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A Beautiful Day

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

And so it was. Hey hey hey, a Beautiful Day (so say Bedouin Soundclash, which is playing on my shuffle right now). And so appropriate. Let me begin with my stop at the mailbox. No bills, no junk, but magazine subscriptions and a package from Connie. She is a gifted craftsperson and made the little pillow you see in the background of the first photo and again in the next.

She also sent me a lovely card and ladybug bookmarks (how did you know I love lady bugs?) and tiny sized Chicklets (these brought back memories :) and a book called "511 Things Only Women Understand". I love books with lists, as you might recall from my "1000 Places to See Before you Die" posts. So let's play another game. Which number would you like? I randomly chose #179: Only Women Understand... Why it's so satisfying to go on an occasional crying jag....Is it? I think I agree.

I put in a very satisfying day at work, accomplished a lot, had books come in the work mail (useful and interesting) had wonderful adult conversations and then went to the Bookstore. Ahhhhh...better than, well, let's not go there. I had a nice over-priced mocha drink from Starbucks and wandered around. A book I had ordered had come in and is going to be a really interesting read (partially for work purposes). This one is called "Bowling Alone" by Robert Putnam, but is not about bowling. I also found a cook book for baby food that I could not resist. On the way home I decided to go to the movie store and rent the first episodes of Nip/Tuck which I have heard so much about (especially from Rosie). I haven't seen any at all, so we'll see. I plan on watching them some time over the next week. And then after the drive home, the nice mail. And then this little sweetie to great me...

We played among his typical mess, which is his favourite thing to do right now; knock everything over (including himself, therefore the pillow behind him). When the other boys arrived home, we had dinner and danced to the Forever Plaid musical soundtrack. What a sight we would have been. My son's nickname is Fred because he dances like a mini Fred Astaire, as he glides along the hardwood floor. You'll be seeing him on Dancing with the Stars one day, folks.

And to top it all off, The Amazing Race starts tonight. Such joy should be spread out a little better.

Tell me, what # would you like from the 511 Things Only Women Understand?

Written by Cathy


Monday, February 27, 2006

I didn't leave the house today (but did get dressed before noon). I was home with the boys and the temperature was minus 20 degrees C with the wind chill. Blink and the moisture from your eyes freezes your eyelids shut. The weather forecast is for more of the same:Tuesday: flurries, Wednesday: flurries, Thursday: flurries....you get the idea. Once we reach March, we pyschologically prepare for spring, but the reality is that we could have two more months of winter.

I have some interesting work going on this week; I will eventually post about it. In the meantime today, the three of us were quite happy to be home and be lazy, meandering from watching shows in tv to colouring and then playing with Playmobil characters and computer games. I had a chicken in the crock pot and it turned out wonderfully. I made some homemade baby food and it actually turned out well. A very mundane Monday but lovely nevertheless. Tomorrow, my father is caring for the babe again and I will be working in my office, trying desperately to get an article written. But I look forward to a good day ahead, and I am going to be picking up a book I had ordered that will be really useful for my work. This means a trip to the Bookstore and Starbucks without kids.
How was your Monday and what are you doing on Tuesday?

Written by Cathy


Sunday, February 26, 2006

I have been tagged by Pat at Past Imperfect for:

Seven things to do before I die:
1. pay off my house and be financially secure
2. travel travel travel…to Greece, Italy, the south of France, Africa, and Amanwana (of course)
3. have my environmental foundation fully funded with permanent staff and making an impact
4. do more international work
5. continue to volunteer; Red Cross and other organizations
6. learn learn learn and teach teach teach
7. become more politically active

Seven things I cannot do:
1. add without using my fingers
2. make fudge
3. enjoy myself around my in-laws
4. go to bed without brushing my teeth
5. wear socks around the house, even in winter
6. ride roller coasters
7. read minds

Seven things that attract me to my Other Half:
1. his love and care for our children
2. his love and care for me
3. his compassion in general
4. his intelligence and love of books and travel
5. his work ethic and strength of character
6. his cheerfulness and ability to really never be gloomy (unlike me)
7. his humour

Seven things I say:
1. get out from underneath the coffee table
2. the house is not the playground
3. blow your nose
4. crap
5. oh shit
6. fergodssakes
7. oopsie

Seven films I love:
1.The English Patient
2. Chocolat
3. The Constant Gardener
4. Out of Africa
5. anything with Johnnie Depp
6. Dead Poet’s Society
7. It’s a Wonderful Life

