i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

seven things on a sunday – summer time

1. I used to think Summer didn’t mean much unless you were able to spend your days in the country, near the water. Summer time in the city was never appealing to me and I always moped around waiting for autumn and winter. But the last few years, thanks to the help of Jinx’s Garden and the way my body and mind have changed due to exercise, I’m appreciating the summer months way more. The more muscle I build, the less over-heated I am when it’s warm out. In fact, some days I can wear a light sweater because I’m chilly. I haven’t experienced this since I was a teen. I feel grounded and calm when I walk through the garden barefoot. I am spending way more time outdoors this year than ever before. Reading, walking, running, whatever. I still long to be able to do all of this near water, but at least I am learning to enjoy the season no matter where I am.

2. I have just finished the first week of my two-week vacation from work. There’s an odd sort of guilt associated with vacation time that I can’t seem to shake. I have done almost nothing productive this past week. I have sat  outside, inside, and read. I read nine books in the last 7 days. I keep feeling like I should be doing SOMETHING with my time off other than sit around and read, but right now, that’s all I want to do. Why do we feel like we need to do stuff around the house, or be productive when we take time off? I realize that it’s often during this time that we can get stuff done, but it should also be ok to just relax when you’re off from work. Without feeling guilty. Right? I will be home alone next week as Shawn starts a new job, and that’s when I plan on puttering around the house (getting ready for a garage sale, cleaning stuff, etc). But this past week, I just needed to recharge. Since I don’t have a body of water to gaze out over, I got lost in books. I haven’t been reading like this for a long time, and it’s just nice to get back into it.

3. On Tuesday, it will be three weeks since we said goodbye to Jinx. It’s been a very difficult thing to get through our heads. Since it was so sudden, it almost feels like it never happened. We’re both constantly looking up and thinking Jinx is there, in the room with us. Jinx’s absence has made it hard for me to tend to the garden. I feel like the wind is knocked out of me each time I go down to check on the tomatoes and coocumbers. In fact, the cucumbers just aren’t growing much this year. It could just be a bad crop, but honestly, I think it’s because Jinx wasn’t down there walking through them and snuffling them. This is the first year they have not thrived. I also find it so empty when I am outside on the back deck reading. Jinx would also come out with me and just lie on the deck, enjoying being outdoors. He’d watch for squirrels and protect me from them. He’d wander down and snuffle his garden. I keep looking up from my book to talk to him and tell him he’s handsome, and a good boy. But he’s not there. Sophie does not like spending time outside at all. I’ve tried having her out there while I enjoy the air, but she just paces in front of the backdoor, waiting to be let in. It’s sad. I’m trying to find peace in the outdoors without Jinx at my side, but it’s a painful process. Still, the backyard, and Jinx’s Garden are healing me, slowly.

4. Summer time means sitting on the back deck, in the evening, with a cigar and a beer. Or wine. Or a rum and coke. Not often. Very occasionally. But it’s still something we like to do when the evenings are warm and the crickets are chirping away, and the sun is setting. It hasn’t been too humid this summer, in fact, I feel like this summer has had the most perfect weather (but that’s because it hasn’t been humid and 30C+). There have been very few mosquitos this year, which makes sitting outside in the evening a blissful experience. The spring was late and wet, so the bugs were bad then, but so far, July and August have been lovely. Shawn and I laugh and talk about everything and anything. We cry over missing Jinx. We listen to playlists on music streaming apps. We decide we need to groom Sophie. (Sophie isn’t as big of a fan of these ideas as we are.) It’s peaceful, and although we bring our phones outside with us (to capture these moments on instagram), we are disconnected from our computers for a while and we just enjoy being with each other.

5. I love the sounds of summer. Chirping birds, chirping crickets, wind in the trees. Lawnmowers in the distance. Kids playing (as long as they aren’t screaming and really loud). The distant sound of motorboats on the river. I like those sounds better when they are closer and I am near a beach, but still. The sounds of summer make me happy. The best part about this cooler-than-average summer is that we have been able to have our windows open more often and these sounds drip in throughout the day. The summer breeze brings in sweet smells of grass, water, flowers and boat fuel (I like it, ok?) and sounds of summer. Much better than the constant drone of the air conditioner (which is actually on today because it’s humid and hotter than it has been. Totally ruining the point of this post. =P)

6. I long to spend my summer in a cottage, near water. That hasn’t been a reality for years (since I moved out on my own), but I know that one day it will happen. Even if we just rent a cottage for two weeks somewhere. It’ll happen eventually. We’ve had too many summers of having our vacations not line up, or not having employment or money to do anything when we do have time together. I’d love to own a cottage, but aside from being a lot of money, it would be a lot of WORK and to really make it worth it, it would have to be close by so you could get the most out of it during the summer months. One day. We’ll have a cottage summer one day. It’s a goal.

