Archive of ‘friends’ category

Oh Hai.

Hi guys. I know, long time no talk. I feel a little awkward writing this, like when you run for the first time after taking a long break. It takes a little while to warm up, to remember the way words sound coming out of your mind with a click of keys. I keep hitting the backspace button…which is something I abhor. As you can probably tell. I’m a ‘stream of consciousness’ kind of girl. I don’t really know how to fill you in on all the things that have been happening in my life, or to explain why I stopped writing for awhile.

You know how when you’re reading a book, and you get an inkling as to where the story is heading. Foreshadowing. Or maybe you’re a hopeless romantic and you hope the girl ends up with the guy in the end, and the run off into the sunset, even though this is a post-apocalyptic zombie novel, and it’s looking like 90% likely that the said boy is possibly undergoing zombification, and you know in your heart it might not end that way. But you keep reading anyway. Hoping the ending would be satisfying, even if it turned out differently?

Writing about things that happen to you is kind of like that. But there are less zombies in my life, which I’m not sure is helping ;). I started this blog in 2008, when I needed something to keep me moving forward. That thing was words, that thing was things I didn’t remember doing, that thing was sharing all the myriad of wonders and pains and progress and fashioning all of that into hope. I wanted to be able to keep writing, and one day, I’d have a happy ending. I know how that ending will look. I see it so clearly. It ends with me quite literally walking off into the sunset, with health, with hope, and a future full of possibilities. So far I’m looking at 2/4, so not too shabby. But to be honest, this past year, which shall henceforth be known as the “year of the loud silence”, I was so ready for this chapter of my life to be over. I wanted to write a new story, a story about a girl going to university, and seeing the world, and taking up fucking jogging or whatever the kool kids are doing these days (okay, I know it’s not jogging…but I digress).

I wanted to be better the day I got sick. And the day after that. And every day for the past *8* years (oh, fuck. I haven’t written that out before. that’s scary).

When life throws you a curve ball, sometimes you have to shout “PLOT TWIST” and keep moving on. In an entirely new direction

So that’s why I’m writing again. Because I’m getting better, my body is taking it’s sweet time. It’s time for a change in perspective.

To stand on my shoulders, and look backwards, and stare through walls, and shake jars filled with wishes.

And now I have exactly 0 clues as to how I’m going to explain what has been happening. Sometimes a long intro of rambling helps but, nope. Okay, deep breath.

My dad has cancer.


I hate typing that. I hate the way those words go in the same sentence. They don’t belong. The way the present tense links my father to another terrible disease. On top of Lyme disease and other fun things like that. And because my father doesn’t do things by halves, he has two kinds of cancer that don’t really go together, like orange stripes and teal polka dots on the same bow tie [although, come to think of it, my quirky father just might think those patterns go swimmingly. you can see where I get my aesthetic from ;)]. I hate watching him suffer. The man has never taken a sick day from work in his life before this. I didn’t understand how terrible it is for my parents to watch me be so sick. I know now.

As usual, it took forever for him to be diagnosed. This seems to be a theme that’s developing. He was in hospital for 2 months, where amazing oncology nurses cared for him, and almost magically brought down the swelling in his leg, removed water from on his lungs, and removed part (all?) of the tumour on his calf. He’s home now, doing a better, and going in for round 4 of chemo later this week. There is wonderful supports in place for people who have cancer, so thankfully he’s being taken care of pretty well. Like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, I’m trying to fatten him up by cooking all sorts of yummy things – although we’re still working on the candy house. We’ve tried many gingerbread recipes, and none have yet been a satisfactory replacement for drywall ;).

I have 13% battery life here, and I know you all are going to think this is a total cop-out, but I think I’m going to need to explain about what I’ve done and where I’ve been in another post. I set out with the best of intentions to squeeze much amazingness into one post. I didn’t quite manage. Wasn’t from lack of trying. Zombies and gingerbread men and plot twists kept getting in the way…you see what I have to deal with!? C’est dans la lune!

