Friday, December 11, 2015


As time passes, you're supposed to get better at things, right? 

Nope. Not me.
As time passes I'm getting more and more awkward. 

First a super classy non-conversation with a man that resulted in crickets chirping and me finally conceding "it's never going to happen with this one"... mind you, I'm hard headed it's taken more than 3 strikes to reach this point.

Then today a near panic attack in forced conversations... because suddenly that's a thing???

*rolling my eyes at myself*
This too shall pass.

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.... 

Sunday, March 08, 2015


I have a dear group of friends that I see nearly every week- we head to a pub together, or more recently as we're all trying to save money, we head to one another's homes and pretend we're in a pub.

One of our members is a writer. A real one. Published and stuff. 
When he moved to our tiny town he started writing some poems about the quirks of Northumberland. One of those quirks/poems?  Everyone owns a dog.
Our pub group?

All but one of us owns a dog. 

Last week things got a little weird when one of us declared that we should put all the collars into a bowl and pick one out- whichever collar you got was the dog that you'd take home.

wait a second.... 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More sleep woes

More on the early alarm clock anxiety. ..

I've been really careful in the evening leading up to a day shift, no caffeine, limited screen time, physical activity, dim lights... last night I was drowsy by 10:30, and after combat rolling into bed I was sound asleep in just minutes.

I woke up so refreshed.

I was ready to hop out of bed without looking at the time, so rested I planned on using my extra few minutes before my alarm clock by braving the cold with the dogs.

I swung my feet to the floor and glanced at the clock.

And cried.


*I saw the clock at least 5 more times at randomly staggered points throughout the night. I think I need to start taking something.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

But this one sounds awesome.

This is not an anti-Valentine's post, and it's not driven by the mid-february hormones.
I have a friend who is single. .. like for the first time since I've known her. She's been in and out of relationships with no pause between for years.
Oh my gosh, she is the worst person to be near right now.
Each guy she meets is "the one". She bends her interests to fit what she thinks they like.
Seriously, this isn't what people want in a relationship!  Is it? Have I got this all wrong again?
I think the reason this is bugging me right now isn't because of the hyper-awareness around Valentine's but because she's been listing off the qualities, interests and hobbies of the most current potential beau ... she should probably skip him-  he's like the opposite of everything she likes in life... skip him and for heaven's sake just introduce him to me already! I don't see this lasting.

Monday, February 09, 2015


I'm not sure that I made any real resolutions for this year... beyond "gin and tonic", but I did have some intentions. The first is to learn by heart something each month. Oops.
Missed January already.

The second was to read 2 -3 books each month. I'm good on that one. However, january's book number three should have been done ages ago. Book number three doesn't want to be read. Something is crazy with the spine of this book. I can't hold it open single handedly. .. It's a two hand jobby. And when I forget (every paragraph or so) and my hand slips or moves,  it slaps shut. Now it's a week into February and this tiny book is still giving me grief.

I keep looking around for the candid camera folks.

Friday, February 06, 2015

The aged

So I was watching a teen flick yesterday.  Based on a teen novel, two young cancer fighters fall in love, do inspiring things like... fall in love.
And die.

This is usually the sort of film that tears me to pieces. I'm left a weepy heap.

Nope. Not this time.

The mother was played by an actress I've seen for years playing the motherly role, she'd be 15 years my senior... but then...

There was the dad.

There's no way he was older than me.

Yeah, he had grey at his temples and in his beard.... but HE WAS MY AGE.
I AM THE SAME AGE AS THE PARENTS IN TEEN MOVIES NOW!!!  I've been "sitcom mom" age for about 10 years now... but this... this is a painful realization.

Weepy heap.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

In the sky

I have a very tall bed.
It's higher than my hips with the box spring frame in the mix. I remember the day I bought my new mattress and box spring... setting it into the bed frame where there'd been plywood for as long as I'd been the bed's owner.

The bed belonged to my Grandma R, my mom's mom. For some lucky and unknown reason she left me her bedroom set. I only wanted the plant stand (now long gone to the bluebox on a day that I needed  to purge my belongings), and I think there were some tensions from the other older cousins that mom shielded me from when it was announced. Maybe the long suffering return on being named after grandpa?

When I placed the mattress on top of the box spring and saw the bed's height I was transported in time to her home, being too little to even get onto her bed without assistance, the awe I felt looking down at the floor from my high perch.

I think of those times and the visits to grandma's place nearly every night that I climb into my bed. Some nights I give a little hop and swing into bed, but most nights I tuck my shoulder in and combat roll myself into place. My high perched pillows.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Is it moving day?

So.. my blogger account goes back to pre-google take-over days (coming up on eleven years of online babble). And yet somehow I've managed to keep it seperate from a google account. However, now I can't open it on my computer because my computer always wants to be signed in to some google account or another. I'm limited to posting from my phone.

I've discovered that I can transfer the blog over to a google account, but I'll lose any photos attached to it. Not so big a deal as with google's take over of Flickr (yet another account I've had since pre-google days and yet another random seperate account that I can't sign into) I lost my photos from the early blogging days (you know... back when you couldn't upload via Blogger).

I'm trying to decide if it's worth it. Is it time to start a new blog (oh dear God I hope not)? Is it time to make the migration?
Will I be able to figure out how to migrate my youtube and my itunes too?

Google. why are you making life so dificult for me?

