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Highlights from 2015

I like making these lists every year. Helps me remember.

Turned 35! Half way to 70! I fell ill on my birthday so we didn't do anything fantastic. We did have a quiet brunch and chatted. Went to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for a Mozart recital. Went to a Dance Dance Party Party session. It was amazing! Need to go more next year. Joined the Toronto Modern Quilt GuildFinished some quilt topsMade a quilt for JadynMade table toppers as gifts for the familyHad a sewing day with Sarah at the store. Went to a couple of TMQG sewing days. Learned that Creative people need to CreateTook Lisa Congdon's class on Creative BugTook the How to Design Fabric class on Creative BugWatched Cirque du Soleil's VarekaiWent to a U2 ConcertCame across this quote: Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -  Howard ThurmanTasted baklava all the way from TurkeyTasted Japanese green-tea crepe cakeTried to…

Spadina Museum

I love old houses. Visiting the Spadina Museum has been on my list for a while now. Glad I finally did it. I don't know why these things get put aside for so long. It's not an expensive tour. Maybe I wanted to go with Bryan and it didn't quite work out. These days are go alone if I want to. A friend did go with me but I was all set to go alone. It's very freeing.




Drawing, je t'aime

I have been teaching myself to draw these past few months so I was excited to see the Drawing, je t'aime exhibition at the AGO. Now that I am learning to observe and understand lines, shapes and forms it was wonderful to see that drawings of the masters.

More on this on my Happy Turtle Designs Blog: Drawing, je t'aime

We also became members at the AGO so I'm looking forward to spending time there next year! :)




Something Happened

From my notebook:
At the AGO
December 23, 2015

I'm looking at Jane Martin's Something Happened.
I looked at the drawings first. They seemed to be of a man who was ill and fading away. I felt a little anxious. I thought, "Oh... this is not good". I read the title - Something Happened - and I knew this work was about grief and loss. And instantly I was transported to my own. To the hospital room where my father died, to the tubes, and his own fading away. I felt my chest tighten and my hands tingle.


The artist took polaroids of her husband during his illness and many years later she drew these drawings. And many years later I sit in front of her drawings at an Art Gallery and my own grief from my father's death 11 years ago is unbearable. 
We have this in common, the artist and I. We have both watched and cared for a loved one as they died slowly. I remember my father's body - how it became only bare bones and skin to keep his form in space. His white strong t…

Courage in 2015

My theme for 2015 was Courage. 
I was a little afraid to take this on. There are no easy ways to learn life's lessons and I wasn't sure what I would have to deal with to learn it. Thankfully nothing crazy. I did have major abdominal surgery this year so I think that's something. I've never had surgery before and I think I dealt with it well. I was calm and good to my caregivers. And smiled through it. So that was good.

I didn't pursue courage as intentionally as I would have liked to - I often lost sight of it. I had a pretty rough winter in the beginning of the year and that threw me off.

I am affected by the change of seasons and winter 2015 was very difficult for me. I went into the year somewhat hopeful but was faced with a lot criticism and judgement from the past. It was also a busy semester for Bryan so I didn't see much of him. I think I got very lonely and sad and questioned my life, my work, and my dreams. I do this on a regular basis but it got real…

A Moment Earlier this Year

I should have blogged about this when it happened. I want to however write about it now so I don't forget it happened.

We were at the Rock Eucharist earlier this year at The Church of the Redeemer and the Wine Before Breakfast Band was playing and they featured the music of Tracy Chapman.

We were a little late but they were playing Talkin' Bout A Revolution when we walked in.

Later Sylvia Keesmaat spoke and I felt like she was speaking to me. When did you stop talking about a revolution she said. When did you get so worn out by it that you stopped.

I wish I had a recording of her sermon or I had blogged about this earlier.

She made me see that I was not the only one despairing. She made me see that we needed to keep talking, keep working. keep believing.

They played Start All Over.

