Wednesday, May 27, 2015

laura the destroyah

i'm sitting at the half moon table on my porch.  the sun has set but horizon in the west remains rosy peach and the sky is a pale pale blue.  couples are walking the paths in the park.  i like to watch them.  two ladies circled briskly about ten times and a grandfather slowly meanders pushing an umbrella stroller.  i can hear some guys playing basket ball across the park by the school.  i can hear my neighbour next door doing the dishes and my downstairs neighbours enthuse over and over about their garden. "did you see what the potatoes did?? but this zucchini!"  it amuses me, but i know i'd be saying the exact same things.  growing things in your garden gives you a feeling like you are a partner in a miracle.  dusk in the long days of summer is peaceful and sweet.

i know it's not technically summer.  tell someone who technically cares.  :)

i ordered thai food today.  you need to spend 20.00 minimum so i got chicken satay with a coconut peanut sauce as well as my customary pad thai of delight.  i was sitting out here working on lil' hux's photos and gazing at the tree in the park with the golden hour light glinting off it's lush green leaves.  i was thinking about how in the fall that tree will look like it's on fire, the setting sun setting it's colours ablaze.  and how in winter it will be barren and stark and wet and how the seasons pass so quickly and how life is all a cycle of living and dying, in the natural w
orld and in ourselves.  not just our physical bodies.  but death and rebirth of different parts of ourselves.  i was having deep thoughts ok.  then i heard a heavy foot on the stairs and izzy bolted for the door. i stood up expecting to see a gentleman delivery man.  but it was an older woman.  her hair was'n't grey or anything but we're talking sixties.  she struggled up the stairs breathlessly and at the top she told me in broken english how she gets dizzy with heights.  and i, knowing the uneasy knot in my stomach when my back is to the stairs, feel for her.  i think she told me she can't do rides at the pne, but i'm not sure.  i told her to be careful going down and she said she won't look.  and she went the whole way down looking at the wall.  i liked her, she was cute.

so today i was happily making one of my favourite soups--roasted tomato with roasted garlic... i was in the middle of scooping piles of juicy roasted tomatoes and slopping them into the pot that had onions sauteed in butter and oregano bubbling on the bottom of it.  the big metal bowl of tomatoes was resting on the flat top grill beside the pot.  well, i got to a point where i felt i had slopped enough and the bowl was now empty enough to pick up and pour the rest of the contents into the pot.  so i went to pick it up and that's when i recoiled in horror and did a wild and silent dance--you know the kind.  the bowl was white hot.  and i burned my finger prints off.  well i immediately ran them under cool water.  and it turned out of the 3 digits concerned in the accident, thumb was the worst off.  thumb screamed  bloody murder as soon as i took him out of the water because it felt like he was a torch of fire.  a michael jackson with is hair a flame.  long story short, i kept my hand immersed for 4 hours, to 2 advil AND 2 tylenol  and doused it in lavender.  after this time, when i became totally chilled and there was no blood left in my hand, i felt fine to take it out of the water.  then i went home. but thumby torched again in the car because it was so hot in there.  i went beserk while driving.  seriously, it was like an unquenchable fire.  i don't know what the deal was.  i blasted the ac, but it wouldn't get cold, so i stuck thumby out in the cool wind as i drove, but stop lights and delays were agony for thumbster.  finally at one light i doused it with lavender again, thanks be that i had some in my purse, and that helped for my remaining 5 minutes home.  after a nap everything seems fine and in fact i have very little feeling there.

