for miracle. we understood from the second it was uttered, the future we had planned was impossible. we instead starting thinking about life in days. our time was no longer a stretch of open prairie, it had become a finite thing. we felt no urgency to rush, we would wait for time.

and then the time came. the unbelievable quietness of death. the flurry of activity that followed. the rituals and rites. and then, quite literally the snow came - over 1 metre of it.  it became the period at the end of the sentence. i was forced to pause. i was forced to look around at this new world order. i was forced to face some hard truths. i was forced stand still for a moment.

so now i wait for time again. people watch me and i in turn watch them. my mother, bless her, waits for me to crack. it gives me hope that i might disappoint her yet again. i cannot grieve in the open. i cannot stand and wail. i cannot take to my bed. instead i find my sadness bobbing on a sea of gratitude. i find that happiness cannot be denied, laughter creeps in through the cracks of my grief. i am blessed to have had 30 years of marriage. i am blessed to watch our children. i am blessed to be surrounded by family and friends. i am blessed to encounter so many kind strangers.

i am told that this is shock. i am told this is denial.  i prefer to think i'm waiting...... i'm waiting for time.


Friday, June 14, 2013

only kindness matters....

quite unexpectedly, sadness and fear have entered our lives. this past week my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. the cancer has spread beyond the pancreas and the prognosis is very grave. surgery and radiation have been ruled out as options. he will begin a course of brutal chemo therapy to try to slow the progress of the tumors and to hopefully buy him a little bit of time.

i ask all of you to be kind to one another. because kindness never fades from memory , it remains around you like a shawl - a layer of love against the sorrow


Monday, May 20, 2013

nancy spots a whale and other tales - personal in nature......

(this is a repost about my last visit home. at the moment i'm up to my ass in children, planting the garden and greenhouse, making stuff for the farmer's markets  and getting cows ready to go to summer pasture...... jesus christ i'm tired)

my oh my, how time flies when your losing your mind. where to start - not the beginning - that's too obvious - not the end..... i think i'll not start at all, i'll just carry on. let's pretend in april i sighed somewhat dramatically, took a sip of tea and then looked pensively out the window for awhile. 

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....

but then...
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 value 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 soldiers.

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.


Friday, May 3, 2013

let's review the tape..........

i must warn you, i'm going to use the word anus in this post. not that's such a bad word. its just one i find quite startling to write. i not used to typing it. i say it a lot  - as in - "my husband being a giant anus" but i rarely write it down - as in -  correspondence to my mother - "your son-in-law being a giant anus." i ran into a similar problem when i used the word masturbation in a post. again, i just don't write that word a lot. i don't put pen to paper and say the neighbours' boy lost a thumb from vigorous masturbation. so hang on when you see anus.

some people bring out the best in others, some the worst. i seem to bring out the unexpected. people have the habit of saying the oddest things to me. sometimes my friends think i'm lying when relay a tidbit from someone else but then they're with me, it happens, and they look at me in shocked silence  and i say "weird isn't it".

this past week a perfectly nice lady cornered me and told me her god had a special plan for me. to be frank i did nothing to illicit this, i was minding my own business, eating a hot dog. she introduced herself, we chitchatted and then boom - she leaned in close and said "god has a special plan for you." as a nearly atheist, agnostic girl this was troubling. why was her god targeting me? why not give her a special plan? i was led to assume that this special plan was most likely carnal in nature. jesus, everyone wants a piece of the deliciousness that is me.

i also had a awkward encounter last week with a nurse. i asked what i could possibly give a baby girl, who was in my care, to boost her immune system. let's just put it out there that i was confident she was going to say vitamin drops. i was just about to say "i'll buy some on my way out." then, out of the blue she says, "breast milk." i was dumbstruck -  breast milk. how is breast milk the answer to any question in my world. "well, as it turns out," i said, " i don't have any." not deterred she told me to go to the milk bank. again i replied, "well, as it turns out i don't know where that is." "never mind," she said," i know a woman whose producing 70 oz a day. i'm sure she share with you. here's her number." "yea, maybe not today. i said.

of course
 when i moved to the prairies and started my my life as farm wife i found that farm women liked to talk about worms - specifically worms in their children. there were two camps, those who wormed and those who didn;'t. i fell in with the non-wormers. over the years i have heard an ever increasing number of ways to detect and expose the worm. when my children were small, people simply gave their children a worm pill in the spring - much like we give our cows. although, the cows get a liquid poured on their back to kill all and any parasitical intruders. sometimes i would spill a tiny bit of this bovine medication on the kids' heads and hoped that would do the job for them.
 in the last year or so i have heard of mothers actually going looking for the worms. no more blind dosing. people are becoming proactive. one mother told me that she goes in her kid's room at night pulls down their pants and shines a flashlight on their kids ass. then shuts it off and looks for worms - the worms apparently climb out of the anus at night and glow in the dark. jesus, jesus, jesus, so much planning. the csi flashlight, lying awake, waiting for opportunity and body position.

