Falling into the New Year

If there is one thing I am good at it is falling and it is never done with grace.  My fear of falling extends into many aspects of my life and one particular aspect is skiing. My husband and children  ski two runs with me in the morning before ditching me for the call of the black diamonds.

phone home gully

I  don’t mind skiing alone because there is no one exclaiming  “Hurry up, Mom! You are sooo slow!”

On my own I can make my way down the mountain at my own leisurely pace and soak in the views inhaling the fresh mountain air.

The other day as I was skiing I made my way into a narrow corridor  of the run it was then I heard the swoosh of a snowboard right  behind me, a very loud expletive, and a thud.

I knew I was a goner.

My ski was clipped by the board, I went down letting out a very loud expletive, and smacked my head against the snow. I laid there for a moment looking up at the blue sky and accessing the damage. Only one very sore thumb, some stars, and the humbling experience of falling once again.

The young wiper snapper that clipped my skis  was already up and down to the next portion of the hill. I sat for a moment and attempted to pull myself up on my poles. I tried once, “Damn it!”

A large tribe of snowboarders then descended upon the run  and one young man hollered with warning to the ones above, “Mom down! Mom down! Mom down!”

They all swerved past me in a speed of lightning and it was at that moment I made the decision I would no longer be the “mom down.” I pulled up with one ski pole, then pulled up with the second pole, and with an elation exclaimed out loud to myself “This mom is up! Mom is up! I am up!”

As I skied down to the next chairlift   I contemplated going back to the lodge for my traditional  end of the day Bailey’s and coffee sitting in the lodge with all of the other Moms who were ditched that afternoon by their families. Instead, I took a deep breath and knew the coffee could wait because I was ready for my next run.

My fear of falling is big and when I do land on my back staring at the sky I know there is always a way to get up. It just takes humility, patience, and plenty of time. I have no idea what the New Year will bring but I wouldn’t expect it any other way.

The Legend of the Cookie Dough Tapeworm

It is whenever I bake chocolate chip cookies  I have childhood memories of  trying to steal a taste of the dough from my Mother’s mixing bowl.  The whole process was a very pain-staking  because you  had to watch for her to get distracted  and leave the bowl alone for a minute in order to get a gooey taste of deliciousness.  If she came back and you were caught with the hand in the bowl then you knew you were in for the story about the tapeworm.

cookies

My Mom would glance over “Get your hand out of there! Do I have to remind you of what happened to your Aunt when she was a child?”

“No. I know”

“I don’t think you do. It was one day we were all going for a walk and your Aunt was hit by a drunk driving down the road. Do you know what flew out of her mouth?”

“A tapeworm.”

“Yes. A tapeworm and the reason your Aunt had the tapeworm in her stomach  was because your grandmother would always let her eat the raw cookie dough.”

“I know. But a little won’t hurt.”

“Fine. Have a smidgen. But don’t blame me if you get a tapeworm.”

It was with slumped shoulders defeated I would think of the drunk neighbor that hit my aunt on the side of the road. I would do anything to give him a piece of my mind for ruining the perfect treat which should be eaten by the breakfast bowl.

“Did anything happen to the neighbor?”

“No. He just got back in his car and drove off.”

The lessons my mother taught me from this story was  I was always to stand in a ditch when a car passed us on a country road because you never knew who had too much to drink  after church on Sunday afternoon.  And second the household ban on cookie dough taught me how to bake my own cookies so I could enjoy a taste of dough without my Mother’s watchful eye.

The other day I caught my son trying to put his hand in the mixing bowl trying to sample the  dough.  I looked him straight in the eye ” If you eat that you will get tapeworm. Do you want to know why?”

And that is how legends like “The Cookie Dough Tapeworm”  carry on from generation to generation.

The Devilish Coyote

The coyote is a symbol in Native American culture in many creation stories always playing the central role as hero, creationist, or devious trickster.  Some of the traits of the coyote are similar to many human faults that we all can relate too from lust to greed. The coyote is a reminder that not all living things can be trusted and sometimes even the most altruistic intentions can become corruptible.

Coyote on Tunnel Mountain

In the myth The Coyote and the Spying Moon  he is portrayed as a trickster god who stepped forward to be the moon in the sky to assist  people in order to work late into the evening.

It soon became evident that the  coyote was not doing this out of the goodness of his heart.  But instead was causing mischief on  his friends below by tattling on their deceptions and  spying on the women bathing at night.

It was after that final discovery  of his spying the people decided that he could no longer be the moon and  was taken down from the sky.

But the coyote one day being a flirty devil attempted to impress the ladies by juggling his eyes up high in the air. One day he threw one of his eyes so high, it got stuck in the sky and became the star Arcturus. So even now legend claims he is still keeping one eye on us all.

As I was in a deep slumber early the other morning I thought  heard laughter and thought, “Wow! It’s 5:30 in the morning our neighbors like to party.”

As I began to awake a little more it was clear that it was not laughter but the sound of coyotes across the street. It sounded like they had caught their morning feast as they howled and snarled in the cold wind.

“Honey! Do you hear that?”

My husband rolled over, “What?”

“That noise.”

“Oh! It’s geese!”

“Geese! It’s not geese! It is coyotes!”

“Birds. Dear. Just birds. Go back to bed.”

I rolled over and attempted to go back to sleep.  “Yes. Honey. Geese in -15 Celsius weather. Yes. Dear.”

