Dear Diary – School’s out for the summer and holidays have officially begun, so why does every day still feel the same?
Even though many restrictions are still in place, I ran away from home! I love summer, not so much the heat and humidity, but the sense of freedom it brings. No deadlines (or emails from teachers when they get missed). No jeans pinching my waist (sundresses, baby)! Fewer commitments hanging over my head. Just tousled hair and sun-kissed cheeks, rainbows after a storm, and flowers, birds and butterflies displaying their colours.
But here’s a sobering thought, we’re half-way through the year, and what do I have to show for it…
Dear Diary – After the tears, the yelling, the near “mental breakdown” trying to book an appointment for my second vaccination, and my friend’s lucky break, I finally got shot…on Canada Day! I had packed my suitcase ahead so that as soon as I no longer “crummy”, I could hop in the car and “run away from home”.
Hubby drove me to the community center and waited while I did the deed. The line up was remarkably small. My nurse’s name was Jennifer. She was born in the same month and year as me. I took this as a good omen. Everything went swimmingly, and I was soon seated in the centre of the soccer club, counting down my 15 minutes, to freedom!
The pins and needles started almost immediately, and continued to ping me for the next two hours. By the time, they disappeared, the fatigue was rolling in. We went to bed early. I spent the next day snoozing and sweating on the couch, nauseous, with a dull headache and achy bones. I continued to boil through the night, waking the next day twisted in my sheets and feeling limp. My physio
torturer therapist took pity on me and we did gentle exercises, lying down. My chiropractor kindly snapped a misguided rib back into place; too bad it won’t stay there! Overall, I would say I have survived. It’s Hubby’s turn next, then Little Guy. The only one left to start the process is Big Guy (hint, hint)!
Dear Diary – I packed my bathing suit and sundresses for a summer vacation…but where did the sunshine go? For 3 days, I’ve hunkered down inside in a sweatshirt and wool socks…and a sundress! I would have braved the pool except the pool heater broke on the weekend, and the temperature has dropped radically. I suspect there are icebergs floating under the cover. It probably would have felt great when I had my vaccine fever!
I am not amused!
Dear Diary – I found a new way to torment my long suffering Mom, besides hiding her stuffed lamb in odd places, and naming the eggs. The other evening, Little Guy and I played Carcassone with her. Carcassone is a tile-based game and points are earned by laying tiles to build roads and cities. After accidentally knocking some tiles akilter and watching Mom adjusting them, we started to tilt tiles here and there to see if she’d notice. She’d notice and scold, we’d laugh…and do it again. What can I say? I’m a brat! We laughed so hard, we almost had tears running down our faces.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.Job 8:21
Dear Diary – This morning, I made the mistake of perching my glasses on my head. My hair immediately snarled in the nose pieces. The more I tried to pry them off, the worse it became. By the time I left my room, my glasses were firmly affixed to my head. It took 2 parents to set me free. That was almost as embarrassing as the time I got stuck in my bra.
Dear Diary – After a chilly evening walk, I settled down with a hot cup of tea and a book. As I went to drain the last of my tea, I discovered I had added protein in my cup. An ant had drowned.
At least he wasn’t a spider!
Maybe he was just trying to get warm too.
Dear Diary – I went shopping inside a store, and left delighted with my newly purchased package of knickers. Now when I’m told to put my big panties on, I can! The province may have deemed some items as non-essential, but after a year and a half, they were becoming pretty essential. Little Guy now owns 1 pair of pants that aren’t highwater, and socks that are larger than a hummingbird. It’s often the little things that bring great delight!
Dear Diary – Someone in Belgium used my photo in her blog post and business instagram. Pretty cool!
Dear Diary – Little Guy would like to wait as long as possible for his next vaccation. So after surfing the net and making some calls, I booked for his second vaccination next week. Not because he’s anxious (that would be mean…kinda funny but mean), but because it’s important. I haven’t woken him up yet to tell him the good news!
It’s going to be a looooong week!
Dear Diary – Hubby made a startling discovery this week. He has mice IN his car! Not just under the hood. In. The.Car. He found poop in the console. Personally, I think we should just sell the car!