7. For many, August marks the end of summer. And while the official season end isn’t until the middle of September, August is so different from June and July I can understand why people feel this way. August’s colours are more golden and darker greens. Shadows bathed in golden sunlight. Yellows and oranges. Not the same as fall colours, but August isn’t bright yellow, blue, and green days like June and July are. I have always loved August. It fills me with this inexplicable hope, even though I don’t seem to ever hope anymore. It fills me with an energy that makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. It’s a wonderful time to take vacation from work and just reset. I love August and its golden glow. It’s calming and perfect for lazy days of summer.

August is perfect for bath time! Even if Sophie doesn’t agree. 😉

seven things on a sunday – simple things

1. I could sit and stare out at water forever. I especially love staring out over water at sunset. If there are ducks or geese in the water, it makes me even happier. There’s something calming about water and something fresh in the air by water. I wish I had a nice spot to gaze out at water here at home. The photo above was taken at a place near my parents’ new home.

2. Windows open in the summer, with a cool breeze in the air, and the sounds of birds chirping. Bliss.

3. Getting a toilet paper holder for my wedding anniversary. Don’t laugh. It’s all I wanted so we went out and got one. Easy peasy anniversary.

You can only imagine how crazy we’ll get for our 10th anniversary. Watch out.

4. The smell of clean sheets fresh off the line in the summer sunshine.

5. Wandering barefoot through Jinx’s Garden to check on the veggies. We have many flowers on the coocumber vines, and I have already eaten three red, juicy tomatoes in the last week. The cherry tomatoes are slowly starting to ripen and the kale has been an added bonus to my sandwiches this week. The weeds have grown all over the darned place inbetween each garden plant, but otherwise things seem to be coming along pretty well.

6. Spending time with my husband. Yeah, I know; sap, sap, SAP. It’s true though. I especially love just driving around together and doing something simple like hitting up the grocery store. We always seem to burst into laughter when we’re driving or shopping (there is also a lot of cursing at bad drivers, and bad grocery shoppers, but ultimately, we laugh.) We don’t have to be doing anything fancy or exciting, just regular ol’ errands together makes me happy.

7. Pinwheels!

Wheeeee!

 

seven things on a sunday – adventures in june

1. I have been enjoying the spring/summer weather this month. My love of the outdoors and warmer temperatures is a strange, yet pleasant change in my life. Up until the end of June it hasn’t really been all that humid and that makes the warm weather a lot more bearable to me. I have spent more time outdoors this month than I have in any other June in recent memory. Between my outdoor fitness classes, my running, and the gardening with Jinx I have been doing, I’m feeling rather content. The nights are cooler and the days not too hot. (Except, of course, for the last couple of days with ALL of the humidity. Ugh.) I’m trying to make sure I take more effort to appreciate the nice days and things that can be done during them. It’s helpful for dealing with stress, anxiety, and all of the other negative things going on. This might not seem like an adventure, but choosing to be outdoors, instead of hidden away inside as I normally do, is pretty adventurous to me!

2. We’ve got a few home renovations going on, and going slowly, but I think the results will be worth it once they are done. My father-in-law came over to help Shawn put down floating floor in the basement (to cover up the linoleum tiles we found under the gross carpet.)

When you find flooring you love AND you discover it’s on mega-sale. Score!

He’ll be helping with re-doing the basement stairs, too. They are completely unfinished so once we got the carpet off… what a mess! But honestly, anything is better than that gross carpet. While the men were busy with the flooring, my mother-in-law and I wandered around the mall and I got a new dress.

The dress is an adventure in itself because I am not a huge dress person. I wish I felt comfortable in dresses, but I just don’t. Especially not without tights or anything. Thick-thighed girls don’t do well with bare legs and summer. =/ But I adore this dress and it feels like it was designed especially for me. Plus: polkadots!!

3. There have been way too many health issues on both sides of the family throughout this month and it was getting pretty gloomy, so I had the brilliant idea of packing up husband and dogs, and going to surprise my father for Father’s Day weekend! My Mum managed to keep the secret for a week and I took half a day off work on the Friday so we could drive the 3.5 hours to my parents’ place. It was apocalyptically raining for the entire duration of our Quebec journey, and only tapered off about 30 minutes into Ontario, so we were later to arrive than I’d hoped, but my father was surprised when I called him from their parking lot and said, “Can you come help me with something from my car, Dad?” It took him a moment, but the joy in his voice when he said “Are you HERE?” was amazing.