rewind to tuesday evening.  we had a young women's/young men's activity canoeing from gary point.  on a previous occasion, i had asked brother cook if he had a kayak.  he was all, well i have one of those little sit on the water open ones.  and i was all yah! that would be great! canoes are so tippy and heavy and i'm so much more comfy in a kayak....  sure enough on the day of the activity there was a little plastic short kayak for me.  sister cook was in the other.  i had never been on that kind, but how hard could it be?  brother taylor who had been paddling a round in it, helped me get on.  "i know to do it." i told him.  "ok" he said, helping me anyways and shoving me out.  unfortunately, i didn't take the time to adjust the seat, so i found myself paddling from almost a laying down position.  it was really not comfy.  also the life jacket i sucked myself into was riding up to my ears, covering part of my face... so after a while, i decided to ground myself on the beach and fix my chair.  brother cook came zooming up on his safety-man seado, and helps me.  then he vroom vrooms off and it's just melissa and i.  melissa was in a canoe by herself.  we just get going again, and melissa lightly  nudges me with her canoe, and flip! over goes the kayak. well that was refreshing.  i was at about chest/neck level, and i got myself to shore, and back into the kayak and we started off again.  ok.  so there was a channel.  you could go outside this crop of land or between it and the shore.  we decided to go between, and that's what the others had done as well.  well because it was so narrow, there was quite a current going through there.... a curved one.  a current that as soon as i crossed it,...flip!  it flipped me like a was a tiny hotcake and it was a huge flipper.  totally over my head and in a current, i swam my flippity flip kayak to the rocky shore and admitted defeat.  it was a bit of a blow to my pride, but i also felt it was quite funny.  we tied the kayak to the canoe and i was just getting into melissa's canoe when seado returned and helped stablize the canoe and help me get in.  brother cook is so funny because he hardly ever changes expression.  :)  he told us everyone else was turning back so we turned back... we never made it too far, but i was glad to turn back because, dang canoes are heavy to drag through the water against the current!  after that i sat around in my drenched clothes until everyone was back and things were packed up etc.  and then i came home and huddled under my duvet until heat returned to my limbs.

two clumsy days.  what will happen tomorrow?  you know what they say about 3s...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

he plants his footsteps on the waves

well it's sunday evening and i am on my porch.  if there is one thing i believe in, it is the healing power that comes from being outside.  what is it?  i don't know exactly.  i know it's something spiritual.  i know it's something from God.  one of his special gifts to us.  a grace.  a tender mercy.  i remember a workshop once by shelley murley.  she said that God's creations are ways he tells us he loves us.  and i believe that's true.  and he tells us over and over and over and over every day. it's there to tap into in any given miraculous moment of any day.  i'm grateful when i have eyes to see it.

so time outside is part of my plan to be better and feel better.  i set up my camping cot on the porch.  even on days after work when i am so tired i can at least relax and be outside on my porch.  i even rigged up my tarp so i can make shade and privacy for when the sun is beating in at that certain angle.
last saturday i decided to go on a old time photo walk and adventure.  i don't know if on those walks i every create any master piece photo.  i just explore and enjoy and i do it through the medium of my lens and i enjoy it.  it breathes life and enjoyment into me.  i walked and clicked for 5 or 6 hours last saturday.  i covered so much ground, and it wasn't until i was home that i noticed that my lower back ached and my feet (the whole time in flip flops) felt like caving in if i tried to walk on them.  i love those moments of being lost in something.  if i ever get those photos done, i'll do a post about it.

because the next day i got a text that huxley was coming and i jumped in stella midnight and drove to kelowna.  i got there just as he was born and i walked in just as they were cutting the umbilical cord.  i drove home the next night after doing a 3 or 4 hour photo takes longer for babies ok.  (oh kyle you really know nothing about newborn photo shoots, said sarah with a roll of an eye, when he questioned us on our projected time frame).

but more than just photos, i got to be a part of something special.  i got to sing and jiggle huxley to sleep while sarah fainted off the toilet, and i got to look into his little wrinkled fresh face and wonder from where he just came and who and what he had just freshly known.  did he see anyone for me.  were mine there waiting?  i may have silently asked him that.  i got to focus on his little ear, and his tiny wrinkled feet and take clicks of him in the embrace of his parents. i got to soothe him to sleep by rubbing between his eyes and  i got to see my sister and her hubby in action as new again mom and dad.  i got to help and be there.  kyle was the bestest husband.  he made us yummy meals, did the dishes, did the laundry, assisted in photos, did whatever was needed.

 i was there only about 24 hours..just under, but i felt lucky.  and i had a prayer about it as i drove out of town that evening.  because i know i'm blessed.  heavenly father gave me a gift that helps me connect with people.  a way to share with them the special moments.  a way to be a part of things that i don't get to be a part of otherwise.  and i know it's a special gift to me.

i'm still working on hux's pics.

yesterday was starting out looking like a downer.  i decided to change it up by using my go outside strategy.  so i drove to tsswassen and got subway and went to centenial beach.  got a blanket, and some crossward puzzles and spent some time on the sand in the sun.  the tide was so far out you could barely see the water.  there were a few families here and there.  later when my hand was in the shade and i was feeling cold, i got up and walked down the beach and explored.  there is so much peace and joy to be found, losing oneself in God's world.  i found some shells and i took some pictures with my phone.  the tide was racing back in and there were 5 or 6 blue herons stalking fish with the sun glinting off of their feathers and dark clouds behind them.  i came back to my log and watched the sunset and i was the last one to leave.  the park ranger had to tell me he was closing the gate. i left just as the sun made the sky a wonder to behold.  and it had changed everything for me that day.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

what i was talking about--caroline shaw

and the days that followed

well birthday week is coming to a close.  it's time to share my adventures, my successes and failures.  total-partial confessional all the way.  let's go.