Seven books I love: (I can go on and on here…only 7?!?!; these were just the first ones that came to mind)

1. anything by Toni Morrison, but Beloved is my favourite.
2. A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr (and his newest: The Lost Painting)
3. anything by Jose Saramaggo, but Blindness was my favourite.
4. Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen
5. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
6. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
7. Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom

Seven people to tag: Any seven who choose to do so…

Written by Cathy

Uninspired and Tired

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My creativity is taking a beating. Imagine working two full time jobs. That's what I'm doing. Taking care of the boys and then writing and doing research when they are asleep, and trying to sneek in an hour or two here and there throughout the day. It is temporary. My babysitter is back next week, but unfortunately I have deadlines looming this week. I need to read some philosophy or something inspirational right now. Tuesdays with Morrie is still fresh with me and continues to resonate, so I will pass his last course and learn the lessons. Tonight:

"...most of us walk around as if we're sleepwalking. We really don't experience the world fully, because we're half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do."

What is preventing you from experiencing the world fully?

Written by Cathy

Why bother getting dressed when you are not leaving the house?

Friday, February 24, 2006

1. Because I wanted to show you the lovely necklace that I bought from DayByDay's Need2Bead site.
2. Because staying in your pajamas past noon when you are not sick does something to your mental state.

The fact that I got dressed for my blog is rather distressing. I need to get out more.

Written by Cathy

Hallelujah Pizzeria Part 2

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I was never so happy to turn the car off and my legs were more than a little shaky as I stepped out and walked into the pizza shop. The look on my face as I walked in must have said it all…as I blew in the door with the wind and snow with me. There were a middle aged couple behind the counter, and a younger man sitting at a table. They were all chatting and looked up at me in surprise. Are there any Bed & Breakfasts in the area, I asked. The woman shook her head, and says no, nothing, not even a motel, nothing between here are Halifax. Crap, I think to myself. The husband says hold on a minute, let’s double check in the telephone book, and he starts flipping through the pages. I call Mr. C on my cell phone and tell him I won’t be home tonight. What? He asks…where are you? Where will you stay? I don’t know, and maybe in the car, I respond. I tell him not to worry, that I am making smart decisions and that I will be staying safe. We hang up and I return to find out that there is a B&B about 15 minutes away. And they are open and have a room available. Would you like me to call them back and book it for you? The woman asks. Yes! I am so thrilled that I will not be sleeping in the car or on the Pizzeria floor.

But now my mind quickly starts to think about getting back in the car and driving again. Fifteen minutes could be forever in the mess out there. The younger of the two men notices my distress and offers to drive in his truck to the B&B and for me to follow him. I immediately say YES! and after much discussion about which route to take, we are on our way. The drive was not nearly as bad when I had the comfort of following someone who was watching out for me. An RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) car pulled up to his truck and a short conversation was had and then we were soon at the B&B. Upon both of us parking and getting out, I asked him what the RCMP had wanted. There had just been a major accident on the main Highway (the one I had just gotten off of) that involved three cars and a woman in one of the cars was dead. The officer was warning vehicles to stay off the Highway. I immediately thought about the silly woman and hoped that she hadn’t been involved. I called her cell phone. It was turned off.

I thanked the young fellow and asked him how I could repay him for his kindness. I don’t want anything at all. Really, I am just glad I could help you out. I felt so bad for you back there that I really just wanted to get you here safely. I wanted to give him a hug and a kiss but gave him a friendly Canadian handshake and thanked him profusely for his kindness.

I walked into the B&B and a woman quickly greeted me and checked me in, showed me to my room and asked if I needed anything else. I asked her if she had any toothpaste or toothbrushes that I could perhaps buy from her, given that I had not been prepared for an overnight excursion. Well, then you’ll need pajamas as well! And she is off and brings me a toothbrush and toothpaste (both brand new and still in the package) and a pair of her pajamas. So I settled snuggly into the bed of a cozy Victorian B&B wearing a strangers’ dark purple satin pajamas. I got up bright and early the next morning and was home by 8:00 am. Upon telling Mr.C. the whole story, he gave me a hug, said he was glad I'd made it home safely and then said Did you bring any pizza home?

I continued to call the silly woman all day, and finally got through to her late yesterday. Oh, yes, I am fine. She says, wondering why I am asking. I ask her about her drive, and she says that she crawled along and got home in the middle of the night, and that she had also been stopped by the RCMP but wasn’t prepared to stay anywhere overnight (not having toothpaste and such). She never asked how my drive was, seemed annoyed that I had to overnight at a B&B, and proceeded to talk about the “Next” presentation. Forget it. I’m out. Silly woman.