The highlights? Singing in an amazing Young Adult choir. Going to the Hansa clinic (in Kansas!) for treatment. Doing my part to help Elizabeth May’s Lyme disease bill pass. Joining in the 25,000 Tuques project for refugees coming to Canada. Progressing to floor yoga! Cracking the perfect gluten-free vegan bread. Starting a shop for my hand-carded batts on Etsy. Knitting socks. Many socks. Visiting Finnerty Gardens in every season. Reading so many books, and trying to check out all the material at the library (I’m doing pretty well so far.). Preparing for my grade 9 piano exam, in which I will slay some Mozart, Bach and Debussy music. Connecting with amazing humans. [Whoa. This list is making me feel so grateful right now <3.]

I’ve been very exhausted lately. I know, shocking, right, but this is different. The kind of tired where breathing sometimes feels like quite enough to be doing for one day. Where your migraine-addled mind slows, and thoughts come in puffs of clouds, that vanish when you try to hard. And sometimes you say “Fuck it” and do everything even though your arms feel like they are going to fall off and you need to rest during the remains day. I cut back on some more strong pain meds, and surprise, wouldn’t you know, I’m in more pain now which is also exhausting, but the pain is lessening, for which I am so grateful.

But I’ve learned this year that I am stronger.  Stronger than the things that try to weaken me. Stronger than I knew. I learned I can take a punch; a victory; a set back; courage, and get back up and do it all again.

Get knocked down 7 times, get up 8.

Rush to Last Days of Summer

After making half a dozen plans to see Harry Potter 7.2, my Mum, Angela and I finally made it to the theaters. It was incredible!!! I can’t believe that there will be no year-long wait for the next film, that this really is the end. How strange it is that kids nowadays can just pick up the books and read them one after the other? The anticipation before the release of each book and movie was so intense, and made me savor every word. I suppose there will never be another world like Harry Potter, and that’s just fine by me. I don’t mind reading the books another dozen time (honest! I have them on audiobook and have probably read each more than a handful of times).

I decided that versus writing about yoga 3 times a week on my Lyme blog, which I feared might bore some of you, I created a blog about Yoga entitled “8 Limbs, 1 Chair” (referring to the 8 branches that make up yoga!). I am very excited to begin recording my thoughts after each practice, and to document my journey and improvements. Michelle has created some chair yoga videos, and I would encourage those you in wheelchair, or with limited mobility to give it a try. You just might surprise yourself. I am improving already; my arms and legs raise higher and with greater ease and assured movement, my breaths are deeper and come more naturally. Has it been two weeks? Hardly, because the teachers were away 2 weeks ago on a retreat. I practice on my own almost every day, if not the asana (poses/positions), than the 3 part breathing exercises and the meditation. Please check out my new blog and hopefully I can inspire you to try yoga yourself!

Hand-spun Local Mohair/Wool Skein

Indian spinner head adaption w/ niddy noddy in foreground

I feel like I have finally gotten the hang of spinning! I spun up the delicious 150 grams of local mohair and wool that the lovely Arleigh sent me, from up island. To recap, I met Arleigh through a serious of wonderfully serendipitous events. Months ago I posted an ad on Kijiji, asking if anyone had a spinning wheel that I could borrow, rent or have. I thought, who knows, maybe someone has a wheel that’s sitting around in an attic or garage? Incredibly, I connected with Arleigh, a retired spinner/weaver/artist, who very generously gave me me her indian spinner head treadle machine, with the original sewing machine head (it’s an ancient Raymond), and a beautiful niddy noddy (something to wrap the finished yarn on).

The 50/50 mohair/wool single (meaning just one ply) yarn I have created it incredibly beautiful. A friend of her dyed the fiber in variagated teal, bottle green, clay brown, and natural white, each color blending seamlessly into the next. This creates a striped of pooling affect when knitted up. I have to soak the freshly spun yarn in some water to stop it from curling back on itself, but then I will be able to knit with it! I have no idea what I will make, or what the finished yarn will knit up like…fingerless gloves, hat, wristlets? OH the choices are endless. Anyways, I am over the moon about my smooth spinning, and pretty even thickness. There aren’t too many lumps and bumps, like my first few skeins. A thousand thank you’s, dear Arleigh. You lit the spinning spark in me, and I feel that Spinning and I are going to be great friend for the rest of my days. <3

Paused in the process of spinning. The yarn on the spool reminds me of a sandy shore and sea.