tuesday i had a leisurely morning.  the truth is, i didn't know what i wanted to do, and what adventure to have. i did some cleaning, which was therapeutic in it's own way.  lindsay, and i got pedicures.  i decided to do something different and chose a kind of sky blue.  and i got a pretty design on the big toe that has white and sliver.  it looks good with the blue.  after that i came home and put up a few pictures.  then i decided to go on a photo adventure to wreck beach.  i knew it was still too cold for nudists, and i hadn't been there yet this year.  so i jumped in stella midnight and drove up to ubc.  i found a good parking spot and joined the throngs of students making their way down the stairs.  i didn't think it was going to be so busy, just at sunset on a tuesday night, but i forgot that it was probably end of exam time.   

part of me felt like all the kids thought i was weird for being there.  but i told that part of me to be quiet, and pretended that i just didn't care.  which i don't really.

there's a lot of stairs.  that's one thing you think to yourself when you're going down.  like woah, i'm going to have to pay for this later.  also you see signs about clothing being optional... 
 and it makes you  little nervous.  if i see one naked person i'll just turn around and go back up the stairs i vowed to myself.
but when i emerged from the other side of this tree tunnel, i found myself on a beach with plenty a clothed student, much to my relief.  i took off my shoes and put my hoodie on a log and walked up the shore and began to shoot.

the sky was amazing and over towards vancouver island you could see by the ways the clouds were touching the ocean that it was raining.  this is when my camera did its new favourite trick--not storing pics.  it was aggravating.  there was so much i wanted to try and to record and  all my camera would say is "this picture was not stored". i tried many things. nothing could convince my camera to store a photo.  the cruel thing is that it would show me for a split second, the cool shot i had just taken and then say "this picture was not stored"  or "this picture cannot be shown"  arrrrrg.  i wanted to throw it into the sea.  instead i took some pics of some students near by who asked me to.  i made them jump.  i mean the scenery practically demanded it.  

i walked down the beach a bit to this quieter place and found this nice log with a shell on it.  i sulked for a minute and then decided to take pics with my phone, if that's all i had to use.  i mean i was on a birthday adventure and you have to live to the fullest moment.
the shell
 i thought the wave of the weathered log and the light glinting off of it looked cool.
 sun said good night.
beach fires were starting up everywhere.  i knew it was probably party time, so i took a few clicks and then faced the stairs.  (you can kind of see the rain in the far away clouds in this shot)

i took the stairs slowly.  slow and steady, taking a break now and again to let some youthful sprites pass me and let my heart beat slow to a steady gallop.  i counted the stairs as i went.  when i got close to the top i was surprised that i was there so fast.  and although a little out of breath and heart beat pumping, i didn't feel totally knackered.  proud of myself.  there were 479 steps according to my calculations.

i sat in stella midnight and tried my camera again.  "this picture cannot be stored"  too bad, because i brought my tripod for some night photography and everything.  but it was not meant to be. so i drove home and it was on the drive that i had just a little bit of an asthma attack.  wheezing and curdling breaths, hurting chest and hurting coughs.  but by the time i got back down to sea level in richmond and had a drink (more oxygen) i was doing pretty good.  weird how my lungs were fine on the stairs but afterwards in the car they were like, ack! save me!


the next morning i spent the time in bed researching camera options.  that made me feel poor.  then the twins and sarah showed up and made me play poor pussy with them.  just kidding they didn't.  i had banana and peanut butter for breakfast and i had some juicy mango.  i totally tried that fb mango trick an it works.  don't know what it is? i'll never tell.  spent more time looking at cameras and reading reviews.  

had lunch...  ok this week i perfected this amazing sandwich.  i called it salty smokey sweet spicey.  some baba, some crispy prosciutto (hello, that is the best ever), some thin lady alice apple slices, some smokey cheddar cheese, some red pepper jelly, a smear of soft ripened in ash mission goat cheese, and some cranberry dijon.  bam.  eat me.  i bought two of those baguettes and made it last 4 days.  meanwhile i ate some carrots or radishes or turnip dipped in moroccan style hummus.  it was perfect and perfectly satisfying.