A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb.Lamar S. Smith
Dear Diary – I could procrastinate no longer. I finally got busy cancelling Little Guy’s cell phone and my sucker tablet. Just to clarify, I was the sucker. I started with the online chat, which was relatively painless. Except he really thought I should convert the tablet to another new phone. No. Thanks. I’m trying to get rid of a phone. He also kept insisting I must know some one who would be thrilled to assume the number and the plan for the tablet. So I fired off a few text messages and suggested we proceed with cancelling Little Guy’s phone.
Little Guy’s phone was his birthday present, but it was partly for me. If he decided not to come straight home after school, he could let me know. He “disappeared” after school once and it was the most terrifying hour of my life! But he doesn’t like cell phones. It’s been dead and buried in the batcave for the last 18 months. So it needed to go!
Nicky called me on my phone to proceed, just as someone else called and the texts started flying in. I have never been so popular. I answered the second call and diligently waited on hold. Until they hung up on me. Undeterred, I called them after a short wait, kept saying no…repeatedly, and I’m happy to say, my phone bill just got a lot smaller.
Dear Diary – For our 15th wedding anniversary, I wrote:
“I love you. You annoy me more than I ever thought possible, but… I want to spend every irritating minute with you.”Scrubs
This week we celebrated our 25th! We’re both pretty sure I’m one miracle away from sainthood. I always say, the first 15 years were the worst! Learning to live together and to blend as a family took a lot of prayer, a lot of tears, and a lot of commitment. Was it worth it? Yes. We may not have the same passion and romance as in our youth, but there is something to be said for familiarity and comfort, like a cozy, warm sweater. Some days we’re soulmates; others, were cell mates. Unlike some couples we know, we are still more than really good roommates, and will continue to work on our relationship. Best of all, we’ve learned to laugh together, and I have a feeling, the older we get, the more we’ll have to laugh about.
An archeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested in her he is.Agatha Christie
Since we couldn’t celebrate in Italy this year, which was to be our first (and probably only) honeymoon, I suggested Italian takeout and white wine for dinner. We ate it in front of the t.v. with Little Guy. That’s more our style anway! We exchanged gifts this year too. Hubby received a new watch with a silver face, for our silver anniverary. I received tiny white gold and diamond studs (the link for which I sent to Hubby and said “buy these”). It took me 10 minutes, a lot of straining, and a consultation with my kid before we figured out how to release them from the packaging. The backings on the earrings are tiny screws, which is why I couldn’t pull them apart. Who knew? 🙂
Finally, I suggested we get Little Guy to take some goofy photos of us in the back yard. My intention had been to wear our wedding clothes. Hubby’s suit stopped fitting after the first year, thanks to my sub-par cooking, but he still owns a suit. I think he makes James Bond look like a goober! My wedding dress, however, was cause for many tears. Part of that was the timing. I tore my closet apart in a fit of panic because I had to sing at church in the morning and I had nothing to wear. My clothes fit into 3 categories: 1) too small; 2) almost fits; and, 3) isn’t fit to be seen in public. I now have 3 piles: 1) to give away; 2) to throw away; 3) to store in case I lose 5-10 lbs. Now my closet is full of cardigans. I may have to shop online, and I hate shopping online.
Back to my wedding dress. Sometime in the last 12 months, the girls outgrew it. The zipper wouldn’t go up all the way and the sleeves drooped like sad, satin butterflies. We tried. Believe me, we tried! I confess, after Hubby left, I sobbed on the floor like a 3 year old. I’m not proud of it, but it was the day before our anniversary and I couldn’t just wear a cardigan!
I finally settled on my going away dress, which my sister-in-law made for me. It was the same pattern as my bridesmaids, but red, because our song is….Lady in Red. It’s corny but when you’re “in love”, you can digest corn better. The dress zipped and if I stood up straight and sucked it in…and maybe if we angled the camera just right, and I thought skinny thoughts, it would work?
It was 29C but felt closer to 40C when we stepped into our backyard at 4:30 p.m. The thunderstorms had finally blown through, and everything was dripping. The air was still. I knew I had a short window before Hubby would start to complain about the heat in his black suit. My dress was already clinging to me like bare skin on a vinyl car seat, so we posed quickly.
First with Halo weaponry, provided by Big Guy’s friend. Why? Because I was out of creative ideas and I play Halo. I told Hubby to think Mr. and Mrs Smith. Except I was smiling and he was not. Sigh…
Then “Covid shots” because it’s as much a part of our history as our wedding day 25 years ago.
Finally, zombie apocolypse? Why? Because together, we have survived just about everything else.