the mother of all evidence gathering came from my friend whose name rhymes with tim. she said her friends' mom  taped her kids anuses at night and in the morning pulled the tape off and the worms apparently stuck to the tape. sort of like a fly trap or one of those glue mouse traps. well this information sent me to the borders of my imagination. what sort of tape did she use - gift wrap invisible or standard duck tape. i assumed the tape would run vertical  like a adhesive thong. was it pulled off quickly like a band-aid or slowly for the big worm reveal? what age range were the children? who in holy hell thought of this? who said "i've got a idea let's put a bit of tape on the little fellers' ass and see what crawls out. come here to mommy."

so you see you can't shock me. well, you can shock me but only for a second and then i'm good to go.

ps. for those who would like to know
hornet had a heifer calf this year and we named her terri
sally the christmas horse is lovely. she is halter broke and the apple of my daughter's eye

Friday, April 12, 2013

maternal laws of acquisition......

my mother is in the mood to love me right now. not that she doesn't love me all the time, sometimes i'm sure she could love the life right out of me. but right now she buoyed by the spring weather, photos of her grandchildren and the promise of a visit.  yes, i plan to visit my mother this summer for up to 3 weeks, god help me. i will bury myself in the bosom of my ancestral homeland and pray i don't die of exposure. i plan to take my teenage daughter on a tour of all the historical sites of the maritimes - stand on battlegrounds and peer over ramparts. i will probably also need to be immunized  to face the wonder that is my mother's refrigerator. ketchup that expired in 2009, mystery bits of food wrapped in tinfoil. my mother plays fast and loose with "best before dates." she tells me they are suggestions not facts. she is not deterred by mold or undercooking. i will sleep between damp and sheets and rest my head on pre world war 2 pillows. it will be grand and i'm sure you'll hear about

but this story is not about that. its about another time.....

my mother went on a trip to prince edward island with my sister and her friend. i was not there but i'm sure they traveled along with my mother providing on the spot commentary about the lack of amusement being provided. on the first afternoon, quite suddenly my mother had to pee and if i have not mentioned she is fantastically old and the general rule is never trust the elderly when it comes to holding it. my sister started looking for a place to stop. they came upon a house whose front lawn was awash with whirligigs - you know those little wooden folkarty things that twirl in the wind. my mother said, "look, pull over, there's a gift shop." everyone piled out of the rent-a-car and my sister and her friend walked around the lawn, admiring the items whilst my mother headed for the house. she tapped on the door and walked in. she was greeted, and my mother asked if she could use the bathroom. the women showed her to the washroom. after mom had finished her business she wandered around the place admiring the things on the wall. a ceramic cow took her eye, "why", as she tells it, "beverly would love this because she has cows." this, i should point out,  is my mother's reasoning for all gifts to me. her gifts are often randomly odd and she says things like "well i know how you like french fries so i bought you this pair of plastic potato salt and pepper shakers."


my mother finds the woman and says,  "how much for that darling cow. my daughter lives in alberta and she and her husband have a cattle farm. and by the way, you have some lovely things in your gift shop."

 the lady says to mom, "this isn't a gift shop."

my mother and sister stories change at this juncture. my sister tells her part through gritted teeth, "jesus, mom went into someones house, used the bathroom and bought a cow off the god damn living wall."  now, if i'm being honest and why wouldn't i, my sister did not use those swear words. she's so sweet she couldn't,  but her cheeks do turn red and her nostrils do flare when she tells it so i'm inserting the swears i would use.

 my mother's recall has her not fazed at all by urinating in an out of province private home. instead, she says "oh is that so. well, thank you dear for letting me use your washroom. now would you take $2 for that cow."

and that little cow still hangs beside my kitchen sink. it is as homely as sin but it makes me think fondly of the people from prince edward island and of my unflappable mother and her ability to put on a show.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

little miss sunshine.......

happy easter and all that. for those of you "of", or "new to" the christian religion, i realize the beginning of the holiday must be a definite low point for you, what with the cross bit and all, but don't despair. everything turns out later in the weekend, so hold on to your shorts, somebody going to be making a comeback. 

well it turns out that the fantastic annie over at  annie off leash gave me a pressie. she nominated me for the sunshine blogger award. annie is a sexy, smart, funny writer. she's definitely one of the cool kids. and she has her own full pilgram costume for mature role playing games. check her out. she's grand!

“The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The receivers of the Sunshine Award are bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere.”

i have to reveal 7 interesting facts about myself. but let's face it, are there 7 interesting facts left? i have spread my business over this blog like a $2 whore - my massive boobs, my mother's monkey. my various rashes.... what is there left to tell - that i was promiscuous as a teenager and that i have wiped more whiskey off the end of my chin than you'll drink in your lifetime. boring crap like that

and so..... here they are.....

