Kaila arrives

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Her comparatively small size in no way impedes her imperial demands. When she thunders across the kitchen from one window to the other, you’d think we had a herd of horses in the house, instead of one fierce tabby cat.

It’s been only 8 months since Kaila has joined our household, and we’re amazed at how much things have changed. Nick and I have never laughed so much. We’ve learned to play stair games. We’ve increased our tolerance for toppled plant pots. And we’ve accepted instruction as to how much petting is too much. Amazing how much one can learn from a sternly-administered warning nip.

I’ve almost always had cats for companions. But after partnering with Nick, I’d become unwilling to invest emotionally in another pet. My new relationship, my music, my writing and crafts, and my job used up all the energy I could spare. Nick hadn’t had a pet since he was a boy, so we neither of us missed the cat hair, the litter box or the vet bills.

Somewhere along the line, though, things changed. We discussed the possibility every few years and argued ourselves out of it. Until last fall, when we visited the local SPCA and fell in love. A slender young mother, big-eyed in a foxy face, had sheltered her kittens in a boat during a cold winter, before being rescued. She’d looked at us, exhausted. Her own children successfully adopted, she had also nursed a foster litter of abandoned kittens. Nick got down on the floor beside her to touch her fur with a gentle finger. She extended a tentative paw through the cage bars to play, and we all connected.

And now we can’t remember what life was like before Kaila.

The unexpected thing is, Kaila’s presence reveals things to each of us about the other. I see a Nick I didn’t realize existed. Who knew that my thoughtful, often intellectual husband would try enticing her to sleep, because he’d researched feline health online and discovered cats need 16 hours of rest? Who would have guessed my quiet, reserved partner would talk, meow and sing with her so much? He tells me that I can get her chasing and pouncing and jumping in a way that he can’t. I assumed that everyone knows how to play with a cat. But no! When Nick holds the stick with the dangling furball on the end, Kaila stares at it for a moment, then at him, then sinks down to the floor, suddenly completely engrossed in removing a speck from her shoulder. I try explaining how twitch the stick and make the toy move furtively, but he’s bored and the cat’s bored until I pick up the stick, dance it past her nose, and we’re all laughing again.

Welcoming Kaila to our household was such a good idea. It’s been magical.

ho ho ho!

Drove through a nasty snow squall last night and this morning, all is hushed and white. If it weren’t for the driving, I’d be happy with winter. I like knitting this time of year, and I absolutely love getting ready for Christmas. I don’t have to do the shopping, Nick and I don’t do gifts, but I adore playing and listening to the music and beading and making Christmas decorations, and all the Christmas lights, and, of course, dressing up for our Elf Week at work!

to wear or not to wear….panty hose!

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I don’t even open this dresser drawer any more. It’s stuffed with panty hose I haven’t worn in years, but are in pretty good shape so I’m saving them just in case I might need to wear them again. Now that the cold weather has come, the question arises. If I choose to wear a skirt, what footwear would go with it, and more importantly, panty hose or no panty hose?

To my mild surprise, I happened to notice that many well-dressed women in magazines and media are bare-legged. When did they free themselves from the tyranny of panty hose I wondered?

Back twenty or so years ago, I had consciously decided to go for “business casual” dress at work. I believed comfort and ease of movement would allow me to focus more clearly on my job, which, on any given day, might include stepping over camera cables, hoisting boxes of video tapes, or standing outdoors in the cold taking notes. When shooting at formal events such as theatre performances or an awards gala for example, all crew were expected to dress appropriately. I would enjoy the feeling of a snug pair of flattering panty hose. I’ve been told I have good legs and it was always fun to show them off. But I would have to be a little more conscious of how and where I moved lest a sharp surface catch the hose and start a run. I couldn’t step up into company vans as freely in case my skirt would slide up too high and reveal too much. I would shorten my stride, hurrying after the camera crew little breathlessly, to make sure I maintained control of my high heeled shoes. It all felt attractive and, yes, sexy, but definitely vulnerable.

