Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Long Walk

Hi There...

   I have a group of friends....Brothers, really, (but that's a whole other blog)  and we share a common interest in....extreme outdoor activities.  A couple times a month over the summer we've gotten together and hiked out to a designated point along a river which snakes around the base of a somewhat steep, forested mountain.  The trail isn't easy whether in the forest or along the river.  Well, for me anyway.  I'm the only chick in this group, holy shit these guys can move quick and the last, the very last thing that I want to say is "Hey can you guys slow down?  I have little legs."  The guys represent the broad spectrum of manly men and even if it fucking kills me, I'm gonna keep up.

     It's a beautiful hike, rain or shine...Except for that one time with the mosquitoes... I can't speak for the guys, but these hikes have done a serious positive retuning of my well being.  Being able to get completely out of the city, be surrounded by nature, breathe fresh clean air, the sound of rushing water and silence all around, feeling the earth and rock beneath your hands.  It's an amazing sensory overload and for a few hours, I feel completely free, aware, and alive.

     It's not just the hikes...we've done what I like to call freestyle river crossing.  Basically it's like hiking only we're using the river as our trail.  Learning where to place our feet, how to identify currents, and this is some fast water. No ropes, or safety lines, just we as individuals trusting each other and the group as a whole without question.  Honing our woodcraft skills, adding new ones and putting those skills to practice in a way that someday may save our lives.

     And we have fun...usually at each other's watching a brother fall into the river after taking a selfie while we're all literally clinging to a rock wall that goes straight into the river like freaking goats, making no move to help him, but I saved his phone.  Or me having to climb around the big guy while clinging to said rock wall only to have him look at me, smile, say "You didn't think I was gonna let you get by did you?" and because I weigh fuck nothing, by the wrist he dunks me up to my neck then gingerly places me on the wall beside him.  At least the mosquitoes stopped biting me til I dried off.

      I've never led any of the hikes we've gone on.  I can proudly say I'm in the front three of the group ,because the advantage of having little legs and weighing fuck nothing is I can skip across rocks and trees easier than some of the larger mammals that run with our pack.
     Except for the last hike where it turned out I was the one who knew the trail best.  Great.  I'm kinda famous for getting lost, but that too is a whole other blog.  After invoking various Gods and Goddesses of travel and direction, and  going over my maps I felt pretty confident...which weirded me out a little at first...but I led that hike and though I missed a few turns in the trail and ended up bushwhacking a little, I got us there.  I will admit to enjoying a moment of personal gain and personal glory.  The gain being confidence in myself and my leadership skills.  The glory being pride in the fact that I faced down a fear of being the leader and that the guys had confidence in my abilities enough to follow me.

     The Brothers...they are an amazing group, a force to be reckoned and they have accepted me as one of their own. Without going all Hallmark card mushy, my life has changed so much for the better for having them in it and I am humbled and honoured that they call me Sister. 


Saturday, 12 November 2016


Hi There...

     Not to state the obvious, which I'm known to do, it's been awhile since my last post.  At the time of my last post, I was both honored and humbled to walk beside a woman I could not claim by blood, but whom I called Mum, as she walked her final steps along the path of her life.  In those months, either directly or indirectly, Mum showed me the power of family.

     They say you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family.  I don't think that's entirely accurate.  Just because you can't claim blood to someone you call Mum or Dad, in no way does it diminish the importance of their connection to you or the importance of their influence in your life.  They may not be your sibling by blood, but that woman you call Sister has your loyalty and love, that man you call Brother will stand up for you in a heartbeat, because of a connection.  Call it fate, destiny, luck, karma, whatever floats your cosmic boat but there is a reason these people become intrinsic parts of your life on various levels and no amount of time or distance will ever change that.  Sometimes those relationships become more powerful than the ones you can claim by blood and it's a simple as a text answered with "Yes." or hand held out to you when you and holding a candle when you feel you are in the dark and alone.  Family is what you make of it, and family finds you.  I've lost family I never thought I could live without and though it's been many years or even just months, thinking about them sometimes hurts like I lost them yesterday.  I've also gained family in recent months, and through this universal connection, I can't imagine these Brothers and Sisters not being part of my life.  It's amazing what you find when you're not looking for it.