Written by Cathy

Hallelujah Pizzeria Part 1

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I went and gave the stupid presentation, which was only stupid because four people showed up for a talk I drove over an hour and a half away to give. Why so few people? Because the silly woman (yes, the same one I referred to yesterday) who organized it didn’t advertise it. At all. I suppose the four who came just happened to wander in off the sidewalk for the free brownies. Oh, then came one more…a belligerent, arrogant professor from the local University. What a treat.

The whole thing started late (silly woman’s fault again) because she was hoping for more people to show up (wander in off the sidewalk). And because it all started late, I left just as the snow was falling. As I left the town, it was a gentle flurry. By the time I was on the highway, it was a full blown whiteout. Zero visibility and the snow was falling faster than it could melt off the highway. I quickly could see nothing but the tunnel in front of me, lit by my headlights. I was driving alone, having decided not to carpool with the silly woman, who had warned me that she was going to be staying late to clean up and chat with people.

It took only moments for me to realize that I was in trouble. Deep trouble. I could see nothing and there were no cars on the highway. It looked as though I was driving with a white sheet wrapped around the car. I passed an Exit. Not a good idea to get off and into an area I do not know, I thought. It got worse. I must take the next Exit, I mentally prepared myself. My mind was in full throttle, planning each subsequent step. I was mentally guiding myself as the Exit came up and I somehow managed to guide the car off the steep ramp, where snow was completely covering any sign of a road. I was in farm country and the roads and fields merged into one large blanket. Go left, go right? I did not know. Again my mind mentally guided each step, Go Right…Keep Moving. Do not panic. Stop if you have to. I was worried about stopping, though; the car could get stuck, another car could crash into me, without seeing it there, it was freezing cold and I could die….seriously, these were my thoughts.

I saw a glimmer of lights in the distance and my nerves immediately calmed…a one-stop- light town, which also happened to have one Pizzeria. Which was lit up like a Christmas tree. Hallelujah Pizzeria…

To be continued….Tomorrow…

Written by Cathy

Should I Stay or Should I Go ?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

This winter has been strange; the temperature rises and falls dramatically and Mother Nature can't seem to decide if we are in spring or winter. It makes the anticipation of the actual springtime even that much more difficult. And then there are the snows that are not quite storms but enough to make travel difficult. Perhaps 5 to 10 cm tonight, but starting when? Not quite certain. I have to go an hour away to give a presentation and the woman I am going with thinks I am crazy to even think about cancelling. I mean, right now, this is what we see...

But by this evening, it could be intense snow squalls. Or not. Off to go and check the radar again.

Has the weather been odd where you live?

Written by Cathy


Monday, February 20, 2006

I took my son to see the new Curious George movie yesterday, and it was just o.k., although I had low expectations to begin with. It could have been so much better...but I have been an avid Curious George lover since I was a little girl. I had a stuffed Curious George which was recalled by the manufacturer (it must have been 1977) because the lettering on his outfit was discovered to be toxic. Just don't lick them, my mother said, and I was allowed to keep mine. Then he was lost in our move to Nova Scotia and I mourned him (along with other things). As soon as I first saw one when my son was a baby, I bought it right away. He is now missing a button and has been loved and will be by the babe as well. Nothing beats an original.

On top of the movie just being ok, we had our drinks stolen from the cup holders on our seats!, and it was minus 20 degress Celsius outside and the cold was creeping into the cracks of the theatre...

Today I spent my day with Fischer Price toys; cars and trains and brightly coloured plastic of all shapes and sizes...the mind numbs after awhile. Tomorrow I must switch gears and give a presentation to environmentalists....

And now, time to catch myself up on the news of the day....

Written by Cathy

Proust at 20, I'm still 34...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Part 2 of the Proust Questionnaire...

Your most marked characteristic?

What do you most value in your friends?
Their time and sincerity.

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite flower?

What is your favorite bird?
The hummingbird

Who are your favorite prose writers?
Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf (seriously Chloe, they are mine as well…)

Who are your favorite poets?
Irving Layton, Jose Marti

What is it you most dislike?
Apathy, ignorance and arrogance

What historical figures do you most despise?
Any who caused intentional human suffering

What event in military history do you most admire?
How can you “admire” military events?

What reform do you most admire?
Public health care.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
The ability to heal.