I’m not sure which I like best. What’s your favourite?
My husband and I have never considered divorce…murder sometimes, but never divorce.Dr. Joyce Brothers
Dear Diary – Tonight is the night. What a way to celebrate Canada Day! I’m getting my second Covid vaccination! Two boys to go and I can breathe a sigh of relief! With my mask on. 😉
Dear Diary – We celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday – with one kid in another city, and my folks in another. It sucked! But we did our best to celebrate anyway. And, as with all celebrations, that included the pre-requisite gifts of tees, snacks and undies, and more food.
Dear Diary – Hubby and I went looking for something to watch one evening and we found a perfectly ridiculous movie:
Planet Terror (2007) A one-legged go-go dancer and her ex-lover join forces with other survivors to battle a horde of flesh-eating zombies invading their Texas town.
I may be creative but even I can’t come up with this stuff!
Dear Diary – I overbaked! In this instance, I do not mean that I consumed an extraordinary amount of maryjane, but that I baked too many sweets AND consequently, with so much sugar now at my disposal, all hope of sweating off that covid weight is flitting away faster than a gold finch! Those extra pounds will party around my middle longer and likely invite friends. I’ll be sweating, but not in a good way. I immediately chucked the donuts, jelly busters, cookies and muffins in the freezer, so at least I have to venture into the
batcave basement to retrieve anything, which will cause me to sweat…
Speaking of sweat, I still wake up in the night, tossing and turning, and sweating. A few years ago, I made a commitment to my love, my bed, that I would work on our relationship. I bought new sheets. I’ve tried sleeping with my head where my feet should be, the sheets a tangled mess by morning. Conscious of the alarm clock’s jealousy, I’ve cloaked it at night to dim its light, its presence when we’re together. But alas! I’ve held on, longer than I probably should have, hoping it wasn’t over. A relationship takes two and I’m just not feeling the love. When things open up, I think (sob), I think I have to kick it to the curb. It will be so hard, but I’m ready to begin again.
Dear Diary – It’s going to be a long summer. My noisy neighbours have taught their loud, elephant of a daughter, how to play Marco Polo. It’s a game where one person keeps their eyes closed and searches for the other players by yelling “Marco”. They reply by yelling “Polo”. My Mom came up with the perfect solution – confuse them by hiding in the yard and playing Marco Polo too.
Dear Diary – This.
This has to stop.
The tears, the tangles, the tearing… Every morning. After every shower. When I walked outside on a breezy day. Thursdays.
The combs get stuck in the rats’ nests, the rats themselves nasty invisible things. I pull hairballs from my brush that would rival Garfield, and fill my garbage can with enough balls to knit a sweater. We’re finding long strings on everything. It clings to Hubby’s socks on the clothesline, and occasionally, he finds it in his dinner.
And once the knots are removed, I look like a muppet version of an 80’s rock band. Frizzy. Blue. Out of control.
No amount of hair product or appliances can tame the mane. Colouring has become an hours’ long production. It’s nice to have long hair in the summer because I can put it up, but with a shoulder that’s taking forever to make a comeback in physio
torture therapy, I start to sweat. Which heats the house, the humidity from which causes the frizz to really pop. It’s a never ending cycle. I need “hair-apy” and soon!
It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve had a haircut.
I googled “how to deal with bad hair”. One solution was to wear a low-cut blouse. Geniuses everywhere. Sigh…
You can’t control everything! Your hair was put on your head to remind you of that.
Dear Diary – It’s week 24 in 2021 and it’s beginning to look like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It could be a freight train bearing down on us…or maybe it’s just the roadrunner on a push and pull. Either way, like a truck, we’ll know when it hits us! I’m just worried it’s going to hit us right before the official start of summer!
A few provincial restrictions were lifted on Friday, 2 days early because of “good behaviour”. Which is always questionable, but I digress. As expected, the restless, housebound natives behaved like teenagers when Mom and Dad are away, and partied hard with their friends. Patio lights, fireworks, and the foul speech of a drunken sot lit up the neighbourhood all weekend. Remember, I’m Gladys Kravitz! I see everything! Part of me just doesn’t care anymore – no one listens to me anyway! The other sanctimonious part of me is silently hoping for an inconvenient consequence to present itself to them, one that won’t trip up my trip to the country. Like everyone else, I’m ready to blow this pop stand!