     Cherish those connections, nurture those relationships and keep those people close if you can.  In a right and proper world,  we would interact with these people, our family, all day every day but life gets in the way, and sometimes that interaction isn't daily, it's weekly, or monthly, or whenever you can spare the time. The connection is there, it may take you a lifetime to figure out the why of it, or understanding my come in an instant.  Either way, that is family and family is what you make of it.  Good, bad, or indifferent.  We experience and we learn because every person we connect with on that level is there for a reason and part of the path we walk, woven into the fabric of our selves.  Walking beside these people regardless of the lesson they teach us, is a privilege and worthy of memory.

     That is all...


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

A Wedding To Remember

Hi There...

     My Mum and Dad got married last weekend.  They've been together most of my life and though I am a child of niether, I am priveleged to call them my parents.  They are the most laid back, roll with it kind of people who would help you at (and I speak from experience) a moment's notice without question, though with more than a few well placed...and well deserved...barbs and jokes.  My Mum is a dyed in the wool hippie.  Not the flowers in her hair, running around naked at Woodstock kinda hippie, I mean a true hippie, peaceful and whimsical who insists on seeing the positive through her rose coloured glasses and fully believes in the power of karma.  My Dad warped my sense of humour at a young age but in the process taught me how to be a creative, quick ass...and took me on some of my greatest childhood adventures and gave me moments that have become my fondest memories.  Like one time when my sister and I were little, the power went out so my dad got us roasting marshmallows on the end of knitting needles over a candle. Speaking of power  outages and karma....

     The wedding had been planned as a garden party kind of thing, outdoors and sort of casual in a friend's backyard.  For the last month arrangements had been made and lots of hard work had been done with this venue in mind and for the first time all month, it was going to rain on the day of the wedding.  So the decision was made to move everything indoors, the day before this little shindig was supposed to go down.  The powers that be had gathered at Mum's to get last minute details straight and in walks Dad saying not to worry, he had found us a hall.  Just like that.  So us girls pulled a quick recon of the hall and cased the situation before running out to the pound shop for tablecloths and incidentals as well as a friendly debate on why $3 should be spent on plastic bowls for the salads when it only costs $1.25 for a turkey roasting pan...Our family doesn't stand on formality.  We point and laugh at it.

     Then it's the Big Day and because of the suddden venue change, we had an even narrower window of time to get into the hall and get it decorated and set up with the food...lots of food...where it needed to be and still give us all time to go home and get ready.  Remember when I mentioned power outages and karma? Yeah, walk with me and listen.

     Inside of two hours we had worked a wonder.  The head table was laid with glass and linen as befit their position above the salt, food tables were scattered with lace and rose petals in anticipation of being laden with the feast, and the arch where the bride and groom would exchange their vows was a floral bower festooned with glowing drangonflies and dancing butterflies.  Chairs awaited kith and kin to be seated and bear witness to a ceremony much anticipated and long awaited.

     But I digress..

     At one point, it was decided that the arch needed something across the top so I was dispatched to drive over to Mum's and grab the lengths of tulle that had been cut off the bottom of her veil. So I take off for my car and as soon as I get outside I'm smacked right in the face with an epic windstorm.  I mean I had to just stand there for a moment and watch.  It wasn't so much THAT the wind was blowing, it was WHAT the wind was blowing.  There was a hurricane of leaves and they made a sound like static as they blew in great drifts across the pavement, branches skittered  across the parking lot, trees were bent almost in half by the wind and the sky looked really angry.  I got 3/4 of the way to Mum's and BAM tree across the road.  Had to turn around and take the loooooong way around grabbbed the tulle, and cut Mum off halfway through her "Please drive carefully sweetie there's trees down everywhere and the wind is blowing hard" speech cause I knew it was going to take me some time to get back to the hall.  Sure enough, less than halfway back, I notice that traffic is wicked slow, and out of the five intersections I'd gone through, only two were working.  Ummm...

     Then my phone went off.  It was a text from Babygirl wanting to know if we had power, meaning she figured I was still at the hall because there was no power at home...Oh crap.

