Daily Life, Paganism

Beltane and End of the Song Meme

I hope everyone had a  lovely long weekend! The husband and I celebrated with his family on Saturday and laid low the rest of the weekend. Since Easter was the last holiday I celebrated with my Mum before her death, it was definitely bittersweet for me.

I can’t believe we’re a week away from Beltane! I still have no idea what my plans are, which has sadly become a trend over the last couple of years. It’s been a tough transition, going from working with a tight knit group to suddenly finding myself solitary. I am thinking that whatever I do, I want to make this cake. Honey and Lavender? Sounds like a delicious plan to me! Yum!

And in other news, the song meme is now done! Here are my last few bits:

day 25 – a song that makes you laugh

You know you love it.

day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument

Sadly, none. I don’t play any instrument :( I used to play the clarinet, but that was about 13 years ago.

day 27 – a song that you wish you could play

I LOVE this song. I walked down the aisle to it and would LOVE to learn to play it.
day 28 – a song that makes you feel guilty

Strange, right? Well, my Mum had asked me to burn a CD for her, and this was one of the songs she wanted. I kept putting it off, forgetting and it never got done. It’s one of those silly things I can’t seem to get over, but I really wish I had made her that CD.

day 29 – a song from your childhood

Paul Abdul and I go way back. My barbies and dolls would put on elaborate performances of Straight Up and Cold Hearted Snake (I blame my love of JEM. Most of my childhood games for the next few years involved some kind of dramatic love story and singing). I think my sister and I played that album until it died.

day 30 – your favorite song at this time last year

Yes, Mumford and Sons. It was about this time last year that I was obsessed with this album. I was also listening to a lot of our wedding music at this time, trying to figure out what songs to tell the DJ to play.

Administrative, Daily Life

Happy Easter

Here’s to long weekends, folks! I have to say, this week has been awesome for not being in the office. I am more than thrilled to not be waking up early tomorrow. Pat and I are thinking about taking advantage of the day off and the early polling options and make our vote tomorrow.  On that note, here’s a touch of Mr. Mercer:

Also, because it’s funny to see old pictures, take a look at The Vintage Voter.

Meow, Mr. Layton!

Mr. Layton sure was a fox! Meanwhile, Steve Harper looks even creepier as a young man, if it’s even possible.  And that, my dear readers, is as political as I’ll get here. I’m not a big fan of talking about my own personal politics in public (Long story, I am the pagan leftist anglo arts-loving daughter of two extremely conservative anglo military parents. I grew up in a very christian conservative french community).

So, after voting (which, if you’re Canadian, you should do too. Not necessarily tomorrow, but in general), we’ll relax and do a whole lot of nothing (my plans include continuing to be a bad ass with a bad attitude on Dragon Age 2. My beloved Fenris actually digs me this time around! So far! Mostly!). Saturday involves a quick trip to Chiro, followed by a trip to the grocery store (which will be NUTS. I will console myself with chocolate), and then off to the in-laws for Easter celebrations, assuming the nephew’s plague goes away and no one else catches it. Sunday will be spent keeping myself busy and doing my best at not thinking about this time last year. Monday, sadly, I’m back to work.

Oh! I forgot to mention this the other day, but I’m putting together a “Sales/Swap” page here at Ye Olde Blog. I have saved some of my Mum’s vintage crochet patterns and would like them to go to someone who will appreciate them.

This is under construction for sure, as I have to add 90% of her collection stuff. I may add other stuff to the page in time too, we’ll see. I do have a lot of de-stashing to do. You can find the page as a new tab, just under my banner. Or, you can click here.  I’m planning on taking pictures of the some of the patterns within, hopefully this weekend.

So, have a great long weekend all! Happy Easter to those that celebrate. Enjoy some super tasty chocolate :D


When the present hurts too much, look forward.

Today is one of those days that makes me want to stay home, hidden away in bed. It seems safer, tucked under layers of sheets and blankets, away from the world. Last night, an old friend of the family, the step-father of one of my oldest friends, passed away. He had been fighting cancer for a while, and while it is comforting to know that he is no longer in pain, my heart breaks for his family. I’ve been so distracted all morning, worrying about my friend and angry at the Powers That Be.