My anxious friend has spent a few days now, off and on, trying to book my second covid vaccinations. It seems everyone is panicking to get it, as if that will somehow “save summer”. People are triple booking appointments, and then choosing which one best accomodates their busy schedule. Except there’s still nowhere to go, and we all still need hair cuts! Now they’re temporarily “out” of vaccine. It’s like a twisted virtual version of the hunger games.
May the odds be ever in your favour.Suzanne Collins
Dear Diary – Hubby and I picked the hottest day of the week to make the necessary trek to mail a cheque. To pay a bill. It’s the old-school way, but after my 27 hour long day last month, I didn’t want to risk my credit information falling into the wrong hands. My nerves are still a little raw. By the time we arrived 15 minutes later, I was mouth-breathing heavily and
sweating glowing like a pig.
Twenty years! We’ve lived in our crappy house in this crappy neighbourhood for 20 years, and the dinged red postal box has always been there. Except today.
Was it stolen? Abducted by aliens? A Canadian time machine? Maybe some intoxicated middle-aged hooligans went on a mailbox spree, because anyone younger might not know what a mailbox is for…
Suffice it to say, the walk home was faster because now I was on a mission and I was going to be late for my comedy club meeting. We hopped in our air-conditioned car and drove to the next closest mailbox…only to discover that it too had vanished into thin air.
Mailing a letter is no longer an environmentally-friendly and health-conscious activity when we have to drive 6.8 km to the nearest box!
Dear Diary – I feel so stupid. I threw leftover potatoes in the microwave at the last minute, tossing a cover over it and slamming the door shut. Twenty seconds later, something exploded. I shrieked and opened the door. I had covered the potatoes with the metal lid from my stock pot and the end of the lid had blown off. Thankfully no potatoes were harmed in this disaster, and the microwave still works. My ability to handle household applicances has, however, been called into question, but since no one else wants to cook…
Dear Diary – It’s been 2 years since I knocked “Attend Skillet Concert” off my bucket list! Not only was it an awesome evening, I got to share it with my boys. By the night’s end, our muscles were sore from dancing, our voices were whispers, and we were flying high! We even stopped for donuts on the way home. It was legendary!
Speaking of donuts, I stopped at Tim Horton’s on National Donut Day. With the long drive-thru line, I went inside to avoid the long drive-thru line. Usually it’s way faster! Not that night. I hate how the people, who are too lazy to get our of their cars, get treated like royalty, while those of us who enter are treated like parasites. I know my legs are so white but are they really objects to be reviled? Does my terrific tush not deserve donuts too?
Four people worked the window while two others made food; no one was watching the restaurant. I seriously toyed with the idea of self-serve. I mean, would they really notice? After 5 minutes, I asked the gentleman standing at the cash if he’d been served. He rolled his eyes and nodded “no”, so I yelled. Yes, I became a Karen and I used my “Mom” voice: “Excuse me!” Every head twisted in my direction. “Is anyone serving the customes IN your restaurant?” I asked. The teen behind me snickered. The employees exchanged glances, with slackened jaws and fearful eyes.
I won’t lie – it was satisfying.
I was polite to the lady who finally stepped up, and, by golly, I got my 3 donuts, but it shouldn’t have taken fifteen minutes! That’s why today, I’m making my own! Hopefully… I won’t blow anything up!
Dear Diary – The regional gardening facebook page patrons confirmed my fears. I’m growing grass, and not the kind you can smoke. I planted 5 different types of herbs and only 2 are making an appearance. The rest of the planter is weeds and really healthy grass. The irony is that I can’t get grass to grow in the yard.
Dear Diary – The next time someone tells me I’m over-reacting when I complain about physio torture, I’m showing them this photo. It felt WAY worse than it looks!
I couldn’t wear a bra for 2 days and I was afraid I was going to turn too quickly and give someone a black eye.
Dear Diary – What does a killer fluffy bunny, harem-loving, basket-weaving sweat shop cult leader look like? Occasionally I like to re-read former blog posts. This one came from Dashboard Batman and I can’t help wondering, what happened to that creative, off-the-wall person inside. I’ve known for awhile that my blog is lacking sparkle. That’s one of the reasons I took an Intro to Comedy Writing course. A course offered on Facebook has to be of the highest quality, right?
