Wednesday, 30 May 2012

We Haz Bloomz!

Last Thursday afternoon on my way to a work-related presentation, I happened to walk down a street that is not usually included in my regular travels.  It was a blossomly lovely experience!  So I felt obligated to share ...
What a delicious fragrance!

pls ignore date stamp ...
i haz a mental block against
remembering to change it
when i recharge the camera's battery ...

Oh so pretty!

I don't like the smell of lilacs,
but the new blossom clusters are such a nice colour!

A few trees in blossom is probably no big news to folks in other parts of the world, but it is exciting to me ... only a week had passed since our last snow showers!  Here in "the north" (which is really the geographical centre of the province of BC, not the FAR north), it feels like spring/summer will NEVER get here, then you blink once and IT ALREADY ARRIVED!

Over the weekend, I also found blossomly loveliness in a few other places around and about my own neighbourhood ...
This tree (my apartment building is behind)
isn't the nicest shaped specimen ...
it was run over by a truck two years ago ...
poor thing ...
but the blossoms are SO PINK!

They look so nice ... a long row of them
right down the middle of the street!

These poor beauties are drooping
from the effects of an unexpected rain storm ...
So was I ... I got caught several blocks away from home
and without a sweater or jacket!

I have no idea what this prickly little bush is ...
but the blooms are interesting!

Real good crop of these indestructible beauties!
(They're going to populate the earth
along with cockroaches and earwigs
after the nuclear holocaust ...)
My Dad used to batter and deep fry the blooms ...
We also ate the new greens in salad ...
double yummy!

There is a short cut that I often take on my way home which runs behind two churches, across a green belt, and comes out right beside my apartment building.  Here is the entrance to that short cut path ...
It was about 8:45-ish in the evening when I snapped the picture above.  There was a big steaming pile of VERY fresh bear poop at the other end of this path ... I didn't hang around to take a picture of THAT!  Didn't see the bear that left the "deposit", but guess I'll stay away from this short cut on any early morning / late evening walks now!  Foolish of me to walk there at that hour ... I knew there had been a bear in the neighbourhood just a few days earlier.  Mizz Bootz was quite excited to see it from our balcony!  She spent an hour racing between our bedroom window and our balcony door trying to see it again after it disappeared, and was "chattering" and gnashing her teeth like a deranged Siamese cat all the while!

Here is the cross-stitch picture of the winged lion I have been working on.  Now that I've "de-stressed" myself, I'm finding it hard to focus on this project!  I know ... totally weird ... I can focus on counted cross stitch when I'm over-tired and over-stressed, but not when I'm relaxed and healthy!

This past week has been graduation/convocation time for a variety of people in my work and personal life.  I was delighted to attend one of the ceremonies at UNBC as "rent-a-mom" for one of this year's graduates.  Being back around the academic community makes me wish I was a university student again.  Maybe I will be ... I haven't totally abandoned ideas of completing my Master's degree ... but for now, I'm enjoying a non-academic Aromatherapy program (in my spare time).

Do you have a "bucket list"?  My list of things I want to do/learn/experience before I die is SO LONG that I'm either going to run out of lifetime or have to live to 120+ to accomplish everything!  I think I should retire soon so I can devote more time to my bucket list!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Fish Sticks and Counted Cross-Stitch

I had a weird experience last week.  I had a 'fish sticks' moment.  I don't quite understand it ... so perhaps you can help me?  Let me explain ...

The last three weeks (well, all year, but especially the last three weeks) have been extra long and busy at work.  On the May 5 / 6 weekend, I facilitated a 'Retreat and Refresh' weekend for some of our volunteers (senior peer counsellors) ... which I really enjoyed preparing for and doing, BUT it was two very full and mentally-intense days on top of three long weeks without a proper weekend break in sight.  I was so tired by the end of that Sunday, I couldn't sleep.  The little hamster in my head just kept running and running on its little wheel ... all the while screaming 'I need to sleep!  I need to sleep!'.  This is not normally a problem for me.  It has been said (by insomniac partners) that I could easily be sold with a 100% guarantee for my ability to sleep on demand.  Did you know it starts to get light outside around 4 am now?  No, I didn't wake up early ... I WAS STILL AWAKE!