I can't remember the details but at one point during the service I felt like God was holding my face, and telling me it was ok. Telling me that the dark night of the soul had passed, that he w…

Black Cloud by Carlos Amorales

I've been meaning to go to The Power Plant to check out their Visual Arts Exhibitions. I finally did and was very happy to see this one. It's a spectacular installation of 30,000 paper moths! It's stunning!
Also blogged on: When in Toronto

Letter to my Body

Thank you for carrying, housing, holding and journeying with me these past 35 years. We have been through everything together You and I. And now here we are. You have carried me well through this surgery. You healed well, reacted and responded so well to treatment. I was weak, but you were very strong. Healthy, 35 year old body - I don't give you enough credit. 
Please forgive me. I have treated you badly. Criticized you and hated you. But you have carried me for my whole life. I promise to love you and care for you like you have cared for me. 
Also on: Dropping the Overcoat

Myomectomy

It's been six days since my surgery and I am grateful to be recovering well. I had a myomectomy to remove some rather large fibroids. One of them, the doctor said, was the size of a small watermelon!! The surgery went well and I quite enjoyed my time in hospital. It was really nice to be cared for. The nursing staff at  St. Joseph's hospital were so lovely. It was all very relaxing. I did have to deal with screaming babies the one night I was there but other than that it was quite enjoyable. ☺ I think a lot of that has to do with the pain pump they hook you on to. This is the best thing ever!! You can give yourself a shot of the pain killer when you need it. Goes straight into your IV!! It's caliberated to administer small doses at a time, and only as much as you are allowed, so you can't over do it. It really makes recovery so much easier. The c-section moms can't have it so must be really hard on them! I'm grateful that everything went well. My surgeon is e…

If you Spend Time by a Lake

If you spend time by a lake in quiet and stillness, eventually your spirit will find a way to release some of the emotions and feelings it is longing to release. You will feel lighter and calmer and the lake and the trees will become your friends. They will embrace you and accept you and love you. The waters will touch you and carry away your deep hurt and you can feel lighter.

Written after I spent a few hours by the lake up at the cottage. 

Imagine Better

I've been watching The Closer for a few weeks now.

On Episode 5 of Season 5 Fritz Howard - the FBI Agent married to Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson -  talks to her about having children.

She's in the middle of investigating a murder that involved an ex-con who now is working in the service of the community he grew up in. The day before, she met with his mother who lost her only son. She spoke with the community members who face this kind of thing regularly in their neighbourhood.

The mother stood by her son, through prison and parole, and helped him turn his life around. Things were better for them. Then one night, he's shot dead, probably by a random shooting completely disconnected to him.

Brenda says, I know how easily these things happen. How can I even think about having a child?

And Fritz says, The same way ER doctors do, and undertakers, and soldiers. You're so great at imagining the worst. It's part of why you're good at your job. But try, just for a…

Dreams and Doubts

Last night I said something stupid.
I said my dreams didn't matter. It is what it is. It will never work. I should just forget about the whole thing. I was so sad I almost got up and threw out my sketchbooks.

Thankfully I didn't.

Apart from wanting to be a quilter I also want to be a surface pattern designer. Yes I know - in my world - everybody does. There are so many designers and so many amazing ones. So for someone with no background, no training, it's a crazy uphill climb. As it is for a lot of us with the things we pursue.

It's also an uphill climb because I work full time. I need to like everybody else. So sometimes when I am at work I think of all the time I am putting into building someone else's dream -  just so I can pay my bills. And it makes me angry. Survival is real. So what does one do about it?

I'm not sure.

I know a lot of the designers I admired worked full time and worked on their early collections.
Everyone has to survive one way or anothe…

Dreams & Truth

In a dream last night I met a woman who told me I had happiness inside me. That this happiness made me beautiful. She said my face showed it to her.

I know it was just a dream but are dreams just dreams?

Frederick Buechner says truth comes to us in dreams. Is this truth - or is it just my longing for it to be true. And does it really matter?

If I believe there is happiness inside me will it then make it easier for me to be happy?
Does someone else need to tell me this?

Is it not enough that I believe it?