How would you like to die?
At peace.

What is your present state of mind?

What is your motto?
Make your life matter.

Written by Cathy

Proust at 15, Me at 34...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A hug for anyone who needs it!

Chloe posted half of the Proust questionnaire today. Here is mine...

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Anything happening to my children.

Where would you like to live?
On my own island somewhere warm.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Being with my family every day and not having to work and having no worries and being able to travel as we like…I can go on…

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Frustration, and quick-temper

Who are your favourite heroes/heroines of fiction?
Jo March: Little Women, Sherlocke Holmes

Who are your favourite characters in history?
Galileo, Socrates, Ptolemy, Columbus, Lawrence of Arabia

Who are your favourite heroines in real life?
Rachel Carson, Elisabeth Mann-Borgese

Your favourite painter?
Rosetti, Hunt, Waterhouse among other pre-Raphaelites

Your favourite musician?

The quality you most admire in a man?
Sincerity, honesty, intelligence and humour

The quality you most admire in a woman?
The same as in a man

Your favourite virtue?

Your favourite occupation?
doing anything at all that I love to do (writing, reading, painting, scrapbooking, decorating) without having to worry about getting paid for it

Who would you have liked to be?
I can honestly say that there is no one I would rather be…..

Written by Cathy

Oh Yeah!....

Friday, February 17, 2006

The power went out at midnight last night. There was no bad weather and not a hint of wind. After being on hold with the Power Company for twenty minutes, we're told that a car hit a pole and knocked the entire pole out. Not so strange, but the pole it knocked out was over 50 km away!...Seriously, Nova Scotia Power is ridiculous. 12,000 homes out of power because of a single pole. The car, as it turns out, burst into flames and the driver ran off (stolen?). For once I didn't really care about being out of power at the time, but it was this morning that was stressing me out, so I couldn't sleep. The power eventually came back on at 4:30 am. And then I could sleep without worrying for a few hours.

You see, tickets for INXS went on sale at 9:00 sharp this morning, and I was purchasing mine online. If the power had been out, I wouldn't have been able to get them. As it turned out, even having power, it was hard enough. But, after completely selling out in nearly 20 minutes, I have two golden rafter seats. The story really is so much longer than this, but I thought you would appreciate the abbreviated version, rather than the actual long-winded one. I may not shut-up about this until May.


Now tonight, we are having a wind storm with high wind warnings and winds up to 90 km/hr. It is howling outside and the lights have been flickering...we'll see about this one.

Written by Cathy

On the streets of Halifax today...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The past few days I've had errands to do and lunch meetings to go to in downtown Halifax. The city is a thriving and sophisticated Canadian city, with vibrant arts, culture and cuisine. But one can not escape but notice the increasing number of homeless and street people. Especially on Spring Garden Road, the main shopping street. The sidewalks are full of people begging. Sometimes I feel sorry for them and buy a hot chocolate and muffin for them. Sometimes I feel annoyed by their aggressive behaviour and think that certainly they must be able to do something to help themselves. There are jobs at practically every fast food restaurant available. I know I know...save the lecture. Like I said, I think both ways on the issue.

Regardless, they are human beings and should be given respect. Today I saw a man throw a cigarette at one of the homeless. As he tossed it, another businessman walking in the opposite direction came in the line of fire and the tossed cigarette lodged in the oncoming businessman's neck. The whole thing unfolded in front of my eyes as the homeless fellow went to retrieve the cigarette from the businessman's neck (who, by the way, was searching for it's landing place, unaware of it's location). Seeing the homeless man coming after his neck, he started to step backwards pulling away from the man. I was about to stop and try and explain that the man wasn't threatening him but simply wanted to get the cigarette out from the folds of his neck. I decided to let them sort it out for themselves.

Written by Cathy

Bottom Line on Climate Change

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's happening, and it is practically irreversible.
What does this mean and what should we be doing about it? Depends on where you live. If you live near one of the "extremes" i.e. near an extremely arid and hot place or an extremely cold place, effects will be greatest. If you live in a temperate environment (middle latitudes) then the effects might be more subtle. The science is complicated, yes. But the fact is that if we had really wanted to do something about this, we should have started decades ago. This is confirmed by over 120 scientists from 11 countries. Fact, not fiction. You can read more about this, for example, from the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study.