The key is *calm*

After all those months of practising the same difficult passages over and over again, and probably driving my family crazy with the endless metronome ticking, and the whispered ‘One-e-and-a-two-e-and-a…’s, the piano recital was tonight. Usually, many people end up not being able to go, but it was a really full house. The end of year concert is in a peaceful church in Metchosen, which has a grand piano. Its got quite impressive sound, which reverberates nicely in the wood-floored room. The touch was very hard, which most people commented on. You can even see my arms trembling in the video, my legs struggling to push down on a very high pedal. Note to self, wear heels next time.

Its nice to hear such a sampling of works, and relief to be able to share the music that one has spent so long perfecting. Its like carrying around a secret you’re itching to tell someone. Music is another language I am lucky, I never get nervous before a concert, but I can tell from the look on some peoples’ faces that this is not the case for them. I can’t imagine all the ‘owls’ in their tummies right before they press the first key (My friend, Jess, termed serve nerves as ‘owls’, used when she is more nervous than just having ‘butterflies’ in her tummy haha).

This year, there seemed to be a lot of modern and romantic-era pieces. I added to that by playing Debussy’s “La fille aux cheveaux de lin’ and ‘Reverie’, two very popular and dreamy pieces. He paints with tonal imagery, the way Monet splashes a riot of color across one of his impressionist painting, vivid in color, yet indistinct enough to leave room for our imagination. Obviously these pieces aren’t perfect, but I adored them enough to hope people would overlook a few errors here and there. Those big darn octaves. Yikes! I can streeeettttcchhh a 9th quite comfortably, or without the burning in my tendons, but a 10th is nearly beyond me. Usually I can settle right into the octave position in my sleep. I know exactly what that stretch of 8 keys feels like…its the practicality of playing this that is more difficult haa.

Debussy broke all the rules, and followed his ear and heart, versus the static and formal rules of composition. Now its very clear why teachers are so obsessed with their students learning scales; how much of a nightmare would it be if the arpeggios didn’t come second nature? The notes seem to float off my fingers by themselves (it wasn’t like that in the beginning; it was more like a sticky mess than flowing music).

My lovely students Lisa and Emma came with their families. Lisa played on of my favourite pieces, “Song of Twilight” by Yoshinao Nakada. It is very apply named, because the fluent, enchanting nature of the music brings to mind visions of early evening, in a Japanese garden perhaps, cheery blossoms falling lightly onto a clear pool. I was so proud :).

Posing with one of my friends & former student, Andie

Visiting x 3

Again, I got to visit the lovely Mrs. Crossley’s classroom and help out her kids. I had so much fun. Much ado about nothing is one of my favorite Shakepeare plays, and it was interesting reading a grade 8 students perspective on the play, and its motives. The guiding question (an International Baccalaureate Program (IB) staple, which is a question without an answer, essentially, just there to ‘guide’ your thinking) was “What is the difference between ‘being’ and ‘seeming’?.” As most of the complex characters of Much Ado put on both figurative and literal mask throughout the play, it is a good question to get kids thinking about motives, insecurities, and consequences of the characters (and by extension, their own) actions. I almost miss guiding questions. They challenged me to think beyond what was already written on the paper, and to form my own opinions about a work. I guess I can accept this as helpful now, but when you are in IB at school, you can definitely not appreciate the benefits of the program. I never considered myself a good proofreader, but I suppose after writing and editing my own essays for so long, it is much easier to approach another students’ essay.

It was a very ‘Shakespearean’ day all-round today. Two of my good friends, both named Laura (S. & G., respectively), and I hung out today. We baked cupcakes at Laura S’s house, which was so much fun. Vanilla vegan cupcakes with hand-beaten icing (didn’t work out so well), but the cupcakes were a nice golden-brown-caramel deliciousness. It was nice to just chillax and laugh with the girls, but I was pretty tired  after such a long, yet enjoyable, morning.

In the evening (ok, looking at my day on paper, it is easier to see why I am so tired), my good friend Stray came over, and we knit together and gabbed. She is a very awesome person, and enjoys a wide variety of arts and crafts, particularly fibre/fabric related ones, like me. I’ve known her since grade 5, perhaps even earlier, because I came to GNS for a few ‘trial days’ in grade 4. She is a very easy going person, full of the most amusing stories and strong opinions. My sides kind of hurt from laughing all day, actually. Hopefully tomorrow will be more restful…looking for a break!


