Monday, December 31, 2007

happy new year

Wishing all of us good health, good tidings and an abundance of love and joy in 2008.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

10 lb terrorist

This is Eli.

He is asleep on the dog bed that J-Dog got for Christmas.

J-Dog really likes his bed but Eli really, really likes it, too.

Eli weighs 10 lbs.

J-Dog weighs more than 50 lbs.

But J-Dog always defers to Eli, who I recently decided is related to the Fishing Cat.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

things i can count on: boys will be boys and a dog will have dinner

My spouse left the kids in the back yard while he went to shovel the front walk. When he returned, D. was digging and shovelling looking focused and determined. Nine year old S. was nowhere to be seen.

Turns out he was completely buried in snow.

I am choosing not to be disturbed by this (although D. did look like he was really enjoying himself) and instead, to be pleased that they were playing together without fighting.

This is another rare sighting of my children playing together.

And this is where it all falls apart.

And this? It's a picture of my dog having his Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Except cranberry sauce. Because that would be excessive.

when do my children go back to school?

Just asking.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

kingston women get down

Taken this morning, under the influence of coffee with Baileys.

Whatever you're doing, whatever you celebrate, wishing you love and laughter this holiday season.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Sometimes the most amazing things happen.

Or are done by amazing people.

Two weeks ago we had nineteen people to our house for a family Chanukah party. The cooking was shared (my spouse refers to Chanukah as "the festival of fried things"), the cleanup was shared and everyone had a great time.

After the meal, the children in the family exchanged presents.

There was also a package with my name on it. As I started to protest that this was against the rules, I was told that it was something special from my oldest niece (she'll be twelve this year).

It turned out that she had knit me a hat. It was her first non-scarf project and it is perfect. It's the most beautiful shade of turquoise, fits beautifully and just happens to be the exact same colour as the turquoise flecks in the scarf that I wear every day. And it looks great on me.

Just that week, I had tried to knit myself a hat but there was something wrong with my yarn or the pattern and it hadn't worked out. Just that day, I had been thinking how much I love it when people knit things for me and that I wish it would happen more often.

I love that hat with a passion because it is perfect and because it was so thoughtfully and carefully made, just for me.

And I have another example of an amazing thing.

I have been feeling kind of down lately. Part post-NY and Chanukah let-down, part grief for my old life and part chemotherapy blues, I've been feeling the dogs of depression nipping at my ankles. I've been fighting them off (and figuring out how to be healthier) but it has been a bit of a struggle (and of course the sadness is compounded by the guilt of a recovering Catholic: "I should be ashamed to be feeling so sorry for myself when I have responded to treatment so well, have good insurance and such great support!").

Two days ago, I wrote about feeling uninspired.

Yesterday, a book appeared in my mailbox, bound with a ribbon, on which was written the following:
"I like reading your blog and I find inspiration from it. Here is a book for you, may it bring you inspiration."
(It was from J., an artist friend, with whom I once worked closely and haven't seen in a long time. To think I inspire her means a great deal to me).

You know the expression "my heart lifted"? I now know exactly how that feels.

And how could she possibly have known that I have been scouring the Internet for patterns for knitted bags?

Sometimes, life is very hard. And it's not true that everything happens for a reason.

But sometimes, the right thing happens at exactly the right time. Or good people know to make good things happen.

The picture above was taken yesterday from the my spouse's downtown office window. Perhaps not the brightest woodpecker in the world, but I thought his appearance was pretty amazing, too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a very short post

The last couple of weeks have been unbelievably busy.

Off to chemo shortly.

More time to blog, as I recover.

Go read Jacqueline's account of my trip to New York. She made me a little weepy. And she pretty much said exactly what I would have about our time together.

Kindred spirits, indeed.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

december 6, 1989: why i am a feminist

Eighteen years ago today, a gunman walked into the engineering school of the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, separated out the women and opened fire after declaring his hatred of "feminists."

I remember exactly where I was at the moment I found out, how I felt as the details emerged. I also remember the outrage and pain I felt in the aftermath, when mainstream Canada refused to accept that these women were killed because they were women, aspiring to work in a male dominated field.

No one disputes that fact now.

They call it the Montreal Massacre and the killer has achieved the kind of recognition posthumously that he sought in life.

I will not re-print his name here.

I will, however, name each of the young women who died that day. Twelve of them were engineering students, one an administrator and one a nursing student. They would all be my age (or very close to it right now). When I think of all I have lived since December 6, 1989, I am reminded that these women and those who loved them were robbed of a very great deal.

Geneviève Bergeron.

Hélène Colgan.

Nathalie Croteau.

Barbara Daigneault.

Anne-Marie Edward.

Maude Haviernick.

Maryse Laganière.

Maryse Leclair.

Anne-Marie Lemay.

Sonia Pelletier.

Michèle Richard.

Annie St-Arneault.

Annie Turcotte.

Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

wonderful wonderful, wonderful

It's as though I didn't know any other adjective, I've used it so much over the last few days.

But it really is the best possible way to describe my long week end in New York with Jacqueline.

I now own two Rebel 1 in 8 designs. Click here and here for pics. Don't I look happy? She made me feel so beautiful.

Jacqueline also made me my very own Rebel necklace, something I have wanted for a long time.

But the joy is about more than the stuff I got (although I do love the stuff I got). It's about kindred spirits, never running out of things to talk about, experiencing unfathomable kindness and being inspired by people and place, touch, taste and sound.

I have been back since late last night and I am still all aglow.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.