If you would like an idea of what the model forecasts for your area are, let me know. In the meantime, there is a significant amount of attention on the Arctic. The scientific community is startled by how fast polar ice is melting. An area about the size of Lake Superior is melting every year, and has been for the past thirty. The Canadian Press reported today that the Inuit are being greatly affected. Houses are being washed away, shorelines are eroding, and food sources are threatened. Did you hear about this in the news today? Of course not, the Inuit don't hold a lot of power politically. And globally, we are consumed with wars, cartoons gone awry and bird hunting idiots. Our attention is diverted. We are giving our kids baths, and making lunches, doing the laundry, going to work, and generally living our lives. We are the generation that the future will look back on and say: "What the hell were they doing? Thanks for screwing up the planet." How many generations do we look back on and think "how foolish they were...if only they knew then what we knew now." The problem with this analogy is that we do know. Now. But we choose to ignore because life is good. We drive big cars, we consume Consume CONSUME...Enough.

This is what we must do: pressure our governments to make this a priority. Work towards the Kyoto obligations and individually, do everything we possibly can to conserve energy, drive efficient compact cars (better yet, walk, ride a bike or take public transit) and generally be conscious of what kind of ecological footprint we are having on this planet. Really folks, not to be too preachy, but I would like future generations to live in the wonderful natural environment that we currently are fortunate to have. We need to change our ways. Seriously. Now.

Written by Cathy


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

By mid-week I am usually feeeling like I have crested the peak of a mountain and am about to roll slowly down the other side and right into the weekend. With my mixed up work situation, I will be working on Saturday, and most evenings (except tonight, because I am hooked on American Idol again).

I keep driving past the fisherman's wharf. The one who passed away. His lobster traps sit neatly stacked, placed there by his fishing family. But there is no boat. Just a wharf with traps. At this time of year, every wharf is loaded with traps and there is always a boat tied firmly to it. Now, we have a constant reminder, along with the dark cold ocean out my window. When the desk was delivered, the delivery men said wow, what a view. Yeah, look straight out, said Mr. C....that's where the fisherman died. Sigh. The funeral will be on Saturday.

I visited the babysitter today. To take her cookies and magazines and a card from the boys. She will not be caring for the babe again until mid-March. Mr. C's mother discovered last evening that we had no childcare for the babe; Oh, you'll work it out... she says. No offer. Just nothing. But then she quickly changes the topic of conversation to her wall paper peeling woes of the upstairs bathroom. This is a true story folks. Great to have family like this, huh? Thanks for nothing. My lovely father, on the other hand, will come to care for the babe tomorrow. Both of their faces light up when they see one another. What a wonderful Opa he is.

Three cheers for Opa; hip hip hooray!...

Written by Cathy

Cookies versus Sanity

Monday, February 13, 2006

We made cookies, at the expense of my sanity. I am counting down the minutes until Mr.C comes home so I can have a bath and de-stress myself. Honestly, being at home with young children and babies is the most difficult thing in the world. And on the topic of Valentine's Day, it is over-rated, really, single friends, it is, so you are not really missing out on anything other than a great sales day for the Hallmark people. (but it is a good excuse for fancy baking :) So here is my Valentine's gift to you: the recipe that is adored by generations.....

Aunt Mary's Sugar Cookies
(for all occasions, providing you have the right cookie cutter shapes :)
1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tap nutmeg
Cream margarine and sugar. Add well beaten eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, salt and spices. Roll out (not too thin). Bake approximately 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Do not bake too long; take them out before the edges start to brown. Once cooled, frost with butter frosting, which I do not use a recipe for, but simply blend about a half cup of butter or margarine, enough icing sugar for the amount you'll need and enough milk to mix it well (won't take much).

Written by Cathy

No Snow Day

So after all of the hype, we have no snow day today. Just another regular day. I am home with both boys and trying to figure out what we'll do. We might bake cookies, and I'll post a photo later on...there is also fresh snow, as you can see from the view out the front door:
But it's hard to bundle up the babe who really can't get much enjoyment from it yet. It takes an hour of preparation to go out for 15 minutes before my older son says he wants to come back in again. So the thrust of the storm stayed out to sea, but it makes for nice scenerey out the window. I can't seem to catch the waves crashing off the headland, but it is stormy out there in the Atlantic today.
Meanwhile, my son has ensured that we all remember that tomorrow is Valentine's Day.

