Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New YARN !

I'm using all these luscious colours to make an afghan. In the New Year.

I do have some resolutions, but they are quite similar to many other peoples'.

I do have some reflections, but those are similar too.

Great minds think alike, eh?

So Happy New Yarn, Happy New Year, Snappy Poo Beer, Flappy Dew Spear.....

and here's to 2010!

Kathryn : )

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recently, formerly active mom

Is there a term for a mother who no longer actively mothers? A mom whose children have grown up and don't need her to feed and dress them? To set rules? To guide and advise? To nurse and chauffeur and remind and nag and admonish? To kiss boo-boos?

Ex-mom isn't quite right.
Passive mom? No, not quite right either.
Retired mom? Former mom?
Wrong. Wrong!

Chiddow? No, they haven't died; they've just grown up.

Maybe it's like the American President. Once they're no longer doing the job they're still called President so-and-so. What was once a vocation is now just a title. In honor of what they USED to do.

Mom-no-longer-in-office? Nah.

The ironic thing is, if you're an effective mother, you gradually work yourself out of a job. Planned obsolescence, in a way. Not designed to break, but to withdraw, to disengage.

To let go.

The great philosopher Velcro said it best: "RRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiipppp!"
(As in TIME has RIPPED my BABY from my LOVING ARMS. That's twice now, and it's not getting easier.)

It's pathetic, really, the way I just can't face reality. Like an aging starlet auditioning for leading lady, but getting the role of "old woman on bench". A background character in a filler scene, destined for the cutting room floor.

Two stories come to mind on this morning that I contemplate stale motherhood.

First story: This morning I made muffins for my 19-year-old. He still lives here, but just barely. He's been quite sick with a cold. Coughing and hacking all night, ignoring all advice to come home earlier than 3:00 am, to eat something other than fast food, to rest a little.
Last night he finally confessed that he hasn't been eating much lately - too sick - and that he needs to eat some good food.
This morning I laid out the wholesome ingredients: - nutri-flour, real butter, milk, eggs, blueberries (his favourite), and stirred the muffin-batter with passionate, motherly, jiggly arms.
Lovingly spooned it in to the cups and double-checked the oven timer. Popped those steaming bits of heavenly goodness onto a serving plate and drizzled butter on top, perfectly timed for his noon-ish emergence from the lair-cum-bedroom.

"Muffins!" I exclaimed breathlessly. "Fresh blueberry muffins!". "I've made them just for you", I trilled!

"Oh", he said, jiggling his car keys and guzzling cough syrup straight from the bottle, "I'm going out for breakfast with Anisha and Isaac".
And then he left.

I am now alone in the house with 12 muffins. Okay, okay, now only 10 muffins. Burp.
But, the point is - he doesn't need me. Wah!
He has total freedom, and I'm still emotionally stuck to him like the dingle-berry on my cat's bum.
I'm supposed to rejoice in his independence? Bah. I want to shove a muffin in his tail-pipe!

Second story:
Last summer I was out walking on the sea-wall in White Rock. A sea-side community with touristy shops, ice-cream parlours etc. Both sidewalks on either side of the main drag are thick with strollers, walkers, and runners of all ages. Beaches clogged with youth and beauty and bare skin....

A shirtless young man, of about 16 years, is walking toward me on the sidewalk. Behind him is a group of four women between 50-60 years old. Across the street the young man/boy spies a woman who must be his mother. It's an accidental meeting, but he wants something.
"Mom", he calls, and then louder, "MOM"! (like he's about to ask for the car keys or to borrow 20 bucks or something).

Without hesitation, with nary a conspiratorial look at each other, the four women behind the young man shout, in perfect unison, "WHAT?", and then burst into cackling, hysterical laughter.
They laughingly look around them, to see if everyone gets it. Does everyone get the joke? Yes, we do! They aren't his mom, but they still answer to Mom!
The young man starts to laugh then, as does his real mom, and the rest of us within hearing range.

We all get it: Once a mom, Always a mom. Even if we only practice occasionally. We still glow with pride; we still worry and fret. Sometimes we hover.
Maybe it should be called, "Mom-on-standby". We don't have to re-learn how to ride the mom bicycle, because we never really got off of it. We just coast, or pedal off in new and exciting directions, but we always circle back. Just to check. And if called, we'll be there in a heartbeat. Baking pans and band-aids and all.

