Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Four Squares

It's been a busy few days, and the daily tasks pile up like the wash that is finally resting in my dryer. I've just felt so tired lately. I suppose it's just the midwinter blues, but it's really taking it's toll. The daylight is stretching out and the sunsets are getting just a little more glorious.

Tonight I was more than spent, much too tired for a Tuesday, but after supper and the laundry I had one more task.  Despite my best intentions I had fallen behind on my granny squares and those 4" by 4" blocks weighed heavy. So I set my mind to it and got lost for a while in my bag of yarn. Different colours and textures combining to make one and someday all those individuals will be joined together to form one. It's going to be beautiful, what a treat it will be to sleep under that blanket.

Although my afghan is a long ways away, finishing those four squares means I free to climb under the covers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Yes I can.

They say that the lesson we need to be learning is right in front of us. Something has been circling me and I know the lesson is there, but I can't seem to learn it. It's been an ongoing problem, one I struggle with just about everyday. It's draining. I love my job, I love my bosses, it's a great gig. Except for one thing.

There are twelve employees at my work place and ten of us are women. We range in age from 19 to mid - seventies, an eclectic mix. For all our differences, one stands out the loudest to me. It's a phrase I hear every day from at least one of them, "I can't".

It comes up again and again, about the simplest things. I can't do that. I can't use that. 

An arbitrary "I can't".

An unwillingness to learn, or to even try.

And worse than the "I can't"s is the "I won't"s. The bitter refusal of the smallest requests. 

But here's the rub, I know that I used to be that person! I see my old self in them so clearly, but now I am here in a different mindset. I've come a long way. I try to be patient. I've even tried some pep talks - they were ill received, by the way. So what can I do? I try to stay above the fray. It's hard, sometimes I get sucked down into their crab pot, but for the most part I try to model by example. I've been there, I've felt that blind anger and frustration. I don't know what will awaken them.

The other night my husband and I were watching The Last Waltz and these lyrics really resonated with me...

"Standing next to me in this lonely crowd
Is a man who swears he’s not to blame
All day long I hear him shout so loud
Crying out that he was framed.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released."

Sunday, January 08, 2017

My Buddy, the crow

In the morning when I hear him caw, I stop what I'm doing to offer him food. It's an interesting bond I've got with this crow. I've long ago stopped caring about what the neighbours think when they see me in my pink robe tossing food out and calling "Hey Buddy! Hey Buddy?"

Today it was a handful of cat food tossed on the snow pile. Yesterday there were some peanuts mixed in with the kibble. I was curious which he preferred, but he gobbled both up happily. My Buddy usually calls his friend to come and join him. I call this crow, Buddy's buddy - or BB for short. BB is the shyer of the two; he is more likely to fly away to the safety of the birch when startled. Buddy is a brave bird and will even strut around my yard while I'm on the front steps.

I've been cultivating this friendship with the crows for about a year now. There used to be three birds, one of whom was a fledgling. I think that Buddy was that fledgling and has grown up with me feeding him. It makes my heart soar when I call for him and he shows up moments later. I tell him that he is a pretty bird, a smart bird and a brave bird. I'm hoping he will bring his offspring to my yard this spring, what a treat that will be.

Thursday, January 05, 2017


The days are getting longer, and it's finally becoming noticeable. At 5:30 the sky still glowed deep blue as Venus winked good evening through my kitchen window. The dark days of December are behind us, only to be replaced by January's arctic blast. Once we get through this deep freeze I can start the cottage countdown.

I'm not quite done with winter yet, there's plenty of outdoor things I'm wanting to do - ice fishing, snowmobiling and some long walks on the river trail. When you live this far north you better find some activities to keep you busy during the winter. I haven't done much snowmobiling, but I'm eager to try. I like the idea of being out in the woods, whisking down a moonlit path to a waiting bonfire - loud snow machines be dammed.

I don't spend enough time outside in winter, not as much as my soul prefers. It's hard to do when Winnipeg is colder than the North Pole. No wonder I'm going to be counting down the days until cottage season begins...

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Afghan progress, day three.

I like the way my granny square project is shaping up. I have a large drawer full of bits and pieces of yarn, most of them rolled neatly, all leftovers from projects gone by. If you're an avid crocheter/knitter it's a handy stash to have, you never know when you might need just a smidge of pink, or a bit of blue. The problem is that your stash of scraps is always expanding. So when the idea of a square a day was presented to me, I seized it. Granny squares can use up even the smallest of scraps.

Today I decided to bring up all my little balls of yarn and put them into one of my folding craft bags. The plan is to reach into the bag and choose a ball of yarn 'blindly'. Yesterday I caught myself postponing crocheting my square because I wanted a particular colour that was in the basement. Choosing the colour randomly eliminates that avenue of procrastination. As an added bonus, I've already caught myself reminiscing about the scraps. I remember the pink was leftover from a baby blanket I made for a friend, over six years ago! How time flies, but that yarn brings me right back to baby Violet. As I reached in for the third time I wondered what colour would be next, the anticipation adding a bit of fun. Sorry to say I could have gone without the clashing blue that followed, but such is life. Some memories, some mysteries and some misses.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Obligatory New Year's Day post

I spent  my new year's day doing things that I hope will set the tone for the entire year.
We went and visited some friends and family we weren't able to see during the holidays.
I learned a new crochet stitch and started a small project project for myself. It's a scarf I'm rather excited about...
I set a long term goal that will accomplish a few things for me. I'm going to crochet one granny square every day, so I can finally make that afghan I've been lusting over for years. This will also allow me to work through my stash of yarn, something I've been working towards for the past year. And I'm hoping it will feel good to have a small accomplishment every day.

None of these things are anything extraordinary. But they highlight some important intentions for me. Kindness, learning and goal completion.

And of course there's the fact that I wrote today. Actually wrote, instead of just thinking about it. I haven't written in months, for a variety of reasons. I made multiple promises to myself that I would hope back on the blogging wagon and I kept none of them. C'est la guerre.

I don't know why it's so hard for me to do this consistently. I can't pinpoint my inner resistance, but I can keep trying to figure it out. I'm determined to make this the best year yet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The voice

I dreamt that I was writing. The words just flowed freely and it felt so natural. I've thought of this often today and made many attempts to compose my thoughts, but something always got in the way. A hungry husband, a dryer buzzing, or a hat needing to be crocheted - they all take priority over some quiet time for me to put my words on (virtual) paper.

It happens every day, day after day. There is always time for so many things, but never writing. Plenty of time to surf Facebook and drink tea, but none for more creative pursuits. I know I have to change my habits, stop thinking about it and start doing it.

But the little voice persists. The voice of doubt, of fear, of apprehension. I have to be stronger than that voice.