Wholeness and Sensations

Sometimes I think I go through the day as a fragmented self. I see parts of my body - the parts that are maybe the most obvious to me or the ones that are the most cause for concern. I focus a lot of energy, on my stomach, abdomen, and back and here is where I feel most discomfort.

In Yin Yoga they ask us to call these physical feelings sensations. We are asked to be aware of them but not to think of them as aches and pains - just sensations. This can be useful. Especially if you've been to the doctor a bunch of times and there seems to be no remedy for the pain.

I wonder what I can do to release the intensity of these sensation. Probably more yoga, breathing and meditation.

Maybe this will help me release the aches and pains.
Maybe this will help me see myself more whole.

Cleansing

I need a cleansing.
A cleansing of every negative, critical, judgemental, malicious word, action, and feeling that was said and done towards me.

I need to reach down, drag it up into the open, stare it in the face, beat it down, let it go, release it, forgive it.
Forgive the people and the ideas that hurled them at me
Forgive myself for accepting them

I need a cleansing.
A cleansing of every negative, critical, judgemental, malicious word, action, and feeling that I have said and done to you.
I need to reach down, drag it up into the open, stare it in the face, beat it down, let it go, release it, forgive it.
Forgive myself for hurling them at you
And hope that you will maybe forgive me

I am Old Soul

I am an old soul
I have travelled through many ages
I have seen many things
Painful. Hurtful things.
They live in my being and in my body.

Have I only seen sorrow and grief?
Has there been no joy in my lives.

There must have been.
Once, or twice, very long ago.

I yearn for it with a fierceness that makes the sadness unbearable.
I long for what I cannot see in this life but know ... somewhere... somehow to be true.

This is Good

I stood outside a books and records store this morning after brunch at a greasy diner.
The rain that had been falling since six am, sometimes heavily, was now light.
The wind gusts had quietened down to a soft, cool breeze and I could hear the jazz record playing in the store. It was too loud when I was in there a couple of minutes ago. Outside, it was just right.

I looked across the street at the apartment window above the laundromat. I thought, a young couple must live there. They had plants and books in the window. A young city couple who rode bikes and shopped organic from their local grocery store, had Saturday brunch and mid-week drinks with friends at the local bar and watched documentaries at the Revue Theatre further up the street.

I stood in the light rain thinking - this is good. Just a quiet Sunday morning with bacon and eggs, a visit to the book store, a walk down an interesting street. This is good.

No. 34 - Lemon Chicken with Avocado & Corn Salad

No. 34 - Cajun Spiced Basa, Bak Choy & Peanut Sauce

No. 34 : Pork & Summer Salad

This one was served up by the husband. :)
It's nice to be able to eat outside on our patio.
Simple Pleasures.


No. 34 - Bak Choy & Noodle Soup

How Long is Too Long?

More from Learning to Walk in the Dark

Barbara Taylor Brown in her chapter on Dark Emotions draws from Miriam Greenspan's book Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair. Medically, the time allowed for grieving - not sleeping, sadness, crying, loss of appetite - is two months. If someone grieves the loss of a loved one for longer, they could be diagnosed with depression and possibly treated with prescription medication. Greenspan, a psychiatrist herself, calls this a low tolerance for sadness. The inability to bear these emotions often cause many of our problems she says, not the emotions themselves.

How long is too long to grieve the loss of your spouse, your child, your friend? How long is too long to grieve death in war, genocide, and violent crime? Two months the doctors say. Two months. If you don't move on, you might need medication.

I think I have grieved the death of my father for the eleven years he has been gone. I wish I could have d…

Maybe It's OK, to Not Be OK?

We read Barbara Brown Taylor's book Learning to Walk in the Dark for book club. I was first drawn to it because the description talked about the absence of God. I have long considered the idea that God is often absent - from our lives and the life of the world.

I don't fully understand what this absence means - maybe it is true that God is present in his absence. But it is good to hear people who validate the absence - whether God is, or is not present, we certainly don't always feel his presence.

There is more to be learned on this I am sure.

For now, I want to talk about sadness.

