Monday, 22 February 2010

we are nice people, really

The Coughing Duo were at it again. Raging Cabin Fever, those two, and going back to school tomorrow lungs or not amen getting a bit fractious.

I was staring down at my cup of coffee and wondering how it was possible to not be able to taste it (and really, what a shame when someone else made the coffee for me; shouldn't it always be possible to appreciate coffee made by other hands than your own??) when B made his announcement of his Plans For The Day.

"And then", he said, "It's time to get my pig axe out!"

Fueled on a combination of Buckley's Cough Syrup, Tylenol, and insomnia, I drew myself up from the couch and screeched 'Oh hell no you're not! What kind of a backwoods abattoir am I living in? You will not be killing pigs anywhere near this house*!'

B understands that cough syrup gives me the stupids. So he ignored my righteous frothings and carryings on, instead showing me a long smooth bat of white ash.

"My pick-axe, Jess. It needs a new handle."

'Oh', I said, meekly. 'I think I need a nap.'

 *It should be pointed out here that Bear has never slaughtered a pig. We don't own any pigs. We have no pigs as neighbors. I have no idea what the hell I was thinking.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

forecast: shouty and snowy

It's COLD and it SNOWED and I feel like being sort of SHOUTY about that today.

I got used to our bitterly cold winter - with snow slowly but surely GOING AWAY in the brief periods of not-freezing weather - (not-freezing here being defined as an entire balmy one or two degrees above freezing) and the winter sun weakly playing off everything and the crunchiness of the ice-covered paths

but now it's SNOWED. UGH.

Disclaimer: I complain (loudly) while knowing others have had a much harder winter than I.

So the Narnia DVD is playing and I can just hear Lucy's anguished crying about Edmund's betrayal over the chorus of hacks and wheezes that have besieged the entire family and it's shaping up to be another flem-y cough-fest of a day. Whee!

Tea all around, I think, and doctor's appointments for tomorrow for everyone.

There's something bitterly ironic in having the entire family come down with the yick - even more so during a snow day, when by all rights they should be outside running around and shouting. It's much harder to work up enthusiasm about school closing when you're sick already.

Last night I called Mom's best friend and told her - it wasn't an easy conversation, but she managed to make me laugh at some recollections she had and  put me at ease with her calm and sweetness.

Perhaps an apple cake today? I'd love to make chili, but I'm not sure I can convince B that a trip to the store is a great idea.

You know, with the NOT-PLOWED ROADS and the SNOW and all. Ouch, getting shouty again!

I have been surrounded by a blanket of concern and caring. Thank you, my friends. Thank you so much.

Monday, 15 February 2010


My mother passed away last night.

I am so, so lucky to have had her this long - she was a brittle diabetic, besieged by other health problems. At one point she was told she wouldn't live to see her mid twenties, and so she regarded every day as a gift. To live forty years past her expected life span was a miracle.

My mother was a good-hearted woman with a wicked sense of humour. She could always make me laugh (even through disagreements!) and I'll miss her wit.

She called yesterday to say Happy Valentines Day and to tell me about the flowers my step-father had given her. She was upbeat and cheerful, talking to Rosey about the Olympics, asking me if I'd seen the opening ceremonies and wowed over the pageant that Vancouver had put on.

I meant to talk to her again, but she and R hung up, Rosey all smiles and talking excitedly about what Nana had said. Never mind, I thought. I'll call her back later.

Only now, there is no later.

I'm torn between an eerie sense of calm and trying to not let my mind remember all the wonderful things about her. I'm really okay as long as I don't recall what a neat mom she was growing up, all the Halloween costumes and stories and songs and special things she and I had.

She's at peace now. I just have to hold on to that.

But it feels awfully flimsy when I contemplate never hearing her laugh again.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

a very special snowflake

I like to think I'm unique.

That my thoughts and experiences and journeys and self are unique.

But really, that can't be true. Not even in the blogosphere am I unique. I mean, it takes shared experiences and common ground to have commenters sigh and nod and feel a kinship with the author, and it is these kind of events that lead to people coming back to read.

But really, I thought I was a little more unique.

Not so! Ever since I began writing for the Canada Moms Blog, I've had Google Alerts out on my blog name, and I can tell you that there are at least four other blogs named Days Go By, or Days go by, or even days goby

(And that last one puzzles me. Days goby? It brings to mind someone trapped in the desert.)

So I'm beginning to wonder. Should I be bothered by this?

How special of a snowflake should I expect to be?

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

celebrate good times

  • I survived the photography talk. Actually, it went really well. And as Bear said:  'Those are your friends, anyway - it's not like they're going to bite you!' Well, yes. But I wanted to do it well.
  • I've been blogging for five years, as of yesterday.
  • This is my 1,200th post.
  • I was astonished and gratified - one of the women at my talk said she would love to have me take pictures of her children - and now I'm thinking of starting a side line....or something. I do love it so.
  • I did hot lunch at the school today (29 grilled cheese sandwiches, an immense pot of tomato soup) and asked Rosey's teacher about R's pronunciation of the 'th' sound. (She has (we think) an infected hangnail, and her cuticle is puffy and red and when squeezed, emits a high-pitched keening. Oh wait - that was R. Her 'flumb' is pus-y.) Her teacher looked across the lunchroom and called over the school's speech therapist, who right there and then agreed to see R this afternoon. And she did. How do I know? Because the school let Miss R call and tell me how she 'practiced my thumb, Mama. I practiced my thumb.'  Is it no wonder I love this school?
  • Tomorrow is book club, and I can't wait. Our book is heating up, and everyone is enjoying it so far. I'm really delighted with that, because several of the members don't usually read for fun.
  • So, good all around. How're you??

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

the mist in the trees

February here, and bitter cold. The intermittent sunlight looks pretty, but it doesn't do much to warm anything, and even the kids are tiring of snow and snow and snow again.

It's time to bake comforting things that lift the spirits when you come inside, time for well-stoked fires and hot cuppas cradled over a lap afghan, time to start dreaming of Spring and hoping that what feels like a very far off day will hurry and be here soon.

It's the half-way mark of winter, and the groundhog, damn him, was not kind this year. I tell Bear that my second husband will be Polynesian, and dream of warm waves and air that I can't see my breath in.

Next week I've agreed to give a talk about a hobby of mine, a fact that alternately leaves me excited and nauseous. As much as the women there are friends of mine and would not let me fall on my face (I know this) I still cringe a bit inside at the thought of getting up in front and talking about something near and dear to my heart that I never learned out of books and have learned by trial and error. It's not that I can't talk about photography, it's that I'm not sure I should be teaching about it.

Again, a friendly crowd. But I will disappoint myself if I don't do as well as I think I should.

Yarn over and over

Someone, an old babysitter maybe, taught me to crochet when I was six. I remember making long braided loops of yarn and thinking how pretty ...