Thursday, November 26, 2015


This week's topic was a nod to American Thanksgiving.

I am thankful to have a home, a space to call my own. Somewhere to throw my laundry in the corner, a place to leave dishes in the sink.
Thankful for the ability to provide a space for friends to crash for a night, so long as I haven't started hoarding items in the spare bedroom.
I'm thankful that after a decade of landlords cranking or shutting off my heat, I can chose to keep the heat down low to "encourage" my dog to sleep on my feet and keep warm.
I'm thankful for the safety that my small town provides, that when someone broke a window on my property, one neighbour swept up the pieces with me and another repaired it while I was at work.
I'm thankful for the war going on between my neighbours each winter- who will wake up earliest after it's snowed and shovel our elderly neighbour's sidewalk first?
I'm thankful that when my home has been "broken into" (and it's happened a few times) it's been by people who have left me gifts- one who built me a shelving unit for the laundry room, and last night- one who left me a pizza.
I don't know how I'm so lucky, but I'm so very thankful for my little space on this earth.

Friday, November 06, 2015


I can't remember people's names, I can't remember my seven times tables, I can't remember where I put the scissors, and I can barely piece together what I did yesterday, but I have clear moments etched in my brain with a sound track provided by the radio. Sitting in the cold truck before school waiting for my sister, "sometimes the snow comes down in June, sometimes the sun goes round the moon". I watch my breath fog the truck window. Sitting in the front window display peeling wallpaper off the wall at my mother's paint shop. She prepares the sunflower border to hang in it's place. "Jimmy Rogers on the victrola up high, mama's dancing with the baby on her shoulder, sun is setting like molasses in the sky". Pieces of wallpaper backing stick under my nails as I scrape it from the wall. Blanket over my head, reading lamp tucked under the sheet, I'm up past 1am reading again. I turn the dial to discover 640 AND 680 playing "I would walk 500 miles" at the same time. My friend Tina and I spend 4 hours one afternoon trying to call into a radio station to dedicate a song to my neighbour. Because obviously that little Rockstar boy is waiting to hear Mr.Big's "to be with you". We eat a lot of chips. My nose is resting on the top shelf of my bookcase. I'm leaning poised to push the button on my tape deck at the exact second the dj is going to stop talking. I sush my sister while she plays with her hamster. I don't know how to turn off the internal mic on my ghetto blaster so we have to be quiet or I'm going to have to wait till tomorrow's top 6 at 6. "Oh my god Becky, look at her butt. It looks like one of those rap star's girlfriend's". I pop the tabs on the top of the cassette when I'm finished so I don't accidentally tape over it. Today one of my favourite finds at the Blue Box or at a yard sale is the home made mix tape. I have bags of them now. I keep a bag behind the seat of my car and let myself take one out each week. I love the quirky mixes, taped from the top 20 count downs, ones with the end of a dj's intro cutting into the song. Tapes that don't quite fit that whole last version of Paula Abdul's "one step forward, two steps back". Each song comes on and I'm transported to a moment in my past. Days and days of memories from each little song.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Growing up I didn’t like corn on the cob. I didn’t like the feeling of it between my teeth, wedged, stuck.
Sure, I loved husking it- who doesn’t love to strip the protective layers off, one by one? Feeling the change in the texture, the change in the sound, and the change in the resistance as you get closer to the cob. The mildly compulsive part of me loved picking each silky hair off the cob, watching to see where it connected at the kernel. Trying to keep a single thread from breaking.
As I got older and stronger I loved to see how many of those layers I could pull off at a time without suffering any paper cuts from the leaves.

The best thing that could happen as a kid, was to find that elusive “baby corn”, that little tiny corn growing side by side with the mature cob, hidden within the green leafy layers. We’d try to pick the fattest cobs at the grocery store hoping to find mama and baby corns. Announcing loudly and proudly when they were found.

Baby corns were for playing with.
NOT for eating.

I’d dry out the husks and fold and tuck the baby corn into a special husk suit or blanket and carry it around for the rest of the day.

Eventually the “baby” status would wear off and they’d become rockets tossed high into the air. Little broken bodies all over the grass.

As I got older I realized I’d been missing so much deliciousness worrying about a few bits getting stuck in my teeth. I dove into the world of corn. Corn season got me excited and I’d drag bag after bag home from the store.

Till I met a friend who found out I bought my corn at the grocery store.
Lovingly she called me a “pin head” and introduced me to the wonder of the roadside stand.
Farmers proudly bringing bins from the field to the end of their driveways.
Corn so fresh you can eat it raw.
I'm a changed woman.

Now I drive my visiting city folk down Dale Road to the driveway with the tiny chalk board simply stating “corn”.
I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I've made. I want to save them the embarrassment.

“Did you know that Lesley used to buy her corn in the grocery store? What a PIN HEAD!”

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Post - real life

Sometimes I talk in terms of things being "post-production" (show,festival,event).

I've been on spin cycle since my last blog posting. So much so, that I haven't taken the time to write about that which has eaten my days.hours.minutes.