1. margaret atwood has not responded to my plea for academic banter and life-long friendship. i fear another gentle missive may be in order 

2. for a time my blog was big in lativa. (well, this according to blogger stats) lativa is a small country nestled between estonia and lithuania. i thought for awhile i might become the 'latvian jesus' but then realized i was probably more like the 'latvian david hasselhoff.' and then they went off me - completely. i think they're pissy about something lost or added in the translation. now, my 3rd highest audience is poland. i'm going to wait a bit before i pack my bags for the tour.

3. six of my chickens appeared in a hollywood movie. it was a western and they needed hens for a homestead. the animal handler came and picked them up, they were gone 6 weeks and were paid $100. they came home with their heads all big and wouldn't stay in the hen-yard. they were picked off one by one by the coyotes. so let this be a tale to heed. 

4. i disappointed my mother on a weekly basis in march. i know this because she told me - every time i called she would say, "beverly i'm some disappointed in you." i can't wait to spend 3 weeks with her this summer. 

5. starting at about 2 years old, i told my now 14 year old daughter  that martha stewart was her aunt. i used to say "we must sit very quiet because aunt martha is on the tv. i even went so far as to put a present under the tree from auntie martha at christmas. i was a big fan of the martha stewart living television show and wanted to watch it in peace. the poor little thing used to tell people, "martha stewart is my aunt," and people would look at her like she was addled. she figured it out around 6 or 7. don't judge me she's a whiz at folding fitted sheets.

6. i slept walked as a child. i would be found outside, asleep on the front porch or on the neighbours' porch. nobody that we knew suffered from my affliction and my mother was horribly embarrassed. she had no idea what to do about it so she took the approach that if i got hurt while sleep walking it would teach me never to do it again. she used to say, "i guess when you're out there traipsing around in your sleep and you fall down and break your leg, that will be the end of that foolishness."

7. i gunned the engine of my kia at buddy last week. buddy is the chihuahua that bites me every tine i go to where he lives. i pictured clipping the little bastard with my bumper and sending him skidding across the frozen crust of prairie snow. i scared the living shit out of him - his little bulging eyeballs were riveted on my smiling face. he ran off with his tail between his legs...... but he's a feisty bugger because the very next time i visited he bit me. maybe next time i'll pop it in drive and make contact.

and so...

now i must nominate some blogs to pass on the award. so, with out further ado here they are in no particular order.....
amy from addled
lady c from from fat to .... fabulous?
chris from life your way
francie from a north end journal
kate from nested
doris from meandering

thanks again annie

Sunday, March 17, 2013

meeting on the shore.......

strangers show up when you least expect them. they arrive wrapped in promise and stories. i come from a place where the stranger was a subject of intense observation and welcomed delight. the people in my village loved the arrival of a stranger. we had memorised the shape of our own faces and could recite all our tales. when someone strange arrived either by land or sea the whole community rushed to the wonder.

i imagine that is where my lack of fear of the unknown comes from. when i see a stranger my heart beats fast with the knowledge that i may hear a story. how can you not trust someone you've never met. it is my experience, it is the ones you hold close that cause the most harm. 

and so they came.........

when i was quite young a japanese man stayed in our home. he had come from his country to study the mackerel or herring - i don't remember which. he stayed with my mother and i. my mother was a widow and so i'm sure any stipend he offered was appreciated. i loved him. i talked his ear off. his english was about as lovely as my japanese. he brought excellent gifts of fans and small dolls. when he went fishing with the men he wore my deceased father's rubber boots and fishing gear. some may say that set the tone for me - a stranger from another land looking sweetly familiar - like a memory from a happier time. maybe that's the moment i feel in love with strangers.


 young men would appear out of seemingly, thin air. the men were bearded with backpacks. they were running from war and choose to hide in the thick spruce on our shores. they built dodgy shelters and did odd jobs. my friends and i would stand in the bush and watch their doings.  still and silent like wooden totems, we watched unseen as they ranted aloud about the government and smoked those, as my mother said, "funny cigarettes." most of them would last the summer and fall but when the wind started to blow from the nor'east and the ice and snow came they rethought their principles and moved on. 

on rare occasions strangers arrived by water. an unfamiliar boat would sail into the harbour. i can tell you that was a time of quick, excited action. women whipped off their aprons and men ran their fingers through their hair. we were like people heading for a show. one such time a sailboat limped into our little port in need of engine repairs. word went round and i raced to the wharf to be first to greet them. my friend was with me, the pretty one who could sing, she and i rushed to usher the woman and children ashore. the men surround the stranger. the flag on the masthead was swedish and so was much of what they spoke.. my friend and i steered the woman and her children towards the beach. this little family was going to be my prize. i would convince her to come to my house for some tea and a slice of cake. i stood slightly in front of my friend to make it clear i was obvious choice. the woman took some clothes out of a ditty bag and said they wanted to change out of their bathing suits. i was just about to suggest they did that at my house - when they all stripped off their suits and stood stippy stark naked on the sand. i will admit to be slightly taken aback, but quickly recovered. my friend, a good girl, clutched her freshly ironed shirted and started to cry. she wrung her hands, turned and began running down the beach, wailing her head off. i turned and thought, "well there goes the competition." i was not accustomed to naked foreigners but manners suggested i wait patiently for them to dress. "this way," i said and then lead then through the path to my house. my mother, like every other woman in the village, would have already boiled the kettle. she was in fact probably already slicing the cake - because in these situations it was an asset to have have a child, who as my uncles would say "could talk the paint off the boat" the little family stayed in our village for a week but sadly they did not sleep at my house, as it turns out they preferred showers to baths and my house didn't have one. i feel that this was condition i couldn't have foreseen so i didn't take to heart.

