Monday, August 27, 2007

didn't want to "go-home-lake"

August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a matchflame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
A moment,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.

~Elizabeth Maua Taylor~

didn't think I wrote that did you?

we had the good fortune to be invited up to some friend's cottage this weekend.
Such a great time, wish I could have stayed there until thanksgiving.
a very special place indeed.

will post more pics soon....

Friday, August 24, 2007

chip off the ol' rock

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if my parents had never left Newfoundland at the age of 18.
They got married and left "the rock", then had me two years later at the ripe old age of twenty.
It must have been so difficult for my mom, especially as she is one of eight kids and they are a very close family.
She's the only one to have left the island and do something a little different with her life.
That's not to say that all the siblings that stayed close to home haven't had a successful and happy life.
But in some ways growing up else where was great.
We travelled quite a bit as kids, there was lots of opportunity for my parents in terms of their careers, we lived in many different towns/cities across the country.
There was always a sense of adventure growing up.
New school, new friends, new bedrooms & houses.
which, when you are a kid can be super fun. (or daunting depending who you are talking to)
My parents seemed to like change.
Otherwise I doubt we would have moved close to 15 times growing up.
We lived in three different houses in one town alone.
It helped to build character, and in some ways unite our little family of four.
We were all we had. Each other.
But with all that change came a lot of loneliness. Especially for my mom.
I think for years she really felt a longing to move back. And still to this day.
Mostly so my brother and I could experience what she did growing up.
A big warm, loving, sometimes dysfunctional, crazy, fun loving family.

Well 38 years have passed since she left, and after going back a few weekends ago I can feel her pain, and understand why she would miss it so much and feel so torn.
When we arrived at the airport, I think there were 15 people waiting for us- despite the fact that we had rental cars reserved. it's just the way they do things in the east I guess- or at least that's what my family does.
Here in T.O that would be considered a royal pain in the ass.
no thanks. take a cab and we'll see you when you get checked in to the hotel.
Out east staying at a hotel is considered ridiculous- there were numerous invites from different aunts and uncles to stay with them.
But big daddy & I decided to stay at a hotel anyways- remembering our last visit.
Did I mention that they like to party? and that at around 2 a.m they are just getting started?
umm no thanks. life is pretty different with a two year old waking you up at 7 a.m.
not that interested in screech or double rum & cokes these days.
But they all mean well and are so hospitable and fun.

All my cousins are such sweet sweet kids.
I'm the oldest, and the rest range from 14 to 21 years old.
great great kids.
and all really close to one another.
Not your typical teens with attitude at all.
I was really impressed.
It's hard not to wonder what it would have been like growing up around so many aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
They are all so lucky in that respect.
Especially now that we have Lulu.
Friends are great but's family..

Newfoundland is pretty in a rustic kind of way, and I wonder if in some ways if life would be less complicated living in a smaller community.
Less is sometimes a good thing.
No traffic, CLEAN air to breathe, people are really down to earth, less crime, surrounded by the ocean, big family get togethers all the time.
and did I mention the ridiculously low housing prices?
crazy low compared to here.
But then again....

As much as it would be nice being closer to all my relatives, the grass can often be greener-
especially in Newfoundland.. I didn't mention how badly the weather can suck..lots of rain and fog, though fortunately not while we were there this time around.
I'm sure it's not all family sing alongs around the piano all the time either.
There must be some drama here and there, it's just that we didn't stay long enough to notice any.
It's nice to think about living somewhere else, but the bottom line is that I love where I live.

I'm glad my parents took a risk when they were young.
I'm so happy that they exposed me to so many different things that I never would have seen or done had they not left 38 years ago.
And my family is here.
as small as it is.
and the best part is that if we need anymore than that, the rest of my crazy, fun, partying relatives are only a short flight away.
And maybe this is a really good thing.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

to do: dumplings

Well another summer weekend has come and gone.
I find my self feeling a little under pressure to actually do some of the things that I really wanted to do before the summer is over.
I can't believe it's coming to an end.
It's actually getting chilly at night, the light is changing and I noticed the leaves on a tree on our street have started to change colour.
Not that I don't love all the seasons, but summer is so fleeting and there's still so many things I want to do before it's over.
I looked back at the list I made several months ago and realized that there is plenty of stuff that we have yet to accomplish.
I shouldn't really care, and instead of worrying about what we haven't done, instead look at the things that we have done and feel good about at least that.
But that's not me.
me and my obsessive lists...
One thing that was not on "The List" was to go to a Pick-Your-Own Farm, but we managed to go to one this weekend.
will post about this at a later date as I'm working on a little creative project that involves home-made pickles and organic veggies...stay tuned.

