Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bor-ing!

I seem to be going through a time of being bored! It's not that I have nothing to do. I have more than enough to do! It's just not anything I want to be doing. It seems I've been shuffling the same stack of papers around on my desk for weeks. I now the stack has actually changed, new papers have replaced completed papers but all of them, old and new just hold no challenge. The biggest decision of the day is which one to deal with first. Each paper requires something, a phone call, an entry, an email then you can file, shred or restack. Thing is, it just all seems mundane and somewhat meaningless. I mean, haven't you ever wanted to change the world? To do something that you felt would make a difference to someone, somewhere? Everyday seems somewhat similar and I find myself in a slump. Even when I come home, there's lots to do, lots of hobbies to pursue, my heart just isn't there. I'm just feeling bored! I think it must be time to save a whale or something! At least to find a cause that makes me feel like I have a purpose but until I do, I guess I'll just restack the papers and maybe doodle a few flowers on them! At least that might give them some life.

View From my Deck: Dull, gray, Boring but at least I've given my blog a facelift!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Roses, White Roses!

Oh yes, it's Valentine's Day! Roses, he brought me a dozen white roses! Beautiful, long stems, greenery and babies breath! And get this, they were wrapped in a sheer golden scarf so that when they were put in the vase it draped over the edges and made a picture to behold. I know he loves me. I knew it before the roses. I've never doubted it. But.....there's just something about roses!

View from my deck: Rosey!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Neighbors and the Quality of Life

About 4 months ago, we got a new neighbor. Harry had owned the house next door for about 4 years, he bought it about the same time as we bought ours but he chose to rent it out, until 4 months ago. About 2 months ago, Harry showed up at our door to complain. His complaint was that our hot tub was keeping him awake at night and he thought that we should move it. He was having to sleep with ear plugs in and that, he stated, was ruining his quality of life. My husband apologized for the inconvenience and said that we would try to find away to make it quieter. He again suggested that we should move it or shut it off. As it's winter here and below freezing, shutting it off isn't an option unless we want the pipes and whatever else to freeze up, to say nothing about the fact that it's in winter we want to use our hot tub and to heat it up each time would take hours (in which time I'm sure the urge would have passed) and cost more in electricity than we care to pay. Well we did what we could with insulation and foam to make it quieter but that still wasn't good enough for Harry. He wanted us to move it. The problem is that this hot tub is built into our deck! Our deck cost us over $5000 to have built and it was designed to have the hot tub built into it right outside of our bedroom window. We sleep 3 feet away from this hot tub and have our window wide open at night and I don't wear ear plugs and it is not disturbing my sleep or ruining the quality of my life. When we questioned Harry as to who would be paying to rip our deck apart and move the hot tub, he of course said that we would have too. Harry never once worried about the quality of our life when he rented his house out to a single mom with 4 children who were quite taken with the fact that we had a hot tub. At that time the hot tub was just in our yard, on the grass, right out in the open and every time we went in it we were watched and talked to incessantly by the neighbors kids. Don't get me wrong, I was a single mom and I love kids but not when I'm in my hot tub trying to relax and have some quiet time. This was what caused us to spend the $5000+ and build a deck and put up a fence blocking us from the neighbors. This is how it ended up on "that" side of the yard. Well, Harry chose to call the bylaw officer on us and he came to inspect and was a little miffed at the idea that Harry could even hear the hot tub from his window. It was determined that we could keep it where it was, leave it running and that we had gone over and above the call of the law in keeping the sound down. Now the thing that has intrigued me about the whole thing is that Harry lives all alone in this huge 5 bedroom house. He chose to sleep in the bedroom closest to our hot tub. He then thinks that we should call in a construction crew and dismantle our deck and move our hot tub to somewhere else when all he has to do is walk a few steps down his hall into one of his other 4 bedrooms. I guess that too would "ruin his quality of life." Our quality remains, I suppose, inconsequential. No wonder there are wars and rumors of wars......

View from my deck - same as before, COLD but I know summer is coming and that winter is past!

You've Come A Long Way Baby!

I used to be a fastidious housekeeper. Bordering (if not full blown) on OCD I'm thinking! Every room in my house was germ free clean. Martha Stewart would have been proud. Friends and neighbors often commented that my floors were so clean you could eat off of them. I wish I'd thought to serve them there, I could have saved a fortune on the dining room suite.
Well anyhow, the other day I popped into the computer room to grab something off my desk and out of the corner of my eye I saw something move. My first thought was a spider. Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about these multi-legged little (or enormous) creatures! I them. I quickly took a second look and in the dim light couldn't tell so I blew at it and it came skittering out..........."Oh, thank God it's only a dustball" I announced as I carried on out of the room without even a thought about dusting!

View from my Deck: Bare trees, a covering of snow, gray sky and a full moon.