      So I book it, carefully, back to the hall to discover the place lit up like a christmas tree.  This is where the power outage karma thing comes in.  Turns out that the ENTIRE town was without power due to this windstorm...except the hall we were in.  Why? Because the hall was part of the ice arena which ran on its own power so the ice wouldnt melt.  Karma.  We had to move everything inside at the last minute, were able to find a place indoors, and ended up being the only place in town with power.  This was the universe saying thank you to my parents for being the postitive, selfless people they are.

     We finished decorating and laying in the food and it was like a choreographed dance.  I got to hang out with some awesome women I haven't seen in a long time as well as made some new friends, the Sisters of the Bride.  I can say this now that everything is said and done, but Mum was kinda worried about the decorations.  Ok, minorly fixated would be better but only because we wouldn't let her help, nor tell her what they would look like.  It was going to be a surprise.  Personally I had way too much fun keeping that secret.

     All I'm going to say is that putting makeup on by candlelight is frustrating and damn near impossible.  Yeah.  But at the same time getting ready by the light of candles, totally enhanced the whole wedding day experience and as awkward as I feel in a dress, it's true what they say, every woman is beautiful by candlelight.

     Every woman has that one pair of shoes that makes her feel like Cinderella and I wore mine, all silvery and strappy with heels long enough to make look like a new born colt when I walk but oh they made me feel so pretty.  I pulled into the parking lot, opened my car door to the voracious wind, put one foot on the ground and thought...

     "Yeah, I'm gonna kill myself."

     So in came the leg, off came the silvery strappy pretties and on went the sensible black flats. 

     The hitching went off without a hitch.  The Bride was stunning in her classically ecclectic style that is all her own, a dress of flowing chiffon and classic lace.  The Groom pulled off both dapper and handsome in a classic three piece suit with a blue tie and vest. Shades of blue echoed through the bridal party, from the soft pixie blue of the sweet little flower girl's dress, to the deep sapphire of the best man's tie, a match to the Groom's.

     Unless you were like, twelve or under and bored out of your mind and fidgety, cause well, who could blame you, you're a kid and wedding ceremonies are sooooo boring...there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  The ceremony was elegant in its simplicity and one didn't have to hear the vows being exchanged to feel the depth of love between the Bride and Groom; merely watching the Groom stare at his Bride as he promised his hand and heart to her and her brillant smile as she returned that pledge was the stuff that inspired epic poetry. The love just pulsated off the Bride and Groom in waves and no matter where you were in the room, you felt it and the feeling...drew everyone together and we were one family. 

     While photos of the new-not-new couple were being taken, with unorganized military precsion, the dance of tables and chairs commenced and we gathered again to break bread and raise our glasses to toast-sometimes tongue firmly planted in cheek-the Bride and Groom.  So.  Much.  Yummy.  Food.

     As Mistress of Ceremonies, I had the honour of calling out the Bride and Groom for their first dance as husband and wife.  From the moment the music started, they were they only two people in the room, and watching them glide across the floor, caught up in each other and smiling broadly, was like witnessing true love manifested.  And we danced, oh did we dance!  While our little part of the world was dark and stormy outside we were inside celebrating light, making sunshine and rainbows.

     At one point during the evening, I couldn't find the Bride and Groom...they weren't outside, the head table sat empty and they were nowhere to be seen on the dance floor.  I stood in the middle of the hall and did a slow 360, looking through a sea of happy faces for two really happy faces.  And there they the kitchen.

   "What are you guys doing in the kitchen?" I asked.

    "Making coffee" Mum replies casually with a shrug, like she always makes coffee in chiffon and tulle, while Dad wipes the counter in a tie and vest.

     The party wound down naturally and early by most wedding standards, what with the whole massive windstorm and power outage situation outside, and everyone did something to help clean up and pack the food and decorations and load them up into vehicles.  With smiles of contentment, good nights and wishes of safe journies were said and family went out into the night, carrying with them a little of the love we were fortunate to bear witness to.

     It truly was a Wedding to Remember...Simple, elegant, and classic.














Tuesday, 18 August 2015


Hi There...

     " Ah Lo, you kill me."  My bestie says to me from out on the porch through the open bathroom window.

     " Why because I'm crouched naked and cleaning the tub?"  I casually respond from inside said tub on the other side of the window.

