Thursday, November 20, 2008


While the rest of you complain about the rain and the dark and the cold, those of us whose favourite season is fall are sitting back and enjoying ourselves. Yes, it is dark and rainy outside, but in my house I have warm pockets of light in each room, because I am politically incorrect and, in weather like this, I actually leave lights on. (I am sorry, militant green people, but I do not wish to live surrounded by a sea of darkness.) I also have the gas fireplaces flickering in the living room and family room/kitchen. My iPod is docked in its stereo base and set to play loudly enough that I can hear my music throughout the house. I did a good clean this morning, so everything gleams. My home feels cozy and welcoming. It doesn’t matter that I am currently the only one in it: it is a wonderful thing to feel cozy and welcomed in my own home.

There is tea, and sugar cookies, and an engaging book. There are two warm, purring kitties. I can curl up on my couch and let the rain fall outside. I have done my chores, and I have all I need right here, and this afternoon is all mine.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weather, Water, Wisitors

Today was a gift, an eye in the monsoon season storms. It was sunny and crisp, not cold, absolutely perfect walking weather. So I got out and had a trudge around the neighbourhood, waving at the many neighbours out raking leaves. And I don’t think we’re going to be able to keep up with the decorating in this neighbourhood: the guy across the street put his Christmas lights up today!

It’s interesting doing each season for the first time in our new house. Although the main privacy plantings at the back of our property are evergreens, even they have thinned a little with fall and we now have a bit of a view of Burrard Inlet, which is lovely and unexpected. There’s just nothing like being able to see water from your window. Mother nature’s water, that is. If I crane my neck I can also see a bit of the neighbour’s swimming pool, but that’s not at all the same. It also needs to be a large body of water, because puddles certainly don’t work, either. The water viewing requirements are actually quite specific, aren’t they?

We had The Lad here for dinner last night, which was great, except that it makes me miss him more when he’s gone. Most of the time I’m okay with him having flown the nest, but when he’s here, he brings his own unique life to the place and it feels right and proper that he’s here and sad and strange when he leaves.

If I were a real writer, I’d have a clever closing paragraph that combines the topics of weather, water views and visiting progeny. Alas, I don’t.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's all too much

Well, I officially have no time to work any more. I sit down at my computer with the best of productive intentions, but there’s just too much other stuff to do. What with checking and answering emails, Instant Message chats with my children and friends, tending this blog occasionally, checking out my favourite websites, doing online crossword puzzles…and now, to top it off, I’ve joined Facebook.

I joined because my daughter encouraged me to, and because I was curious. Although I feel no urgent need to socially network beyond what I was already doing with phone, email and Messenger, I wanted to see what this vast cultural phenomenon was all about. When you look at the Facebook pages of the Millennial generation, they each list literally hundreds of “friends”. The majority of these are obviously not really friends at all but something scarcely above total strangers: friends of friends of friends of friends. I’m not sure what the point is. I have, so far, all of 16 friends, several of whom are related to me. I feel compelled to check each of their Facebook pages regularly, just to see what’s going on. How can you do that with 517 friends? I’d lose my mind.

I’m glad I do not have young children in this day and age. It would be exhausting trying to keep track of all their “friends”. But my children are adults and this is their reality and they think nothing of it. It’s always been true that each new generation has a mindset quite incomprehensible to the ones which preceded it. Boomers are competent with computers; we have come to be reasonably comfortable with them, but they are not an utterly integral part of us as they are to our children. So I joined Facebook as part of my ongoing efforts to keep up, to understand. And it is kind of fun, and it does transcend age. My youngest Facebook friend is 15 and my oldest is 86.

Seriously, 517 friends??? I don’t think I’ve met that many people in my entire life!
(Happy Birthday, Missy Moo!)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Update

Just wanted to report in that Halloween at the new homestead was a great success. The rain that had fallen most of the day let up just in time and we welcomed 40 little monsters and princesses to our door, far more than I was expecting in our tucked-away location. Fortunately, I was prepared and although only the first 30 got full-size chocolate bars and gum packets, I had at the last minute purchased a back-up box of those silly mini-bars, which I disbursed by the (child’s) fistful. This was very surprising to one little dinosaur, who took his time and managed an impressive clutch of candy in his tiny paw, then looked up and asked politely, “Can I have ANOTHER handful, please?” I could see the wheels turning in his brain. The first fistful was just the warmup. Now his hand was well stretched, he was sure he could do better the second time around!

The glow-in-the-dark Frankenstein heads on the porch railing mesmerized a miniature zombie. She had to examine each and every one (and there were many) before she would leave. I admired the patience of her adult guardian, who allowed the child to sate herself on wonderment rather than hurry her on for more candy.

What also pleased me was that none of the beggars on our doorstep this night appeared to be over the age of 13. I do not approve of older teenagers trick or treating, although if they have at least made a good effort at a costume, I mind it less. I really dislike scruffy adolescents showing up in their regular clothes, not uttering a word, just holding out a bag with a challenging stare. I’ve always given them something, of course, fearing the consequences if I didn’t, but it annoys me no end. Not everyone agrees with my stand on this. Loyal fan Solomon has attempted to debate me on this point, his opinion being that pretty much anyone who chooses to plod from door to door on Halloween night should be rewarded with candy. I cannot debate it because I have no particular arguments to put forth for my side. I simply believe Halloween is for children, at least the trick or treating portion of it. I also believe in giving out full-size candy bars, so I’m not all Grinch!

And also -- this morning, every one of my pumpkins is still in place, unharmed. I’m impressed.