Written by Cathy

Gifts and Desks...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My lovely friend Stephanie sent me a package which included a mixed CD (shes has great taste in music...), soap paper (how did you know I love these?), ribbons (which will be perfect for handmade cards and scrapbooks), and an "Appreciating" poetry card. You can turn three different wheels to magically have a prophetic saying. I might just have one every day. Today I have turned it to this..."Know the grace of friends".
And the much awaited desk arrived this afternoon. I have not had the chance to fix it up as I would like it just yet. I was home all of about 2 hours today, after being out running errands all morning and then off to my mother's for a Valentine supper. It is a lovely roll-top desk that I can't seem to take a photo of that does it justice. I'll try again after it is all arranged and the lighting is just right. Perfectionism is creeping in...

Roll top up and ready to blog...

Written by Cathy

Conclusions and Beginnings...

Friday, February 10, 2006

  • The fisherman's body washed ashore today and was found by his friends. The community is in mourning and one can feel it in the atmosphere. At the local store, walking along the road and passing a neighbour. No matter that you didn't know the man. And so, I wish I had something profound to say about this but I don't. Not a poem, not an epithet, not a goodbye wish....just that was that.
  • I feel like I am juggleing watermelons and flaming torches. It was hard enough trying to pack a weeks worth of work into three days and now, with no babysitter, the pile-up has begun. My to-do list is adding up and there is very little getting crossed off. I might have one or two work days if I'm lucky next week. How am I supposed to resolve this? Short-term keep juggling, I suppose, and then anticipate her return. The problem is that most of my deadlines are in February and early March.
  • Fridays have become my new Mondays. I have no idea how this has happened but it has. I caved and bought my son a new computer game today...the new Curious George game. It is ridiculously difficult, and enough to put me into cardiac arrest. So much for relaxation on a Friday evening. Back to boardgames from now on.
  • So in conclusion, it has been a difficult week. Next week will likely be difficult as well, but I am determined to face some positive, which includes...the new desk coming tomorrow, Valentine's Day, I had a great luncheon meeting today (although it also added work on my to-do list), I ate perhaps the best bowl of French Onion Soup I've ever had, the Olympics begins today, and so I am determined to stay in a positive way....so GO Team Canada!!!

Written by Cathy

Thursday Morning

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thursday Morning, Feb.9
The official search has been called off, but there is a small Coast Guard vessel on the water in addition to lobster boats. They are hauling in the lost fisherman’s traps. The hope is that they can narrow his position down by finding what traps he still had to haul and working backwards from that point. I can only imagine how those fishermen must feel as they pull up their lost friends gear. There is really very little hope now. Today it is -10 degrees Celsius outside and the water temperature would be around 3 degrees Celsius.
It is a somber site. I can see the fishermen on their boats through my telescope, standing side by side looking in the empty water. Their nets drag over the side in the hope that they might, well…no need to explain.

Written by Cathy

Out my living room window...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The constant reminder that there is a man, dead or alive, out there somewhere...
I am home from my conference, which went well, but I was distracted, and not as interesting to listen to (as usual)....I don't know this man, and yet the fact that he is in the water somewhere in my cove is very disturbing. My father came and stayed with the babe today, which went amazingly well. He will do this again tomorrow. Sorry I am not responding to individual posts right now, but I am juggling so much and there is so little time for everything. I am preoccupied with looking out my telescope, and scanning the water and shoreline, as if I were going to be able to see something. I can understand the feeling of being helpless. On the drive into work today, I passed busloads of Search and Rescue, and the Navy with Zodiacs on trailers attached to their vehicles. There are a lot of people looking for this lone man. There is comfort and amazement in that. If you ever should find yourself unfortunate enough to be lost at sea off the coast of Canada, the cavalry are certainly going to be out there looking for you.

Written by Cathy

Update from last night's post...

For context, refer to my post from last night...
From this morning's Chronicle-Herald...

"A search began Tuesday night near Halifax for a lobster fisherman who failed to return from a fishing trip... the man's empty boat was found later washed up on shore [in our cove]. A life raft was also recovered. A Hercules aircraft, Cormorant helicopters, two coast guard vessels and a ground search team were searching the area...the hunt was expected to end overnight and resume at dawn."

I pray...as I leave for my conference this morning.

Written by Cathy

And then another day...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tonight I was going to post about work, and the big presentation I am about to give tomorrow. Tonight I was going to post about The Liar. I was going to update you on my poor babysitter. I was going to post about the funny and amazing things my older son said to me today.