 then i cleaned the bathroom.  i decided to get down on my hands and knees and i thought about how it had probably been a year and a day or two since mr. b had made me deep clean the same bathroom.  then i made myself stop thinking about it, got ready, braided my hair, put my camera, broken case and all, inside my cloth cooler bag (it had managed to take a pic of the above glorious sandwich, so you never know, it might work again), got my bike and headed out to stella m.  it was a lovely spring afternoon.  an old man was working in his yard by where stella was parked.  as i opened my hatch back he asked me if i needed help, nodding towards my bike.  i accepted and with his help it seemed to go very smoothly. i had to flatten one seat and that was that.

so i drove to stanley park and went to the aquarium.  because i was so dawdly i didn't get there until 3:30 and it closes at 5.  the first thing i saw was the dolphin show.  white sided dolphins.  they were so cute and just so amazing.  i wanted to cry.  a little bit.  sniff at the vancouver aquarium if you want but they are the only aquarium who since the nineties has refused to take any whale or dolphin that was captured in the wild unless that animal needed rehabilitation.  they even released a dolphin into the wild successfully.  they are totally conservationists and i don't think they exploit their animals at all.  the two white sided dolphins they have, hannah and helen? were rescued from fishing nets.  one them has smaller fins because parts had to be amputated.  anyways if you want to read more about the aquarium, you can here.

after that i spent a lot of time in the bc coast section.  it's amazing what is in our waters.  i loved spending a lot of time at each tank. the more you look the more you can see.

ok.  i just love watching jellies.  they are so beautiful and amazing and flowy, and odd and kind of mesmarizing. so i unashamedly present the many phone clicks of the jellies.

i don't know if this video is going to work, but these tiny little clear jellies were nifty!

 this white fluffy cloud like thing is a kind of anemone called plumose.  i thought it created a very dr. zuess landscape.
 strawberry anemones.  cool hey.  there were some cute tiny fish hiding in there.
shrimpies being shrimpy

 more jellies.

this octopus was amazing.  i could have watched it all day too. jellies and octi, those are my faves.  maybe because they are both so flowy, i don't know.  right here he is giving me a knowing look.  saying he digs me too.  let's run away together octo! <3 p="">

after the treasures of the bc coast i watched a 4d show about sea monsters, aka dinosaurs.  we got to know a dolly with a shark tooth in her fin.  she was discovered in kansas, i think? anways that was pretty cool.  then i had just a little time to whiz through some tropics and see an actually beautiful shark and a giant green tortoise and some rays and some other things before we got kicked out.  i never got to see the beluga show, or the sea lions or the penguins.  next time, because i would totally go back, as you can see from my very pleased face below.  one must be allowed the luxury of a giddy selfie after experiencing some of the joys of God's creations up close.
 on the way to my car i saw a dogwood tree so i photographed it.

i forgot to mention that as i was driving into downtown i was driving away from blue skies and sun and into ominous charcoal skies.  and such were things when i got outside the aquarium. i even felt a pitter or patter while i was at the fountain taking giddy selfies.    but no matter.  my plan was to ride my bike around the sea wall.  and i was going to make it happen. so i drove to the beginning of the seawall, parked and then tried very hard to pay for parking.  which was frustrating because the pay things weren't working.  and while i was trying to pay a bottle collector guy would ride up on his rusty bike and go through the garbage right beside me, and then i would go to a new one and who would arrive but this guy.  dancing queen was on his radio.  but that's just an aside.  in the end i had to call a number and pay by phone.  then i strapped my cooler bag with camera bag inside and phone and keys etc onto my bike, got on my bike whom i decided was named greta green granny smith (apple) and began my adventure.  

the first time i stopped it was for this handsome guy. he was chillin in the waters and then this canadian goose got on this rock and proceeded to squawk and squawk and squawk.  it was ruinin' his chill. my camera worked....sometimes.  it took a lot of patience, let me tell you.

 there was this guy and his girl there and we did this total dance to keep out of each other's photos and take our own photos, but i wanted them in this shot.  they were nice.  nice to each other and nice to me.
 but the guy jumped down on the beach to take a shot of his girl and it made my buddy blue heron noivous, so he took a stroll...

 until he came to hang out with his squawky pal the goose on one foot.
it began to rain and i got on my bike and rode for a while longer.  in fact i rode along side a cruise ship that was leaving vancouver harbour and heading out up to alaska. it really seemed like it was higher than the bridge so i waited breathlessly to see if there was going to be some kind of majour catastrophe, but it cleared the bridge no prawb.  