Speaking of getting pickled...
Big daddy is sick as a dog, so while we were north of the city on our way home from the farm, we stumbled across T&T Asian grocery store.
Oh.My.G-d!! this place rocks!
I've been meaning to go forever, but it's a little out of my neck of the woods, but oh so so worth the drive north.
I may never shop in downtown china town for Asian groceries again.
I popped in quickly while big daddy waited in the car as lulu snoozed in the back-seat, my original goal was to quickly grab some dumplings to make some home-made soup for the coughing, sneezing, congested big daddy.
I was like a kid in a candy store.
this place had every type of frozen dumpling imaginable. and then some.
I wish I had had a list (see I'm list obsessed) and more time to peruse all the cool ingredients.
I could barely tear myself out of there.
Oh and all the take-out dim sum and sushi was awesome.
Now I know why all my Asian friends sing the praises of china town north and all the great restaurants up there.
It's kind of like the Pusateries of Asian food only super cheap.
Oh and did I mention really really clean.
now that's not a word I would ever use to describe any of the stores in china town.
So I made some dumpling ginger soup & steamed baby pak choy with garlic accompanied by a couple of glasses of South Eastern Australian Long Flat Chardonnay.
I wasn't drunk or anything but the next day I felt so hung over.
Not sure what was up with that, I guess I still can't drink white wine.
Two advil and two Tylenol's extra strengths later...
Big daddy felt like complete crap (due to his cold and not the cheap white wine) so I manned the fort and entertained lulu all day long.
nothing new there.
Only it was a challenge keeping her quiet and from running upstairs to wake him up, all the while nursing a splitting headache/hangover.
damn chardonnay.
Why is it at times like this, lulu always wants to bang the pots and pans together??
"but why daddy sleeping, it not morning??"
"why why why????"
"daddy zebra bra needs to come and play with baby zebra bra"
she has taken to naming herself after various animals- zebra bra being the cutest so far.
Though baby bear, baby cat, baby doggy, baby bunny and baby mousey are all pretty cute.
any-who...Still managed a nice long walk and a relaxed weekend despite big daddy being sick as a daddy doggy.
I also convinced him to come cycling today and enjoy some of this fantastic weather.
We ended up on an great bike trail beside a stream under a canopy of nice big trees.
Lulu and big daddy had a blast throwing rocks into the water and "fishing" (lulu's pretend version with a stick)
me watching from the other side of the stream feeling so much love and affection I think I may have gotten a tad misty at one point.
ah nothing like a little bit of mother nature to restore your soul.
(and hopefully help with a nasty cold)
Lulu fell asleep on the back of big daddy's bike, her little helmet head bobbing up and down.
too cute.
So none of that was on a "list" but was so much fun.
I might just have to have a bonfire (which is on my list) and burn my list.
Because sometimes having "to do" takes all the fun out of "doing".

Thursday, August 16, 2007

lunch with my little lady

Looks like we have another shoe addict in the family.
Must get that from big daddy...
I was surprised that the child even knows how to coordinate the shoes to the outfit.
Too bad I didn't have a shot of her trying to walk in the size 10 gold Gucci stiletto's at Holt Renfrew.
I'm sure the sales staff didn't think so.
while we were shoe shopping a few weeks ago, we stopped in for a little bite for lunch at the Holt's Cafe.
find out more here.
who knew shoe shopping could be so fun?
A bit ironic that no matter how many shoes that seem to make their way into my closet, I find myself constantly wearing my $20 black havainas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

back in the saddle

Well we are back from "the rock"
a.k.a.- St.John's Newfoundland.
much was packed into the weekend, and there were some highs and some lows.
I always find it takes me a few days to feel back to normal after travelling, regardless of how far away or for how long I was gone for.
Especially when there is family involved.
Still recovering- emotionally and physically.
My relatives don't believe in going to bed before 3 a.m.....crazy newfies.
so for now I'm going to spend a few days trying to unwind and process the visit.
Will post when I feel up to it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

good-bye kitty

so my brother is visiting from Asia.
It's been six years since I last saw him.
Much has changed, but sadly I'm not sure if he has.

