Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where I'm From

This excercise has been haunting my dreams ever since I read Jett Superior's stellar version a while back. When I stumbled across Schmutzie's this moning, I knew it was time.

So here's mine.

I am from bikes, from Burton, and from so. much. sky.

I am from windraked grass and jutting limestone and soft, flaky shale and clay valleys slaking away into a wide calm river. I am from Chinook arches and a big wind that blows life and death over the foothills onto the Prairie.

I am from raucous family reunions and stolid practicality, from Hildebjorgs and Kvellos and McKenzies.

I am from the storm and the calm. From Wind'll Change and Your Face Will Stay That Way; from Books Are Awesome.

I am from the CathoLutherProdeUniWhatever, pretty much in generational order.

I am from a small town clinging to the edge of a fjord, from a green island I have never seen, from the deep forsests and open plains of a new world.  From lefse and lutefisk and Yorkshire pudding.

I am from the ones who came North trapping and hunting horse thieves; from those who rode days in bumpy carts to break an ancient Prairie. I am from workworn bodies and beautiful eyes.

I am from a simple writing desk crammed with journals going back a hundred or so years. I am from a big kitchen and lots of hands to help with the work. I am from big hugs and fierce love and workparties and feeding people too much. I am from who came before and who comes after. I am from laughter and anger and denial and acceptance and family and grace. So much grace.

Friday, April 29, 2011

April 28

Yesterday was a strange day for me. I woke up thinking of my mom - not a surprise, since it would have been her birthday. All day little things kept reminding me of her, especially seeing the first crocuses of spring.

My mother loved crocuses. I think to her, they represented a little of the home that she loved so much. She grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, and always kept the prairie in heart, even after she moved to the city.

I learned my love of nature, especially of wild prairie, from my mother. Already I find myself passing that love on to my own children, and looking forward to teaching them all about the natural world around them.

Thanks mom, and happy birthday.  I love you, I miss you. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oh Thank God it's Over! ( the Holidays, That Is..)

I  am going to pay for this blog post at 11, when Snugs wakes up to eat. I will pay for it again at 2 and 5a.m. too, but screw it. I miss my blog.

Snugs will be one whole month old tomorrow. It may well have been the craziest month of my life. If you, unlike me, are in the habit of planning your children, let me advise you not to bring home a newborn shortly before any major holiday. Doubly so if it is a second child. Sure, there are lots of arms to hold the adorable new addition, and it makes great fodder for the annual family newsletter (yes, we do), but let me tell you; it ain't worth it. You may have the most adorable Santa pictures in the world, but they won't make up for that  morning when you throw in the towel and have a complete breakdown in front of many visiting family members.

 Also, you will be in every single photo anyone takes, in all your sweatpanted, messy haired, puffy eyed glory. Sweet.

You see, things I've taken for granted about the holiday season before - a total break from routine, irregular mealtimes, tons of junk food with nary an apple or carrot in sight, relentless travel and visiting - make for strange times when it comes to the younguns. Add a newborn to the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Now that the holidays are over, things around here are slowly but surely returning to a new kind of normal. Chaos is learning that the tiny interloper in my arms isn't going to take me away from him, and together we are learning a new routine. There's still lots of time for stories and wrassling and snuggling and playing together. It's all brand new for all three of us, but we're settling in. In the meantime, I'll be taking lots of deep breaths, pawning the kids off on the nearest relative, and stealing the odd nap.

And writing, whenever I can.

Stick around. It's about to get interesting.

Also, if anyone has any advice on how to stay sane with two under two, bring it. I'm all ears.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Family is Complete

Meet The Snuggler. Cap'n Chaos has a sidekick. Once he gets over his jealousy issues anyway.
Welcome to the world, little guy.

Happy Holidays, everyone. Hope you're surrounded by love this season.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#Reverb 7 - Community

I thought about this post all day. This evening, was getting ready to wind my day down by writing my thoughts.

That was kyboshed when I discovered my grandmother had suddenly become ill.

My normal nighttime routine was quickly overtaken by rushed phone calls to family and emergency services, talks with the EMTs. Childcare was arranged so that I could follow the ambulance to the hospital, where I stayed with grandma and spoke to doctors and nurses, mostly on her behalf.

My grandmother is ill. Tonight she will stay in the hospital, and tomorrow I will find out more about what is making her that way. Until then, I have to try and get some sleep.

If you read this, keep my grandmother in your thoughts and best wishes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6 - Make

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

On January 2nd, 2010, I wrote my very first blog post. (Go and marvel at the cheeks, even if you don't read the post. Trust me. It's worth it.)

It's made of HTML and, um, pictures and words. And time. I'm really proud of this little blog, and my commitment to it. It's been a massive source of inspiration for me.

 In the past few years, I've let my writing slide, to the point where even I believed it was nothing more than a pastime. A lot of the posts in this blog would not have been written in my journal. I would have made excuses - not enough time, not enough energy, not enough to say. Nothing to write about. For some reason, this blog has kept me from making those excuses.

I've found community through this blog. I've found some amazing writers, and some amazing people. It's made me feel less lonely on my journey. It's given me a lot of ideas. It's helped me be a better parent. It's helping me become a better writer. It's even teaching me about that newfangled interweb the kids are always talking about.
Someday, I may even have a semblance of computer literacy. My god.

Heh. I just re-read my prompt. This blog is certainly not the last thing I made. Since then, I've made another baby. It's made of DNA and, um, love...

Oh and I made this, for Captain Chaos. Because he loves him some Sandra Boynton.

I have a giant pile of things I want to make. My sewing machine is lonesome for me, and I for it. But life is busy, and I am a tired, tired mama. Writing is my priority right now, and the rest will have to wait till life calms down.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reverb 5 - Let Go.

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

Dammit! I just popped over to Finslippy, Alice Bradley's amazing blog, and of course got caught up there for waay too long. Why does she have to have a link to Let's Panic! (about babies) right there? Now it's super late and I should be sleeping instead of just starting my post. Jeez. On the upside, I just laughed until I peed a little. And I started making a list of awesome kid's books for Chaos and Co.

*An aside. I was reading Let's Panic the night I had Cap'n Chaos. I'm pretty sure the hours I spent sitting in front of my computer, laughing till I cried and my sides hurt like hell, had something to do with inducing labor. Thank you, ladies. No, really. Thank you. Let's try again with baby #2.

Anyway. What (or whom) did I let go of this year, and why?

This has been one of the most transformative years of my life to date, and I have let go of many things. When it's all boiled down, though, what I have let go of this year is fear.

I've held onto many of my fears for years - my fear of sobriety, of leaving my childhood behind and fully embracing adulthood. My fear of success. My fear of failure.

Some are markedly more recent - my fear of being a single mother, for instance. Kind of had to take that bull by the horns.

I've had to take a long, hard, honest look at myself in the past year, and I certainly haven't liked all that I've seen. So, for the first time in my entire life, I've begun to work to change the things I don't like, rather than run from them or drown them in beer and smoke. I've begun to work towards goals that I've been shuffling off for years. It's goddamn hard work, and I've got a long road ahead, but it's worth it in the end.

I want my children to grow up unafraid. I want them to know what is possible if you trust yourself, if you are open to the sudden changes life brings. I want them to know what can be accomplished if you are singleminded in your pursuits and work hard toward your goals, in spite of what others may think or want you to do.

That's why I'm letting go of fear. For them. For me.