Stupid first world problems.
Remember when my biggest online problems were whether the loofa sponge plants would get too big and pull down the phone lines in Togo?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Outdoor skate rinks and other memories

Weird things happen to me.

Usually they are dream related, but sometimes the waking world coincidences are so incredible, I can barely believe they're true.

Like the time I walked past a little side street, and without ever walking down it to check it out, said to myself "I'll probably live there". I bought my house on that street 3 months later.

Last week was one of those weeks, filled with both waking and dreaming weirdness. First there was the dream where I went to visit my friend in Australia. I brought my dishwasher with me and spent most of the dream trying to install the stupid thing. Only to discover the next morning when I opened my bedroom door and was hit with a lovely cloud of steam, that the dishwasher had broken and gotten stuck on "heat water" for the 8 hours while I slept.

Two nights later I dreamt that my cousin was trying to get my friends hooked on drugs. He gave me antihistamines.  When I woke up I used nearly half a box of Kleenex because I couldn't stop sneezing.

But the one that was reveled to me just the other day has left me... just... huh.

Last week I drove past a tiny street in my home town... twice. I never notice the street usually. Both times I turned to the person who was with me and asked them about a rink on the street. In my head both times I thought about an old man who used to live near there. He was stuck in my head for the rest of the week, I even told someone at work about how he had the whole youth group over for chocolate cake one time, how even in his eighties, he always took the time to check in with the teens.
I was sad thinking about him all week. I wondered when his funeral had been. When I was 16 he was frail but living on his own.I wondered who had gone to his funeral, and thought a lot about the community I'd been part of 20 years before.

Fast forward to this week's Wednesday night dinner.

A girl I've known since my youth group days comes up to me and starts chatting. She tells me that our old pastor had been in town and catches me up on all the news of their grand babies etc. Then she stops, looks very seriously at me and says "they were in town to do a funeral for Jim". I was in shock, their son in law had passed away and I hadn't heard about it? He's just a few years older than I am.... she looks at me and says "no, Jim Maidment... he was 102".

Really, it's left me wondering if maybe I had super powers last week and didn't  know it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday confessionals

Sometimes Thursday confessionals get railroaded by my favourite ginger.

Me (a la confessional):

Last week I invited a friend over to my house. They'd never been to my place before.  When they showed up they were laughing. "I didn't actually have your address, but i figured it out".  I looked at them in confusion ... they responded "really? Have you seen your house? It's your house."

I took it as a huge compliment.

Other things people have said in the past month that I've decided to embrace as compliments: I saw this weird thing the other day and totally thought of you. You are kinda eccentric.  You're too much woman for me. You do a lot of strange things [activities]. (And my favourite) I had no idea you were so interesting.

My ginger: I gave up trying to describe you long ago - there's a completely different facet of you shining every time I see you!  (The Amish Dominatrix phase was a little intimidating, but what the heck - it's all part of the marvelous package that is you!)

Me: Who says that was a phase?

My ginger: "I shall smiteth thou repeatedly, thou dirty, dirty boy."

Me: Now you've given away next week's confessional!

Friday, January 23, 2015

I love when friends link to my blog about how funny it is... and I've been boring for months on end.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Big hearted days

So then there are days where it doesn't feel like January.
Days where you find yourself in the sauna of the small town radio station, chatting effortlessly for nearly an hour about the joys of house concerts, finding community and togetherness through music, getting excited about new projects*, and discovering and facing  things about yourself.

Days when you load the email and find an accidental message written for someone else. One that leaves you grinning knowing that the efforts you put out there are appreciated.

Days where you visit a past labour of love and find it growing and thriving without you worrying.

A day where you finish a knitting project and you've knit to gauge the whole project through.

A day where you're silly and comfortable in your own skin.

Those days can happen even in January.

* I feel like I need to keep track of the details here, for whenever my Alzheimer's might kick in and I don't understand my own codes. was launched last monday, so I was the guest on "art beat" this week.
I found a message sent from one musician to some others across the globe , it was sent accidentally to me, it was sweet and affirming and I might have cried a little.
I stopped in to the NUkeO uke jam tonight, the room was packed. It felt great to be an observer and to help throw in some playing tips where I could. I'm so glad I was able to let it go and that people stepped up to continue it.
I finished knitting a big ol'shrug thing tonight. Started with the intent to wear with my favourite dress in the world.. the one that I have to try to remember to not wear daily.
I have a temporary roommate again, I'm so glad to have Mark back. And I'm so glad to have the company around the house.
Even the cold can be warm.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Me- If it's for entertainment purposes and not personal gain, I prefer a little more personal space between me and my strippers.


Mid January and it's bi-polar tendencies.
I want more of everything, but want it in solitude- surrounded.

What's that all about?

The sun is beginning to win again. Each week it claims back a few minutes. The orange glow hangs to the west for a little longer and I feel less likely to dive off the cliff into the bedclothes for the remainder of the season.

Now if it would just bloody well snow enough for some snowshoeing, all would be well with my soul.

I can't justify a lonely trip somewhere just to snowshoe.

Or maybe the poles will swing and I could.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy days

It's a new year.
I rang in midnight with a ragtag group of people who have come to mean a lot to me. I kissed each sweaty dancer at midnight and screamed "fuck 2014" while dancing to an 80's cover band. I didn't  drink. My eardrums nearly burst.

Not a lot has changed in the past 365  days, no further ahead, but no further behind!

Yay team!

Here's to a new year, new experiences, new people, more dancing, more kissing.