I believe at that moment the coyote was being a devious trickster that had cast its magical spell on my sleeping husband.  As I walked the kids to school that morning we could hear the coyotes chatting in the distance.

My kids moved a little closer to me as the noise grew louder!

“Do you think they are looking at us for breakfast?”

“No. You are too sweet. But just to be on the safe side if you see one in the school playground back away slowly, put your hands up high to appear bigger, go inside, and find a supervisor.”

Just as the myth states the coyote is always watching and people have to be on the lookout for what could be right before our eyes in this city landscape.  You never know what devious tricks they could be up too and cause harm within the blink of an eye.  Coyotes are sly, they can  blend in the snow, and you never know when they could be watching you with their eye in the sky.

Do you have a favorite mythological animal or character? What lessons have you learned from their great myths?

My Reading Chair

I have always dreamed of having a big comfy chair by the fire and curling up in it with a good book. In almost every house we have owned we could not afford a big comfy chair or it lacked a fire-place. All of that changed with the move to our new house.

We moved in over two weeks ago and the corner by the fireplace looked  lonely. It was that moment I knew what was needed to make it better!  It would be my reading chair!

Over the weekend I dragged my family to furniture clearance sales until I found the perfect  one for me.

My husband looked at it, “Are you sure?”

“Yes!”

“But it’s cream?”

“So!?”

“The dog. The Kids. You. Need I say more?”

“We can scotch guard it?”

“Does scotch guard protect from red wine?”

I gulped and told a little white lie, “Yes! And it will be my chair so no one is allowed on it!”

We have had my reading chair for a full three days. In that time the children have jumped on it to play their DS games, the dog  has taken many gaseous naps, and my husband lounges on it with his trusted Blackberry. I  have decided to place a reserve sign on it to ensure many late evenings of silence with a glass of scotch and a good book to get through the cold winter nights.

Do you have a favorite chair in your home?

Questions I Will Say Yes To

I suspect I may have come off harsh in my last Post and may have sounded like Mrs. No! But I want everyone to know that I am prone to saying yes too! It is the simple act of saying Yes that can bring joy or sadness to my children depending on their question of the moment.

So I have compiled my simple list of Yes Questions to prove that I don’t always say No!

Do you ever seize the opportunity and say Yes?

Clues that I am Home for the Night

After a treacherous errand run on the slick and freezing roads I vowed not to drive for the rest of the day.

My son came home from school, “Mom, Can I go to my friend’s house.”

My simple response was, “No.”

“But. why?”

“Did you not see the car that ran into the tree? Or the other car that fish tailed onto the curb?”

“That is why?”

“But. Mom!”

“No Buts. We are in for the night!”

It was by this time I realized that I failed to teach my children  the  visible signs that we are in for the night. So I made this special list  to save them from dashed hopes with the event they expect me to drive them somewhere in a middle of a snow storm.

So it is this random list of clues that would indicate to my children that we are not going anywhere for the rest of the night. If they are lucky we might  order pizza delivery!

What random  clues do you  display when you are in for the night?

My Mom’s Baked Beans

As the snow gently falls outside it makes me crave those special foods that my Mom made when I was a kid. It was always after  an afternoon of snow fort building, sledding, and a little cross-country skiing that I would run into the house starved for supper. I knew the moment I opened the door and caught the smell of baked beans in the oven that I couldn’t wait one more minute to dine with my family.

It is this simple recipe that I now make for my kids! We enjoy it when the air is cold, the snow has fallen, and take comfort in its warmth. It is  the warmth my Mother once filled me with after time spent playing in a winter wonderland.

What is your favorite family recipe on a cold winter’s day?

The Three Thousand Dollar Cheque

As my husband and I walked behind the couple at the dog park we couldn’t help but overhear the end of an argument.

“I don’t think 2500 a month will cover the cost of her condo, clothing allowance, bills, and car insurance!”

The husband exasperated lifted up his arms and brought them down to his side, “What is enough? She is in university.”

The wife looked at him, “We will write her a cheque for three thousand a month and that should be enough!”

It was with that they veered right and stormed away!

I  looked at  my husband to check if heard what I just heard in front of us. Perhaps, it is with righteous indignation I wonder who the hell gives their daughter in university a cheque for three thousand dollars a month to cover the cost of clothing allowance, car insurance, and bills.

Do you see something wrong with this picture?

Moving Day!

In a few hours I will be moving from our little home on the park and getting ready to unpack the boxes in our new home. It is only up the street still walking distance of the children’s school and close to the friends that I have made throughout the past four years.  But it was a time for a change!

My husband drove by the open house with curiosity only a month ago as he did the walk – thru and called me to come see it! It was with hesitation I went to take a gander not ready to make promises.

We had been driving to other communities looking at the brand new show homes but the one thing they lacked was the community.I want my kids to grow in the community they know and prevent them from changing schools every three years.

So when I walked through this house I knew the price was right and it would keep me in the community that I have grown to love. My husband and I knew the obvious answer as we discussed it over coffee that this would be our house for the rest of our time we planned to spend in this city.

So in the morning light when I pick-up the keys to our new home I will dance with excitement for the wide open spaces. But in my heart I know I will miss my home that started it all! I will remember looking over the park where the kids would play,  the knocks on the doors from the neighbors kids, and look back on the tender moments that we shared in our special home.

It is this house on the park is one of the few that we have lived in as a family but it is another chapter full of beautiful memories.

 Do you have a special home that remains close to your heart?

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