I decided to start my midlife crisis because I had spent too much of my life crying and it was time to laugh. I want to be that crazy, blue-haired lady in the nursing home, who, when I’m stirring up trouble in the halls, sits quietly in the corner laughing to myself (or at myself) because I have some great memories.
My point is this: I just want to say thanks to the 3 readers who tune in regularly and comment often to encourage me. It’s so much more fun to laugh at myself, when someone else is laughing with me. Let’s all keep our eyes open and just enjoy the opera of the every day. One day the fat lady will sing and the opera will be over, and I don’t know about you, but I want those who have journeyed with me to be able to say, “she lived life fully, even if she never had a “full” life”!
Life is too short to be serious all the time. So, if you can’t laugh at yourself…call me. I’ll laugh with you.
Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Animals, a challenge I can do from my very own backyard. Sometimes these creatures are just as entertaining and endearing to watch as the ones at the zoo. I could probably say the same about some of my neighbours.
In April and May, I shared a few of my critters: pretty dragonflies, a pretty territorial carpenter bee, lovebirds Mr & Mrs Cardinal, and the crew at Easter Brunch. Of course, there’s also the gang of squirrels who have terrorized my neighbourhood for years!
Earlier this year, I shared space with a confident bunny…
…who decided my lilac tree provided the best shade for an afternoon nap!
Every time I saw my bunny, I’d start singing Veggie Tales “Bunny Song” from the DVD, Rack, Shack & Benny! It’s a fun song, but also an ear worm! And here it goes again…
“Why is it that I can remember a cigarette ad jingle from 30 years ago, but I can’t remember what I just got up to do?”– Dad, Calvin and Hobbes
Poise: calm; confidence in a person’s way of behaving, or a quality of grace (= moving in an attractive way) and balance in the way a person holds or moves their body.Cambridge English Dictionary
Poise. Something I do not possess.
Today I have Tetley’s “Poise” tea in my cup. The name immediately conjured visions of skinny girls balanced on yoga mats. I own a yoga mat – it decorates the corner of my room. I own yoga pants too – they’re wearing thin at the thighs from trudging (begrudgingly) through the neighbourhood! I don’t even want to think about the dumbbells covered in dust.
No, my bendy parts don’t bend like they used to bend! Some of them never did! But as long as my elbow still works and I can drink my tea, I’ll be ok. Fatter with thinning yoga pants, but still ok. Life without tea is not life! 😉
I am not a fan of chamomile tea and it’s telltale “grassy” notes, which is why I was surprised to find this particular tea in my basement stash. What was I thinking? I was probably hoping the addition of cinnamon and orange peel would make the chamomile more palatable.
Chamomile tea is an herbal infusion from dried chamomile flowers. Long-used in folk medicine, these little white “daisy-like” flowers earned bragging rights to creating calm in it’s consumer, and encouraging sleep. Other potential health benefits include reducing inflammation, lowering blood sugar levels, treating cold symptoms, settling upset stomachs, and slowing the onset of osteoporosis.
The stronger the tea, the stronger the health benefits, but as with any herbal entity, it’s best to tread lightly at first. Chamomile can be contaminated by pollen and other spores that could create allergic reactions, so never give it to children or young adults, and those with a history of severe allergies, particulary to pollen, would be wiser to avoid it completely.
Tetley’s Poise tea was a pretty golden colour. I chose not to steep the first cup very long in the hopes of minimizing the grassy flavour. Both the smell and taste reminded me of Tetley’s Antitox Tea (apple cinnamon & tumeric). While this tea is spiced with cinnamon bark and orange peel, I found the notes were grassy and earthy, with a gentle warmth at the back of the tongue. Other spices include fennel, cardamom, licorice root, and tulsi. (Pregnant women should avoid licorice root). This tea is part of their Ayurvedic Balance series.
I’m still not a convert to chamomile, but the addition of cinnamon, though very, very mild, may have helped. A little bit. But if you are a fan of chamomile, I would recommend giving it a go. Even if you aren’t bendy like me.
Speaking of grass, I’m persevering in my gardening ventures, though I possess no green thumb; it’s more a medium shade of gray. I don’t kill things outright but they have to learn to be hardy fast or they will not survive under my care. I ordered and planted herb seeds, but I appear to be growing grass in the feeder. The kind you mow. When I planted, I dropped a package and it got wet, so I threw the few remaining seeds in my big ol’ tea kettle.
They appear to be thriving!