so when i see a stranger i feel no sense of apprehension, no fear,  i just see someone i haven't met.  but anyway, why lead with fear -  these strangers may carry with them the kindness you seek and  the stories you have not yet heard.......


Sunday, March 3, 2013

dear margaret atwood.....

dearest margaret

may i call you "dearest margaret" or should we save that until we've become confidants. i have written with the hope that you are accepting new friends. i have always been a huge fan, but lately i have been asking my self, "self, why aren't we friends with margaret atwood? her books are everywhere in this house and i feel happy when i see her picture."  self said, "write her a letter, maybe two. i'm sure she'll love you"  i thought great idea and besides that margaret, i want to talk about all those great stories of yours. plus, i'm reading "wolf hall" right now and  i want to get out of it. i'd like to start a marathon of your books but i don't want to hurt "old what's her face's" feelings by stopping midstream and also, i vowed to mohamed in january to finish every book i start this year.  honestly, wolf hall is lovely but jesus must we hear about every time thomas cromwell pricks his finger... or is that the other way around - i forget how that old saying goes.  so i thought striking up a friendship with you would help get me through those last 300 pages of the book and then, its on to the greener pastures of your prose - some of which, i must say right now, i don't understand, especially the poetry. i'll read something you've written and think to myself, "ok self, what does that mean?" and self says "i got nothing, maybe you're reading above your grade level again."

but all that can wait because let me tell you about my morning.....

my husband often says the problem with me is i have no natural fear of strangers. i'm like one of those giant tortoises on the galapagos islands. (speaking of that, remind me to tell you about the time i found the sexy holiday photos from the galapagos. it's a great story but i'll save it because i sense our relationship is going to be long term).  i, like those tortoises, wander about bumping into humans at will, with no natural ability to detect danger

 this morning - picture me, slumped on the sofa, waiting for my 14 year old daughter to get out of the shower so i can drive her to the vet clinic, where she volunteer/works once a month. it's about 7:30 AM. i am dressed in my grey flannel pajama pants, the ones with the red cardinals on them. they are quite possibly my favorite article of clothing and my stretched out gap, man's sweater, also grey. i have on no bra and i have not, as yet, performed my morning toilet. a knock comes at the back door. i open it to find a very intoxicated man. i will not  reveal his ethnicity but let's just say his people where already on the north american continent when my people arrived. i realize that information is not politically correct but i want show, like the pope, my appeal as a problem solver has no racial bounds.  i'm acquainted with this man but not in a way that would encourage early morning cold calls. he wonders if i can give him a ride to his cousin's house. i should point i live on the bald ass prairie, my nearest neighbour is nearly 1 mile away, so this fellow has put considerable effort into this transportation plan of his. i say "why not, almost stranger guy. let me grab my keys" during the ride he tips from side to side as he laments his inability to remember the events of the previous evening. his family is not home. he states this rather dramatically by saying, "my people have all disappeared."  he hopes, in his words "he didn't do something stupid." he's going to his cousin's because he's lonely and wants to continue to drink. "grand" i say, "well, here we are and have a lovely time." he thanks some invisible person in my car named beth and we part ways. 

i return home, pick up my daughter and drive her to the vet clinic. she, like her father, comments on my lack of stranger boundaries. i tell her personal danger can not compete with the chance to hear a great story. i realize this is probably not my finest piece of maternal advice margaret, so don't base your opinion on that one statement - i'm going for full disclosure, in several shakes of a lamb's tail i return home and decided that what i need, is a nap. i settle in and no sooner had i shut my eyes than a knock came on the back door. i opened the door to reveal another intoxicated gentleman. i think to myself, well this is getting curiouser and curiouser.  he too, is wishing for a ride - again to this apparent party central, cousin. "well, of course" i say "i know the way now." it's a rare day indeed when not one but two drunken semi-strangers present themselves at your back door. let me try to remember when it happened before..... right - never. i grab my keys and load the fellow into my suv. this man is weighted down by bottles. beer in his pockets, a quart of rum in his hand. he has lost the lid to the rum somewhere and strangely, he apologizes for this. on the drive he tells me he drinks because he can't find love. don't think me cruel for exposing this. i believe that he could hardly expect confidentiality at 9 am in the passenger seat of my kia. he topples over a bit and spills rum on the heated leather seats. i suddenly remember i'm still in my pajamas and i have yet to look in a mirror today. i wonder if i'm danger of being ravished. i asked my self if i'm in danger. my self says, "who knows". we arrive at the cousins and he is reluctant to get out of the car. he's telling me about his ex girlfriend and his passion for her. "off we go now," i say. several people have gathered on the doorstep. i wonder if i'll be invited in. alas not. i return home and make some tea. this day, i decide is wearing me out. i am not equipped for this much unsolicited excitement. i must rest. 

