Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nap Time.

I woke up today exhausted. I made a blurry eyed attempt at my day- showered, ate, made plans, etc, but after complaining enough and rubbing my eyes for several minutes in a row, I was banished, by my dear husband, to bed. I slept for 4 HOURS! I don't think that should be humanly possible for a... well... human to sleep for that long after a relatively good night's sleep, but for me it was oh so possible- and delightful. With the window open and a small breeze blowing through the room I snored the day away, and woke up when Dave had already put Roland down for an afternoon nap. 
I have always been a napper. It's one of my joys in life. You may think I'm just being dramatic by calling it a "joy." But I think I'm being quite accurate when I say that having a nap in the middle of the day is one of my favorite experiences in life. 
I come by it naturally. In all my years of life I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever seen my dad make it through a church meeting without falling asleep. Considering we went to church EVERY SUNDAY- that is a pretty reliable stat. I've seen my dad fall asleep mid-sentence. He can sleep anywhere- including behind the wheel of a car- but that's too frightening to think about. I remember being so frustrated when he would be the one to read me a story at night because he would without fail fall asleep halfway through. 
Although, I can remember falling asleep every day in kindergarten through grade 2 at story time. We'd all sit down in a semi-circle around Madame Soucy, who would hold up a book and begin to read. I would feel my head begin to bob before the first page was done. By the time they started showing us movies in school my head would drop to the desk minutes after the lights went out. There are movies that we watched (2001 Space Odyssey, Last of the Moheekans) that I know I sat through, but I can barely remember the opening credits. 
One summer I was a camp counselor at Especially for Youth. I did the Vancouver session, played for a week on Vancouver Island, then did 2 Calgary sessions. I think that basically meant that I was awake for a month straight. On the Saturday afternoon between Calgary sessions, as we prepared for the coming week, and recovered from the last, a group of counselors all sat together in a room- talking and snoozing. I fell asleep. Semi-consciousness would wave over me every once in a while to notify me that I was surrounded with a different group of people, but I was incapable of engaging with any of them. I was there, drifting in and out for hours. Eventually I heard one of my friends who I had originally sat down with re-enter the room and say "She's still sleeping? She's like a cat!" And though I don't think I was even able at that point to acknowledge what he had said I still think about it sometimes. I think it's hilarious. 

One time I was dating a guy who just didn't understand naps. He would get annoyed when I would need a nap. I was complaining about it to my darling friend and she looked at me, shrugged her shoulders, and said "He just doesn't understand that you are part sloth." Also- hilarious.

I'm not sure that a cat or a sloth are animals that I like being compared to. But the truth of the matter is that I loves my naps. And I've found a man who understands my need for them. I'm grateful that Dave can sense when the only cure is a nap. And I'm grateful that sometimes he joins me for them. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

blogger's guilt. the 1st.

So I somehow ended up at my blog via a different site, and found that there is actually a convenient little list of all of the posts I've entered- even the ones I haven't published. This one was written MONTHS ago, and I thought that I had deleted it by accident. I was so frustrated that I just turned the computer off and walked away, not even trying to retrieve it. But since I found it I MIGHT AS WELL share it, right? Here she is- the original 'blogger's guilt' post. 

I have a question. Do I have to blog everyday to be a blogger?
What if I only sit down at the computer once a week with the intent to blog, and only publish those attempts half of the time? This was one of the reasons I was hesitant to begin blogging in the first place: Bloggers guilt.
The truth is that I think about this blog often. Daily. Possibly hourly? I've started thinking in blog titles. And yet I don't make it to this point often enough. 'Why,' you may ask, don't I blog more often if so much of my thoughts are here?
Is it that I don't have time to spend staring at a screen? Well... no. That's not it. If that were the case I wouldn't be able to spend way too long, everyday, staring at those certain sites that have me secured with their flaxen cord.

So, it's not about time. Then what is it about? Part of it, I know is the fact that I love a good blog with plenty o' pics to break up the text. Not that a well written blog... or a well written anything, for that matter, should need pictures. But that' just what I like to see! So because I like to see it- I like to do it. I hesitate to share a post without having some sort of illustration/photo/graphic to back up my words. And sometimes waiting for my camera to load... or remembering after I've sat down that the camera is upstairs on the counter, while I have plunked myself down if front of our archaic computer downstairs is just enough to push me past my desire to blog, and into my desire to veg... upon one of the previously eluded to sites.
Besides the effort of the photo retrieving/uploading/editing/posting is the effort of the writing of the blog (not to be confused with the running of the bull). I think the point of me writing a blog is that I really enjoy writing. I think. And while I like to write I am not a speedy writer. I probably read each sentence on average 4 or 5 times before I click on the ever orange "publish post" button. Upon reflection, and now that I've read that sentence over 3 times, I'm re-estimating my reread of each sentence at closer to 8 or 9.  
So while I may not be a frequent blogger- please know that I am a blogger at heart.