     She laughs.  "No, because you are a dye job trainwreck and you're going to have to clean the chair out here when you're done in there."

     Ok, here's the story behind that.  For awhile now I've been sporting various shades of reds and pinky purples on the underside of my hair while keeping my natural blonde on the top.  It's chaotic, uneven, a thoroughly amateur job.  When I say amateur, I mean I just pull up everything I want to keep blond into a knot on top of my head and and attack the rest with the goop and I love it.  

     I'm getting better at containing the blast zone, though I've been banished from the living room where there's a huge mirror and, well, the TV because the goop I use doesn't come out of the rug. 

     The first time I used this particular goop, I was unaware of how...intesely vibrant...the colour would be not just on my hair, but on every surface this stuff came into contact with.   After waiting the alloted time, I jumped in the shower to rinse it out as I've done numerous other times when changing my hair colour.  Let me interject right here that the colour was a deep red and I'm talking blood red.  Yeah, you know where this is going.

     After a couple minutes with my eyes closed I opened them to look down and see how clear the water was getting, making sure I'm getting it all rinsed out as well as get a first peek at what the colour looked like.  Should've kept my eyes closed longer cause I literally scared myself silly.  The tub, walls, and myself were red.  I`m talking looks like I just butchered a bunch of kittens and am trying to wash away the evidence red. While cleaning the tub afterwards, I had a vague idea what cleaning up a massacre must look like.

     Yeah, since then, I`ve refined my technique, though there are still moments, like with the recent recolouring when I end up leaving pinky purple streaks or spots on things like the chair on the porch when I went out to have a smoke while waiting for the goop to do its thing.  Now in my defense I had gone for a haircut that day and didnt think my hair was long enought to brush the back of the chair anymore.  Au contraire.

      So while I was cleaning the pink out of the tub, yes naked, (two birds one stone)  I inadvertantly gave Ordinarygirl a giggle and I`m quite sure she was shaking her head with that `Never a dull moment with Blondunicorn around`smile my bestie tells me I`m a dye job trainwreck and she always speaks the truth.

     Make someone laugh.  Even if it is at your own expense, believe me its worth it.

     That Is All....





Wednesday, 3 June 2015

FIrst Ride of The Year

Hi There...

     For me, the sound of summer is my 1991 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 firing up for the first time...

     ...I am not merely a 1200 Sportster...I am a custom rebuilt 1200 bored out to a 1400, my name is Clarice, I am gorgeous, and I am fast...

     After a winter spent cozy and snug in her custom built shed, (thank you Choo) I hauled her out a few weekends ago and spent my usual three hours washing her and polishing her chrome...Shout out to the 2893 Seaforth Highlanders for teaching me magic circles and the proper way to bring a shine out...For me, that first wash and polish has become my zen time.  As I bring out her shine and beauty, I reflect on my shine and beauty, and how riding has become so intrinsic to me.  I've always wanted to ride, ever since I was little though I will admit that in the beginning, Clarice scared me.  Shitless. With all her power, her presence in my life and what she represented.  I didn't think I was worthy nor did I think I would be able to master the skills needed to harness her power and I understand why harleys are called an iron horse.  Now, going on my sixth year of riding, I still haven't mastered all the skills a great rider has, but I am definitley on my way to being there thanks in most part to an amazing and infinitley patient teacher who taught me not just the fundamentals of riding a motorcycle, he taught me the skills to become one with my bike, that I am more than able to harness her power...and I am worthy.

     This past Saturday I went for my first ride.  I had intended to just go for a putter around town to work out our mutual kinks and find our flow again.  Well that putter turned into a three hour ride which at one point took me up to the gas station I work at, mainly because I had never ridden that way and wanted to scout the route I normally take to work, being that its a twisty uphill way and though I can ride hills with a reasonable level of confidence, its not my most favourite thing to do. 

     I pulled into the station and as kinda usual, received more than a few looks, most from my coworkers who didnt recognise me out of uniform..."Your shape! it is so different!" from Ahad (I'm actually two sizes smaller than the uniform I wear)  and "You look so wild and fierce!"...not to mention I'm riding a bike with pink flames while wearing a bubblegum pink helmet. 

