Sunday, August 26, 2007

Little sister's bachelorette

One of our society's lewdest and most distasteful constructs has been that of the bachelor or bachelorette party. Such occasions are nearly unheard of in church circles, simply because they are typically the most wordly and disgusting affairs involving all sorts of inproprieties. And these are meant to be the gateway to the following day's marriage! Over the past 5 years we christian gals decided to take posession of this tradition and put some good back into it.

The day always fits the girl. For Elaine, our drama student, the evening was spent doing a scavenger hunt in which she was made to sing and perform embarassing little diddies for signatures. For Faye, all jazz and sophistication, we took her to a jazz bar and ate fancy food as we listened to live music. For Kate, there was no way around it, it had to be about beavers...

Let me explain. For inexplicable reasons, my quirky sister loves the tail-slapping, bark- chewing animal, and has for as long as I can remember. So, as her sister, I felt compelled to make a joke out of this, and exploit it for all it was worth, making it a beaver themed event. One thing I knew for sure is that we were going to Montreal. It is a very beaver friendly city. The list of possible activities for the day included:

  • Buying, and forcing Kate to wear a beaver skin hat, (not a real fur hat. That's cruel.)
  • Picnicking around Beaver Lake on Mount Royal.
  • Stopping for a treat at a Beaver Tail shack.
  • Playing spot the most Roots logos
  • Dining at the 5 star rstaurant; Beaver Club at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

Two moves, and one pregnancy later this list was whitled down significantly. I just didn't have the energy or mental faculties to make it all happen. Some things were taken out of my hands. The Beaver Club turned out to be for full dining only, making it extremely cost prohibitive at $100 per head! And I could not seem to get my hands on a silly beaver hat. Why ever not? Aren't they the height of fashion nowadays?

The day turned out wonderfully, no matter how much beaver was taken out of it.

We all met at Kate's house on Friday night for a baking party. She is making her own guest favours, and really needed extra hands to help. A few of us decided to stay the night .By 8:30 a.m. eight girls were piled into two cars and heading to Montreal for the day. I had a bag full of fresh, warm Montreal-style bagels and a cooler full of cream cheesess, fruit and cold-cuts waiting in the trunk. We headed straight for Beaver Lake, getting lost in a beautiful cemetery at the top of the Mountain. It was so beautiful infact, that we briefly considered picnicking there, before our consciences began to bug us concerning the propriety of eating and giggling beside the graves of people we didn't know while their relatives were somberly bringing them flowers...
Beaver Lake. . . good food, chilly weather, lots of seagulls. Leave it to Meghan to entertain. She spent a good part of the time chasing away the impossible birds with big sticks.

We made our way to an 18th Centruy Festival in Old Montreal. Weavers, potters, soldiers, midwives, cobblers... Each stall exhibited and explained more about the life back in those days, making us most relieved to be living in the present day.
Our final destination; Jardin Nelson. A highly rated creperie which, had we not showed up when we did, would have no longer been an option for us. We made it into the place seconds before a mob of hungry people qeued up behind us, and the line up only grew as we ate until it wrapped around the buiilding.
What a beautiful place. An inner courtyard dripping with trees and hanging baskets. These great canopies were stretched up over our heads creating a really wonderful effect. And a live jazz band played on a platform to the left of us while we ate. And the crepes... Stuffed full of good things. Some of the girls even managed to fit a dessert crepe into them afterwards called Death by Chocolate.
Being reasonable girls, older and wiser, we didn't linger in the city any longer than we should, and made it home for bedtime. It was a day of moderation. No big spending. No over-the-top silliness. No over-scheduling. And yet it was fun. An important thing to learn, as I have been known to hold more to the go big or go home line of thinking. It says a lot about the company Kate and I keep that we enjoyed ourselves as much as we did within such moderate parameters. Them's some mighty fine ladies.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


We were given this bathroom set for free! Colin worked for a home reno company at the time, and this was taken from a showroom. It works well against the chocolate brown walls.

Doesn't look anywhere near ready, but it's SOMETHING. The island will be faced in dark wood with dark drawers. The counter will be butcher block. Aidan's going to raise the whole island up a foot so there will be less bending over. The plywood walls are going to be covered in brick. It's been my biggest challenge to find the right stuff though.

My nice BIG farmhouse sink.

Gold eating nook.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


My heart is well again. Thank you all for reminders and encouragements and love. Perhaps the installation of a flushing toilet helped tug me out it a little--yeah! Truly, it was simply time and prayer. The weekend passed and my sight has cleared. I feel surges of love for my children, and renewed resolve to finish this race, so to speak. I have finally embraced my paint colours. This comes as such a relief, as I spent a few agonizing days cursing my prego brain for the choices I made. This too, however, has run it's course. I have since accepted that I probably would have found fault with anything during those dark days. Now my I-can-work-with-it attitude has taken possession of me once more. And, yes, I will post pictures soon of the walls, so you too, can make judgments on my judgment. Be gentle.

The guys have been tiling and attaching light fixtures. The bathrooms should be usable soon. I hope the kitchen is firmly on their radar. I'm done with nagging. My greatest challenge at the moment is my heightened sense of smell. The loft, into which we have long ago been scheduled to move into, repulses me. It is as cozy as can me, yes, but it smells! The paint fumes have a stronghold and don't seem to be moving on. I can't even go near the doorway. My prayers are now focused upon my senses. May they settle into normalcy soon, or I will remain the drag factor to this whole operation. The one that's slowing us all up. And there isn't much time left for me to lag behind. I have a little girl heading to school in just over a week. . .