Friday, December 16, 2005

THE QUEST FOR THE PERFECT TREE

While quest might not be the correct word here, it somehow seems like a quest. It's not like I drive for 2 hours into the country and then hike into some uptomykneedeep in snow forest searching until dusk for that perfectly shaped tree that will perfectly adorn my living room for a fleeting few days in December. Nope, it's not that at all. Basically, I send my husband into the crawl space we call a basement and get him to pass the treeinabox up through the trap door. From there it is quickly assembly by merely inserting the branches into their correct slots. How hard can this be? They are all color coded! The tree itself is perfectly shaped....you can bend a branch here or there if you like for added effect and voila! The tree! Ok, so that (well, maybe not according to the husband) is the easy part. Now to embark on the decorating. Herein lies the "quest" for the perfect tree! The last couple of years I have found myself alone in the house during this time. It's only now dawning on me that there might be a reason for this other than just circumstances and timing. I'm beginning to think people might not want to join in this yearly celebration with me! Hmmm....
So this year the decorating begins on a Saturday morning around 9. I am surrounded with my carefully chosen decorations, beautiful deep red apples with gold leaves, golden pears with reddish hues, stunning beaded pomegranates and cream & caramel balls that have a wonderful sheen to them, golden ribbon for trim and 450 clear mini lights. I grab the breakfast of grannies (a cup of tea for those of you who aren't grannies yet) and I am ready. I painstakingly start with the lights. Carefully weaving them in and out of the branches from the trunk to the tips being careful to evenly space them I find myself lost in my thoughts and totally enjoying the task at hand and the quietness that surrounds me. It seems like no time and I am on to my next string of 100 lights, and then the next. As I pick up the 3rd string I start to get a little concerned that I am now only about a third of the way around on the second layer of branches and I am already at almost half of my quota! I call my husband at work and express my concern to him that I have now been at this project for 3 hours and I'm sure that I will not have enough lights. He assures me that it will be fine (such a peacemaker!) and encourages me to carry on. Within another hour, I realize that his assurances were far from correct as I have now used up my 450 lights and I am just starting the third row of branches. Another call to the husband, "Please come home for lunch now and stop at the store and pick me up some more lights ...PLEASE." He soon arrives with 250 more lights, eats some lunch and leaves me once more to my own devices assuring me that the tree looks beautiful and I'm doing a marvelous job. Two more hours on the job and I realize that the left over string of 50 lights won't come close to covering the rest of the tree that I have left but I must stop as we're expecting friends over for coffee at 3 and it's almost that time. When they leave at 5:30 husband (who came home at 3) leaves with them for another sojourn to the store for more lights. 300 more lights and who even knows how many more hours, I emerge from the living room only out of necessity. We quickly ready ourselves for an appearance at a Christmas party, staying only long enough to be sure that people noticed we were there and then home again to the TREE. I can't stand the thought of decorating again tomorrow so weary but determined, I return to the living room to adorn the tree with the beautiful shiny balls. Trying to place the balls in some kind of semetry soon becomes somewhat frustrating and I am continually switching balls from one place to another making sure that the colors are evenly spaced and the right ones are beside the right ones. Ah, finally all that is left is the ribbon! That I can leave until the morningas it's now 11:00 - 13 hours after I began. I stand back to admire my masterpiece.....oh my goodness.....the brightness of 950 lights drowns out the beautiful, carefully placed balls. You can barely see them and the ones you can see are like a shadow within the light. Those beautiful hues of red and gold and caramel dim in the glow of the lights. Oh well, surely it can be used as a beacon to weary travellers who might lose their way this Christmas season!


View from my deck: Gray sky, little sun, a skif of snow around the patio chairs and the brightest star I've ever seen shining in the east!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

From the Heart

There are some days in life that you know will stay in your memory. They have some how been etched on your soul and your soul feels like it has found a moment in time where you are at peace.
Today was one of those days. We were visiting my son, his wife and our 3 grandchildren. We started out the day by waking up to our grandson climbing in to bed with us and cuddling up and chatting about things that were important to him. He's 7. His name for the sake of this blog is "Budgie." He is delightful! We were soon joined by Bella who is 9. Within seconds, the laughter was filling the bedroom and even though we knew we would probably wake "He" (our son) we risked it and laughed with laughter that came deep from our bellies. Then it was upstairs for tea & toast (the breakfast of "Grannies") and after sitting and chatting over a leisurely cup of tea, we (which included our oldest granddaughter, Zeenee who had finally risen from the bed) were off to downtown Vancouver for lunch at the maybe famous, maybe not "Fat Burgers!" If it isn't famous, it should be. Wow, what a burger! Then the 2 block walk to the beach. The tide was out, the seashells were in and the fun began. "Here's one Gran! Gran, look at this one!" The sound and smell of the ocean, the thrill of finding sea treasures in the sand, the warmth of being with those that you love, the sense of well being in that place deep in your soul.
We then left there and drove to Stanley park and took a walk over to watch the Beluga whales. I stood fascinated as I watched them twirl and dive, listened to them talk and was, as always. a little overwhelmed at the glorious creation of God.
Soon after that, the 7 of us piled into the van to head back home. Full of fresh air, tired out from the walking and filled up with good food, it seemed only right that we should all find a comfy chair, a good cup of tea and close our eyes for a nap.
There really is something special about a day that is filled with the people you love and hold close. Tomorrow we head home again, about 4 hours away and it will probably be a while before we're together again but the pictures are framed in my memory and I will be able to recall them months from now and they will come fully loaded with the smells, the tastes and the wonderful feeling of knowing that you are loved. It just doesn't get much better than that!