If you've read my blog you might have seen that I use the word a lot along with grief, fear, and despair. And of course, struggle. I have wanted very much to not feel these emotions. I have wanted very much to be happy, joyful, ecstatic even. These latter, lighter emotions don't come easily to me. Or maybe they are locked away somewhere so deep that when they come to the surface they ar…

God is God

I came across Joan Baez's song, God is God last year. The song was written by Steve Earle.

I feel close to the song. It helps me put words to what I have come to understand and it carries me along in my journey.

Every day that passes I'm sure about a little bit less. 

One thing that has definitely happened over the years is that I cannot believe everything I was taught. A lot of the language of my early Christian upbringing doesn't mean much to me any more.

I remember telling my brother when he asked me what I believed that I was not very sure. All I knew is that I needed an open space. I needed to be able to breathe and be free. The Christianity I once knew put me in a box and limited me, limited my learning, limited my experience.

I don't like limits.

I have come to believe that I don't really need to be sure. I don't need to know everything and I am OK with saying that I don't really know much at all. And that it doesn't really matter. I don't ne…

The Dark Night of the Soul

The past four months have been very difficult months for me. Things were worse than usual. I felt like I was sinking and was afraid I would not get up.

Then we read Barbara Brown Taylor's book Learning to Walk in the Dark for book club and she talks about The Dark Night of the Soul.

Like darkness itself, the dark night of the soul means different things to different people. Some use the phrase to describe the time following a great loss, while others remember it as the time leading up to a difficult decision. Whatever the circumstances, what the stories have in common is their description of a time when the soul was severely tested, often to the point of losing faith, by circumstances beyond all control. No one chooses the dark night; the dark night descends. 

When it does the reality that troubles the soul most is the apparent absence of God. 

- Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark, p133-134

I have been thinking about the Absence of God for a while now. Thinking that…

Neil Diamond Concert & No.26 is Done!

I had the most AWESOME time at the Neil Diamond Concert today. I bought my ticket in January this year and have had it on my fridge for these past months.

I was excited all day!

I walked into the Air Canada Centre and gasped. There is something breathtaking about being in such a large venue. I sat there. Taking it all in. I went alone to this show - B is not a fan and another friend wasn't sure if she would make it. I was alone but I didn't feel lonely. There is  a strange comfort in being amidst 30,000 people who are all in one space for the same reason you are. I had talked with someone earlier as we stood in line and she told me how she doesn't wait for people to join her any more. If she wants to do something she just does it! Her husband was with her today but she has been to concerts before on her own.

A lovely mother and daughter duo sat next to me. They were so sweet.

From the minute he came on stage I felt like I had transcended. Right through the show I had a bi…

Weep

I read this note on facebook today. Wrong Gender! Wrong Country! by Puja V.
The issue of the note is not new and some of the incidents she refers to I have heard about before. Yet when you read about sexual violence on a 3 year old child it is hard not to feel completely devastated by it. Or when you read about men who penetrate women with iron rods and sticks, slash their throats, leave them for dead it is quite impossible to not feel the deepest despair. It is not shocking any more... there have been too many stories. But it is is still so horribly saddening. It is the kind of sadness that jolts your whole body, a despair that you can feel in your throat.

Two Decembers ago when I heard about the gang rape of a young medical student on a bus I was so traumatized by the incident. That was also the year of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Both events came a little before Christmas. I was actually having a good week after a long bout of dealing with a nagging cold and exh…

Emotional First Aid

As I get older I find that I have been accumulating emotional pain and hurt for the past 35 years. We truly do so little to heal ourselves of emotional pain. The truth is - it shows up as physical pain at some point and dis-ease as they call it now.

I think we need to not only practice emotional first aid but emotional well being and healthy emotional living. The focus has been so much on what we eat and how much we exercise and that is supposed to show us how healthy we are. It does - but it's not the whole picture.

I have long believed that my weight, my backaches, my headaches and so on come from emotional cuts and bruises that have not been healed.

This is a good read:  The Seven Habits of Highly Emotionally Healthy People

I find yoga helpful in this healing. And therapy. And journalling. And also blogging to some extent.

