Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ode to Coffee

Oh, how I love my coffee, it’s such a treat
It makes me tingle from my head to my feet,
Flavoured coffee just makes my day
Hazelnut is a fave, what can I say?

Percolator, Keurig, French Press, or Drip?
Or how about a Starbucks trip?
Starbucks is my favourite spot
I like to go there quite a lot,

None of that Tim Horton’s Crap will do
I’m a Starbucks lover through and through,
A tall bold hazelnut will do the trick
I like to guzzle it down real quick,

The Baristas know me, it’s my favourite haunt
Before I even order, they know what I want,
I sit there and write my latest tale
Sipping my coffee and checking e-mail,

Won’t you join me at Starbucks for a cup or two?
I’ll be saving a table just for you!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Stories Without Words

I listen to “Histoires Sans Paroles” (Stories Without Words) by the Quebecois group Harmonium and I am instantly a young woman in my twenties, back in the 1980s in Montreal.

I am walking in the freezing cold. I don’t know why I remember the winters more vividly than the summers. Maybe they were harder to endure and I have more memories about them. Montreal had incredibly cold and snowy winters with wind funneling around the tall buildings ready to pounce on you when you least expected it.

As I listen to the music, time melts away and I can see myself trudging uphill to my Stanley Street basement apartment just above Sherbrooke Street. My apartment is in a glorious old brownstone house and used to be the servants’ quarters long ago in the days when the horse drawn carriages passed by. It’s dark and dingy and smells mildewy, but it’s home.  Ornate wrought iron bars cover the tiny window, the only source of light, except for a small basement window in the kitchen.

Upstairs lives Madame Bouvier, a funny toothless lady from France who can’t speak any English. It’s great for me to have someone to speak French with as it’s my goal to become bilingual. So often people instantly change to English when they hear my accent. I can’t help but take it personally as if my French isn’t good enough, but they are just trying to make it easier for me.

My bratty Abyssinian black and white cat Sabre ricochets off the walls when I come in. He doesn’t care for small apartment living and is extremely rambunctious, keeping me up at night and being a total pain in the butt. Out of sheer frustration, I finally let him outside and he climbs the tree, jumps on the roof and wanders down Stanley Street. It’s amazing he doesn’t get flattened by the steady stream of traffic.

Madame Bouvier’s cry of “Catee, le chat! Catee, le chat!” (Cathy, the cat!) is a common sound that blends in with the city sounds of honking horns, squealing sirens and the constant din of cars going by.

I love the way this piece of music starts with the gentle sound of the waves and then the flute solo comes in. I used to like playing flute along with the recording.

There is something very dreamy and repetitive about this music which reminds me of time passing and seasons changing. It makes me think of transitions and that feeling of timelessness when time slows down and doesn’t seem to be moving forward, even when it is.

Maybe the music reflects how I felt at the time with my transition from student to working person with its constant stops and starts as I struggled to find my way in the world.

It wasn’t an easy time making the transition to adulthood, but it was a time of great growth and self discovery and Harmonium’s “Histoire Sans Paroles” was a big part of that time. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Deciduous Daydreams

Scarlet, yellow and orange leaves,
Brash, blazing and brilliant against a blue sky,
Showing off in front of the evergreens.

A gust of wind and the leaves flutter to the ground,
The tree branches shiver, embarrassed in their nakedness,
Longing for snow to cover them.

The evergreens just laugh.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Happy Surprise

Don’t you love a happy surprise that happens when you least expect it? That’s what happened to me yesterday when I took the photo of this great blue heron basking in the sun with the ducks.

For one thing, I was in the city near a shopping centre and busy roads. Usually when I come to this pond there are only ducks there. 

I never expected to see even one heron and I saw two, the great blue heron 

and a green heron.

I got home and downloaded the photos from my camera to the computer. Imagine my surprise when I looked more carefully at the photo and noticed a turtle basking right next to the blue heron.

When I was taking the photo, my focus had been on the blue heron and I hadn't even seen that turtle. I was delighted!

How many times have you had expectations about an experience and it turned out completely differently, but in a good way? You run into someone you lost touch with and have a wonderful visit. You lose out on a job but then something better comes up. 

When a happy surprise occurs, I embrace and celebrate it, seeing it as something quite magical and mysterious. I’m so happy to have this photo to relive that special moment again and again. What a lovely day it was! It was the kind of autumn day when the sunshine was so warm and welcoming that all these wild creatures came together so peacefully to sunbathe at the pond. They didn't seem afraid of each other at all and were quite relaxed. If only people could be that relaxed with each other.

Have you had an experience where you had a happy surprise and it turned out even better than you anticipated? I’d love to hear about it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ten Years Later...

I can tell Kobie likes this post. Thanks, Kobe. I need all the help I can get!

Ten years ago today I got laid off my full time desktop publishing job at the Auditor General. I was quite upset at the time as I'd thought I was set there until retirement in 2019 but I was laid off a day before they would have had to make me permanent.

I was afraid of what the future held. How would we manage? I worried about getting another job. It was a time of fear, self-doubt and self-discovery. 

Luckily the fear and self-doubt have subsided somewhat, but the self discovery continues and is an ever evolving and exciting process.

I decided to take some time to do creative pursuits, spend more quality time with family and give back to the community. 

Ten years later, I am still doing this and having a wonderful time.

Of course I had to write a poem about it as that's how I express myself best. 

Narcissistic Cat strikes again! ;)

I got laid off ten years ago today
I can’t help reflecting on this special day,
I have done a lot in the past ten years
Trying new things and fighting my fears,

After the layoff I floundered about
Full of fear and lots of self doubt,
I fought the guilt and found joy instead
Choosing gratitude over dread,

I helped with drama and helped kids read
I drove kids to sports when there was a need,
I published some stories and even a play
I still try to blog something new every day,

I joined a choir and a band
To lose myself in Music land,
Music is such a wonderful thing
The way it spreads joy and makes my soul sing,

I got to meet some Internet pals
All of them are wonderful gals,
I had my eyes lasered and lost some weight
I can honestly say I’m feeling great,

Ten years of my life are gone for good
I’d do it all over again if I could,
To my family members and my peers,
Thanks for all the support these past ten years!

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's all about ME, ME, ME!

It’s all about ME, ME, ME!
Come to Facebook and you’ll see,
Loads of photos in all their glory
Some of them look pretty gory (Such as this selfie below!)

I love to share my every thought
From what I ate to what I bought,
To how I feel and what I think
It’s driving all my friends to drink

My cats are the cutest, don’t you agree?
Especially my famous cat, KoBEE,
He is the most adorable cat ever
Everything he does is cute and clever,

I love to post statuses, day and night
Giving Mark Zuckerberg such a fright,
I post any time and in any place
Eating up Facebook’s data space,

I like to Facebook til I drop
Mark keeps pleading for me to stop,
I can’t stop Facebooking, can’t you see?

My Facebook is all about me, me, me!

I am writing this post for Write Tribe's Wednesday prompt of I, Me and Myself.

Special thanks to Shilpa Garg whose post about narcissistic types on the Internet inspired this crazy poem. 

Loved your post, Shilpa. Check it out, everyone! It's great!

Much appreciated, Shilpa!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Higgledy Piggledy

Higgledy Piggledy is such a great word
It bounces off the tongue and sounds absurd,
In a jumbled, confused, or disorderly way
Sounds like how I spend my day,

Dust bunnies dance and have a ball
Doing handstands down the hall,
Clutter builds up by the door
Covering every inch of floor,

Dirty dishes and laundry fight for space
You’d think that they were in a race,
Around here Higgledy Piggledy rules supreme
Look at me, I’m livin' the dream!