Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Life slowly percolates, growing ever more flavourful in the steeping. A slow building strength of brew that seeps into crevasses. The nooks and crannies lighten and fill with meanings and warmths. A quiet parlay, interspersed with periods of contactless busy-stuff, separateness of lives occasionally melding together in the knowing, the curiousness, exploration into the unknown, yet laden with ease and comfortableness that causes easy talk and lighthearted laughter.

It's all good. It's all slow. It's... what it is.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Spring is in the Air!

It was warm and sunny yesterday, as it has been for the past few days. Lovely June-like weather in the midst of April. Given that this is north of the 49th, in the centre of a huge continent, we are all wondering if and when the last vestiges of winter are going to strike. It's happened before... blizzards in April and May. They don't stick around for long, but the trees are budding, the tulips are blooming, and everything is beginning to feel like a normal spring, unlike last year when we had nine months straight of cooler than normal weather. That sucked. This doesn't.

So an evening walk with Zoë after dinner in 21C sunshine was perfect. We wandered along one of the many routes we take in our neighbourhood. This one involved cutting through and meandering around a large park. Lots of open grassy space. This is also the turning point in our walk, and as we looped through the park to head back home, Zoë decided it was time for a rest.

Once a 100 lb dog decides to lie down, there isn't much you can do short of violence to get her up and walking again, so I flopped down on the grass beside her. It was very peaceful, the tiny blades of greenery starting to poke through the yellowed deadness of last year's grass. The air was fresh, no breeze to disturb anything, the sun warm on my flesh.

After about a 15 minutes lounge int he grass, I got her going again, although she did twice try to lie down again. It's not at all that she's tired or out of breath.... she is just lazy and likes nothing better than to lie about in the sunshine. Goofy girl!

There's been development on the dating front. I've joined a new dating website and about 2 weeks after that, had a chat invite from a local man. Since then we've been on four dates and I think I am developing a serious case of 'Like'... It's funny, because I probably would have overlooked him in my searches, as he does not meet the 5'10" minimum height requirement I had set on the search filter. He's 5'9", the same height as me. I commented on this and he asked me if I had a problem with short men. I said that although taller is nice, height is not a critical criteria for me. And I'm so glad! He's bright, articulate, funny, works in the medical field as well, so we understand each other quite well when talking about work. He is often in the hospital I work in, although I have not yet run into him there. We've really enjoyed the times we've spent together. He doesn't seem to have the fear issues that everyone else I've gone on dates with seems to have. You know... fear of getting close, fear of feeling something for someone, fear of commitment. But again, it is early on, and I have been fooled before, so I am cautiously optimistic at this point. He likes getting out and doing stuff and has already taken me for a ride on his motorcycle.

So it's all good. Here's crossing my fingers and toes that is stays good. Time will tell.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Sleeping in...

I didn't have to get up early for work today.

I have the day off.

Ahhhhh..... I get to sleep until I wake up on my own. *happy sigh*


Pips has officially relinquished the title of That Damn Cat and has handed the crown to Lila.

I woke, jolted out of bed, by the house alarm going off at just before 7:00 a.m. Flying down the stairs, wrestling into my house coat and trying not to trip and kill myself, I screech to a halt in front of the keypad for the alarm and disable it.

Then I survey the house to see what's happened.

The door is closed and locked. The patio door is intact. All windows are intact. The dog is standing in the middle of the livingroom with her tail between her legs. Pips comes up from the basement and starts chirping at me.

Lila is nowhere to be seen.

The only thing out of place is a hard plastic coffee cup that I take in my lunch kit. It is on the kitchen floor, obviously pushed off by some meandering feline who was where she ought not to be. I have ceramic tile floors. Pair that with the crash of hard plastic and a glass breakage detector with the house alarm and you get.....

WOOOOWOOOOOWOOOOOWOOOOWOOOOOWOOOOOOWOOOOOWOOOOO.... ad nauseum until the alarm is shut off. The alarm company calls... I tell them all is okay, the cat knocked something onto the floor.

Good thing I don't have police service too. I would get charged for each false alarm, because the cops would have been dispatched.

I'm sure they wouldn't be impressed when I held up that blue eyed devil and a purple cup as the culprits.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Random Ramblings on a Day Home

I'm home from work today, not feeling so hot... which is a bummer as I have a 'meet and greet' tonight and I'd damn well better feel up to going out for a couple of drinks!

Hopefully, this feeling of blah and weakness and tiredness will pass quickly. I don't often get sick. I hate getting sick. I dislike colds and coughs and such, but if I get the stomach flu and have to puke, I get really pissed off! I had surgery on my stomach a few years ago to correct a non-functioning sphincter (the one that stops the back splash of acid up the esophagus) and so throwing up is an ordeal. It takes me longer than the usual person. Which means that horrible wave of nausea and the cold sweats drag on....

It sucks.

But at least I have no nausea right now. And I'd better not get any either!