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tantrum & Sunshine

There is nothing less dignified, less admirable, less ridiculously self-indulgent than an adult throwing a tantrum. And yet I am on the verge of throwing one. I feel the tension coiling in my chest. Sense the pressure mounting and the tears moving upwards in a ball of woe, remaining lodged somewhere in the vacinity of my heart and coming no further because I am willing it not to. Of course I would love to give it all free reign. Just press the inner release button and send all of that mess spewing upwards and outwards at the world. Time and experience tell me that it would feel good. Really good. But time and experience also tell me that it wouldn't last. And that ancient companions Shame and Embarrassment always follow swiftly on the tail of such violent releases.


This is all the cumulative result of a long affair between me and this house. I just don't want to do this anymore. This relationship has grown stale. I was told it would, but refused to accept it as truth. The running commentary in my head is picking up the pace. Becoming more frenzied and less coherent. More panicked while far less willing to listen to reason:

Don't make me get up this morning. Don't make me cram my kids into our digusting car, filled with takeout debree and used baby wipes. Don't make me drive for 30 minutes to our perpetually UNFINISHED house only to make hard decisions that I no longer have the heart to make. Don't make me drive back and forth, back and forth, between here and somewhere collecting building materials I have never heard of from nice men who have seen my face three times already today and who find me no more competent with each return visit. Don't make me have to cook dinner when I get home from a day of this. A dinner I can't even stomach. Don't make me try and be civil, let alone loving and Christ-like to my family and friends when I just want to yell at them and swipe at them with nasty remarks. Don't make me try and rest when all I do is lie in bed tossing and turning all night because of the baby growing within me, or the unpleasant thoughts growing within me aswell. And please snuff out this conviction in my breast. The one that tells me that I MUST do all of these things. That I must do them with grace, and be a good wife and mother at the same time. This tenacious conviction makes things so much harder. . .

Who am I even talking to? God? Myself? Aidan? Who have I decided is making me do anything? Why have I decided to script this is a highjacking at gunpoint?

It's because I like to play the victim. To mentally lie down and curl up into the fetal position when things get too hard, rather than, as someone I know so often puts it; "suckin' it up, sunshine." Rather than clothing myself in integrity, smiling and enduring unto the end, I reduce myself to a whiny weakling, snivelling about my circumstances. I despise this trait and yet find myself retreating into it far too comfortably lately. And the internal fist-shaking is just an extra chink in the cop-out chain. It is directed at all of the above: God. Myself. My loved ones. And it takes up residence in my thought life simply because blame is just too darn easy.

Phew. I feel like I just frisked my head. Give it up. What else have you got in there? Hand it over. Let's have a look see? Leave it to "pen and paper" to reflect the content of your head back into your eyes. I've looked at it now. So have you. It's not pretty. Time to buck up. Stand up. Suck it up . . . sunshine.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Moving Day

What a horrible day it was. Moving days are the epitomy of disorder, and having my personals disorderly made me very unhappy. I had begun so well. I took great care to pack thoughtfully, placing things with like things. But as the day came upon us I had to throw my hands up and start stuffing whatever wherever.
Another unhappy aspect of moving is the inevitable damage done to the things you care about. I have already found one lamp with it's "neck" broken severely. It had been burdened severly by a bag full of shoes. I am not eager to discover the other casualties.
But, it is done. We are out, and have moved on. It feels good, like pulling one's self up over the rim of a deep long rutt.

Loft living

When I return from my trip down to Georgia, this will be home. We will not be able to move into the big house at that point, so loft living it shall be. At the moment things are messy, but I will have them in order as soon as I'm back. For the sake of my mental health, it will be imperative that I do so.

Aidan is now working out of the loft full time again. He can't take any more time off. The challenge will be to mother in the same 500 square foot space as my husband is working. . .

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Chocolate mess

While I was in the middle of frenzied packing, barely able to keep an eye on the doings of my little people, one crept in under the radar and upended the entire contents of a super-sized container of Nestle Quick chocolate sauce. It made a lake in the kitchen, and then a trail to the tub as the culprit scooted through it on his behind.

I spent an hour scrubbing and sobbing . . . and praying. And have concluded that it was a refreshing break from the mundane.


Not much to show inside yet. So here are some photos of our beautiful porches.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Schedule & Relevant Info

Two week schedule:

Today-Tomorrow-- (a.m.) Packing like crazy. (p.m.) PAINTING
Saturday-- (a.m.) Moving out. (p.m.) PAINTING
Saturday 4th- Tuesday 14th-- Living in town at some friends.' (Every single p.m.) PAINTING
{Thurs 9th-Monday 13th-- I'm abandoning my family for a wedding in Tennessee.}
Tuesday 14th-- Moving into our new house. Ready or Not!

Relevant Info:

Mailing Address:

3496 John Shaw Rd.
R.R. 2
Kinburn, Ontario
K0A 2H0

Loft Phone: (Maybe we'll hear it, maybe we won't)

Best means of getting in touch:
Aidan's Cell or Mine.
Our old phone number is currently forwarded to our cell.