Super happy Father’s Day Surprise selfie!

So we spent the weekend invading the home space of my parents, and their cats lived in the basement for 3 days (and Jinx and Sophie constantly sniffed the basement door), but we didn’t kill each other and I think the weekend went pretty well. It was a nice get-away for Shawn and I, and it was fantastic seeing my parents.  With the exception of my accidentally hitting my father in the face when we hugged (on his abscessed tooth side) and then Sophie pooping on both floors of my parents’ house when we got there, the rest of the weekend went really well. I think I managed to cheer my Dad up a little bit (after the first evening, anyhow. Heh.)

4. At the beginning of June I found out that one of my most favourite bands – A Great Big World – was FINALLY coming to Montreal. Back in 2009, singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson (whom I also adore), tweeted a link to a video for This is The New Year by Ian Axel (featuring Chad Vaccarino). This was the first song I heard as the year changed over to 2010 and there was an INSTANT connection to this song and the singer. I frantically searched iTunes for music and was delighted to discover that Ian’s album was due out in only 4 days. Ian and Chad have been through a bunch in the last 4 years, including a KickStarter drive (that I pledged to!) where they officially became a band. (And I got a t-shirt for the pledge!)

Proudly sporting my KickStarter reward t-shirt from A Great Big World.

I would have loved to have gone to this concert with my father, but circumstances prevented that from happening, so my husband – awesome guy that he is – was going to come with me even though he’s not a fan himself (I still love him, though. I’m a big person.) But thankfully one of my besties, Mo, agreed to come with me, saving Shawn from taking one for the team.

Besties waiting in line for the concert – right before the downpour!

We had a fun girl’s date night – complete with fancy shared two-cheeseburger trio and sundaes at McDonalds before the show. We’re so classy.

A Great Big World – Corona Theatre Montreal, June 17, 2014

The show was amazing (to me, anyhow. I’m pretty sure Mo liked it, too!) Ian and Chad are FANTASTIC live and there is so much energy in their show. I was especially excited to discover new music that evening, too. The second opening act, Jukebox the Ghost, was amazing. I came home and bought two of their albums off iTunes almost right away. Both groups have been on constant shuffle-repeat on my iPhone since the concert on June 17!

5. The weekend after I visited my parents, I ended up on a semi-spontaneous trip to visit my Monkey and her husband in Ottawa! Sort of like my visit in December, this was a much-needed mental health recuperation vacation. Again, June has not been the happiest of months, so I was happy to go visit friends and get away from things for a while. Of course, this meant I left Shawn and the dogs at home, but hey, I was just giving Shawn a vacation from ME! 😉 As always Chez Monkey, there was a lot of delicious food – including fresh strawberries, on homemade cream biscuits with cream (that we ended up having for breakfast one morning since we’d gone out for frozen yoghurt the night before). She was also nice enough to run/walk with me on the trails near her house. We went out both mornings I was there and it was so nice running through nature trails.

Post morning run – day 1!

The entire weekend was relaxing and fun. Monkey introduced me to the addictive game Frozen Freefall and we spent a lot of time playing it (each on our own iPad) and just sitting in comfortable silence. There were also random alcoholic beverages. (Like, one a day. I’m so hardcore!) Honestly, friendships that you can just sit in silence and cheer each other on while playing a match game, and listening to 80s-90s playlists on Songza? They are the BEST friendships. If you have a friendship like that, I hope you know how lucky you are.

One the way home, I was one of two people in the business class train car. It was very surreal. I’ve never been in an almost empty train car before, economy or business. It was sort of nice to feel like you have the car to yourself. If I WAS alone, I’d have sang along with all my music. I didn’t think the one other dude in my car really wanted to hear that. Shawn picked me up at the train station and he managed to make me laugh into tears. I’ll write about THAT in my wedding anniversary post later this week!

This also marked the first time I have visited Monkey in her house in a month other than December. There was no snow, no Christmas decorations, and we could sit outside on her deck. It was fun!

6. Because you can never have too much time with Monkey – we met up for lunch in Montreal 5 days after I left her house in Ottawa! We went to Lola Rosa’s for lunch and had delicious food (as always at that place).

Sweet potato & jalapeno quesadilla with avocado. Yum.

I have no idea why only half of that photo is in focus. That is very weird. I swear it was in focus when I TOOK the photo. Oh, well, I didn’t like the rice much anyway, so I’m not too upset that it’s blurry. =p

We also made sure to take another photo of us together since we realized recently that we are bad at taking photos together! (This realization came about because of this post.) It’s almost like we’re doing a Provincial Tour! We need to figure out how to meet up in 8 other Provinces (and 3 Territories!) before the end of 2014!