But since I am home from work and not quite ready for another nap, I thought I'd fling a few random ramblings up on the screen. For your perusal. Or not. As the case may be. Hope I don't bore you all to death...

It has come to be that Lila, that gorgeous blue eyed, chocolate and cream fluff that is on the verge of her first birthday (on the 27th) is a mental case. She really dislikes being picked up. She often hisses at me when I finish clipping her claws or brushing her. And with a long coat, brushing is not optional. No matter what she may think! She leaps on my back any time I bend over... putting on my shoes, brushing my teeth, picking something up off the floor... And when she's on my back, she digs in her claws and starts biting my clothes! So then I have to either stand up and hope she jumps off with minimal damage to me, or reach back and hope I can grab her. She has figured that one out (she ain't stupid, that's for sure) and moves just out of reach. Damn cat!

But she is highly entertaining, that I must say. She bolts around the house, plays well by herself, and carts her toys all over the place, to play in different locations. Of course, she also plays with things that are not her toys, such as the bar of soap in the bathroom. Many times I have heard it clunk to the floor... and she tries to lick it if it has just been used and is sudsy. Weirdo.

She's a hoot when on my bed. I will wrestle with her, my hand playing with her feet. And what does she do? Oh yes, the usually kicking and grabbing with her paws (which is one reason I keep those claws clipped... the furniture is the other) but she grabs the blanket in her mouth. Or the rabbit fur ear muff cover that has become a toy (because they were useless as ear muffs - poor design). Or my sleeve. And holds it there. And if it starts to come out, she uses a front paw to stuff it back in. Again, I say... weirdo!

She often loses toys under the stove (those little balls with bells inside fit nicely under there) and she'll lie on the floor with her paw under the stove and meow at me. It is then my job to fish the thing out and chuck it into the living room so she can play again.

When I say her name sternly as I can see she's about do do something she shouldn't, she squinches up her face and says, 'meh.' She knows....

She eats anything, including vegetables, dog food and any people food she can snag. I have to be careful what I leave on the counter in the kitchen or briefly on a table in the living room. She's already dumped a full glass of milk all over the end table, including three remotes and two book... and the carpet.

Thank goodness Pips is a snuggle bunny. Otherwise I would be slowly dying from lack of kitty snuggles. The dog likes to snuggle too, but a 100 lb slobbering weight is a bit much for my lap. And my clothes... She gets to lie on the floor, with belly rubs and scratches liberally dispensed.

The dating thing is weird too. I have a meet and greet tonight. I'm on the dating site right now and in the past 20 minutes, ten men have looked at my profile. Not a word from any other them. And most of them are familiar faces... they've looked at me before. Why are men such chickens? I've emailed plenty and more often than not get no response. Whatever...

My dislike of tea has been reaffirmed. I am working on trimming down and to that end, have eliminated hot chocolate from my repertoire of beverages. So I have been trying tea. Black tea is just bitter, even with sweetener in it. Rooibos isn't too bad... it's red tea. But still. I do have a preference for chocolate and sweet, and no tea is that. Oh well. I am sure I'll get used to it.... Maybe.

Spring appears to have arrived. Temperatures are in the teens now (Celsius of course... this is the land of metric, after all) and flowers are poking through the dirt in the garden. Trees are budding and birds are bouncing off my living room window now that mating season is in full swing. I'm sure I will find a carcass or two soon. The cats have heart attacks every time that happens. The big blue spruce in the front yard is experiencing major avian traffic and when I open the window, the cats are fascinated. Pips used to be a barn cat and has hunted in the past but it has been almost 2 years since she became a housebound city dwelling cat. She bolts out the door once in a while and I have to go retrieve her. She'd get run over in a flash here and I won't let that happen. Lila, on the other hand, has only ever seen birds through the window. She just goes insane when the window is open! Standing up with her paws on the screen, meowing and chittering away, running back and forth along the chest that sits in front of the window as their perch.

Soon I will get my bike out of the shed, clean the chain and get it all greased up. Inflate the tires. And then wait for the street cleaners to get rid of all the gravel and sand. I hate riding on that stuff... way too easy to wipe out if you have to make a sudden move because of some inattentive drive. Or one who's just a plain jerk...

I have the brackets to finish the assembly of the BBQ too. They are sitting on the bookshelf by the front door. Another thing to do that I just haven't gotten around too. That's a minor chore, so maybe I will do that today. Then I can hook up the tank and actually use the BBQ that I purchased 1 1/2 years ago....

Right. I have to get off this machine now. My hands are going numb... carpal tunnel does that when you use them too much... Besides I think I need something to eat and then a nap. A cat nap... Perhaps Lila will join me. I know for certain that Pips will. My lap is her favourite place.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

It's hot, it's sunny; the deep blue expanse of water stretches out to the horizon ahead of me. I've a good grasp of the handles on this inflatable ring thingie as I speed across the water, bouncing gleefully over the little waves.

