The bedroom door is flung open with a burst of hallway light blasting my eyes.
“Momma, can you get up now?”
I squint at the clock. 6:09 a.m. On a Saturday.
My sleepy brain groans. My body feels like a bag of bricks. “Wait until the clock says seven-zero-zero,” I mumble.
“Okay!” And she slams the door.
What feels like thirty seconds pass when the door is flung open again. “Momma,” she calls in a loud-ish, raspy whisper, “It’s time to get up!”
Before I launch into a restrained adult-tantrum about the necessity of older people sleeping in on weekends, I open my eyes and see her standing there, with three lop-sided pigtails in her hair and dressed in her ballet outfit. I can’t help but smirk. In her own way she knows how to celebrate a Saturday.
It is now 8:27 and we’ve ploughed through a plate of pancakes, a page in a colouring book, two episodes of Paw Patrol, a mini-dance party, and a funny-face competition.
Suddenly it is eerily quiet. I peek into the living room.
Greetings, to whoever is reading this record of my discovery of this planet called…Earth.
I am the almighty Darth Vader, and I have been seeking to destroy the Jedi across the universe. I have been in search of Jedi on this planet Earth and I believe I have finally found them.
They are very small, these Jedi. And covered in fur, like Ewoks or Wookies. (I hate Ewoks and Wookies…)
They fly, these small Jedi. And make a BZZZzzzZZZzzz sound. Quite annoying, actually. (But then again, all Jedi are annoying…)
The Force is strong with them. Their navigational skills are impressive. And they wield a weapon that strikes like a compact Lightsaber, searing and burning the skin upon impact.
Like any cowardly Jedi they only strike on the defensive, never on the offensive. Although they are quite stealthy: one of these small Jedi flew up inside one of my Stormtrooper’s uniforms. He died a painful, arm-flailing death.
My scientists tell me these small Jedi have a weakness for colours and fragrances. Rather odd. But then again I have a weakness for JiffyPop, so who am I to judge?
In the meantime, while on Earth, I guess I will stay out of my Hawaiian shirts and lay off the Chanel No. 5.
This morning I came downstairs in a rush, dressed for work, and ready to go. My four-year-old daughter suddenly appeared in front of me, held up a chunky kids’ necklace, and asked, “Momma, can you wear this today?”
Screech! went the tires of my whizzing mind.
I looked at the huge purple flowers. The sparkles. I did a quick comparison with my white blouse and cranberry skirt. Not my first choice of accessories.
Then I looked at my daughter’s big doe-eyes. “I made dis myself,” she added.
How could I refuse?
So I slipped it on. Looked in the mirror. You know what? I thought, It works.
My daughter’s eyes grew even bigger as she smiled.
I was sitting on our new patio yesterday afternoon when I heard a BzzzzZZZzz…
My heart did a little skip. I looked over at my flower bed and saw…a bumblebee!
My first fuzzy-buzzy visitor to my little garden! And she chose some purple flowers that I had thought would catch the eyes/antennae of a bumblebee or two.
I’m not sure what those flowers are called, but the bee did indeed spend quite a bit of time on them. Then she moved on to my spray of catmint.
I was thrilled to finally see a bumblebee on my flowers! Not only just for the sake of having bees in my garden, but mainly because I’ve seen so few bumblebees in general this year. It’s rather alarming.
One thing we do know about bumblebees is if they find a good patch of flowers, they tend to return to it over and over again. Will I see this little cutie on another day?
Sure enough, this morning I looked out the kitchen window and spotted a speck hovering amongst the catmint. A bumblebee! The same one as yesterday? I went out to have a look and she looked similar, but I’m not certain.
It still amazes me that as big as the world is compared to the size of a bumblebee, she was able to spot my flowers amongt everything else in the backyard. Are the purple blossoms like a bright, blinking beacon? Or was she reeled in by the scent, almost undetectable to the human nose? Or both?
Please come back, busy-buzzy bee! And bring your sisters and friends.
Yesterday our kids went to a birthday party at a horse farm, where they got to groom and ride horses and ponies.
The kids did such a good job brushing the horses that most of them almost fell asleep.
They rode the horses in circles in an arena for quite a while. On occasion the horses were instructed to go a bit faster, and it was a hoot to watch the semi-terrified-but-thrilled looks on the kids faces as their backsides bounced significantly up and down on the saddle as they sped up.
As I watched the kids ride around and around (and around and around…), I noticed each one had a huge smile and were enjoying themselves immensely.
(I also noticed I had a slight twinge of envy, having never rode a horse myself.)
