Pedro poops in my yard and other neighbourhood notes this week

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Pedro saunters through my yard on his quarter-mile jaunt up to the neighbour’s house where he snuggles on the soft deck chairs and purrs.  On the way he stops and poops among the dahlias and bachelor buttons in my flower bed. I gotta give that little black cat some creds for his bravery considering all the foxes and lynx around.

A text this week to my next-door neighbour ” Bear on the way up to your place from our yard. Put the snacks away!”  The “snacks” including their Shih Tzu who fearlessly barks at EVERYTHING but might be seen by the bear as a perfectly coiffed fat rodent.

I discovered that I CAN do a sprint worthy of the anchor leg in a relay when I need to.  As Jasmine and I were walking halfway down a long hill the two moose that have been around all winter rounded the bottom of the hill at a “moose lope”.  When they saw us they shifted gears into a “moose canter/gallop” towards us so we turned around and sprinted up the hill and around the corner.  Seems moose lose interest after they make you scurry around the corner.

Angel cookies. These are the big dog cookies that the neighbour always has for Jasmine as we pass them on our walks or to be handed in through the truck window as we drive by. Usually more than one cookie as Jasmine shamelessly flirts and begs.

Note to self: Lady, you live in a cool neighbourhood!

 

 

 

 

 

cardboard box forts and things I’ll never know

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The summer before I started first grade was marked by moving to a new house on Woodlawn Avenue that came with a barn and a field that adjoined the property of a new elementary school being built. My school. King School.

My older brother, me and a loosely formed gaggle gang of neighbourhood kids spent August swimming, riding our bikes around and spying on the construction workers finishing up the school.  Our recon missions weren’t un-noticed and as the workers unpacked desks and furniture  they chatted with us and let us drag the large cardboard boxes across the school yard to the field behind my house.

Each of us got own box and working like a team of ants we wrestled them into place in the field.  From there we each decorated our cardboard box forts as our own drawing in crayon and cutting out windows as we set up our little village. KEEP OUT! signs on the forts of the older kids, and colourful scribbles on the rest.

The big kids, those 8 year olds, got the prime fort placements away from the spiders’ nests and dips in the field and soon social networks were established within the fort village.  I had to share my fort with my 4-year-old sister who most times was more of a pest than a compatriot. When one of the big boys invited us into his fort and asked her to lift up her shirt and he would let us stay, she started to pull up her t-shirt and I said “no” and we ran away not sure of what was wrong but feeling like something was.

Steve, the next door neighbour kid who came with the story that he was in an accident when he was little and had to wear a tight belt around his middle or his “guts and gizzards would fall down and he would die”.  Something I’ll never know.

The kid who lived catty corner to us who was from Pakistan and gave me a little brass camel that I still have.  How did he end up in Oregon City with his family from so far away? Something I’ll never know.

The old  man two houses away who never trimmed his hedge giving the yard the ominous look we needed to spin stories about him being scary.  Every Halloween he dressed up in a floppy green rubber Godzilla suit and became over six feet of stumbling lizard terrifying us all. He also gave out the best candy. What did he do when he wasn’t Godzilla?  Something I’ll never know.

I started first grade without first going to kindergarten.  My brother went to kindergarten.  Why didn’t I? My parents never told me and it’s something I’ll never know now.

The answers and explanations to many childhood memories disintegrate into time like the cardboard box forts becoming soggy, folding in on themselves and tearing apart with the fall rains. Who cleaned up our cardboard box forts after we left our village in the field and stepped into the school year? Something I’ll never know.

 

 

oh those duck lips….

……an adventure in cosmetic tourism.

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Well, it was only cosmetic tourism due to my accident. A freak accident….(aren’t ALL accidents freaks?) put me in ranks of those travelling far and wide returning with altered appearances.

So here’s the thing; people do fall flat on their faces.  Nope, it’s not just a saying, and I proved it.  It’s the quick pop up, hands groping, feeling the damage that’s the realization of “F*@K, I’ve really done it this time”. Chips of tooth, too much blood were all I had to go by since I was alone,  there were no streetlights, it was dark and I was eight blocks from my hotel.

And here’s the other thing…..what the hell is wrong with people who walked around me like I had the ability to part the seas on the sidewalk; who didn’t miss a step getting to where ever they were going?  The only person who asked if I was ok was a homeless guy who said ” hey lady, are you ok?” and offered to share his grubby little roach which he told me was from really good weed and would help with the pain.  I thanked him, said no, and trundled on to my hotel.