Feeling bitter-sweet today,
Kathryn : )

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Random Happiness

This is the limbo between Christmas and the New Year.
For me, days of rest, relaxation and resolve. The most guilt-free days of the year, between the cyclone of Christmas, and the New Year, new goals and the advent of our busy season at work. Good intentions and unpredictable results.
One of the good intentions involves seizing the day and living in the moment. Finding happiness lying on the ground, picking it up and squeezing the poop out of it. Simple pleasures, fleeting moments. Bright and sharp and clear.
Some random things that make me happy:

A varied thrush eating a leftover baked potato. Cold. With snow on it. Probably the first potato he ever had in his life. Wonder what he thought of that?

A bevy of bushtits (love that name) decimating the suet block. Such flighty things, travelling in chittering clumps. Here and gone.

My daughter and mother wearing the scarves I made for them.

...and my son, and daughter's boyfriend wearing THEIR scarves...

...and my brother and father wearing THEIR scarves....

....and my husband wearing HIS scarf - the one I fudged a bit because it was my first one, and he said he'd have it so I could give the better ones to the rest of the gang. He's like that.

...and finally locating our missing cat. Half-way up the 10-foot Christmas tree. All 20 pounds of him. Just chillin' and thinking cat thoughts.
Happiness appears in the oddest places. Grab it and hold it tight, just for a moment!
Kathryn : )

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tragedy Strikes Local Village. Many Stricken.

'Twas a peaceful day in the village.....................

Suddenly, a plague descended upon the townspeople.

Witnesses see a mysterious CREATURE slinking through the village, striking innocent victims at random.

At last the CREATURE is revealed. It's Milo-zilla!!!!

There goes the Church!
Kathryn (and Milo) : )

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mother Nature's Gift

To all those who are expecting a thoughtful post, saturated with meaning, brimming with wisdom and beauty:
You've come to the wrong blog.

This IS about nature's gift to me on my birthday (which was a few days ago), but it isn't particularly insightful, respectful nor anything other-ful. OK, maybe AWE-ful. Not full of awe, but just plain awful. The post, that is, not the gift, which was, er, splendid.

First, though, an apology for being absent for a month. I've been wrapped up in hand-wringing guilt, gut-wrenching worry, and basic survival. This is absolutely normal for me. Also, I've been going to work, sitting in Starbucks, gabbing with friends, and doing crafty things.

AND.... Annie has nominated be for a blog award, even though I have been very lax lately. (Annie, I will do the award acceptance-and-pass-it-on-thing just as soon as I get a chance. I thank you profusely as I hold my hand to your feverish brow and ask you if you've lost your mind.)

Annie is a beautiful person, living her dream life in a peaceful Cariboo valley. I want to be just like her when I grow up, which will probably never happen, considering the fact that I will never grow up, as evidenced by the following....

You can see from the photo that it's just about freezing in this neck of the woods. At night, it IS freezing, and this fact has great relevance to my story.
We have a few bird feeders scattered about the yard, as well as a round plastic birdbath attached to one of the feeder poles. I take great joy in watching the furred and feathered friends who decimate the suet and suck down the seeds at a budget-breaking rate. Nature in action right outside my kitchen window!

The night before my birthday, I cleaned and re-filled the birdbath and placed it back outside. It remained clean for about a nano-second before someone flew by and pooped in it, but it was a lot better than before. I went to bed knowing that nature's creatures would once again have access to clean, clear (and chlorinated) water.

The next day....

First let me tell you about water turning to ice. Generally, water will freeze first around a shallow perimeter, and then move gradually toward a deeper center. Think of the frozen edges of a lake. Water expands as it freezes. As my little lake of birdbath froze from it's edges toward the center, it expanded and "squeezed" (squoze?) the deeper water in the middle.

Suddenly, in the dead of night, we experienced a re-creation of the big bang. A perfect. crystalline moment that I wish I'd captured in video. In a birdbath, no less. The last bit of water in the birdbath finally froze, creating what was, for me, an amazing gift from mother nature.

That's right: an Ice-Weenie.

Aqua Erectus.
H2O Unplugged.

Look at it in all it's firm splendour.

A rock! A monolith!

Firm and unyielding, it proudly stands and points to the constellation of Orion (either that or the outlet stores across the line in Bellingham, I'm not sure which).

It's not every woman who gets a gift like this on her birthday.
I think it's a sign. A sign that although I am one wrinkly year older, I am not one whit more mature.

Kathryn : )