I’ve got a way with plants. It’s a way where they turn brown and die, but it’s a way.John Wagner, Maxine
Dear Diary – My brother was responsible. He’s responsible for a lot of things. Like my fear of dark, confined spaces. I don’t remember exactly how this one came about, but it’s been a family joke for years: 23 is “OLD”. We threw my brother an “Over the Hill” party for his 23rd birthday, complete with sympathy cards and mittens with strings.
I don’t know about you, but this year is starting to feel old. We’re in our 23rd week of 2021, and while patios open tomorrow and 15 people can now attend a funeral, we still can’t get our hair cut or have a bbq with our neighbours. Which is ok with me. I spend enough waking hours listening to 5 year elephant having temper tantrums next door Quarantine got “old” a long time ago.
When we begin to merge back into society from our isolation, I just hope some of our judgmental and “me-first” attitudes will have died off and we’ll think more of others. I hope we have learned to slow down, to breathe, and to appreciate the blessings in our life, especially the people we have missed. And I hope that we learn to shower, and brush our teeth, maybe even dress in something other than our pajamas before we leave the house.
Dear Diary – I totally misread the subject line of my Michael’s flyer. It said “liquidex” but I thought it said “Mix your painting style with liquor”. That could be interesting!
Dear Diary – Tuesday was my final Intro to Comedy Writing course and “presentation” day. Some people went all out with costumes and sound effects. I sang my song, “Queen of His Latrine” for the class, but I wish I had done more. I could have borrowed a cowboy hat. I could have blackened my front teeth. I could sung it with much more of a country twang. It’s probably a one-hit wonder (and by one-hit, I mean one person laughed), but you never know. I have some ideas for church-based skits, if I can russle up some partners in crime. And as a “grad”, I’ve been invited to join a private monthly comedy gathering to share ideas. I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t leave my day job just yet, sewing facemasks and
pretending to cleaning the house, but one of these days I’ll figure out what I’m supposed to do when I grow up.
Growing up is mandatory. Growing up is optional.Walt Disney
Dear Diary – I did a push up today. Well, actually I tripped over a pair of shoes, but I had to use my arms to get back up, so close enough. Now I need chocolate.
Dear Diary – The gift I ordered for Hubby for our 25th wedding anniversary arrived today. I now know why people steal packages from the front porch…because it takes too freaking long to open the package to steal its contents!
Dear Diary – All winter we looked forward to the day when we could go out and walk, and start to lose some of this covid weight. There were some glorious evenings when we did just that. I have yoga pants that have been worn thin at the thigh to prove it! Now it’s getting hot and the covid weight is clinging to me like skin on a hot vinyl car seat. Peeling it off is going to be a long, painful process!
This week, Hubby and I pulled ourselves from our stinky couch, the one with butt impressions that hug our huge hynies so perfectly. Even though the sun was low on the horizon, the temperature was just above body temperature, so that as we perspired, the evening breeze offered no relief. It did not deter our neighbours from having a party. These daddies ducked their ducklings for an early Boys Night Out.
Only one defiantly stared at me when I took a picture so I could inform on their illegal, non-social-distanced gathering.
Farther down the street, we discovered a “private party” at another bar, as well as an unsavoury character in the shadows.
We’ve had drug dealers on our street before, but I never expected this kind of shameful behaviour in plain view. I mean, there are innocent, wide-eyed children playing soccer and riding bikes on this street. There goes the neighbourhood!
Good fences make good neighbours. Bad neighbours make good fertilizer.Unknown
Dear Diary – My weekly Michael’s flyer arrived in my inbox today. It said “Summer is here!”. Meanwhile, it’s the end of May and I’m watching it snow outside! I took a video clip of the lilacs dancing in the breeze, as large snow globs fell from the sky, but I can’t seem to post it here. I took still photos as well, but they don’t begin to capture the horror! By the time it was thick enough for a good photo, I was too depressed. How did it go from deep summer temperatures to this?!? Good thing the cars’ snow tires are still on?
Dear Diary – On Saturday I attended a Worship Conference. I bounced out of bed early, showered, and put on a fresh pair of pjs. I threw my hair in a top-knot, applied some make-up and filled the kettle all the way to the top! From 9 to 5, I sat and swilled with other musicians, pastors and technical peeps worshipping and growing together.