Shut the craft up.

This morning I walked out of the house to find some friends weeding my garden. Needless to say I had tears in my eyes as I drove away. I'm grateful for people who act. My mind is full of good intentions... but unfortunately I lack follow through. I am so lucky to have people in my life, as well as to be married to someone, that acts on promptings they receive. Thanks Friends.

Flower Garden.

I've been wanting to put up a wreath on our door for months (since I took down our Christmas wreath, in fact) but I just haven't found something that's what I want. I finally got an image of what I wanted to make while in Walmart yesterday. I started it last night, and finished it this afternoon. I must say- I love it. With the newly weeded garden, freshly cut lawn, and brand spanking new siding finished on the side of the house it's a perfect way to finish off the lovely view as you walk up our driveway. 

Welcome to the Wight House!

I always like seeing other people's step by step process of crafts in picture form, but I never have enough confidence in what I'm doing to take pictures at each step. I can't stand it when people look over my shoulder at what I'm doing, and I feel like that's what I would be doing... to myself? Anywho- I'll explain what I did- because I love how it turned out!

1. I took a frame that was actually quite thin- probably a boarder of about 1 cm. I cut out some cardboard matting. to increase the width of the boarder.
2. Using a hot glue gun to secure the end I just wrapped jute around the frame. It took a while to get a knack for it, and to decide how I liked it, but eventually I decided that I liked a flat, orderly sort of look, versus a mish-mash look. The corners were tricky, and I did each one differently, but decided I liked the ones showing the best. 
3. I used acrylic craft paint to paint the wooden 'W' I'd purchased at walmart for about a buck. 
4. With scraps of fabric I've used in other projects (remnants of the bunting in Roland's room & scraps from his blankie) I made little fabric flowers. They are easy peasy to make- just cut out circles, fold them into quarters, and glue them into the shape of a flower. I swirled and glued the jute for the centers of each flower. I was planning on using buttons, but I liked how this looked more. 
5. I hot glued everything into place! 
6. I finished it by tying a loop of jute and hanging it from the hook I placed on our door at Christmas. It looked a bit sloppy for my liking (hence why you can't see it in the first picture) so I think I'll replace to loop with ribbon - an easy fix.

I just love getting my craft on!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Scatter Sunshine

The other day a friend dropped me off at home, and while opening the door she looked at our yard and said "Nice flowers." It's true. The flowers in our yard are nice... in fact, they are beautiful. The tulips, daffodils & hyacinth are in full bloom and look lovely.  The yellows, pinks & purple contrast beautifully and I just adore them. The problem is that she didn't stop there. She said it, and then she said "nice weeds," as she kicked a weed that was growing so well it had made it's way out of the flower bed and onto the driveway. It was said in passing. And probably in fun. But I didn't find it funny. I wonder what my face looked like when she said it. I think my jaw probably dropped, and then I recovered with a little laugh and some lame excuse, before grabbing Roly out of the car, and going inside without a backward glance. 
I know I blew things out of proportion, as I tend to do these days, in my ridiculously sensitive state, but what she said made me so mad. I just kept thinking "Why did she have to say that? Has she seen my life? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?" Ultimately I realized that I wasn't mad that she told me there were weeds in my garden. I was mad that I knew there were weeds in my garden, and I was too overwhelmed to deal with them. I was mad that she didn't acknowledge how tough it would be to do all the weeding for such a large garden. I was mad that no one had offered to help me weed that said garden. 
I have a very active little boy, and a very active little fetus and the thought of weeding the front garden just scared me. I couldn't wrap my head around how to get out there, with Roly in toe, and get this done without him running into the street. I put forth some piddly little attempts, which would last about 20 minutes while Roland would stay close to me, digging in the dirt, and helping me weed, until he would get bored and start venturing out past the flower beds and closer and closer to the street.  A couple of those attempts got a single corner of the yard weeded... I'd say 1/8 of the total that needed to be done. 
A few days later one of Dave's friends dropped by and made some crack about our "Garden of Weeden." Well that was just salt in my open wound, and I tried not to let it show, but yet again I found myself wondering if anyone had considered how the dickens I was supposed to get this done.
I just wanted someone to consider the following: Roland sleeps until 7:30 or 8:00 am. From that time forward, until 8:00 pm he is essentially by my side, running away from me at high speed, or in my arms. He has become a good little napper, but the truth is, so have I. I tend to nap during the day when he does, and if I don't I tend to feel a bit of exhaustion border-lining hysteria by about 6 pm. So to get myself through the day without a snap, I nap. So, I can spend about 20 minutes at a time in the front, which does approximately nothing. And if I wait long enough in between weeding, the attempts I've made are already grown in with more weeds, that match the rest of the yard. 
So that day, after Dave left I decided I'd waited long enough. I got my butt in gear, and went out to do some weeding while Roland slept. I accomplished a lot more in that short time, without worrying about my little munchkin running in front of a city bus, than I had in previous attempts. When Dave and his friend got back his friend was quick to point out the progress. He said it looked great, and went on to say that it was good for me to spend time on my hands and knees, as it encourages baby to be in the right position during labor. A simple comment. But it really brightened my day. He acknowledged my attempt, and encouraged me to do more.  
Well, that explanation took much longer than I thought it would... apparently I'm not over it! But most of this is beside the point. What this situation really got me thinking about was the people in my life that scatter sunshine, that fill my mind with hope and happiness... vs. the people that leave rain clouds... and piddle on my parade.