That note about some "big news"? It's the biggest of my life.

When the board of SVFF started to break up, the last remaining members approached me and asked me if I was interested in the role of Artistic Director for the next festival. This was at the Jonathan Byrd show that I put on at the Mill, a show I was already immensely proud of putting together. (I'd never done something on that scale and I was so pleased with how it turned out)... then  I had to sit on the information for a month.

The board turned over and the last of that old board left. The new board approached me and asked me to write a proposal. .. where did I see the festival going? What did I intend to do with it?

I wrote a proposal. .. and next thing I knew I was handed a festival.

Just like that.

It has been the most ass backwards crazy ride ever.

I could go on for pages about the roadblocks left for me, the lack of information, the attacks on my work ethic, the sabotage of the position, and more... but it's not worth it. I choose to be above that crap.

I put my absolute everything into this year's festival.

And I'm so proud of what I accomplished.
Of what we accomplished.

It was beautiful.

And I'm a wreck.

Sunday, July 05, 2015


In a sad twist to the hobbit house love, I have an insane neighbour. .. she's always been a sad angry soul, but she's starting to impead my ability to enjoy my own home.

Today's verbal attack was pretty mean. In the end she insulted my home, my gardens, the library, my intelligence and followed it up with calling me "a cheeky neighbour". I smiled, gritted my teeth, rolled my eyes and said "I'm sorry you're so miserable".

I'm trying to decide if I should write her a note that asks her not to communicate with me anymore unless it is in writing or recorded.

But that's me being cheeky.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I love nothing more than to poke at a fire. 
Some of my earliest memories are as a child at the family cottage- getting ready for it's closing in the fall, cleaning up the grounds in the spring, and always a leaf pile to be burned. 
We had the normal family camp fires... marshmallows and hot dogs in the evening after a long day of yard work and playtime. But my favourite part was always first thing the next morning, parents lazily reading the paper and the smell of coffee brewing filling the cottage, I'd be allowed to slip out into the yard and stir up whatever remained of the previous day's fire.
Rocks would still be warm to the touch, and ashes would drift as I raked my stick through the grey and black leavings. Then I'd find it. A stubborn chunk of coal, hot and black buried deep in the pile. Beside me I'd have my already-gathered tools,  bits of dried grass, a fist full of dead leaves, and a tiny pile of twigs I'd found on my way to the fire pit.
I'd lean in closely and carefully feed my offerings to the tiny coal. Blowing life to a wisp of smoke and then ... if I was lucky, a tiny flame. 

I have my own fire pit in my back yard now. I have camp fires with my friends and family whenever I can. Staring off into the base of the flames can calm me on even the worst of my days, but it's that next morning... coaxing a little flame back out of the ashes, that brings me the most joy. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hurry up and wait

So... big news coming.
But I'm in hurry up and wait mode.
All I can do is make lists and plan.


I can do this.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


It's official, I survived winter.

Today I looked around and saw that I was thriving again.. not just hanging on for dear life.

My house is clean (ish), the dogs are being walked, I'm reading, I'm cooking, I'm engaging with people on purpose.

It feels good.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

How yoooou doin?

I was going to post to facebook a general request that someone in our neighborhood go outside and assure the young man, who's been driving around the block for the past 30 minutes revving his car engine, that we all believe that he does in fact have a giant penis. And that we request he stops with the revving and squealing of tires because his driving display has convinced us of his manhood.

But I didn't have to. I live two blocks from the police station.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

More confessional

Sometimes Thursday confessionals need a little more set up than I'm willing to write in a status box on Facebook.

Wednesday last week I was a judge at a science fair hosted by a local elementary school. Who doesn't love little kids' projects? One kid walked up to me and said "mine's supposed to be messy- it's a project about the moon... things aren't really clean there".

We were put into pairs to do the judging. When I arrived I noticed a young guy in the corner playing chess with another young guy, They looked a little too old to be at the school, so I figured they'd graduated and had just come back to help with the science fair. They didn't even look up as the rest of the judges started to file into the room. I recognized him as the child of an old acquaintance and had a vague memory of him going to the school. But  I got a little confused when he was sent to a classroom to get something and wondered if maybe he'd been kept back a year- maybe the peach fuzz beard he was sporting was the sign of an early bloomer? There were some other grade 8s his height in town with the same attempts at facial hair. I didn't think much more of it till we were partnered to judge the projects.

me: Hey (name protected to prevent further embarrassment) How are you?! I haven't seen you in such a long time.. you're... not ... still going to school here are you?

young lad: Um. No.

me: ok... yeah.. uh- (I'm cut off)

young lad: I graduated.  Last year.  From college.

me: I think I've stepped into a time warp/worm hole or something.
(back peddling frantically)
um... I think I just forgot 12 years of my life have passed. Do you even remember me?

young lad:  No.

me: yeah... you were probably 8 or 10 the last time I saw you.

young lad: That was probably 12 or 14 years ago.

me: so... science fair projects?

young lad: yeah....