This last year, it seems, has been a year of feast or famine, an extreme spectrum for us all. While some have grown weary from high expectations and great challenges to connect online with their congregations & beyond, others have grown weary from inactivity, loneliness and soul-searching. Both extremes are God’s way of challenging hearts, both in terms of who He is and who we are in Him.
I know that I have wrestled with self-doubt, especially in terms of my place and purpose in my own church home, and in the greater Church. I had left my job in October of 2019 and faced 2020 as a year of personal growth. I adopted the song, “Finish Line” to inspire me to run well. I would dig deeper in the Word. I would take steps to become healthier physically. I would write. And I would see where God was leading next. None of us had any idea that “next” would become an intense time of isolation, separation and mourning. I have dug deeper in Word and that has been my source of strength and joy. I know God is moving. Even in my life, as I continue to wait to see what’s “next”.
The second speaker, Christy Nockels, singer/songwriter, talked about life on the road. She was living “the dream” but also reaching a point of complete exhaustion. She just wanted to go “home”. It was during a time of rest that she realized that her fatigue was God’s way of rescuing her. She had everything she thought she wanted, but not what she needed most: Him. She talked about how a ready heart can look like an exhausted heart, because you have come to a place where you are ready to lay it all down and rest in Him. When we live from God, instead of for God, and when we learn to love and been seen by Him, we come home. The enemy keeps us busy so we are ineffective; God offers us rest so that He can propel us forward.
She also said “God unfolds dreams bigger than our own”. That just blows my mind, and it makes my heart ache. I don’t know what my dreams are…except to say they are to follow His dreams. And perhaps that is enough.
I also joined a break-out session for women in ministry called Boldness, with Leah Andrade. What a phenomenal woman! She said this: “You are chosen by God, divinely woven together to bring change to the world with your unmatchable story” and “your fabric is woven with God’s purpose”. O Diary…my story is pretty unremarkable, but it’s exciting to know that there is so much more going on that just what I see on the surface. To be reminded that I was chosen feels like a hug around all those places inside that hurt. I can feel the rejection and the longing to be loved melting away and being replaced by a sense of belonging. I feel hope and joy, and yes, peace. Even peace to wait. Something is coming and I want to be ready to run…
And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing: make something of me. You can do it; you’ve got what it takes – but God, don’t put it off.Psalm 40:17
Dear Diary – I’m not gonna’ lie. Slipping from the softness of my bed at 6:30 Sunday morning was hard! It hurt! I wondered if it was worth it.
I had showered and laid out my clothes the night before. All I had to do was get dressed, fix my hair, apply make-up and make a large tea before heading out the door at 7:30 so I’d arrive for set-up on time. I had been asked to play with a worship team at another church. Services are still limited to 10 people so I felt comfortable in that environment. We were spread out and only 2 of us would be unmasked, and only while we were singing. I was going to get to sing and play, and not irritate anyone while doing it.
Set-up/rehearsal ran late and with 3 minutes until the start of the live service, I had to race to the restroom. I should have waited and slipped out during the sermon (sorry Pastor)! I had 20 seconds to get my in-ear monitors in. They had to be in place because, unlike the worship teams at my home church, this team played with tracks. That meant you can’t go off course or juggle your timing. You have to be precise. In addition, the only sound in the room came through the-in ear monitor…the vocals, drum, guitar and piano, which I was playing. And I was the first instrument to start with the song.
I felt like I was in a Mr. Bean skit. As the technician counted down from the back, I was scrambling to plug in my “ears”. I might have made it…had I remembered to take my face mask off first. The same thing happened at my home church 2 weeks before, as I wrestled with a face mask, 2 in-ear pieces, and a mic that clipped over one ear. I didn’t make it for the closing song, but I could hear the other musicians so I could manage. But with the only sound coming from in the in-ear, I was doomed!
I ripped the mask from my face and holding the plug by one ear, I counted. When it was time to start playing, I dropped the plug and played the first 4 bars. I could only hope that I played the correct ones! I spent the remainder of the first verse wrestling to get these things in, and praying it wasn’t all being caught on camera. I was horribly embarrassed; I’d never be able to face these people at the end of the service.
That’s when the hotflash started. It began with prickling around the back of my neck and spread into my armpits and up my face. Instead of looking like a pasty-white zombie, I was going to resemble a tomato! My hands started to shake as the back of my knees grew damp. And I wondered, what else can go wrong?