so you see margaret, this is why i can't talk about your writing today. i will avail to cover that in my next correspondence. but feel free to write back and tell me how you like me so far.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

taking my demons out for a bit of exercise.......

i think i mentioned awhile ago that i suffer from the crafting equivalent of erectile dysfunction. in fact, i'm probably the hugh hefner of the condition. i'm surrounded by beautiful product. i possess all the right equipment to make it happen.... and yet when i assume the crafting position; i am unable to perform. the problem is all in my head - like that's a big surprise. i feel such immense pressure to create. i'm like the magician who reaches into his hat and expects to pull out the baby jesus instead of a rabbit. that would be something though.

but ........
it's time to take one for the team. bury my face in the pillow and do it for my resume.  it has occurred to me that i may simply have nothing left to make. i haul it all out and look expectantly at all those supplies. where are you, my little project? maybe i suck or maybe i'm lazy. maybe i'm all dried up - a withered old craft whore. that was a bit harsh. bear with me, remember i can sometimes be a prayer challenge. but today, i must do the deed - brace myself and remember the empire. I have more but I won't use them. I am known locally as the model of restraint.  but craft i must..

i come from maritimes, specifically nova scotia, where women can craft with their eyes closed. non-crafters are looked upon with disdain. picture my mother, in her platform rocker, the cuff of a mitten taking shape. she waves her knitting needles in the air and punctuates each opinion by thrusting the end of her #7's in your direction. and she says "could you tell me what she does all day. if you ask me that's her problem - she's not keeping her hands busy."

and that my friends is what it boils down to - it's your own fault, whatever malady has befallen you could have been avoided if only you did not have idle hands. they say "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" well in the maritimes "a mitten a day keeps madness at bay"

harsh, i know but unavoidable. so with that in mind i started working on some things. and here are the results

little bag

covered notebooks
recipe book

as you can tell i have given up my brief career as a professional picture taker. as a result all photos were taken on the couch, with my phone pointed slightly north of my lady bits. strictly low-end i know but christ i can't do everything.


Friday, February 8, 2013

arrange your face.......

this is what my mother says when she is getting ready to go out, "i must go arrange my face" or she says the ever popular, "i must go put on my face". well, i must do the same as i have found myself in possession of some blog awards. i can't think that i deserve any trophies but this is hollywood and these things sometimes happen. amy, from ADDled who i'm very fond of and anna from The Silent Isle who i feel myself becoming very fond of and chris from Life Your Way who i'm practically married to, have bestowed upon me some fabulous hardware and made me sausage queen for a day. i also know that kate, who i feel very maternal towards,  from nested presented me with one a bit ago but i think that may have expired.  i decided to use my two versatile blog awards, from amy and jane, as breast plates and the blog of the year from chris to cover my lady bits. if my nod from kate is still effective i'll be fashioning it into a shield of some sort 

The Rules for the Versatile Blogger are:

             1) Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site

             2) Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post

              3) Nominate 7 fellow bloggers and include a link to their site.

              4) Let them know you have nominated 
               5) Share 7 random facts about you 

(1) thank you amyannachris and a belated thank you to kate. these are all lovely talented women and i appreciate their support and encouragement. go show them some love.
(2) done
      cindy at
      jenn at
why! because i like them.
(4) gotcha
(5) seven random facts about myself

random facts
1. i got into massive amounts of trouble in the 3rd grade for organizing a easter egg hunt on the playground for the Jehovah witness students. 

2. i didn't know who the bloggess was until recently. and if i'm being honest, she's no sedaris.  she seems a bit mean. maybe i'll warm up to her. maybe not. please don't hate me kate.

3. i peed on the plains of abraham when i was a little girl. for those who did not study canada's past - in 1759 english and french armies fought on the plains of abraham (in quebec) for control of this part of the world. the land belonged to a farmer named abraham hence the name. this "voiding" of mine has become a point of pride for my mother. whenever canadian history is brought up mom says, "you'd never believe it, but beverly peed on the plains of abraham. she just up and said she couldn't hold it anymore and she pulled her pants down and let it go, right there on the ground." now, hopefully i have done many things in my life that should have merited my mother's pride but apparently open-air urination on a historical battlefield is the one that stuck.

4. i am rarely angry. i get my ass up sometimes but it never last long. i will cheerfully argue someone to death and the fact that people often want to kill me is a source of joy to me.