Cat & Monkey’s Canadian Tour 2014!

7. Jeepers, this is a long post. I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t blog for a month and you want to note all of your exciting June adventures. Ok, so just yesterday I had to take some stuff over to my sister’s place for her kids. They just got an 8-foot blow-up pool for their yard and my sister told me to come over with my swimsuit. So I did. I dropped off the stuff, played with the kids some and then sat in the pool with my sister, my (almost) 8-year old niece and my 3-year old nephew. I think we were in there for almost an hour! If it was less than that, I’d be surprised. We haven’t laughed so much in ages. We did not get along in our childhood years. We are totally different people and that often leads to major clashing moments. Plus, I always wanted an older brother and my parents stuck me with a younger sister. I was bitter. 😉 It took a looooong time, but once we both his our 30s we found a groove and don’t try to kill each other every time we’re together. This is a good thing, I believe. So I had a fun few hours with my sister and her family. I even got to read my nephew two books and help tuck him into bed. Those of you who know me and know my fear/aversion to children will probably find this remarkable. I know I did. But he wanted Aunty Cat to read to him and help him into bed, and I have to say, it’s sort of a nice feeling to be wanted. 😉 It was such a nice evening to sit in a pool, in the 30C heat and just talk and laugh with my sister, brother-in-law, and their kids. It was relaxing (I know! And there were children there! Normally I flee in terror from children!) and a really nice end to the day.

After pool selfie!

Enjoy your summer, folks!

seven things on a sunday – inspirational edition

1. Your best might not be someone else’s best. And that’s ok.

2. Life isn’t a race. Everyone is on his or her own journey. We’ll all get where we’re going in our own time. And that’s ok.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others. You don’t have to fit in the same clothes as the person next to you. You don’t have to be exactly like the person next to you — or anyone else. You just have to be yourself.

4. Focus on bettering yourself to be best best YOU that you can be. You don’t need to be better than anyone else.

5. Don’t elevate yourself by cutting others down. Your pedestal will be built on lies. We all have our battles. We all have our demons. You can’t ever know what it’s like to be in someone else’s skin so don’t judge them because you would do things differently, or feel things differently. We are all entitled to our feelings. We are all entitled to our emotions. We are entitled to our accomplishments and failures. If we were all the same, this world would be an awfully boring place.

6.  Don’t spend your energy on worrying about what others think about you. There are way more important things in life. And those people who might not like you? They don’t matter. The people who love you, love you for who you are. Love yourself for who you are. Don’t let anyone tell you you are less.

7. Be yourself. No one else can be that for you.

Grow.

seven things on a sunday

1. I love the smell of trees in the spring/summer rain. (My allergies do not agree.)

2. I love the smell of freshly cut grass. (My allergies do not agree.)

3. I love early morning sunshine and the sound of birds chirping coming through my windows. (I don’t enjoy chirping birds as early as 4 a.m. however.)

4. What I thought was bad allergies (because they have been bad this month) turned out to be a cold. A doozy of one. Not a flu, just a cold. I have one week to get rid of it before my Spartan race so it had better go away soon! At least I now know why I was falling asleep before 7pm earlier in the week.

5. We have had gorgeous weather all weekend. Everyone is outside cherishing the sun and not-too-hot temperatures. Winter was LONG. Too long. Generally I try to start planting Jinx’s garden over this weekend (it’s a long one in Canada) but the weather has been so crappy, we haven’t even had leaves on trees until just this past week, so I chose to not try and plant things that might die. Hopefully by the end of the month. Also…

6. I came home from work one day to find that Shawn had decided to de–wallpaper the powder room on the main floor. It had awful pink, checkered, wallpaper that we have hated since we bought the place 7 years ago. Of course we hate removing wallpaper more than we hated the paper, so it’s stayed up. Anyhow, this has been a multi-day thing and he’s still painting the bathroom. Wallpaper is awful. Don’t do it. DON’T. I have been painting the baseboards and door frame that had to come off because the wall paper was UNDER them. It’s been an ordeal. The bathroom look so much BRIGHTER now, just with white paint. It was always so dark in there and I guess it was because of that paper.

7. We also had some repairs done to the car this week, so we were without a car for two days. Annoyingly, something is still rattling when we drive it, so I think Shawn might take it back on Tuesday (again, long weekend, so everything will be closed Monday and we only got the car back Friday night). The repairs were a long time coming and we’ve been holding off due to finances and whatnot, but I’m glad that’s out of the way because it was some pretty broken stuff that is now fixed and I won’t be scared to drive the car by myself now.

 

(I didn’t take any photos this week that would go well with today’s post. So here’s a dull photo-less post for you. ;))