Cosmetic tourism probably has a certain panache with hotels catering to clients and so forth. Picture me trying to get through the lobby up to my room with a bloody kleenex over my face – not even sure what people saw when they looked at me. I was a freak!

Shout out to Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego.  Although three hours in the emergency waiting room was oddly reminiscent of the famous Star Wars bar scene, the care was awesome. A little plastic surgery putting me back together and I was good to go albeit with a sewn-up, swelled-up lip accessorized by a healthy dash of road rash on my chin and nose to complete the look.

Here’s my question to Angelina, Julia, all those gorgeous sexy ladies with duck lips……when will mine turn sexy? The look just isn’t working for me yet…….

 

 

 

please don’t hate me ’cause I eat carbs

 

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At a surprise birthday event this week a  large beautiful sheet cake was presented beside a stack of little plates, napkins and plastic forks.  A feeble rendition of “Happy Birthday” was sung with no one hitting the high note – nothing unusual there. So the cake was cut and plates began to be passed around the table – and around, and around the table. “No, none for me….”,  “my diet…”, “I’m not eating carbs…”, no thank you, no thank you, no thank you.  Well, until the cake got to me.  A few of us had cake, but the big diet thing was hanging over us like a disapproving cloud.  Savouring my first forkful of cake with fluffy icing, I felt like I could have been drinking wine out of a styrofoam cup at an AA meeting.

I’ve lived through a whole lot of diets with colleagues.  The cabbage soup diet the entire office was on had us walking around farting like livestock.  I’m pretty sure there’s a hole in the ozone above that office building.  Continue reading

fall walks

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Fall came in and shoved all the summer pastels to the back of the closet bringing out the golds, the ambers, the deep rust colours. It’s as if Fall knows that gold tone eyeshadow makes blue eyes pop and is using the nearly iridescent gold leaves to show off the dazzling blue sky.

It’s unusually beautiful this year; drier than usual and no storms so far, so the leaves are staying as crisp as the fresh air. Makes for stunning walks and a yard carpeted with gold.

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Mr. Bear was out doing his fall fattening up and climbed over the fence onto my sundeck to chew a hole in the garbage can feasting on remnants of rotisserie chicken. Can’t really blame him for that – I’ve had much the same inclination to chew through a pizza box after catching a whiff of hot bubbling cheese on pepperoni pizza. Still, I don’t want to run into him again so the garbage cans are secured in the pump house for now.

The sound of a chainsaw singing its way through dry pine and the smell of wood smoke drifting by like the faint contrails of a jet off to somewhere….feels like picking the last of the crab apples to make beautiful clear jelly.

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As we rounded the corner on the homeward stretch of our walk, we ran into Young Buck. He said “Hey, how are you?” in quiet deer talk.  He said ” haven’t been around your place since I ate your spring tulips, but I’m out looking for a bedding down place under your trees for winter.  I always liked your yard”.  He and Jasmine stood for a minute looking at each other and I told him to go back into the forest until hunting season is over and he bounded away in disappearing in the trees.

I love fall in the north.

reflections in the bridal shop window

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Walking to work every day I pass by the bridal shop on the way to and from my office.  I stop and check when the dresses in the window change and I wonder if they’ve gone off to walk down the aisle or to the marked down section in the back of the store.

I took a picture one day with the intention of writing a bit of a bitchy blog post about it.  As bitchy as I am when I talk about my wedding dress. Bitchy to say all these years later that I made my own wedding dress and had no one; no mother to care. So, that’s what this post was supposed to be.

But it’s not.

You see, a couple of days ago as I hurried up the block on my way to the parkade after work , I saw a lady stopped on the sidewalk looking in the window at the dresses.  Something about the lady and how she was looking in the window slowed my march along the sidewalk and I stopped beside her.

We stood side by side quietly looking at wedding dresses. Me, fresh from work with the dress, details like fancy nails and lipstick, briefcase and designer purse, and the lady slightly stooped over in a faded looking beige sweater, short bowl-cut shaped grey hair with a few soft whiskers on her chin.

I said “they’re lovely, aren’t they?”  and she said “yes, they certainly are”.  For some reason I blurted out that I’d made my own dress and it wasn’t lovely like these and I told her I ended up throwing it out last year because I hated it so much.

The lady said “oh my dear, that’s sad”.  She said “I still have my dress after 56 years and still love it. It’s turning a bit yellow now, but still beautiful”.  With our faces bathed in the soft tulle, satin and lace reflection in the window I  said “and I can see you 56 years ago as the beautiful bride you were.”

I continued on my way warmed by her smile reflected in the bridal shop window.