But alas things change again. I was standing in my kitchen at the sink, and saw a flash of light in the pitch black sky out the living room window. Not long thereafter, helicopters and boats flashing lights in the water could be seen. What happened? My son was in the tub having a bath and I was preparing to give the babe his bottle before bed. The intensity of what was going on picked up quickly. Lights, helicopters whirring, boats…. We live in a small cove where nothing goes on. We’d never seen anything like this before. An explosion? What just happened? I called my neighbour and she was also wondering, but had not seen the big flash of light. A flare, she thought. She said she would make a few calls and get back to me. She had talked to a few more people on the phone before me and was told that it is either a fisherman lost at sea or drug runners. Mr. C and I lock our doors and turn on the alarm system in the event it is the latter. The phone rings before we can fully contemplate what is going on. The helicopters continue to whir overhead and there appear to be more lights on the water. It is a fisherman, she says. He is missing, along with his boat. The surf has been rough. As I sit here typing, the drone overhead continues and I am watching search lights scan the shoreline, back and forth, back and forth. It is surreal to say the least. To know, that in the darkness of night, somewhere, out there, a man is lost in the water. And the searchers will continue. Indefinitely. Unlikely that we will get much sleep tonight. Needless to say, our thoughts are with the unfortunate soul (hopefully not plural…) who is out there. I will update you tomorrow night.

Written by Cathy

What a difference a day makes...

Monday, February 06, 2006

No photos today. I always like to add my photos because I feel that they are just as much an expression of what I have to say as the words themselves. But alas, there is no photo to describe the events of today. Just words. Plain and simple.

Today....I was lied to. To my face. Blatant, rude and terrible lies. In front of others, which made it worse. My wonderful babysitter called and tells me she has herpes (on her face), which is shingles by another name. She is contagious. No childcare for two weeks, and I have a major Major MAJOR presentation to give at a conference this week. Not to mention the fact that I feel so badly for her to have to go through this. I get a call that the new desk will arrive on Friday and I am so happy by a little bit of bright light in a dark day that I practically scream yes Yes YES deliver to the house on Friday. I hang up the phone and immediately realize that I have a meeting on Friday...a really Really REALLY important meeting. But I have no telephone number for the delivery fellow who just called. Crap.

Monday by another name?....what is the antonym of TGIF? Anybody?...

Written by Cathy

Yesterday's Lunch Date

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I saw her coming from the window inside the restaurant. My student did not know what she looked like, and therefore had no idea what to expect. Her face was wrinkled with experience and a life of blessings mixed with disappointment
Before you noticed her face, however, you saw her. The Sun shone and yet she wore a furry tam, the colour of lemons, with a matching rain slicker. Gum rubber boots, the style that my son wears. Black with pink soles. They tucked her pant legs in and came up to the knees. She wore a heavy backpack on her back. She is a thick woman. Short and pudgy. When she pulled the tam off her head, she exhibited a practical short grey haircut of the sort you would get from the $10.00 hair cutting shop. Appearances did not matter, not at all. She received curious stares and glances, but she didn’t notice.

She walked into the restaurant and waved helllooooo loudly to us.
This is the woman I had lunch with yesterday, one of the strangest I know.
However, appearances can be deceiving, for this woman is one of the bravest and most courageous, protectors of the environment. Dismissed as a kook, tree hugger, perhaps even a bag lady. She garnered stare after stare. I saw them, she didn’t. I wanted to tell everyone who looked and thought…she is a defender of this planet; what are you doing? Who are you to stare? We should stare at you and wonder what kind of person you are. Do not judge. The next person you see who looks like a kook just might be one of the most inspirational.

She ordered a plate of fruit for lunch, and while we talked, the juice squirted and sprayed and I had to resist the temptation to wipe the spray from my new journal, as I wrote down her words of wisdom. So her words are forever etched in my notebook, along with the watermelon juice.

You are a rose among thorns.
A flower in bloom among buds that don’t open.

A square peg, that refuses to believe
That you can not make a square
Fit into a circle.

Keep on refusing.
Keep trying.
Keep forcing.

The disbelievers.
The decision-makers.

For your square is colourful,
The shades of nature and
Everything beautiful.

They soon will see
That there is nothing crazy
About wanting to protect, preserve
Restore and Enhance.

Somebody, please tell me…
What is so radical
About that.

Written by Cathy

The Babe...

He is growing so much, so quickly. Now he is starting to play in earnest with his toys, and laughing a full belly lauugh, eating baby cookies and interested in little story books. His cheeks are as enormous as ever, completely squeezable (here's one for you, Heidi...)
It is getting more and more difficult to get a nice crisp shot of him, because he is never still. You get the idea... He is also getting up regularly at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. now. No matter what time we put him to bed, how much food and bottles we try and stuff into him, simply no matter...his internal alarm clock is set. How to fix this?...The baby books just annoy me, with their preachy chatter about supposed solutions.