I couldn’t resist giving some of the horses a rub on the nose or a pet on the side. And to just stare at them for a while.
What the heck is it about horses?!
The attraction is different than that to dogs, cats, or other domesticated critters. It’s deeper down in the gut, more fundamental. More primitive. Or maybe more mystical, like there’s a part of my brain that’s still 5 years old and expects the horse to sprout a horn and/or wings and transform into My Little Pony.
Or maybe there’s a cultural archetype burned into the female psyche of a princess and her loyal steed (I admit I’m rusty with my Jungian psychology…). That as soon as she mounts the horse she is no longer [insert name here] but is now Princess [insert a much more flowery name here]: Ruler of Lands and Fairest of them All. Forever and Ever.
Who knows. I’ll try to ride a horse one day and let you know if I channel my inner princess.
It’s 6 a.m. Ouch. I promised myself yesterday that I would haul my butt out of bed early and go for a run. Before I could let my gloriously comfortable pillow convince me otherwise, I sat up, swung my legs over the side of the bed, and told myself this was a good thing.
There’s always a space of time when my feet first hit the pavement and I’m huffing and puffing before reaching a rhythm when I wonder why I do this to myself. But then I get into a groove and I reach the trails and I know it’s worth it.
Especially today. I rounded a corner and suddenly this came into view:
I’ve never seen a deer on those trails before. And I’ve never been so close to a deer before, either: it was about 10 feet away.
I thought it would bound away as I scrambled as calmly as I could for my camera, but it stayed and continued to munch.
And then it came closer.
It was seriously about six feet away from me. It was surreal. I could see the velvety fuzz on its antlers. I could almost reach out and touch them.
We gazed at each other for quite a while. What was going through that deer-brain? Why wasn’t I scared of me? Regardless, it was certainly a Moment.
I eventually turned and continued on my way. Later on my route when I circled back, it was gone.
So I’m glad I went for a run today. Had I decided to snooze for a few minutes longer, I might have missed the whole thing.
Will I get up early again tomorrow to see what I can see? Depends: I pulled a calf muscle on my way home (grrrr…). Plus, I have a feeling that deer doesn’t make many repeat appearances.
We had some landscaping done in our backyard recently that resulted in brand new gardening opportunities.
A completely blank canvas! Oh, the possibilities. For helping…bees! (And other pollinators too, of course.)
I did a little happy dance then headed straight to the nearest gardening centre.
Did I have a clue as to what to get? Um, nope! Well, whatever was on sale and looked bee-worthy.
The garden centre actually had little pre-made baskets from The Canadian Wildlife Federation with flowers that attract specific pollinators: bees, butterflies, hummingbirds… I bought one for bees (and I think I’ll go back to get the others).
With a big bag of dirt and a cart chocked full of baby plants, I hurried home to tuck them into their new home before the sun set.
Here are some of my new babies. Like a new mom, I’m not sure what I’m doing but I’ll do my best and hope that they thrive! (My grandmother was a stellar gardener and I’m hoping to channel some of her super-powers.)
Cottages always hold such potential for little bits of magic. We went up to our cottage last weekend, kept our eyes open, and we were not disappointed.
1. If we leave peanuts out for the chipmunks, will they find them? The answer: yes! Well, at least something took them. We didn’t hang around to see who or what, since the mosquitoes were out in full force.
2. Sitting in the sun, minding my own business, when this big blue friend stops for a visit. We hung out for quite a while. I wonder what it was about my knee that was so attractive? Regardless, it was a treat to marvel at this big beauty up close.
3. What I think is a damselfly landed on my foot after I had gone for a swim. I transferred it to my hand and it stayed to visit for a while. It even let me put it on my son’s hand, too, before it decided to fly away.
4. “Mommy, can you find me some sea shells?” I searched and searched and found these snail shells in the water next to shore. I think my daughter kept them clutched in her fist for the rest of our trip.
I wonder what bits of magic await us for the next time?
You might not see me very well, but I’m hunched in the corner of this metal thing. A few seconds ago I was stretched out in all my hideous glory–a perfect photo opportunity–but the humans got too close. I high-tailed it to the closest, darkest corner I could find. Their yelps suggested they were shocked yet impressed by my speed.
The human boy gave me my name. Cupcake? I sense he was not intimidated by me.
I was successful in scaring away the smallest human. I could feel her trembles. I could also tell that the adult was putting on a brave front but was inwardly both disgusted and terrified.
Now they are gone. And so I wait. Wait in the shadows until the urge to swim hits the humans again. Then I will make another grand appearance, and imprint myself forever upon their summer memories.