     I think I circled town probably four times, and I mean literally circled town, because I didn't want to stop riding.  The deciding factor was on the upcoming fifth pass of my house, I went to pull my clutch in to gear down and got the wickedest cramp that shot across my palm, just under the meaty part at the base of my thumb.  So with some reluctance I pulled into the driveway and called it a day.  A perfect day.

    I woke up Sunday morning stiff as a board, but it was a good kind of ache...the kind that comes after you have accomplished something worthwhile.

Dont let fear and common sense stop you...That Is All 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Aunty There's Something In My Ear

Hi there...

     The day started normal enough for me, soap in the eyes and a minor stroke cause I slipped in the shower and thought I was going to die.  This is why I prefer the bath, less chance of personal injury but I digress. 

     I was still swaddled in towels when the yelling began and it came from downstairs.  It was Brina and at first I thought she was yelling at something she was watching, or maybe the dog.  Then the screaming began, and the running up the stairs, and the pounding on my bedroom door accompanied by a frantic voice striving for calm.

     "Aunty? Aunty? Aunty I need your help there's something in my ear!"

     I stood in the middle of my room...seriously I just stood there, head cocked, eyes squinted, thinking did I just hear her say something in my ear?  In the span of a nanosecond  I went through a million scenarios and possibilities, emotions and sensations before telling my obviously traumatised babygirl...

     " Hang on a second, let me put some clothes on."

     " I can't!!" Was her shrill response before she burst into my room with her hand over her ear.

     I stood there, dumbstruck as she launched into a rapid tearstained explanation of how she was sure that a bug was in her ear.  Without thinking I pretty much threw her onto my bed and was looking in her ear, looking for...and praying to everything I held holy I didn't find...a bug when I came to realise the only thing I had on was the towel on my head.  How long, I don't know, and in the moment it didn't seem important but it was one of those randomly calm thoughts that flash through your head in a moment of crisis.

     " Huh...I'm kinda naked."

     Thankfully she had her eyes closed and I recovered my towel. Not that she would have noticed, because she was full on freaking out by this time and I knew that the best course of action was to get her to the clinic. 

     Did I mention I had to be at work in an hour? Yeah that wasn't going to happen.  So I dashed off a quick, trying not to sound anxious, call to work saying I didn't know how late, but I was going to be late because my niece has a bug in her ear.  I told Brina to call her mom, because even though I knew I " had this " I also knew I would not be able to talk her down and I needed her calm because she was starting to ramp up Sese (big sister) and I as far as our personal anxiety level.  I handle stress like a duck swims...gracefully gliding on the surface and paddling furiously underneath., so damaging my calm was not an option if I hoped to keep the girls calm.

     I drove as fast as I could. Don't worry Ordinarygirl, I drove like a controlled maniac who may have made only a few questionable driving decisions.

     So we get to the clinic, it's packed and of course I roll in there like a wrecking ball, Brina under one arm and Sese right behind me. There was an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair who was almost to the counter and after a fleeting thought of I`m going to hell for this, I cut in fromt of him and descended upon the poor unsuspecting nurse.

   ``My girl has a bug in her ear and needs to see a doctor.  Right now.``

     ``Uh`` she responds, eyes darting around like a deer caught in the headlights.

     ``She needs to see someone.  Right.  Now.``

     As if on cue, whatever Brina thought was in her ear decided to shift position and get comfortable and she did a controlled freak out and we were immediatley directed to a chair in the hallway and told a doctor would be with us shortly.  They weren`t kidding.  Less than five minutes later we were in an exam room and had barely sat down when a doctor came in wearing that ``It`s not as bad as you think look`` Au contraire Monsieur Doctor.

     Out came the ear looky thingy and after a few questions, Doc determined my girl had impacted ear wax.  No worries, he was just going to flush out her ear with some warm water and she would be all good.  Now when you think about flushing someone`s ear out, you think little syringe, squirt squirt and all is well.  Nopenopenope.  The syringe he pulled out was mofo huge and looked like something you`d ice a cake with, all metal and shiny.  I was sure it was long enough to poke her brain.  Poor Brina`s eyes were huge and got bigger when the doc handed her a small bucket with a divot on one side and told her to hold it under her ear while she told him she has never had a bug in her ear.  I could literally see both girls tense up as he put the syringe in her ear and start pushing on the plunger.  I can only imagine what it sounded and felt like, though my powers of empathy spiked for a minute there and it may as well have been me on that bed.