I had a conversation with a friend a while ago which has stuck with me. We were talking about her mother in law: a beautiful, confident, creative individual, who my friend greatly admires and knows cares about her. In a moment of feeling completely overwhelmed and frustrated my friend wondered aloud why her mother in law had never expressed words of encouragement to her. "She has never told me I'm a good mother, or a good wife, or a good cook. She never tells me what we are doing right." My friend was wishing that someone would spread a little sunshine, and acknowledge her sacrifice. Her mother in law is one of the most stylish and talented ladies I've ever met, yet when the people around her needed to feel the confidence she seemed to exude she wasn't able to share it. I couldn't help but contrast her mother in law with another woman I know- my Aunt Trish. Trish is a beautiful, creative, amazing woman. Her house will forever be one of my favorite places in the world, made better only by being in her presence. Here's the thing about Trish- she is hilarious, full of this self degrading humour that perhaps only our family understands and an honesty which I greatly admire, but more than that, when she speaks she builds. She uses the word "perfect" to describe my actions way to often for it to be true, but enough for me to feel really great about what I'm doing when I'm with her. She allows other people to feel good about their attempts, which encourages them to go on, to try again, and to try really hard to live up to the words she has already used to describe them. She has amazing children, with that same ability. I admire her, and love her, and I appreciate all the sunshine she has brought into my life. 

So, in reflecting on these different people- the parade piddlers and the sunshine spreaders I just wonder which  one I am. Am I building people up? Am I encouraging them to do more and be better? Or am I using confidence as a guise to hurt others and inadvertently tear them down? Do people I come in contact with want to hear what is going to come out of my mouth? Or do my friends and family take cover when I'm about to speak? Can I see past the weeds enough to point out the flowers? Do I point out the weeds without realizing that someone is doing all they are capable of in that moment to get rid of them? Am I tearing others down in my own attempts at humour or attempts to build myslef up? 

Do I encourage? Do I uplift? Do I inspire? 

I hope so. I am going to work on doing so. I want my friends, my neighbours, and more than anyone else, my family- my husband & children, to feel like when they are with me they are capable of doing anything, that all attempts are good enough. I don't want feelings of discouragement, insecurity, hopelessness or fear to be brought on by words that I speak. 

It might seem hokey... but I'm going to insert the lyrics to a hymn, which I've been humming to myself since I started writing this. It really just describes how I feel perfectly. 

Scatter Sunshine
Hymn #230, by Lanta Wilson Smith.

In a world where sorrow
Ever will be known,
Where are found the needy,
And the sad and lone;
How much joy and comfort
You can all bestow,
If you scatter sunshine
Everywhere you go.

Scatter sunshine all along your way;
Cheer and bless and brighten
Every passing day;
Scatter sunshine all along your way;
Cheer and bless and brighten
Every passing day.

Slightest actions often
Meet the sorest needs,
For the world wants daily
Little kindly deeds;
Oh, what care and sorrow
You may help remove,
With your songs and courage,
Sympathy and love.

When the days are gloomy,
Sing some happy song;
Meet the world's repining
With a courage strong;
Go with faith undaunted
Thro' the ills of life;
Scatter smiles and sunshine
O'er its toil and strife.