I’m currently distracting myself (and keeping myself from crying at work) by trying to think about happy unrelated things, including my upcoming first anniversary of marriage. Yay! I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year already! I’ve been pondering what to do. I know the traditional 1st year gift is paper, but aside from maybe getting each other books (not a bad option, considering. I just don’t know if it’s “special” enough), I just don’t know. I was thinking about stationary, but I don’t write nearly enough letters to warrant it, and Pat would never use it. I was then thinking about an address stamp, but we’re hoping to move in the next few years, so that wouldn’t be a wise investment.

I then started thinking that maybe we’ll celebrate it and not really do the present thing. We got married in a beautiful small town outside of Ottawa, and I think it might be nice to go there for a weekend, stay at a B&B and just disconnect for 48 hours. My friend, the one who’s step dad just passed, stayed a great B&B the night of our wedding and highly recommended it to us.

A picture from their website. Isnt it lovely?

What do you think? I’m a little concerned about the whole “shared bathroom” and common space thing that’s typical in a B&B, but there’s something so lovely about the idea of staying in a beautiful house in the town we were married in. Married folk, what did you do for your anniversary?

Also, I’m very excited about my upcoming trip to Calgary. I have to say, I was kind of expecting to be expecting by the time I left for this trip (we’ve known about this trip for a long time, it is my sister’s graduation after all), but I guess you can’t schedule everything. Life, death, bodies, unemployment and unexpected career changes have a funny way of changing plans. At least this way, I’ll be able to enjoy the hot springs at Banff. Yay :D Right now, Tracy and I are mostly just planning on keeping things simple. The plan thus far:

1. Meet her peeps. She’s settled down in Calgary and has a great group of people there. I am dying to meet them!

2. Visit Banff

3. Go out to one of the Calgary specific restaurants

4. Attend all graduation related events (Reception, convocation, party)

5. Hang out in our jammies, watch movies, and relax.

So looking forward to it :D

In other “Oooh shiny!” news, did anyone catch the Game of Thrones premiere?

I haven’t read the books (I’ve been warned that they aren’t my type of Fantasy. I prefer urban fantasy and have little patience for elaborate and complicated fictional worlds. I especially have a hard time with super political/military/name dropping fantasy), however I tend to have a much easier time following these stories when they are turned into movies or tv shows, so here I am! I was a little dismayed at the weird sibling love trend that was presented, but overall, I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to having such a beautiful and epic story to watch over the summer.

And with that, I have work to get back to.

Daily Life

Song Meme catch up, Day 18-24

day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio

Don’t want to bog you down with the same bands over and over again. Basically, I’d love to hear more Tori and Neko Case.

day 19 – a song from your favorite album

Tori Amos, Virgina. Yes, sorry. I know, it’s a lot of Tori, but I love her. This is from Scarlet’s Walk. I have a hard time picking an all time favourite album, but if I had to, I think this would be at the top of the list. This album has followed me on trips to foreign countries, on road trips, through death and births, through university, success and unemployment.

day 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angry

A Perfect Circle, Pet.  I love me some APC, and this is one of many songs by them that I enjoy when I’m feeling rageful.
day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy

Jason Mraz, I’m Yours.

day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad

Weeping Tile/Sarah Harmer, Dogs and Thunder. This is a bittersweet song for me. It’s beautiful and comforting, but it hurts my heart. I love it so much.

day 23 – a song that you want to play at your wedding

Lifehouse, You and Me. This was our wedding song. Pat and I have quite the tie to Lifehouse. Their first album was a big part of our early relationship, we saw them live, and then while we never really followed them further, this song came out and seemed to fit our day perfectly. It’s also the background music to our wedding video.

day 24 – a song that you want to play at your funeral

Tori Amos, Happy Phantom. Cause, you know, it’s awesome.