     After the first plunger full (yes I said first) Doc takes the bucket away from Brina`s ear and with a nod of satisfaction shows us the small chunk of ear wax flaoating in what I thought was an abnormally large amount of water to be running through such a small space.  Then he says he`s going to flush it one more time to be sure.  Alrighty then.  He pulls the bucket away from Brina`s ear, looks into it, then across the room at me with a look that was both surprised and a little bit shocked.  I hear Sese gasp, and my first thought is...

     ``Oh crap.``

     He holds the bucket out to me and I look into it and see...a spider.  It was tiny, no bigger than my pinky nail, but in relation to the size of an ear canal it was huge.  My stomach flipped and my mpathy spiked once more because I had watched her go through the obvious trauma of having this thing in her head.  Brina hasn`t seen it yet cause the doc, Sese, and I had our heads bent over the bucket and then the doctor casually mentions to Brina

     `` Well this is a first for both of us because I`ve never flushed a spider out of an ear before.``


     He shows Brina the bucket and I swear her eyes got big enough to swallow her face and she paled considerably though she looked incredibly relieved, and with profuse thanks, we left the clinic.

     Once back in the car, we joked about the whole situation they way everyone does once a crisis has passed, and at one point,  Brina started giggling.  I asked her what was funny, and she replies...

     ``The two people in my world who have had the most issues with anxiety just totally stepped up and came through for me when I needed them.  High five Sese.  High five Aunty`` And we tootled off back home, albeit doing the speed limit.

     I, like probably most people have a lovehate relationship with adrenaline.  It`s great how it gets you throught the situation at hand, but the crash at the end sucks monkeyballs.  I was amazed at my level of calm throughout the whole spider in the ear crisis, so thank you adrenaline dump.  It was when I got into my car to go to work that I went from feeling fine to shaking like a leaf and on the edge of tears and about to go over that edge.  Fuck you adrenaline dump. After some deep breaths and a bit of grounding I found myself again and off to work I went, though I was totally exhausted which is another up yours adrenaline dump because why do I have to feel like I ran a marathon uphill in the snow while being scared shitless, just to stay calm and collected for a crisis that lasted an hour and a half from start to finish...

     `` Calm blue ocean.``

     And swim like a duck.

      Go to for another perspective



Sunday, 25 January 2015

Social Media Is Not The Devil

Hi there...

     This year I've decided... (been persuaded ;)... to get more active with my social media, and as I've said, I got Facebook totally cased, I am a posting machine if I do say so myself.  And Pinterest.  Oh my god that shit is like crack.  It's the Twitter, Instagram, and Google Chrome stuff that needs more of my attention. So in my efforts, a few...and OrdinaryGirl will laugh here...weeks ago I Tweeted a question.  "Why is bra singular and panties plural?"  BAM! I ended up with like 10 new followers.  Now I was actually born before the internet, but I am not neccesarily new to technology and in my...dare I say it....old fashioned perspective on social media, Ive come to a couple conclusions.

     On Pinterest, you pin.  On Facebook you post.  Though if you're posting on Twitter, you aren't, you're tweeting and the post is a tweet, but it doesn't make you a twit.  And if you post on Tumblr, it's still a post and not a tumble, but it doesn't make you a tumbler. 

     I find it a litte odd how the younger generation so easily embraces social media and literally documents their lives on the internet.  Though I'm sure the generation before us thought it was odd that we so easily embraced the VHS system when they were just getting a handle on the whole beta thing.

     Though I must say I simply love the fact that I can pay my bills in my jammies on the couch with just the touch of a few buttons, get unlost in seconds, order a pizza without talking to anyone and if I'm so inclined I can learn the most obsccure and bizarre facts known to woman.

     I am being dragged-albeit not kicking and screaming-into this wondrous world of social media and given that I plan on grabbing life by the biscuits this year, having a way to share, nay, document my adventures will come in handy when I'm in my nineties staring in the mirror wondering where the hell all these tattoos came from...

That Is go socialize with your media savvy selves.