Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Renovation Boogey

Summer is back with a vengeance, even if just for a few more days... it's gorgeous out there, and we are blessed to have some painting going on to spruce up the outside. In another couple of weeks there will be too much rain for regular outdoor painting - hopefully this will be done by the weekend and Brian can move it all indoors. We're doing those little things to the place like replacing broken windows, adding a new screen door, tearing off old wallpaper, and removing visual clutter. The load of junk going out the door is incredible. Repairing and painting the inside walls will add considerably to the freshening of the place. I'm glad the windows can be open for most of the time... Neither Angeni nor I tolerate paint fumes.

Lucky and Mabel seem to be doing well in their new homes... Brian does miss Lucky, though, and we both notice how dead the barn feels without them. However, it is as the song says "time passages", and we must look ahead.

There is a new autumn newsletter, just published today - it has been emailed to everyone on our list, but after this evening it can be accessed from the website as well. Or email Brian and ask to be sent a copy... As it indicates, we've canceled our autumn equinox gathering this weekend due to all the renovations going on...

People have been asking about the book I was published in this summer... I don't have any extra copies, but they can be purchased from the Anishnabeg Outreach Centre in Guelph, or from Ningwakwe Learning Press directly. The book is called "River Bundles An Anthology of Original Peoples in the Waterloo-Wellington Region". If you contact me directly I can give you the email of my friend in the editorial group, the Plume Writers Circle. I also just received "Portico", the magazine of the Alumni Association at the University of Guelph, and I'm featured in an article on alumni with unusual jobs... Yeah, I'd say this is unusual.

Sometime soon you'll be able to see my art work in the Ontario Craft Council's web portal called the "Portfolio of Makers". This was submitted for a deadline in July, but I worked on it for nearly two years. It will be up and running shortly.... And, I have been contracted to teach native beadwork to a class during the Canadian Doll Artists Association convention next April. I've been a member now for almost 4 years, and I've never been able to afford to attend their convention. Now I get a chance to go and teach - how exquisite! Things are looking up in my art world.

Tonight is meet the creature night... I mean, Meet the Teacher night. We don't especially need to go, since this is the second year Angeni has been taught by this teacher, but Angeni is anxious for us to go... It's also a scam to buy books from Scholastic, which is what Angeni really wants in the long run. It's a tight month financially, so we'll see... It may be a quiet ride home.

Looks like we're doing a wedding here next month... more details to follow! Have a wonderful equinox weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Winds of Change

Mabel and Lucky went to their new home yesterday, and the chickens head out today - right now in fact. That leaves the barn empty... All the dogs and cats that remain are healthy and happy and won't be leaving - Angeni is happy there are no more animals going anywhere.

We didn't get our jobs down east. The Dear John/Dear Jane letters arrived today. Out of 9 elders who applied, 7 were required, and Brian and I got dumped. It makes me reticent to talk about any further developments, as I don't want anyone else having to deal with our roller coaster. Some of the pressure of waiting is off, but even now, we've hit the ground running in our application for another position with a different ministry. It has to be done by Wednesday.

In the meantime, since we have to sell our home anyway, we're continuing with minor repairs and painting. The house is a royal mess - wall paper is partially stripped off in the downstairs, and there is a lot of damage in the plaster/drywall to repair before painting. With the bathrooms also requiring a lot of finishing and repair, we're going to cancel Autumn Equinox celebrations for this year. Getting this place done by the 22nd isn't possible, especially with Brian working part-time.

We're doing the day-by-day dance...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lucky & Mabel

It is a bittersweet Sunday - we found new homes for Lucky and Mabel and our friends are coming today to pick them up. Eventually the chickens will go there as well... Angeni isn't really happy about this, but the best comfort I can offer is that we can visit our friends' farm anytime and see them - the horses won't forget us. Small comfort to a grieving child whose seen so many changes and experienced so much loss this summer...

However, life goes on, and Angeni is well entrenched in Grade 4. So far all she can say about her year is "boring" as there is a lot of writing and review, from her perspective. I trust it will liven up, and eventually whenever we get moved, she'll have the excitement of a new school to adjust to...

