a goldmine of… spirit

23 December 2009

Today I’m back on the shuttle for one more time to the mall near my office for my Christmas “wine run.” I figure the LCBO will be MUCH more tolerable at lunchtime today than it will be tonight or on Christmas Eve when the line-ups at the cash registers trail to the back of the store.

When I get on the bus, the same “Christmas spirit” people who I eavesdropped on yesterday are talking again, and the woman is saying that she’s back to the mall to buy her own Christmas present because it makes her husband “too stressed out” to buy her one himself.

Maybe, as she said yesterday, she should just wait and buy herself a sweater she doesn’t want after Christmas at the end of the Boxing Day sales because it would be simpler for her and she’d get a better deal on it.

Okay, I’m being a little snarky.  But read on.

Then one of her shopping pals says she wants to buy the DVD version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and that it was on sale somewhere.

“Is that a Christmas movie?” asks the fella.

“Oh you must mean “Wonderful World” says our gal.


“No, I think it’s called ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’” says her friend.

“There is no such movie called ‘It’s a Wonderful Life!’” says our champion of Christmas spirit. “Is there?” to me when I turn around in my seat, unable to contain my annoyance at her saying one of my very favourite movies doesn’t exist. (Snarkiness justified – right? Right?)

“It’s a Disney movie, isn’t it?” (Oh man, don’t get me started.  See?  SEE?)

“No. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is its name. It’s not a Disney movie. It is a great old holiday favourite from the 1940s starring Jimmy Stewart, and…” (to the friend) “…I hope you buy it. You’ll love it. It’s a story that reminds us about the meaning of Christmas spirit.”


Overheard on the complimentary shuttle from my office building to a mall at lunch today – two people discussing their desire to sustain the joy of the Christmas spirit and keep things simple:

Him:  “Yeah, like that Boxing Day shopping craziness – I don’t do that.”

Her:  “Really.  What people don’t realise is you get the sales all week – it’s Boxing Week!  You can avoid the crowds and shop a few days later.  You might not get the sweater you want, but you’ll get a good deal.”

Er… is that called good Capitalist Christmas spirit?

quoting julie quoting dad

27 November 2009

Jen, texting Cathy from a 7 am train to Montreal:

“That lake is as still as pee on a plate.”

Cathy, texting Jen from an airport taxi enroute to catch flight to Montreal:

“This morning was as black as the inside of a cow.”

books project diversion 2

20 November 2009

So, I’m ankle deep in books, trying to find one particular book.  I didn’t find it, but in the search process I found my stash of old diaries.  Really old ones.  Girl/Teenager diaries.

So in lieu of sharing the book I was looking for, I’ll share my very first diary ever.  Since I’m always blathering on about the power of journalling, and how meaningful and revealing and life-changing diaries can be, I can herewith attest to journalling since I was nine.  

And now, public for the first time is my first known diary entry.  At nine years old I could never have dreamed of a technology such as this, with which I would come to share this deep and thoughtful musing with the world – or something that has come to be known as the blogosphere.


Now get ready for it.  When you have a few minutes, relax and make a cup of tea.  Sit down and prepare yourself to be transported to the deep and soulful mind of a nine year old girl on January 1st, 1971. 




You may want to take notes.


Got your ‘cuppa?’


Okay.  [Deep breath]…

(I think my “voice” has got a little less concise, but I can work on that.)


get out and run like hell

4 September 2009

There is a daycare centre in the complex of office buildings where I work.  The complex of buildings sits within a neighbourhood of office buildings on the north-east end of the city adjacent to hwy 401 and the Don Valley Parkway.  Today I’m taking a little walk around this sea of concrete, absorbing a just a little bit of the gorgeous day. 

When I walk by the daycare, all the little kids are outside playing.  There is one little girl, about two, by herself at the outside fence attempting to climb it.  She keeps reaching for the fence links above her head and trying to pull herself up; but alas her little muscles aren’t quite strong enough yet.  Her face is scrunched up in determination, and she keeps trying. 

I think of the two of us dreaming of escape from this office-y world with its fluorescent lights and neutral carpets and in my mind I cheer her on: “C’mon go kid!  Try harder!  Get out and run like hell as fast as you can!”

Well, except for the two-year old part and her not being able to fend for herself beyond that fence yet part.  But you know what I mean.

I’m poking around in the freezer thinking I might have a piece of a baguette in there.  When it becomes apparent that I don’t, I close the door wondering, “What am I going to put the butter on?”

I haven’t bought peanut butter in a long time.  I was reminded of such recently when my sister Jane stayed over for a night, and couldn’t find any peanut butter (or anything else really) to put on her english muffin next morning. My cupboards are spare.  When you live alone, and aren’t feeding kids anymore, you buy what you need.  You don’t buy things in case someone might want them.  You buy the things that will be put together to create your meals and that’s that.

It’s not that I was avoiding peanut butter or anything.  For most of my adult life, it was the warm melty goodness on a sunday morning’s piece of toast that went back to bed with me and a cup of hot coffee and CBC radio and whatever book or newspaper or letter was getting my attention that particular weekend. 

I think the biggest reason I stopped buying peanut butter was because I got rid of my car.  Since I don’t drive anymore, there have been changes to the way I do lots of things, like stopping at the grocery store.  These days I don’t buy to fill the pantry – I buy what I can carry home.  And for the past six months or so, peanut butter hasn’t had a place in the grocery bags I am forever schlepping around.  I guess peanut butter hasn’t been as “schlep-worthy” as other stuff.  It might have been on the grocery list – in fact I’d say it WAS on the list at least five times, but it got superceded by the can of tomatoes or bottle of olive oil which I realised I needed at the last minute, and which I needed more than peanut butter.  When you’re walking home from the grocery store, distributing weight in the bags becomes a priority, and and in my little walking home world, it was peanut butter that took the hit.  

So, as it happened yesterday, peanut butter finds its way into one of the grocery bags, and back to my cupboard for the first time in many months. And tonight after doing dishes, I open the jar and peel back the sealed foil and stick a spoon in and have a little hunk of the stuff.  And I tell you, it is a little spoonful of happy, glorious salty peanuty heaven. There is no piece of Sunday toast that will ever taste as good as that first little spoonful after many months of not schlepping it home because there were other things I “needed” more. 

(Even so… me and peanut butter have a date this Sunday morning with my bathrobe and a cup of coffee and Michael Enright and a good book and a piece of toast.)