By the time we started the third song, the flush had died down. I was thankful we wouldn’t be sitting together because I was certain I no longer smelled like a rose. I allowed myself to set aside all the distractions and just worship.
As we moved into the interlude where would build toward the bridge by adding layers of complexity, our in-ear monitors went dead. I saw the lead singer stiffen and heat rising up the back of her neck. The guitarist stopped strumming. We knew the track was still playing live, and every note I was playing, but we had NOTHING! In 7 bars, the bridge would start. Would the lead singer keep going, hoping that our timing wasn’t off? Would she apologize and cite technical difficulties? Would it magically fix itself in time?
7 bars passed and I kept playing open chords. By now, the guitarist had indiscreetly turned to look at the drummer. The lead singer was madly communicating with the drummer with her eyeballs. So I glanced over too. By now, it was already past awkward. It had to be obvious to those watching that something was wrong!
But the lead singer was able to reset the track to the bridge and we had sound again. We continued on… we finished the song. The pastor prayed and introduced a short missions video. As soon as the video began, the drummer shouted “I’m so sorry”. One drumstick had gone flying (we watched it later on the video and it was hilarious) and he was preoccupied with how to discreetly pick it up. He knew he had lost the track but it wasn’t until the lead singer glanced over with fear in her eyes, that he realized he had hit the main power switch!
Needless to say, technology is great…when it works.
I picked up Tim Horton’s on the way home. I figure I deserved it after my early morning. And unlike 2 weeks ago when I treated myself to Tim’s, I got it home in one piece without spilling it and ruining my sweater! Too bad they gave me black coffee instead of black steeped tea!
I won’t be impressed with technology until it can download food.
Dear Diary – It’s been a quiet week, watching the grass grow. Or not. Every morning, with my tea cup in hand, I faithfully water in my nightie and robe. Even in the front yard. I’m just trying to add a little class to the neighbourhood.
You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
Dear Diary – It’s true. They really will televise almost everything. That, or people are so desperate for sports that they’ll watch anything. After spending Saturday of the long weekend shovelling and raking a giant bag of dirt, Hubby and I crashed in front of the television. CBS sports was broadcasting the American Cornhole League Championship. For those who don’t know, Cornhole is pretty much a backyard game of tossing a bean bag (filled with corn, hence the name) into a hole in a board, across the way. It’s one of the few sports where you can compete in leggings and flip-flops.
This particular championship was sponsored by a sausage company. Some of the spectators (yes, there were fans in the stands affirming my belief that some people are desperate for sports) had banners. They jeered. They cheered. They especially cheered when the competitor threw a “4-bagger” in their round. In cornhole terms, that means they got all 4 bean bags in the hole. In my experience, 4-bagger was the number of bags needed to go over a girl/boy’s head before you could make out because she’s soooo ugly.
Speaking of ugly, I’ve been wrestling with a song about dating during Covid. It’s loosely based on Big Guy’s experience. He was scheduled for an in-person meeting with a girl he met online the week Covid restrictions went into effect. From what I’ve heard, she’s lovely. Dating, however, is a challenge when everything is closed. Especially during Canadian winter. So while they’ve been “dating” for over a year, they haven’t actually met in person that many times.
I’m open to suggestions with my song, In too Deep:
It started with a campfire and a couple 10 mile walks
They keep 6 meters apart which makes it hard to talk
The mask makes it hard to see her face, does she have a wonky smile?
Covid measures can’t last long, he’ll see her by and by
Tucked in a yellow touque, her hair is tied up in a bun
Mittens on her fingers ready for some winter fun
Her figure resembles the Michelin man, she’s thick and round and short
Still he’s falling for this girl, he loves the way she snorts
Dating during Covid means a blind date o’er and o’er
Until the pandemic is over, he doesn’t know what’s in store
She could be buck-toothed and ugly, the reveal will be a treat
But by then, oooo, the boy’s in too deep!
The city is in lockdown, the flower store’s not open
He’s trying to woo his lady ‘cuz he’s still hopin’
That this girl he met online , well maybe she’s “the one”
He can’t wait to see her when this nightmare is done.
Restaurants are empty, there’s no picture at the show
Right now, Tim Horton’s is the only place to go
When she sees him, her eye sparkles, it might be made of glass
When she finally sees him, it might be a hard pass.
I think we’re all just trying to find that one who will simply love us for the awesome freaking disasters that we are.Unknown