On this sleepy Sunday Brian is busily stripping wallpaper in the dining room. I've done my morning emails and scanned the news. We watched an episode of Celebrity Paranormal Project last night, so I did a bit of research on that episode's location. I miss being out "in the field" doing this exact work. I also miss standing in front of a congregation delivering messages. This celebrity show is quite ridiculous, as there is no recapitulation of what was found by the team of B-list celebrities - the entire show focuses the camera on their genuine fear and reactions to the paranormal. I'm not a fan, but I watch to see what I can discern in the background of the shots.

Anyway, as the day rolls along, I have 3 crystal necklaces to make (commissions) and a Metis ornamental ceremonial shirt to finish. I researched a more historically correct placket to finish the sleeves. This particular gentleman has arms longer than the pattern allowed, so this meant some tricky reworking of the sleeve with the cuff/placket. I'm pleased that I can get this finished in the next day or so to give him when he visits on Thursday. I figured out the tricky repair to a neckline of a rayon dress I've been mulling over, and hemmed 3 pair of pants which have been sitting there for months, awaiting my ministrations. I hemmed 2 new track pants for Angeni. She thought it was too warm for track pants, until I showed her the forecast for next week - some mornings it suggests no more than about 6 degrees when she gets on the bus!! She'll need the fleecy pants!! Slowly I am checking off the sewing list in my mind...

It's another couple of weeks before we hear whether we got the job postings or not... it's been stressful for the family. The wheels of government grind slowly, and I keep reminding Brian that is isn't personal. As will anything bureaucratic, there is a careful dotting of i's and crossing of t's... It isn't personal. The universe has to make things happen as it suits all parties involved, not just us because we're anxious to move on. The donkey and horses got placed speedily, and other aspects of this shift have happened swiftly and beautifully - we just need to be patient and allow the universe to unfold. Manifestation is happening.

Have a wonderful, blessed week...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labour Day mission of Love

So it's the most exquisite sunny Sunday - the middle of the labour day weekend... we've had a quiet weekend at home as our original plans had to be changed. The nature of our life right now means we adapt to flying by the seat of our pants, and landing without skid marks on the runway. We'd originally thought to take Angeni to the beach today, and there were other options, but none of them could happen. Last night she and her father went to a bush party for a girl friend turning 10, and that was an important experience. The mere thought of "bush party" would normally send cold chills through most parents, but this was a family thing. They enjoyed themselves.

I've had problems with a bowel obstruction made worse by gastroenteritis. I felt like I should have lived in the bathroom for these last several days. However, sleep-deprivation and pain aside, we're going to attempt another barn-burner sleepover in the trailer, with our friend Philomene. This should be interesting... we've got snacks, sleeping bags, coffee and cream for the morning, stuffed animals, playing cards with cows on them, and I'll take my knitting. The guitar is a given, but I'm not sure about my kazoo. And who could forget those feminine hygiene products? (Angeni goes "ewww" when she sees them.) We'll have a night without cats or dogs, and Brian gets to sleep in the house by himself, lucky bastard.

Mabel and Lucky will be going to a new home this week in Gowanstown, along with the remaining chicken family. Our old friends Moe and Kath are quite happy to receive them, and I'm donating a disco ball for the chicken coop - there is one rooster who has a penchant for disco. Got to make the transition easy for him, right? That gets all of our charges dealt with who can't come with us on the next phase of our lives - and thankfully the horses have a home for life. No more moves... their fate could have been worse.

Anyway, we're doing some fairly complex renovations to the house and getting it ready to go on the market sometime soon. Stripping wallpaper is horrible, despite steamers, concentrated acid removers and scrapers. We inherited this paper from the previous owners and I've always hated wallpaper. For me, it's white walls, and wild colourful accents - I'm not stuck with what the walls dictate when I decorate that way... In the next few days, when Angeni goes back to school on Tuesday, we'll begin another intense round of purging. In analyzing what we'll keep and what we'll shed, we're looking at over 70% of what we own is being dispersed. It isn't worth lugging to a new home. This is a good exercise for me in letting go of old paradigms and shedding. A snake must shed it's skin in order to grow, and I must unburden myself from the load I've carried in order to blossom. It is time...

Have a wonderful, restorative, restful Monday.