In the summer panty hose were too hot and sticky. In the winter they weren’t warm enough. In the office they were subject to runs from unnoticed file drawers and wooden desks. In the field, they were a nuisance.

The little bit of support from the firmly elasticized panty top feels dressy, and there’s no doubt the colours flatter my legs’ skin tones. But too long a stride and the hose might pull a little or even, if the panty hose were a little too snug, rip at the crotch seam. If a pair of panty hose were durable and survived a few washings (by hand, mind you!), they would begin to twist unpredictably when shoehorning myself into them. As my own fashion sense changed, it became a no brainer to choose leggings, long skirts, khaki pants and of course blue jeans as they, too, became acceptable at work.

I can’t really remember the last time I wore a pair of panty hose. I don’t own any more high-heeled shoes, and wear mostly sandals, sneakers, or cowboy boots.

And I could use the drawer space.

But somehow, I don’t seem to be able to just throw them out.

#dressing up #panty hose #whattowearwithshoes

electro-magnetic woo-woo’s

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Lumme, Friday already. It’s been a hell of a week for breakdowns.

There’s the ongoing saga of Siobhan the Toyoto, and really, for us, car repair stuff is fairly unusual and noteworthy.

At work, our debit machine went all screwy on Monday and had to be rebooted, and during that operation, our number one cash register deprogrammed itself and had to be reprogrammed. That’s never happened in the more than five years I’ve been at the store. More importantly for me, I’ve been computerless all week as the laptop I use enjoys a prolonged spa at the repair shop.

At home yesterday, the furnace stopped blowing hot air and a chilled, red-faced Nickolas called me later to let me know we’d forgotten about cleaning the filter. The filter is such a good one, apparently, that’s once it discovered it had to work far too hard, it sat down and called a strike.

I’m blaming on the unusual sunspot activity going on, plus the end of the current Mercury retrograde period. It can’t just be all merely human error?

Surely not 😉

#communication difficulties #repairs #spooky malfunctions

how to win the battle of the leaves?

I look out my studio window and feel immense pressure to get out there and rake leaves. A few leaves still hang onto the maple, but they are likely to retain their grip all winter long. So probably, officially, the leaves covering the ground are this season’s haul.

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I’m feeling so pushed that I entertain the thought of putting a coat on over my pajamas and getting out there to rake before it’s fully light, before I’ve had breakfast and of course, before I go to work.

However.

However, I’ve lived with Nick long enough now to know that if I were to actually open the outside door a massive discussion and hissy fit from me would ensue. I’d be breaking our decade-old routine of morning quiet time used for creative pursuits. He works really hard to prepare food and get little worries out of the way so that both he and I have the best quality time and energy to devote to our individual arts. If I were to forsake my writing, my music, my crafts and my personal interests to charge around in the half-light raking, Nick would be frustrated, hurt and exasperated. After remonstrating with me, if I still didn’t understand his concerns, he would leave me to it. And I would get more and more furious, more and more meticulous, (probably pulling off the tree the leaves that hadn’t yet fallen,) more and more late for work, and, to really point out to myself how unhappy I was, I’d more than likely pull a muscle, or fall on a root or, at the very least, get blisters.

I’m a little older and wiser today, and I don’t want to go there. But the leaves still stare at me, daring me to ignore them. I’m shifting uneasily in my chair, worried about leaving (!) them too late.

What I’ve been able to notice in the last few months, though, is that after a really successful bout of creative work, ordinary chores seem no big deal. I’m actually able to do a few dishes or vacuum or clean the bathroom and do it fairly cheerfully. Much to my astonishment I find that after I’ve engaged deeply with my creative side I’m actually ready for some physical activity. Preferably mindless and repetitive activity. This seems to provide a cool-down time that allows me to return from my introspective journey back into the everyday stuff.

So the trick is, how and when can I do enough satisfying creative work that will rocket-launch me into the yard work in time to meet the municipal pick-up deadline?

Gotta be this coming weekend, I think.

#mind games #motivation #yard work #raking leaves