5. i unknowingly gave someone a book for christmas that contained instructions for making a portable pussy. i guess this information is important if one should find themselves alone in the wilderness and feel the need to make love. i thought i was giving someone a survival book and if i had any sense of dignity i would be embarrassed but alas - not so much

6. in my tiny effort to make the world a better place i visit a residence several times a month and at that residence there lives a chihuahua named buddy and i'm bitten by that chihuahua named buddy at least 3 times between the car and residence. buddy does not trust police officers and apparently me. when i get out the car now i say "jesus christ buddy, just get it over with". i'm staring to look forward to my interaction with him and i make no attempts to gain his trust. i like our relationship the way it is. 

7. i'm addicted to le labo perfume thanks to my god damn sister/friend whose name rhymes with busy. i'm just goofing around about her being damned by god, she's really quite lovely and sweet - it's just i can't remember what i smelled like before "another 13" and my visa bill proves this.

and because i don't know the rules for blog of the year, i give you this

currently i'm .............................

reading - wolf hall . i will probably grow old reading this book. the tome chronicles the life of thomas cromwell and his relationship with henry viii. mr cromwell seems to spend rather a great deal of time walking around fingering his illegal copy of the new testament. i have had to google search characters in this book as my knowledge of all the english reformation homeboys is somewhat dusty.  

listening - of monsters and men, pitbull, damien rice, florence and the machine unplugged and emiem

watching - ricky gervis show, it crowd and swedish crime drama (very hard to sew and read subtitles)

in love with - charley boorman. well actually the charley boorman from 2008. i thought i was over it but apparently i'm not.

waiting for - the cows to start calving and mr. selfridge to be released on

thinking about - almost nothing except why i love pain medication

eating - oranges and more oranges

doing - swimming 4 hours a week, trying for 5

worrying - about starting my craft blog. 

needing - to get my act together

thanks for the love people

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

afloat on the sea......

when i think of it now, i should have been a fisherman. but when i was young, such things were not heard of. i'm sure somewhere in the world there were lady sea captains but new ideas were not common in a place where you heard only 63 other voices. in my village it was unlucky for women to even be aboard the boat. women apparently made the winds and sea confused. but as a child i was forever on a boat of some kind. my father died when i was very young and so my uncles and the other fishermen became stand-ins. i sure talking to a fatherless girl is hard for crusty seafarers but taking her fishing, well that was one way to be together without the worry of words or emotions. and so i went to sea. i fished with my uncles on their boats. they pulled their herring and mackerel nets and i found my first place in the world.

as i got older i went out on the bigger boats. we would be fishing on grounds over two days from land. i felt so at home. i never worried about the weather or the boat going down. i was too in love with the swells and the way the sun hit the waves. at night, down in the cuddy, i would lay in my bunk and  i would press my face against cold wood of the hull so that i could feel the sea next to my skin. i felt safe there, beneath the water line. i felt calm and at peace being rocked to sleep by the movement of the boat and the muted sounds of the my ocean heaven.

i have seen all manner of creatures from the sea - the porpoise, the whale, the shark and the curious and common fish.  whales are somewhat of a conundrum for me. when i see a whale two things simultaneously go through my mind - "what a beautiful site" and "god, that thing would feed a lot of people." when i was young and with my uncles, the whales were a nuisance. they swam around and under the boat. they could get tangled in the nets or eat the catch. we shot them with a  22 rifle. you can't kill a whale with such a small gun but i'm sure it must have stung. some whales we could identify by the bullet scars on their backs and heads. and yet they continued to come. i realize this is terrible, idealists will say the whales came to the boats because they wanted to communicate or make friends. maybe that's true. or maybe it felt good to be shot with a small calibre gun. human beings pierce and tattoo every part of their bodies and despite the discomfort,  many of them keep going back. whales may be the same. i will never know. all i know is that those whales were a pain in the ass. they did however, make out better than the seals who were shot on site. the 22 rifle could kill a seal. seals are like the rabbits of the sea. they eat and they eat and they breed and they breed.

i loved everything about being on the boat. i would catch the fish, gut them and fling their entrails to the screaming gulls. when i was young i would plead to be given a shark if one were caught. the sharks were worth no money and they were seen, like the seals, as a menace. but i, on the other hand could cut their teeth out and sell them to the americans. americans loved shark teeth. but first i would have to kill it. the raging shark would flop about the deck. he would hurl his open mouth at my sneakered feet. i would scream and jump. but, oh i was happy. my uncles would shake their heads as i dodged danger and moved to finish it off. i would stun it with an oar and then slit its throat with the bait knife. it sounds so primitive, so savage - like clubbing baby seals. but my life was not one of sidewalks and shopping malls. it was not a life removed from the messy bits. death, and stark reality were very close to me. there was no shelter built over my childhood. i stood exposed to the elements.