I think I need to do these things with more rigour and discipline for it to have an impact on my life.

Truth & Wisdom

Listening to Jason Mraz's music is like listening to a wise teacher. Someone who sees the beauty and truth of the world and human beings and is able to teach us what he knows in the most beautiful way.

Frederick Buechner says that poets and artists, like the prophets, are the truth tellers of our world. They are able to call things the way they are and also give us ways to understand the world.

Music does this most easily it seems.

This song - 93 Million Miles - makes me lift my head up and look at the world. At the sun. At the sky. At the stars. At the moon. At people.

It makes me see that we are part of something so beautiful and awe inspiring. A world that is breathtaking. And we are able to experience this great and amazing world in ways only a human being can experience.

Sometimes I think it should be enough just to be a human being. To be someone who can walk, and talk, and eat, and move, and look, and see, and hear, and speak, and make, and be, and become, and laugh, and c…

Good Days

The past couple of weekends I have spent sewing.
They have been happy days.

I feel good when I make something. When I finish a quilt. When I have a new design idea.
It gives me great satisfaction to see my work take form, take life, be complete.

It seems I need this in my life - I need to make my quilts. I need to draw my patterns. I need to color.

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life - and even though it sounds simplistic - all I want to do is quilt. And now design surface patterns. I guess I want to create and I found my medium - the hard way.

So - I am hoping that I can make Saturdays my quilting days. It's harder during the week and as much as I try I don't have the energy for it.

Saturdays it will be.
Saturdays will be work - but work that I love and enjoy.

Here is my project from today.
You can read more about it here: Eastern Sunrise



Tell your Story

I was listening to Nerina Pallot's Nickindia the other day. It's a hauntingly beautiful song.

Here is my story-  A little sad of soul, a little weary  Maybe I am that?  Will nobody love me?  Is an empty heart and a conscience all I have?  If I die tonight, if I give up the fight  Will you do something for me?  Tell them my story,  tell them well Tell them everything you know
She goes on to tell her story.
In the end that is all we have - our stories.

Stories about our friends, our families, our dogs, our youth, our childhood.
Stories about the places we have seen, the things we ate, the people we met.

Telling stories is part of what it means to be human.

When someone passes away, we almost always in the days following their death, talk about them. Tell their stories. Smile, cry, laugh. It is how we remember them. It is how they live on.

I think we should tell our own stories too.
Our stories will, we hope, be told after we are gone.

But we should tell it now. While we live.

I Won't Give Up - II

I was thinking about my last post - I Won't Give Up - in the context of my own relationship with my husband. And I wondered why I wanted so much for someone to feel that way about me - but I didn't really feel that way about anybody else...

Maybe - to love someone else, to not give up on someone else, you must first learn to love yourself and not give up on yourself?

Or at least - begin to love yourself.

Maybe what is needed for a healthy and thriving relationship is for the ones involved to learn to love themselves, accept themselves, and not give up on themselves. To forgive themselves. Maybe, as they learn to be at peace with themselves, they can then be at peace with each other. Love each other. Not give up on each other.

I was reminded of Henry Nouwen's The Return of the Prodigal Son and Becoming the Father.
Nouwen says that we are both the younger son and the elder son at some point in our lives. What we need to learn to do is become the Father.

Maybe that is what i…

I Won't Give Up

It's hard for me to get through this song without weeping. The first time I heard it I thought, how insightful and loving. I was crying by the end of the first verse - and it's been like that ever since.

And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I wished someone would sing a song like this to me. I think I cried because I felt like I could see myself in the person he was describing but I wished someone would say it to me. A lot of people have told me I am old soul - but they say it, and I suppose that I also felt it, in a sort of heavy way. It seemed more a burden than a gift.

But listening to this song I felt like it wasn't a burden at all. It was just who I am. Just a person who does some navigating now and then, someone who learns along the way, and feels deeply, and keeps going.

Still, if only someone would say it to me - that would validate it.

Many listens later I realized that the song is as much …

Growing Food in your Apartment!