Daily Life

Spring is flying by

I know it’s funny to say, as so many of us have been plagued by winter-like weather for the last while (after a teasing day or two of warmth and sunshine), but I feel like spring is going to race by me, leaving me dazed and confused at the end of June.

I have so much going on until then, that I can’t help but feel like I have to just ride the wave and hope to come out the other side intact.

This weekend was lovely. Friday, Pat and I had a bit of a date night. We ordered in pizza, watched an action flick (Faster, with Dwayne Johnson. Basically, Kill Bill but with muscle cars and The Rock) and basically just relaxed after a very long stressful week. Saturday morning, I dealt with some estate business that I knew would result in some drama (but had to be done. Literally, it’s part of my job as executor), followed by CLEAN ALL THE THINGS. We’ve really been neglecting the house lately. I don’t think we’ve ever been so bad about dishes before. It literally took me all day to finish washing them all.

After a really cleansing day of cleaning, we were joined by our good friends S and K (S was one of my bridesmaids, as I was one of hers. She and I went to University together and now she’s one of my closest friends). K and Pat were off to a bachelor party for the evening, so S and I occupied ourselves with some shopping (she was in desperate search of a 50s style dress for our friend’s theme wedding in May) and then dinner at a pub. I had a delicious boxty (one of my all time favourite food things) while we talked babies, friends, school and family. We wrapped up the evening back at my place for some tea and conversation before I sent her home to pick up her baby girl from her Mum, who graciously offered to watch her for the evening. K and Pat got home LATE (or early, I  guess, as it was around 4am), having had a really good time.

Today, I’m looking at all the plans we have coming up, trying not to let it overwhelm me (Social anxiety tends to rear it’s ugly head every so often. MANY MANY plans is a sure fire way to get it going). I mean, it’s all amazing things for the most part, so I’m really looking forward to all of it. I’m not sure if I’ll attend all of the following, by here’s a look at the next few months:

This week: Monday, one of my amazing teachers at Mothercraft is being honoured at a going-away party. She’s leaving Mothercraft for a local health organization. She’s one of the most incredible people I’ve ever known and has completely shaped the way I look at birth. Tuesday, there’s an information session of midwifery in the area that I’d like to attend. Wednesday, I’m getting together with my friend Krista for chats and crafts :D Saturday is going to be an Easter celebration with the family.

Upcoming:  The 30th is a friend’s bachelorette and the boys are having a UFC night. The 7th of May is our friend’s 50 themed wedding, the 14th I leave for Calgary to visit my sister and attend her graduation from ACAD. The 21st I get back. The 12th of June is my birthday and my dear friend L may be in town. The 30th is the closing date on my mother’s house. Oh, look, then it’s summer!

Meanwhile, I do believe I’ve owed you some things for a while, so I’m going to share those!

1. Here’s the video of the band I saw in New Orleans. Sorry for the quality, but I am short (5’3″) and it was a PACKED club. Like, you every inch was full of people, and then the crowd spilled outside. I was up against the bar.

2. I had mentioned putting up a few items at home, including the broom that has been in my family for as long as I can remember. Here are a couple of shots

My kitchen, leading outside. The broom is on the left of the door.
The broom

I wish I knew more about it. Where it came from, why my Mum had it. Oh well, at least I have it in my home now.

I was going to post more, but my friend Isaac has asked to take me out for a quick coffee, and who I am to turn down a handsome fellah?

More pictures to come!

Daily Life

Tuesday Day Book

I’m really sorry for the lack of real posts lately, but I can’t seem to find the energy. These memes are great for getting me on here, but I hate that I’m sort of spamming you guys. I’ll try to be better, I promise. In the mean time:

A peek at the past week (how I’ve been): Up and down, again. It’s been very busy. I ended up having a really good weekend, but there was definitely some hard days in there.

I am thinking… about lunch. My co-worker has gone home sick, so I have to eat and work. Also thinking about babies, family, and our plans for the future.