one winter the harbour froze completely over. a government ice breaker was dispatched to free our little outpost from the crush of the ice. the whole community stood on the wharf to watch the event. many of the men walked out on the ice to meet the ice breaker. i think everyone on the land held their collective breath. to see the our men, so small, walking atop the water without their boats was in short breathtaking. the great chunks of ice heaved and they cracked like rifles shots and yet the men walked on. the huge ship sat poised at the opening of the harbour ready to save us and deliver us back to the water. how i wish i could have walked on that ice. sometimes i think i can feel what it must have been like,  the floe groaning and moving beneath my feet. our beloved sea trying to breath and sing it's song.

 the sea was always there. coming towards me with the tide and carrying me on it's back across the miles. to lay on a boat, towards the bow, and see an impossibly high pillar of water heading for you. to look forward to that pillar and the next, to feel alive and oh so safe in the arms of the sea - the refuge of each wave washing away the fears and worries of the shore.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

the brief career of a clerical scholar.....

i have been known my entire life as a "prayer challenge". my aunt kept my name permanently inked in on her prayer list. the list was scotch-taped to the cupboard above the kitchen sink. as she stood and washed her dishes she would pray for the souls of the people on the list. i was the only child to make the list and i was the only one never removed from the rotation. i remember sitting on her kitchen counter, eating molasses cookies and asking her why i was on the list. "because," she would say "you're full of the devil". she always smiled when she said it and in her defense this was probably during my satan art - crayon series. life was a puzzle then, as it is now. but i did my best to find answers, wherever i could.........

when i was around 8, i told a story in sunday school that to my complete surprise, didn't go over well. I don't remember where i came across the marvelous information i was about to unveil but i remember being pretty excited to share it. before we go on, let's make it clear i thought i had come across yet to be released biblical insight. i was so sure my story was true but apparently fact checking was a yet to be acquired skill. i cannot remember the morning of my big announcement but i probably ran the half mile up the road to the church. my patent leather shoes slapping the pavement and my dress flying up  i am certain i was there early, sitting in the pew with my "oh my god, i've got a story" look on my face.. i remember i was fairly bursting to get back to the lesson rooms. i loved the warm up songs with all the funky hand movements but this week i was breaking news. once we were in the back and in our classroom, i was off. i cut off whatever lesson the teacher was about to begin - my story certainly had precedence over any loaves and fishes. "EXCUSE ME, did you know?" i started. "on the ark noah removed all the boy animals wankers because he didn't want any fooling around on the voyage." i can tell you,  the word wankers and the suggestion of sex on the ark had turned the crowd my way,,,,, but surprisingly this was not my "big news". i'm sure i had a dramatic pause just about then. hell, i probably stood up. "well", i continued , "when the ark landed noah gave everyone back their parts. except he mixed up the donkey and camel's wankers and that's why camels have such small ones and donkey's have such biggies.

waiting for my applause......

whatever i thought was going to happen at this point did not happen. i just remember being so frantic to get this new information out there. the sunday school teacher was not impressed. i was immediately escorted from the room and after a very long, damnation filled talk i was placed on church probation. i apparently posed a risk to the other children's salvation. i was devastated, not for being in trouble, not for getting my ass chewed out but because my story was not going to be written down by a scribe and included in future lessons. they thought i was being a blasphemous smart ass, telling dirty jokes in sunday school. i thought i was a  religious correspondent

this theme has repeated over and over again in my life. i am an incredibly slow learner. i love the "tell" - the big reveal. when i got older, i remember thinking, before letting loose, this probably isn't going to end well. but the urge to tell the tale is always too great. and besides personal satisfaction trumps consternation any day.

a historical footnote: my church probation stayed intact till around 11 when i discovered and shared some fascinating info on mary magdalene. i was turfed from sunday school and received a life-time ban from the "young christians" group.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

mom - live action shorts......

having a telephone conversation with my mother can be, on occasion, like gladiator tryouts. pitted against my mother,  i am at best, a mediocre warrior but knowing you're going to get your ass kicked is a piss, poor reason for not competing. the beginning of the bout is always fraught with posturing and posing.  each of us wanting to get a sense of where the other is in terms of readiness for the match. and really, if you haven't any sarcasm in your prelude, you haven't got game.........

mom: i told those fellows up at the hall that winter was over for us
me: really, why is winter over?
mom: because the skins on the onions are so thin
me: gotcha
mom: it called folklore
me: really, folklore, i've never heard of it
mom: well, i wouldn't expect you to know any folklore
me: thanks
mom: i never said you couldn't learn
me: gotcha

one of the best things about my mother is that her disdain is nearly universal.  sure, i have disappointed her but so, apparently, have lots of other people. so, while i feel for my fellow comrades i am also perfectly willing to sacrifice them. hell, i will safety-pin them to the altar........

which led to......
mom received some christmas presents she was not quite happy with - presents from friends and family alike. if i'm being completely forthcoming, my mother is unhappy with every present on some level. if it's a gift card, well there's the inconvenience of getting to the place, if it's something edible well it's stale or it interferes with her bowel movements. this particular disappointing present was a book.  not, as it turns out the book she was expecting to receive. so, during the conversation, when i found myself on the ropes  i referred back to this book because i needed a rest from getting my ass chewed off.