I loved this idea. I loved that she came up with a way to grow food and grow it in a city apartment! I love that she made this a community thing - made the technology available to anyone who wanted it and asked people to make it better. I love that people are doing this across the world.

I love that they are creating another world.

Profile Pictures

I changed my profile picture on fb today and so many people liked it. Smiles and thumbs ups all around. It's a good picture.


I am rather proud of it.

But I changed my profile picture because I couldn't bear to look at the one I had up.
No it's not an ugly picture of me -in fact - it's a really nice picture of me. I am smiling. I had had my hair done for my husband's graduation. I had my make-up on. It was a summer day and we were happy and shared a sense of accomplishment. He for this MA, his thesis, his two years of hard work. I for supporting him. For being the primary earner and care taker. It had not been an easy two years but we had made it and here he was, getting his degree.

I was happy in that picture.

I don't feel so happy tonight.

In fact, I have not felt happy for a long time now. Most of fall and all of winter. My therapist thinks I may have low grade depression (yet to be evaluated - why does the health system in Canada take so long to refer you t…

Live Creatively

I had a really bad day the other day. I spiralled to the point where I simply couldn't get myself up again. I could see no hope. No possibility. No light. It was strange because the evening before I was so positive. I had figured that a lot of my sadness came from being limited. Feeling like I could not do what I want to do or be who I wanted to be. And believing that to be true.

I realized that every human being is limited in one way or another. Rich, poor, educated, uneducated, young, old - we all have things we can and cannot do. The people who stand out are the ones who overcome these limitations, who break out of the boxes they are born into or find themselves in, and who do what they love doing.

I realized that I had for the most part of my life believed that "I Can't". I come from a practical family who loved and took care of me, gave me a good education, fed and clothed me, and did everything they could to give me a good start.

Only I wanted different things…

I Struggle

I realized something the other day.
I struggle because I am me and the people who raised me are them.
I struggle because I wanted to be free and they were afraid.
I struggle because I cared about spirit things, and they cared about physical things.
I struggle because I wanted to nurture my soul, and they wanted to secure their bodies.
I struggle because I cared about the world, and they cared mostly about their own.
I struggle because I am weak sometimes, and they are stronger.
I struggle because I am often unsure, and they are always right.
I struggle because I want to break free, but they love me.
I struggle because I am not them.
But they love me.
And they are the people who raised me.
And I love them.

And so now I struggle to be me, to become me, and to still love them.

Creative People Need to Create

The good thing about being a certain kind of person is that there are other people who are a lot like you! Whether you are a writer, a scientist, an artist or a philosopher, you can be sure there are people who have asked your questions, wrestled with your thoughts, fought your battles. This doesn't let you off the hook from asking your own questions, thinking your own thoughts, or fighting your own battles but it can help, inspire, and encourage to meet and listen to others who seem to share a little bit of your soul.

I came across Lisa Congdon when I started dabbling with Surface Pattern Design and have been drawn to her work. Today I found these videos and am further drawn to her.

If you watch the videos you will hear Lisa talk about how she came to art in her 30s and wishes she had done it sooner.

Me too!

You will hear her talk about how she was a Project Manager at a not-for-profit organization and even though she was passionate about her work and loved her job she felt a ho…

Singing as Defiance

“Singing in the midst of evil is what it means to be disciples. Like Mary Magdalene, the reason we stand and weep and listen for Jesus is because we, like Mary, are bearers of resurrection, we are made new. On the third day, Jesus rose again, and we do not need to be afraid. To sing to God amidst sorrow is to defiantly proclaim, like Mary Magdalene did to the apostles, and like my friend Don did at Dylan Klebold's funeral, that death is not the final word. To defiantly say, once again, that a light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot, will not, shall not overcome it. And so, evil be damned, because even as we go to the grave, we still make our song alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.” ―

Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint

 A very close friend of ours passed away in 2007. She was 45. She took ill suddenly, went into a comma and a month later she was gone.