I am thankful for… Spring! Spring is definitely here in Ottawa. Yesterday, we hit a balmy 20 degrees celcius! It has done wonders for my mood, despite the unpleasant side effects of spring (Mum’s anniversary, birthday, baby rabies, the past coming back to haunt me, etc…). I’m planning and plotting gardens, outdoor spaces, etc… :)

From the kitchen… Tomato Soup Cake with homemade vanilla buttercream icing! I wish I had taken a picture…perhaps I’ll do that tonight and post the recipe. It’s super easy, though the icing was time consuming. A really tasty and comforting treat.

I am wearing… Fancy underpants. They are boy-cut style, with lace, flowers and ribbon.

I am creating… plans for my garden. I’m also trying to figure out how to handle some issues in our yard. We have a neighbourhood cat using our front garden as a litter box. I’ve tried Cayenne pepper, but the rain keeps washing it away.

I am going… to be receiving my dress that I recently purchased from Mod Cloth. It’s for a friend’s wedding (It’s a 50s themed wedding) and my sister’s art school graduation in May. It’s pretty much the brightest, most ridiculous piece of clothing I’ve ever owned. Once I get it and know that it fits, I’ll share it with you.

I am reading… For a few demons more (some urban fantasy fluff, that I’m enjoying) and The Very Best of Charles de Lint.

I am hoping… A good trip west. I’ve been cursed, as I mentioned, and could really use a break

I am hearing… That we have sold my family home! We received an offer near the end of last week. We countered, over the weekend, and they accepted it last night.

Around the house…Lots of cleaning to do! My BFF, Sarah, and I are having a girly night on Saturday! I need to baby proof and make sure we’re comfy while the husbands are off at a bachelor party. I also need to prep our guest room for her hubby, who will crash with us.

One of my favorite things… Ridiculous cat things. A friend posted this the other day and I’ve decided that my future children MUST HAVE IT:


A few plans for the rest of the week: Tonight, cleaning and organizing. Estate business. Tomorrow, Beer and Wings night with friends. Thursday, a trip to Orleans for estate business.

Here is picture! Yay!

Daily Life

Days 15-17

day 15 – a song that describes you

This was a hard one for me. I really cling to the music that’s important to me, so to narrow it down like this was really difficult. I tend to have different songs that I relate do, depending on my mood and what’s going on in my life.

Tori Amos, Spark.

Neko Case, Hold On Hold On

Tori Amos, Wednesday

day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate

Honestly, I don’t hold on to songs that I hate. I just stop listening to them.

day 17 – a song that you hear often on the radio

Bambi, Tokyo Police Club. I really dig this song. It’s been getting a lot of air time on Live 88.5 lately and I’m really enjoying it.

Daily Life

Days 11-14

day 11 – a song from your favorite band

White Blank Page, Mumford and Sons. One of my favourite bands.

day 12 – a song from a band you hate

Lips from an Angel, Hinder. Thing song, and most of their stuff, puts me into a blind rage.

day 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasure

Blow, Kesha. Yes, I know. Please don’t judge me… I blame van der beek.

day 14 – a song that no one would expect you to love

This one is tricky. Depends on when we met/how we know we each other. For some, neither of these are a surprise.

Dragula, Rob Zombie. Yep. My brother, Mike, brought me up on Black Sabbath and Metallica. I love me some metal and hard rock.

Jolene, Dolly Parton. My Daddy was a big country guy. Big big country. These days I see his influence in my music choices. Neko Case and Sarah Harmer are two of my big faves, and both have big country influences. I love me some Cash, Nelson, Brooks (Thunder Rolls will forever give me shivers), Rankin Family and Parton.

Daily Life

It’s been a year

Today marks a year since my mother passed away.

I can’t believe it’s been a year. There are some days that it feels like a lifetime away, and other days that it feels like it was yesterday. Some days, even, where it feels like it never happened at all, and I’m just waiting for her phone call.