Consequently, Monday May 7, I was seriously dragging and even contemplated 'pulling a sicky' ... but had yet another busy week ahead, so went to work as usual.  By 2 pm that day, I suddenly realized I could see and hear people talking to me, but their words were not making sense.  I suspect I wasn't making sense myself at that point.  We lock up our office at 3 pm (although that is 3 or 4 hours away from my usual day's end), so I decided to pack it in and go home early.  My receptionist offered to give me a ride home, but Mondays after work are my usual grocery shopping time.  I debated on whether to stop at the grocery store ... needed necessities like cat food and toilet paper ... or just go straight home.  And I truly couldn't decide!  My brain was totally incapable of making such a decision at that time!

So my (wise and kind) receptionist made the decision for me, packed me into her car, and drove me to the grocery store where I promised to pick up the small handful of important things that couldn't wait and then catch the #55 bus home.  Which I did.  Once home, I put away my groceries, fed the cat, and thought to myself, 'I'll have fish sticks for dinner tonight'.  So I put the frying pan on and looked in the fridge and then in the fridge's freezer for the fish sticks.

No fish sticks.

I had no recollection of buying fish sticks.

Which ... if I had been able to think about it ... was not really a surprise because I NEVER BUY FISH STICKS!!!  Sometimes I make my own fish cakes, but I do not buy nor do I eat prepared/frozen fish sticks.  I can't even remember the last time I ate fish sticks ... probably childhood.  My partner used to say they were made with fish factory floor sweepings ... not a very appetizing concept.  I often remember him saying that when I walk past the frozen fish in the frozen foods section at the grocery store.

Anyway, there I was, looking for fish sticks cuz I had it in my head that I was going to have them for supper.  I could not shake the idea, and since I couldn't reconcile that idea with the apparent lack of fish sticks, I found myself so frustrated that I started to cry.  And when I realized I was crying over non-existent fish sticks, turned off the frying pan and went to bed.

Over-tired?  Exhausted?  Yup.  But WHERE DID THE FISH STICKS IDEA COME FROM?????

I still didn't sleep well that night, but managed to sleep over 12 uninterrupted hours the next night, made it through the rest of my workweek, and enjoyed a lazy 3 day weekend last weekend.  And now I have a 4 day weekend ahead of me. 

I'll be fine now.  I promise!

I should have been crocheting last weekend as I have an outstanding order for a crocheted bunny, but I had a serious urge to do some counted cross-stitch.  It's hard for me to do counted cross-stitch ... it's an eyesight thing.  Or rather, the LACK OF good eyesight thing.  I need really good light and lots of concentration, and even at that, I'm largely stitching by feel ... thank goodness Aida cloth has all those nice little holes you can actually feel with the tip of your sewing needle!  You wouldn't think it's a good thing to take on when my brain was clearly suffering overloadimminentshutdown, but I find counted cross-stitch the exact opposite.  Focusing on making all those tiny little stitches neat and orderly is actually RELAXING!  Why do you suppose that is???

The cross-stitch project is a 'Winged Lion' adapted from the ancient Book of Kells and in a needlepoint pattern in the book 'CELTIC NEEDLEPOINT' by Alice Starmore.  (I'm a BIG fan of Alice Starmore!)  I'd share a picture, but Blogger is being a Bitch at the moment and I don't have the patience to make it play nice today!  Sorry.

So ... am I weird????

Have a great long weekend, all you Canadians!  (Sorry, all you Americans, you'll have to wait another week.)

PS:  I just looked out my window, and IT'S SNOWING!!!  I love the North!