For one month we had prayed, hoped, and believed that she would come back to …

The Courage to Be Me

It's funny how you can go through life and never really figure out who you really are.
I know I've been through this before - this searching for myself - and I did find myself at the time. 
But the self is so vast, so complex, so deep that finding oneself must take a lifetime of searching. 
And even then we may never fully know ourselves. 
As I get older I am convinced that there is a Me inside of me that I don't know anything about. As I get older I am convinced that there is a Me inside of me that I know something about but have been too afraid to let out. 
We become, some of us, who we need to become for our families, our friends, and society.
Inside me I am free. I am beautiful. I am fabulous, I am flamboyant. I am larger than life. I laugh. I love. I live with the audacity and elegance of someone who fears nothing. 
In the world I am heavy. I am cautious, I am practical. I am despairing. I am afraid. I am fragile.
I think it takes courage to find your inside Me and i…

Not Yet...

I have spent the last month feeling quite sad. It might be a mix of turning 35, of visiting family who are successful and "doers", of having finances being limited again... or just the winter blues... either way I have been feeling sad.

 When it comes close to my birthday I always think that another year has passed and I have still not... I think the right attitude would be to say Another year has passed and I have not yet ...

Things I am learning:

Make Clear Goals. Remember the ones you have not met... you have not met yet.Work hard to meet them.


Courage for 2015

In 2010, as I turned 30, my mantra if you will was "No Fear in My 30th Year" and I would say this with a warrior pose. It was a good mantra. I learned to let go of some fears.

And held on to others.

We watched Dr. Maya Angelou on Super Soul Sunday over Christmas break and she talked about Courage. And I thought that it was time for me to move from "No Fear" to Courage.

Just like joy is not the absence of sadness, health is not the absence of illness, so too Courage is not the absence of fear.

There is much I will learn about courage. I am in fact ... almost afraid to say that this is a lesson I must learn. I know only too well that when you ask for something ... you get it... and the important lessons are learned the hard way.

Courage - I think - is strength,
is your head lifted up,
is joy,
is the ability to be in the world, the ability to do in the world,
the belief that you are good enough,
is trust
is love
is wholeness

I don't understand courage but this ye…

The Four Agreements

I watched Don Miguel Ruiz on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. I haven't read the book but I think it would be helpful. I like the "Don't Take Anything Personally". I did this a lot when I was younger and it still happens sometimes now... but it's a big lesson to learn.

Notes to My Father

My father passed away 10 years ago - August 23, 2003. I have been thinking a lot about him and the time he was ill and those last few months of his life. It seemed like everything changed once my father passed away. Nothing was safe anymore. Nothing fully enjoyable. Nothing purely joyful.

At 23, I was introduced to excruciating pain, regret, tears, anger, insecurity, fear, illness, death and a deep, deep sense of loss. My father's death would forever change me - it would make me unsure - of life, love, God, faith, healing, and myself. It would...

I started this post on the 23rd of August, 2013. I don't know why I did not finish it then.

I have a quilt project in mind. I was at the Bruce Cockburn show in Toronto last year and the backdrop to his stage was interesting. It looked like a net with squares of fabric. Like a fishing net but with patches of fabric on it. I thought then that a way for me to deal with my father's dying was to make a quilt. A quilt with notes to my fa…

It's Been a Good Year

I didn't blog much this past year but its been a good year when I look back at it.
I want to learn to live in the Now so that I can see that the year is good even as I live through it.

In 2014 I...
had a wine and cheese New Year's party with my husband. We took time to talk about the year that had gone byhad a wine and cheese birthday party for my friends. I had a great time hosting.got a nice haircut! I hadn't cut my hair since September 2011 after we moved - couldn't bring myself to spend the $50! In the early years - that's a luxury.made a meal plan and stuck to it for about 3 months.lost a couple of kgswent to the Ripley's Aquariumbegan my journey to become a surface pattern designermade a trip home after 3 yearsmet my family and my old friendsbuilt my relationship with a couple of my closest friendsrealized that I need to build better friendships with the people I like met my nephew for the first time - he was born after we movedmet some of my old colleagu…