let's get silly.

 fave bridge.  still in one piece.  phew.

a while after the bridge i stayed in this spot taking a lot of clicks.  you can't totally tell it in this pic, but the sky was amazing.
 hi. my eyes are very different one from another, but i'm having fun on my bike with my camera anyways.  i remember breathing in the sweetest smell and enjoying it so much and wondering what it was and then i looked beside me and saw the long grass had been cut.  grass can smell soooo good!
 wait what?
 oh, over there!
 this little darky is to show off the amazing sky.  which was gorge.  can you see the cruise ship in the distance?
 runners, cyclists and walkers passed me.  i like this shot because of the sky and because of the bounce in this lady's hair.
 i was pleased to capture this instructional moment between this father and daughter? in the puddle as well.  "see over there?"  "that's west vancouver.  let me point out the ambleside walk with my umbrella", he might have been saying.  or "note the different patterns on the water.  these reflect the very strong currents that flow through here my dear".  or "look how neat my ubrella is! i can hold it exactly parallel with the horizon.  your old man's no slouch, hun"
somewhere around 3rd beach i decided i needed to climb up this slope and take this pic through the flowers.  it had to be done and i had to be the one who did it.

with all my photo stops it took me almost exactly two hours to ride around and back to the car.  then it was not as easy as the old man made it seem putting greta green granny smith (apple).  i stopped at my donair place and got a donair for my dinner.  then i think i fell asleep pretty fast.


there are no pics for this day.  i bet you are pretty bummed about that.  thursday was pay day and i needed some clothings pretty desperately.  and i had a coupon for 40% off for the month of april.  and it was the last day of april.  so i did some shopping.  first in the white rock part of surrey and then on through the border to bellis fair.  just so happened that macy's was having a 25% off sale and a clearance sale.  i made some good purchases, i hope.  but on the way home i felt like i spent too much money, you know that feeling?  but everything was pretty neccessary,  and it's not like a spent all my money for the month or anything.  so i told myself to chill.

oh, i cut my toe.  i opened a door right into my toe and cut it.  it started to bleed but i was trying to be careful as i tried on different capris.  but this one pair seemed to go out of their way to dip in between the two toes in question.  at first i was scared to say anything.  i didn't want to have to spend 45 dollars on a pair of capris that i didn't even like or want.  but i went to the washroom and in there i was like, i have to tell them.  you do the right thing and you have faith everything will be all right. so when i came out i told the girl to check and see if i got any blood on it.  she said she didn't see any, so i pointed it out.  she didn't make a big deal about it.  she just said she would take care of it and she gave me a band-aid for my toe.

friday i spent the morning working on photos, and looking up fun and exciting things to do.  i came up with some good ones.  i was going to go to the night market at the shipyards, or go the free women's choir even at the ryerson church... or go to a documentary film from the doxa film festival... or go see yo yo ma at the orpheum.  but you know it was may 1st.  and a year from the day i left for egypt.  and that's all it took.  i wanted to stay home.  have a quiet day.  i told myself it was alright to do that.  i discovered caroline shaw.  contempory classic...wuuuut.  by and by blew my mind.  it's so beautiful.  i listened to it and some of her other works all day.  i texted the bishop at his home number (embarrassing) about it.  i went out onto my porch and sat in the sun spots.  archie came too.  izzy sniffed at the door.  i looked at some of the photos from last may.  i wondered about things.  i felt lonely.

here's my toes peeking out from the fence on my porch.
and today i felt totally unable to get up and go outside.  i lost my momentum i guess.  just stayed in feeling melancholy and wishing i could just go out and have an adventure.  i had to go out at nine to get cat food, but i came back and got into bed.  i didn't really get up until 1 or 2ish.  this is in the failure section.  but you know, that's life.  like elder renlund says, just keeping trying.  i made myself a breakfast sandwich with omelette, prociutto, smokey cheese, and dijon.  needs some tweeking.  there was too much egg and prociutto taste and not enough of other.  then i brought my laptop outside and sat on the porch in the sun and ate it.  and laid my head on the wood and smelled it and felt the breeze and the sun on my feet and the sounds of my neighbours in the garden.  i tried to work on pics but all i could see was myself in the screen.  so i shut the lap top and did some truth pics.

the angle accentuates my arm chub, but no matter.  it is what it is.  then i came inside to write, and it does make me feel a little bit better.  i think it's time to go back to work.  too much time alone makes me like that girl.  i need a purpose in my life.