Let me back up a bit.
It's just the two of us- me being three years older than him.
We were always pretty close for the most part growing up.
I think it had to do with the fact that we moved every couple of years and only had each other most of the time.
As dysfunctional as things were when we were teenagers (my parents were the age I am now...hard to imagine having two teenagers at the moment) we had each other's back.
sure we used to chase each-other around with the broom, wooden spoons or any other threatening object within arms reach, but when push came to shove, we never actually got physical.
There was lots of "I'm tellllling moooom!!!!" and I remember many times my dad threatening to "pull over if you kids don't knock it off!!!!" while verbally duke-ing it out in the burgundy & faux wood olsmobile family station wagon.
But generally we got along.
When I moved out at age 18, he was on his own for a few years with my then feuding parents and we sort of drifted apart after that.
I still feel a bit guilty for leaving him during the height of my parents marital woes...but now that I'm married myself- everything seems to take on a whole different picture.
Fortunately I have learned from the mistakes of others..or at least I'd like to think so.
Anyhow, eventually he moved out, went to college and became a frat boy.
That's really when I no longer felt like I knew him.
For many years his "brothers" were all that seemed to matter to him.
still to this day...but I'm getting ahead of myself....
I could never relate to the fraternity life style, but still tried to make an effort by visiting him on occasion.
I guess he needed some sense of belonging.
It was never pretty- major booze fests always in motion and not exactly my scene.
not that I have anything against the odd cocktail but being covered in peanut butter, having your eyebrows shaved off and not being able to walk or speak is a bit much.
It was even more painful watching my brother make an ass out of himself.
very sad.
he eventually moved to Asia to teach English.
Which at first I was really proud of.
But the reality is he barely emails and if he does, it's to me and 100 other or his closest friends (re. mass emails) and has maybe called once- when lulu was born.
He got married a year or so ago and no one in the family has ever met this girl.
nor did he bother to tell anyone about it.
As much as it bothers me that I don't really have a close relationship with my brother, I mostly feel bad for my mother.
It has to sting.
I can't imagine how hurt I would be if lulu shut me out of her life one day.
Anyhow, my parents finally convinced him to come "home" for a visit so they could meet this girl and to see him.
They bought the plane tickets.
They were so excited to pick him up from the airport.
Instead he decided to go to London to hook up with some of his old Frat buddies for a few days.
34 going on 16.
anyhow he's been here for 6 days already and has yet to meet his only niece.
I must say I'm a bit put off by this- though not overly surprised.
he is in town tonight but to see the Jays vs. Yankees game, and asked if I was getting a sitter to watch "the kid"
We are all headed out East for a family reunion of sorts for the weekend, and I can't exactly say that I'm over-the-top thrilled.
Part of me wants to be optimistic, but if this week is any indication of his priorities, how can I expect much?
It's so crazy to me that two people that came from the same parents, had the same upbringing can be so so different.
It's sad that in many ways I feel so much more connected and closer to big daddy's brothers than my own.
but hopefully I'm wrong and he has changed for the better.
I really hope so.

That being said-he's not a complete boob- as he has sent a couple of packages for lulu on her birthday and Christmas.
It's always something with hello kitty plastered all over it.
It is very appreciated, by me and especially by lulu.
so maybe..just day he will decide to grow up.

Monday, August 06, 2007

the view from here

I'm not sure where the phrase "lazy days of summer" came from, because this is far from our reality around here these days.
Things have been pretty busy in fact.
But it's all good.
The kid-o is over the top delicious these days.
Weather is fantastic.
Lots of work when you are self employed is always a good thing.
Up coming visit with family to look forward to.
A weekend up north with some friends.

Life is good.
Big daddy and I have really been enjoying our back yard this summer, it's probably more quiet than it is up north as it seems as though everyone from our neighbourhood has made a mass exodus and left the city for the summer.
So it's just us, the crickets, skunks, seriously annoying racoons and the lonely lady from next door who never leaves her house.
Makes me glad I have someone to look up at the stars with or try to figure out what shape the clouds look like.
I'm thinking a bunny.

Big daddy had a different perspective.
Too many glasses of pinot grigio me thinks. (among other things)