Sunday, December 30, 2012

A week whizzed by......

From that quiet moment on Christmas Eve (when the carpets smelled fresh and sparkled in the glow of the Christmas tree lights) until now....a quiet moment on the couch in the glow of the those same lights, on those same sparkly carpets....so much has happened. Christmas Eve Seafood Feast was much enjoyed with friends and family.
The Christmas tree was overwhelmed by the gifts.
 
It was a Christmas morning like no other - a pajama party with grandparents and the Hofs family and us.....with our teenagers in their much desired onesies.....



We ate, we chatted, we rocked Parker to sleep a couple times, we played with Penelope, we watched movies, we ate more.....It was a charming day.


On Boxing Day we threw all kinds of things in suitcases and boxes and headed to the Cabin...through snowy weather....we dug in....and settled in for 4 quiet, peaceful and relaxing days.



 It snowed. It was sunny.



 We read, ate, snoozed, slept, walked, chatted, laughed, threw snowballs, took photos.... repeat, repeat, repeat......



 We drove home in sunlight dazzling us on the snow....had coffee with a dear friend on the way and came home to this.....

After we calmed the neighbours down and called the pranksters (who we still love) .....we did the laundry, unpacked, caught up on facebook and emails, showered.....and now to savour the fact we have another whole week before school starts up.... this long awaited and much anticipated vacation is well underway and its lovely effects are taking hold just as they should!

Monday, December 24, 2012

It came upon a midnight clear

Bruce Cockburn Christmas is my favourite Christmas album for its distinctive sound and the lovely photo of Bruce on the cover which makes me smile - and seeing as there is no video that is all you get to see..... turn down the lights and crank the sound! Enjoy!





BTW - carpets look amazing and are dry just before the doorbell rings for the start of Christmas Eve Seafood Feast!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

'Twas the night before the night before.....

AKA Christmas Eve Eve.......

When most in the town are sitting in their decked out living rooms, a cup of good cheer at hand, lights twinkling, music playing, voices hushed in conversation.

Well not in my house.........

Because at my house I did not consult the calendar when the Sears Lady offered me an early appointment  to get my carpets cleaned on Monday.

Monday sounded great - the first day of my vacation - easy to schedule and the very first of my holiday projects checked off my list....... and the groupon used before it expired.....I smiled to myself at my efficiency and forethought.

UNTIL

Until I realised it was Christmas Eve on Monday !

(insert bad word)

So instead of relaxing tonight I was crawling around the ground floor of my house on my hands and knees dragging the shop vac behind me.

We have this shop vacs Grandpa

Because if one must vacuum before steam cleaning as the Sears Lady instructed one to do then one may as well vacuum the edges, the paneling, the window ledges, behind the furniture, under the couch, under the dogs crate......

I have single-handedly sucked up 70 pounds of dust (not me - the shop vac). 

The dust bunnies call me "the Grinch" that sucked up Christmas.

This should make me feel great - yes?  Even before the Sears Steam Suction Machine arrives, my house is dust free, like, mega-dust free and there is NOTHING under or behind my couches ..... nothing at all ... not now......

So instead of looking like Christmas,  it looks like we are moving..... like stupid people moving at Christmas time.... people trying to have Christmas as they pack up their house..... except we are not and our stuff is merely relocated into every non carpeted part of the house....

Panic ensued when the doorbell rang! (and can I say the Poangs have to GO - I am over them)




I am sure by this time tomorrow when we are sitting down to our annual Christmas Eve Seafood Feast with friends and family I shall feel like the perfect hostess with freshly laundered (if potentially a little damp) carpets, a sparkling clean house....... even baby Jesus will be back from his temporary spot on the landing.


So enjoy your bedecked, quiet, orderly homes tonight friends......enjoy...... and I leave you with this little yuletide gift...... do not shove the shop vac hose up the Christmas tree in hopes of staving off excessive pine needles falling to the carpet...... just don't...... you're welcome.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Mad Dash

I have never been at work this late in the year......ok maybe never is an overstatement but I am at that point of tiredness and busy-ness that it's just easier to make massive, sweeping over-generalizations than be specific and to the point.