me: did you ever get the book you wanted
mom: no, did i tell you? mary gave me the wrong book!
me: yes mom, you told me already
mom: i let mary know that i was some disappointed
me: mother, that's not very nice
mom: well, she should know
me: of course
mom: she gave me some thomas kinkade book. the guy who paints
me: i'm sure its a nice book
mom: i don't know anything about that man and i'm sure its not going to entertain me, its probably christian
me: jesus mom, what's wrong with the christans
mom: i'm just saying, its probably not going to be funny.

later in the conversation - a brief moment of victory......
in mom's chrismas stocking was a little set of upcycled scrabble tiles with magnets on the back that spelled "grandma."

mom: could you tell me what those letters are supposed to be.
me: you put them on your fridge and they spell a word.
mom: well, i'll tell you one thing, they don't spell my name. i can't make them spell my name
me: that's because they don't spell your name
mom: your uncle couldn't figure it out, he thought it might be a game but there's not very many pieces.
me: the letters spell grandma
mom: grandma! are you sure?
me: yes, i'm sure
mom: hang on,
(i hear hush puppies tap, tap tapping across the floor. a long pause ensues)
mom: they do spell grandma
me: i told you
mom: well you know you're not always right
me: gotcha

but alas it did not end well for me

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

an eye for the peculiar.........

i come from a place where people's crazy is just below the surface, not buried deep but visible to even the most untrained eye. this is neither here nor there in terms of correctness but you must learn early, how to tread water. you must never come right out and point out the obvious.  instead you must watch and wait. the man with the wheelbarrow, the hermit with over 100 cats, the woman with the shrine to rex humbard. they were everywhere,  you couldn't swing a dead codfish and not have one pop out of hiding. i wasn't one to shy away. bring on your crazy. i'll take a look. my mother recognized early on that i could be counted on when the situation called for an audience. "let beverly go", she'd say, "she doesn't mind that sort of thing". and strangely, i didn't. i could pet imaginary cats and listen to ranting all the live long day - well the promise of a bit of lunch was always appreciated. you learned that crazy was dangerously close to the path, one misstep and you be living an entirely different life. this kind of early training has served me well. normal has became an wide expanse. sanity as odd as the alternate but in the mean time you must maneuver your way through both worlds and you must learn to live with the envy. because believe me there is a crazy so inviting, so liberating that even as a child you watched it in awe.

i had an great aunt that inhabited that kind of wonderland. i was too young to appreciate the tragedy that sent her there. i could only revel in the place she had came to rest. there was tea and mustard sandwiches. the table was always set to include Queen Elizabeth, my aunt's sister, and a long dead prime minister who had become her priest. the absent people were represented with framed photos and my aunt spoke to them. i never heard the photos speak, i never saw elizabeth drink the tea or the priest make the blessing but my aunt did. and this was enough for me.  the sheer contentment i felt would sometimes take my breath away. after the refreshments we all went to the parlor and elizabeth and the priest would watch while aunt and i did the highland jig. the same scenes were played out for nearly every visit. it was for me how happy felt.

another wondrous woman i visited was the wife of let's say, my eye doctor. this was a case of my mother volunteering me for a bit of psychiatric nurse training. my being under the age of 10 didn't seem to bother anyone.  "just sit with her for a while," they said,  "give the caretaker a break." i loved it. i was at times a wee bit scared because this gal was wildly unpredictable. she wore flowered caftans and her hair was piled high on her head in curls we called bubbles. she smoked and things sometimes caught fire. as soon as we were alone she always asked if i wanted a boiled egg and i always i did. she would put an egg in a pot, sans water and turn up the heat. smoke and or fire usually was the finale of all our visits. i would always catch hell from the returnees about not stopping her. stopping her never occurred to me. the fear i felt was tempered greatly by the anticipation of what would happen next. what would i possibly miss if i ran screaming from the room. so i happily sat next to a smouldering pillow or listened to conspiracy theories because personal danger cannot compete with entertainment. the highlight of most visits involved a tray of rings. the kind of ring you get for a successful doctor's visit. well mrs had her own large tray. we would sit like two young debutantes and try on rings. picking our favorites from each row. we discussed what situation would be best for each style. when we had exhausted our imaginations the rings were returned to the tray and she would light a cigarette and i wondered how a person could get their hands on such a large tray of rings. i always left with the idea that this was the type of life i wanted to lead.

i have always suspected i might be crazy and in my life i have attracted some pretty freaky peoplev- to be honest i've been known to campaign for them. but, i have also been very fortunate to also have attracted some really sensible people. the sort of folks who hold the balloon strings that keep me from floating off to god knows where. because sometimes i like to inhabit that place where reason is often pushed aside for something more entertaining.

and as an added value - here is my favorite poem.

first fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!

i feel this way approximately ALL the time. it runs through my head at least once a day. a mantra if you will

so light her up