july gloom

Things are looking up.  Joy's treatment has gone alarmingly well, and each day her pain and cancer recede a little more.  Thank you for the kind words.

I completed my first ever 10-day juice fast last month!  I've always been wary of fasting (seemed like something only emaciated, over-smiling raw foodists did), but I found me a credible guide with her head on straight, and dove on in.  What an experience!  The fast was the first part of a nine-part, 66-day course that helps you clean up your body, and replace your nasty habits with good ones.  If you're on FB and you've been looking for some clean food info and ideas, check out RawganicVegan. (Unfortunately FB is her only online presence at the moment {also please don't let the name stop you.})

Despite all this good stuff, I've been a moody little bummer to be around.  I've definitely lost a bit of myself lately.  NO knitting.  NO blogging. NO guitar. Almost NO reading.  Haven't had friends over in...uh...6 MONTHS?!  That can't be right.   Well anyway, these are all little things that make me feel more me. (And yes, I realize that they all fall under the "hobby" heading, and mothers of young children are supposed to have no time for hobbies, so I'm going to have to live dangerously here.  Actively seek them out once again.  Starting....now.

Here's a moody-but-uplifting anthem from Big Deal's June Gloom. (See what I did there?)


the limits of control

Life sure has a way of getting heavy when you're not looking.

My mother-in-law is sick.  Yes, it's cancer; the same cancer from nearly fifteen years ago, only now with renewed vigour.  We've known for a month now - or is it three?  No matter.  My brain and my heart are still rejecting it.  Sure, we visit often, we pray, we cry, we bring smoothies and soup...
I'm not ready for this.

Her husband and sons are remarkably strong in all this.  I don't mean that "manly" act of hiding emotions, but actual  strength.  Maybe it's because they've been here before.  Either way, I long for their peace.  I am still flailing against it, desperately seeking something I can do. 

What strange things do you do when life relinquishes your power and control?  Usually, I take it out on my hair.  This time I've been taking it out on the apartment; first rearranging all the furniture, then when that didn't help, replacing it.  Craigslist has seen a lot of me lately.  Soon, I'll begin some refinishing, and then hang new things on the wall.  And then...

Denial, anger, redecorating, acceptance...that's how it goes, right?

Her name is Joy.

After her own mother-in-law died, a little nugget of Sanscrit wisdom was found 
scribbled in her well-worn bible:

Look to this day, for it is life...the very life of life.
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, 
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.

(this is exactly as it was written in her book - full version of the poem here)


the canadian shield

Most of you know that my husband and I are musical types.  For years now, he's had a little home project he called The Canadian Shield, which was basically a savings account for all of his instrumental/soundtrack-sounding stuff.  Recently, he was contacted by a rock duo from Toronto with the same band name, wondering if they could take the MySpace and Bandcamp domains.  Ever gracious, he agreed.  The changeover will happen in a few days.  In the meantime, he has made his tracks available as an album for free download or streaming.  Click here if you'd like to have a listen!



this is a very good thing.

My goodness, have you seen what's been going on in Blogland? An amazing set of bloggers - inspired by a post by Jess of Makeunder My Life - set out to blow the "perfect blogger" illusion wide open.  If you visit Ez at Creature Comforts, you'll get the full story, along with a list of participating bloggers.  I spent a good chunk of the morning in absolute awe; crying, laughing, shouting "ME TOO!" at the computer screen, and subscribing to a fresh load of wonderful blogs.

I've grown so weary as a blog reader and sporadic blog writer.  There really IS too much pretty out there.  How can you not feel like the only one who doesn't have it all figured out?  It has certainly contributed to my lack of posting, in that I feel that nothing I could say or show would mean anything in this world of beauty.  Well, I couldn't resist at least being a part of this movement...and we'll see where my blogging habits go from there.  Here we go.

- I always used to think that by this stage in my life, I'd be a working musician in an established indie rock band.  I used to play guitar, sing, and write music all the time. I've hardly touched my guitar since getting married, because I'm terrified of practicing in front of my ridiculously cool (and far better at guitar) drummer of a husband.  We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last week, and yet I still think of myself as a musician.

- I never grew out of that "Perceived Audience" thing the psychology textbooks talk about.  I still think, when I go out, that people are looking at me and judging me at all times, for better or worse.

- I love sitcoms.

- I eat too much.  And I drink too much.  And I move too little.  And I'm overweight.  (Related: I'm a certified personal trainer with a degree in Kinesiology. Also a vegan, with a pretty firm grasp of nutrition and healthy eating.  Basically, I have a bunch of shiny tools in a dusty toolbox.)

- I wasn't cut out to be a stay-at-home mother.  I know its value, of course, and I love my children, OF COURSE.  But being at home with them all day paralyzes me.  I'm not good at it.  And usually, I cut and run when I'm not good at something.  It's definitely a daily struggle. (In case you're halfway through dialing Child Services, I never actually think about leaving my children!  This is more about struggling with the fact that I have to find a way to do something I'm remarkably bad at.)

- On that note, I'm a chronic quitter.  I remember a time when I could set my mind to something and see it through to completion, but those days are gone.  I seem to have a skill for setting creative (sometimes ridiculous) goals for myself, and then a week or so in...blah.

- I'm totally scared to join a knitting group/take a knitting class.  As a self-taught knitter who's been doing this for many years, I'm petrified at the thought of someone telling me I'm doing it all wrong (which really, I can't imagine anyone doing).  This is also why I keep my knit-blogging vague, and shut people down when they tell me to sell my knitting.

- I'm in a lot of debt, thanks primarily to putting myself through college/university on minimum wage, part-time income.  I feel daily guilt that my husband married into it, and that our entire marriage has consisted of payments, consolidations, slip-ups, and just trying to make it to payday.

- I'm a Christian.  My faith has persisted through many episodes of doubt, but talking about it is so scary.  To say that Christianity has been dragged through the mud is an understatement, and the culprits are...Christians.  We were always taught that we would encounter persecution for our faith, but who knew that it would be at the hands of loud, hateful believers, tearing down the lives of people around them?  I have a deep fear of being associated with FOX News, and that scary church that pickets funerals, and all the extremely hateful things that pop up in the media regularly, so I've been quite silent about my faith.  But yeah.  I believe in Zombie Jesus.

Well, now I've written these things out.  The thought of actually making them public is pretty terrifying, but after the blogs I read this morning, I definitely will.  I hope you'll consider joining in!  At the very least, read a few posts as listed on Creature Comforts (she's trying to keep the list updated as new bloggers join the challenge).

As for my blog, who knows?  Maybe this was the breath of fresh air I needed, or maybe this was my blogging swan song.  Time will tell.


P.S. On the theme of transparency, I've never liked the whole blog nickname thing.  So I'm changing that.  I am Jennifer.  Stretch, my husband, is Jonathan.  The Little One is Simon.  And the un-nicknamed little baby girl is Ruby.  Phew!  That's a silly load off. Hope to see you soon!

P.P.S. Ruby turned one last month!


ok, i'm ready now.

Ruby - 9 months

Coming soon: more words!


i'm still here

Hello! We're alive and well, if not terribly insular. I've recently picked up the needles again...what a feeling! Hope to be back here soon with more sentences.

What's new with you?


a new gem

She arrived, safe and sound, Monday night.

The Little One's face has pretty much been frozen in this expression since:

(For those who are wondering, she came on her own, mere hours before I was scheduled to be induced. Phew!)