As teachers and students across the land (or maybe just in my house) curse how late school is going, how close to Christmas we are all still at "it", I suspect that those selfsame grumblers will be pleased to have a long 10 day stretch after Christmas to sink into vacay mode.

And we are SO looking forward to that.

No alarm clocks, PJ's all day, lots of tea, cookies.....for breakfast, strolls with the puppy when the weather is nice, reading on the couch, a few days at the cabin in the woods, snow, cracking fire, a good red wine, time for friends and time for family, getting some projects done......

Ahhhhhh I feel myself unwinding already!

BUT WAIT!

There is still today and the next 3 to get through - work to finish today and leave prepped for January, gifts still to get and a pile to wrap, friends to visit, meals to organise, groceries to buy, cooking, baking, dashing about with others dashing about, traffic, parking, searching for tape at midnight and finding none, waking at 2am with lists running through my head, finding that gift I put in "a safe place".........

Trying to find the peace and joy sometime before Dec 25th......

Trying to remember that its NOT about the gifts
Trying to remember it's enough to have one another
Trying to remember those who have less, who grieve
Trying to focus on preparing my heart
Trying to have moment of quiet to enjoy the lights, the sounds
Trying not to be grumpy or rushed.
Trying to connect with people, with friends, with family

If you have 4 minutes - join me in listening to one of my favourite carols.....and Merry Christmas friends - Peace and Joy to you all.



1. Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

2. He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

3. And through all His wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.

4. For he is our childhood's pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

5. And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

6. Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A year ago

I have this nifty little app on my iPhone called
It tells me what I was doing a year, 2 years or 3 years ago....  I like it....it is fun to look back.

Some days it's a bit tough.

Like yesterday when it brought me these reminders........


A year ago I was sitting on a Lanai overlooking Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach in 28 degrees.

On Sunday here it was raining and 3 degrees...... bleak!

My Mom called and offered to take us to Hawaii for an hour so.  Just a 20 minute drive she said.  We were skeptical but intrigued but as every cell in my body was yearning for the moisture laden, aromatic air of Oahu I was easily convinced to follow her on this escapade.

My Mom is the most intrepid adventurer......she has the genius of making almost anything into an adventure....I SO love that about her!  So the kids and I (Lindsay in her I heart HI shirt) jumped in her little red car with no idea where we were off to.

We drove into Vancouver but it wasn't until we were almost at the destination that we clued in!

We paid a modest entrance fee and we were in Hawaii.



A tropical paradise of trees and flowers and exotic birds, and warm moist air......



It was SO lovely (despite my absolute phobia of birds flying around my head).....we sat a while, we wandered back and forth, we took photos, chatted with parrots ...... pretended ...... remembered ....... dreamed.

And then we walked out of the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park - a little tropical oasis.
Back to reality

Thanks Mom....for your great adventures......I love you.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Blog

Hard to believe my blog is 2 years old today.

Two year since I wrote these lines......

What have I done?????

I just created a blog...... I didn't mean to...... I am not sure I have time to........ YIKES!!!   I have been a blog-stalker for ages and I love the way people chronicle their lives, ordinary lives, and muse about things big and small.  My life is so full already with family and friends and work and 2 jobs other than my "real" job and stuff.... lots of stuff.  Could this be a way to find something for me in the middle of this? - could I let the frustrated writer within me out?..... will it become a monster?  OK so within the first paragraph you already know I over think just about everything.  So I'm diving in.... let's just see where this goes!! 

It continues to be a wonderful part of my life.  I still love writing and thinking and composing each post.

I am less intense about it this year....less self imposed pressure to post everyday...but still wanting to post regularly enough to chronicle my life and the times we live in.

I still write my best posts in my head at 3am.  Alas you never see them.

I made my 500th post this year which felt like a milestone and this week my blog will hit 50,000 "reads" which feels overwhelming really.  They can't ALL be my mother!

I love the comments - from friends and family and random people around the world.

It is still fascinating what captures people's attention or interest...... what posts are super popular and which ones are passed over.

So for now the journey continues.  Telling the story of my life, here, now....... I am grateful for you who read......truly grateful.

Have a happy day!