I am exhausted, but in that good way, which means that you have belly-laughed for such an extended period of time, that it feels like you were doing Pilates instead. So much fun this evening! Four of my good friends came over to help celebrate my birthday! These are four of the silliest, giggliest, weirdest, most wonderful friends you could ever ask for. Even if you special-requested that combination of silly-giggly-weird-wonderful that is the five of us, I would doubt you could get anything nearly as crazy. Stray, Lisa, Sarah, Angie and I shared pizza and a lot of laughs. Angie brought the best-est vegan coconut cupcakes, and we all made wishes together.

We had a girls night, and instead of watching chick-flicks and gossiping (ohhkay, there was a little tiny bit of gossip), we played Clue! For some reason, all the adults I have met have despised the game, but all my friends go crazy for it. It was a cut-throat game; names were named, people were accused of crimes they did not commit- especially poor Colonel Mustard- but just as we thought it was a cold case, or someone had tampered with the evidence, Sarah uncovered the murderer in our midst. Oh, the drama! It was all very exciting. We kept getting louder and louder as the night progressed, and began to use sillier and sillier accents. We always seem to get that way when we are together. It was simply a perfect evening.

Games night rematch, anyone? I’ll keep you ladies posted. All my love!

All Possible

Today was a very special day. I went to real school AND a real class. Whoa. Careful now. Next you’ll hear I’ll be globe trotting. Small steps at a time. Steady wins the race. You all know this.

I went to Spanish, which is such a fun class, and always has been. Once you hit grade 12, you are no longer ‘required’ to take a language, so the people in a language class really really want to be there, which is a nice change. I love speaking Spanish. I still can, which surprises me, although I get my ‘you’s’ and ‘me’s’ and ‘they’s’ and stuff confused. I mix stuff up just like I do in English. We learned all about ‘se’, which is a handly little pronoun (I think that’s what you call it), but it does a lot of work for us in Spanish.

I’m so happy to be back at school, in Uniform. It feels so normal. I don’t feel as out of place, I don’t stick out in a group of people I’ve known more than a third of my life. I love you guys! There is peace in familiar chaos.

I’m very tired though. I feel like I’ve been through the wringer washer the second time round, my heart is in my stomach somewhere, my stomach lost in my throat, my legs jelly (god knows where they ended up) and my brain squished too tightly against my skull. I’ve been reorientated. Reorganized. I feel my pulse all over, like my heart is a hammer and the blood nails driving into me all over.

I worry sometimes, that the feelings won’t go away; that the pain will endure, that it will have learned a lesson about patience and endurance from its victim. I worry it will fight as hard as I fight it. A fraction of the will, even then I’d worry. But I know all things pass. I’ve read this in books. I’ve heard it said. They say that life will change and endure. I hear time heals all wounds. I know this is true, or partly, but time heals all wounds, except the tracks it makes itself through a life.

Who Am I?

Its been busy, not in a rush-around-no-time-for-a-break, but busy for someone who’s done nothing for a good time longer than she cares to remember! I love it though, seeing everyone.

We go to the mall sometimes with friends…just look at stuff, laugh, be girls. We try on makeup in the department stores, and spray perfume at the Body Shop, but it doesn’t feel like it used to, hanging out.
I went to the park with one of my bestest friendS, and we took pictures and just chilled. It was so sunny, and we took beautiful pictures of Beacon Hill park, especially random ducks, and water scenes.
Went to a movie one night with a group of people, it was nice only I sat through the whole two and a half hours wondering:
A. where I was
B. who I was with
C. when can I get some more water or snacks!
D. where am I?
E. who is THAT actor?

and probably repeating those questions in my head over and over again. Very tedious.
I like going for tea, and just relaxing with some good quality caffine to keep me going. Or chocolate…that always helps.
They all seem so different. Their faces look older, they’re taller, bolder, louder than I remember. But then I remember they ARE older, which is very strange.

I’m different too. I guess through them, noticing how they’ve changed, I can appreciate how I am different too. I guess I’m too sick to see that I’m growing up too. I wish I didn’t have to miss the “best years of my life”, yet still live through them, if that makes sense. I guess I just want my old life back.

Who am I? Sometimes I wonder if I still know.

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