Today, Pat went to get his hair cut. I was sitting in the waiting area of the cheapy salon place when an older woman walked in. She was almost identical to Mum. My mother had the same hair cut, same hair colour, same shoes, same clothes, same face shape, same body build, everything. The only difference was she was maybe 3 inches shorter, and her skin was lighter. She never said a word to anyone. She sat down, got her hair done and then, after some puttering around, left. I have no idea who she was, or what her life has been. What I feel, is that she was a gift to me today. Something to make me think of my mum, remember her in incredible detail, stand directly beside someone who could have been her twin. I couldn’t help myself. I starred at her intently, as she paid for her trim. I starred at her shoes, her turtle neck, her hair. I watched her and remembered my Mum. She came over to me, as I was sitting by the window and the coat rack, and for some reason, she simply stood there. Directly in front of me. She didn’t look at me, or really acknowledge me. She just walked right over, stood less than two feet from me, and stood there, staring out the window for maybe 5 minutes.

Thank you Mum, for the message. I know you’re at peace now. You’re not hurting anymore. You’re not scared anymore.

There was an add campaign recently, at least that’s where I think I saw it, that said “When I’m hanging out with my Mum, I’m the most me”. It struck me, straight to my soul. I was absolutely 100% myself with my Mum. I was never ashamed of who I was, how I felt, what I thought or what I’ve done. She accepted and loved me without conditions and without holding back. I lost my best friend, a year ago. I think of her every single day, and miss her with all of my heart. I am so very blessed to have had her in my life.

Crafting, Daily Life

A better day

Yesterday was a rough day. I won’t get into details, but my spirit was near broken and I just wanted to curl into a ball and weep (followed closely by drink my face off and then collapse into a deep slumber for the next 5 years).  I spent the day powering through work, reading some fluffy urban fantasy (Kim Harrison for those interested) and talking to Tracy and the husband. My co-irker was lovely and got me a haagan dazs ice cream bar. Mmmmm.

After work, I went home and cleaned. I cleaned, and cleaned and cleaned. We found out that money is tighter than we thought, so I plotted dinner ideas for when Jamie comes over tonight using only things we already have in the house. I picked something that works (baked spaghetti/macaroni. Another one of my Mum’s old standbys) and then continued to clean. I finally gave up cleaning at 9, had some sleepy time tea, made some puffed wheat squares (another Mum favourite) and then went to bed at 10.

I’m feeling waaaay more at peace today. Funny how working on ones physical space can make sure a difference with moods and emotions. I also took some time to put up some things that I’ve been meaning to display. One was a soapstone piece that Pat inherited from his Dad. It’s now in the main hallway downstairs. I also put up our family besom (inherited from my mother. No idea what it’s made out of, I just know it’s always been in my family home, as long as I can remember) as well as a gift from the bestie, Leigh. I’ll try to remember to take pictures of these things tonight and share them with you.

I feel ok. Seeing the outrage that people had over how things have been has fortified me. I’m not sure if it’s a gemini thing, or just a me thing, but I constantly worry that I’m being overly sensitive or manipulative. I second guess my reactions all the time. It doesn’t help that I’m being accused of being these things, so having people tell me “No, really, this is nuts!” is a huge help.  I’m looking forward to spending time with Jamie and Pat tonight. I am looking forward to spending time with our Heart family (for my new readers, this is Pat’s best friend and her family. They’ve basically adopted me as one of theirs) this weekend. I’m applying for part time jobs for when my current one drops in hours in about a month.

Sometimes you have to fight for optimism, but it’s there when you’re open to it. I’m thinking about craft courses to take (quilting! Has anyone ever done one of these?). I’m inspired by Alicia Paulson and her beautiful home. I love quilts. My nanny made me one when I was a baby which became my favourite blanket. My Mum actually had to repair it when I was about 12 because it was all worn out in pieces. I also really REALLY want to learn to crochet. I really want to make this:

Another great Alicia Paulson pattern

Overall, I’m good today. I’m making plans, I’m thinking about the future in a positive way. I’m feeling excited about something.  I know that there will be good days and bad days, but I’m so very thankful and glad to have such incredible friends, family and readers out there who share their support. Thank you, so much.