I am working away today as it pours rain outside. I will post about yesterday perhaps later and tomorrow, well a yuck work day, for sure....

The View Out My Window Today...

Written by Cathy


Saturday, February 04, 2006

The comments function on my blog is messed up. You can post but then the comments disappear. I've read them all through my e-mail, but wanted to post a test to see if this problem is on-going. If it seems to be fixed after this post, I'll be creating a real post about my lunch today (and a photo for Heidi...)

Written by Cathy

Which Way to Exile Island?

Friday, February 03, 2006

The past three mornings, we've (Mr.C., the babe and I) have been awakened by our retarded cat (one of them). She has decided that it is clever to scratch the glass on the window at 4ish in the morning. Under non-babe circumstances, I would have cursed loudly at her, thrown the nearest thing wihtin grabbing range, and Mr. C and I would have just rolled over and gone back to sleep. But the babe...sigh... seems to think this is the morning reveille. And he will not go back to sleep. What started out as an annoyance has quickly become something completely dysfunctional to the point that I was a complete and total crank today. I would have paid someone to send me to an Exile Island (wimpy Survivor chick). We are going to have to lock the cats in the basement at night now.

The Annoying One

The plump and prissy one.

The over-tired victim (one of them)

I was unfit to slog my way through the day at home all day with the two boys so we went to the mall, my older son got a haircut and we bought nice paper and pencils (my son and I share this fascination with nice stationary supplies).

So rather than ask you how many jelly beans you think there are in the "Bulk Barn" bag, I'll ask you this; how many should I eat to increase my sugar levels to a sufficient level to get through the rest of the day?

Tomorrow I am off to a work- luncheon meeting with one of the strangest people I know...

Written by Cathy

Welcome to My Office

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I have a "real" office, at a real workplace, but am currently on my sabbatical year and so am primarily working from home. Typically, this has not been a good thing for me, because I seem to be able to do anything but academic work from home...hmmm now I think I'll clean the toilet, kitty litter box, dishes, laundry, cook a little smackerel of something...putter putter putter...Since we moved to this lovely house by the sea, I am so inspired, that I love to sit in my chair by the window and am content to work away, and to hell with the toilets. Mr. C. takes care of that anyway (yes, I am a pathetic wife, I know).

I am anxiously awaiting my new dark wood roll-top desk, which, I've been told, is on a truck en route from Pennsylvania. The minute it's here, I'll be posting a photo. In the meantime, I am posting this "before" shot, so you'll be able to see the huge improvement in the "after" photo. Right now I am surrounded by The Nova Scotia Environment Act (one of the documents on the floor), lunch (the crackers) half a dozen to-do lists, two day planners, several books that await being read, including "Ecological Literacy" (Stone and Barlow, eds) "Unnatural Law" by David Boyd and multiple weather-themed texts.

What surrounds you?

Written by Cathy

So long snow day...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Having a day at home with the entire family was great and I would have been disappointed had we not had a snow day, but it comes with mixed feelings. I am thinking about this 3 day work week to complete a full time job. It gnaws, it is stressful, and yet at the same time I am aware that I am one of the luckiest people I know. Why are we never satisfied, why does that pure feeling of contentment elude us? Or is it just me?...
And so it was...
Face plant...:)

Washed my hair, took pictures, cleaned the basement, baked cupcakes, puttered, e-mailed, blogged, stressed about work, puttered.... Tomorrow the city will be up and running again but yet the roads will likely still be bad. Blech...as good as a snow day feels when you are in the midst of it, there is always some price to pay.

Written by Cathy


Our power did not go out, but we had a huge blizzard, which continues into this morning. The entire city has a snow day; no buses running, shops, banks, schools, government, military...everything is closed. The storm will likely be over by mid-day and then everyone will trickle out of their hovels and walk around assessing the amount and seeing what needs to be shovelled and how bad the roads are...a very social Canadian event. We are all home today and waiting for the snow to stop so we can go out and play. In the meantime, we are drinking prolific amounts of coffee (the worst thing to not have when the power does go out, so it tastes extra good this morning), reading magazines and lazing about. Since Wednesday is one of my three work days, I must do some writing this afternoon. Hello Snow. I love you so...?

Written by Cathy

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