Ahead of me, another rider boinks along as speed, zooming towards the large boat that sits bobbing on the water. I don't know who it is... they are too far away to tell, but I am fast approaching as my rate of zoom is obviously quicker than theirs.

It's gorgeous out on the water... The salt spray is just cool enough to cut the heat of the sun. I've got my shades on, and the wind whips my hair back as I race along, a big grin plastered on my face.

As I approach the other rider, I notice it's a she... but can't see a face. I notice flashes of red and white under the water around her... like colourful dolphins keeping up with her speed beneath the surface.

Red and White? Dolphins don't come in red and white. Wait a minute... they look like people... they have arms and legs... how can they swim that fast? And where are their air tanks if they are scuba divers?

Just as those thoughts passed through my mind, several red and white shapes reached out and yanked her under the water.

Gone... in an instant. No inflatable bobbing to the surface, no swimmer splashing about in the water.

Nothing. Just.... nothing.

No one but me saw. We were too far away from the boat to even see shapes of people on it. I was still zooming along towards the boat. It was then that I began to wonder how... I had no motor on this thing. There was nothing towing me...

I quickly drew my feet up from the edge of the inflatable... I sucked in a huge gasping breath as I saw red and white shapes darting to surround me... keeping pace... somehow not even wiggling their legs or arms as they swam. No... it was like they were flying under the water.

My knuckles blanched to white as I gripped the handles tighter. Several red arms reached upwards and I felt the inflatable... and me... pulled into the water.

As the water slammed over my head, I opened my mouth in a vain attempt to draw one last breath...

Fully expecting to inhale the ocean, I sucked in a huge lungful of air and feebly warbled, "gaaaaaaaahhhh..."

I lay gasping in my bed, hoping the neighbours didn't hear me. Turning to look at the clock, I saw that it was barely after 5 a.m. and the sky was just beginning to lighten. I flung myself out of bed to go to the bathroom and pee... and to wipe the sweat off my face.

I hate those kinds of dreams...

Friday, 2 April 2010

Signs of Spring

Spring is a time of renewal. A time of growth and expansion.

Today, here in Winnipeg, we are having a bit of a rain storm... and this year's first rumblings of thunder rolled across the sky moments ago. It is early afternoon and the soft grey atmosphere whips and roils, controlled by the howling winds that are gusting up to a blustery 90 kph. The leafless trees dance erratically, thankful of having no leaves to be stripped off in this gale.

Light rain is splattering about, with the occasional interspersement of sleet that clatters sharply against the window panes.

My presence was required out in the yard this morning as Zoë scooted out to have her morning pee, eyes darting fearfully skyward. The neighbour's tiny steel ornamental wheelbarrow (sized for a 3 year old, I swear!) was tossed about by a gust just as she was going to squat. That was all it took to send the 100 lb chicken skittering back towards the house. *sigh* She is such a wimp. There won't be a walk today... Aside from the fact that I don't really want to get battered by the wind and rain while outside, the dog will have mini heart attacks the entire time so I'd rather not subject either of us to that torture.

The geese are back and flying overhead in greater numbers, heading north to the lakes and marshes. Pairs of chirping birds flit and careen through the tree branches, mating rituals in place, choice nest sites battled over and mates vied for. Even the little red squirrels are chittering about and chasing one another in horny abandon.

There are daffodils and tulips sprouting in my garden, although the rabbits have feasted on some of the daffodils already. Not sure if they managed to get down to the buds, but all the rest are intact and growing nicely. A little colour splashed about the blackness of the bare soil and the brownness of the dead grass will liven things up a tad. The trees are starting to show thickening buds in anticipation of the spring greening.

This is a time of renewal for me as well. I have just undertaken the beginnings of an exercise program to change the shape that I am. Aside from aches and pains from old injuries, I am actually quite healthy, with no problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or the like. I've never been a smoker so my lungs are in tiptop shape (that ought to draw a comment or two...); I don't drink much so my liver is the picture of health. My issue is a very healthy appetite and a penchant for sitting perched in front of this machine, wandering through the ether. The removal of my gall bladder 1 1/2 years ago has compounded that by allowing my body to sequester too much of my food intake into various nooks and crannies about the old bod.

As soon as the street cleaners have removed all the sand and gravel from the roads, my bicycle will be out of the shed and ready to roll. There are miles of bike trails (on the streets but marked) in the city and a nearby provincial park has lovely trails through forests and fields. I do believe an armband for my iPod is in order soon, to accommodate traveling music. I have a great need to work hard, breathe deeply and generate a good sweat.... in minimal clothing with the sun beating down on my skin.

As with life in general, change is the only constant and that seems to be true in the dating world as well. One that had potential seems to be fading away, due to lack of time, lack of contact and a possible lack of interest. The past sometimes come back to haunt and there is that as well. Although in a slightly different format than before, still the connection and chemistry exist, but the path it will take is unknown at this time.