Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Wishes


Moselito and I are heading in this direction today.

May you all. dear friends,  be safe in whatever direction you are going this holiday season and throughout the New Year.



Friday, October 31, 2014

Today is one of those days


on which my thoughts jump from one thing to another to end up on a theory that maybe needs to be given long and serious serious thought.   

As I am cleaning my Bamboo floor which I supervised the installation of and know that a small space needs to be left  available behind the floor boarding all around allowing the wood to react to temperature and humidity.  It contracts and expands.  If no space left near walls, it will allow the floor planks to open up where they join.                                                                                                                                                                                                     I reach an area where a gap has developed between the planks and my thoughts jump to the spot on my right hand thumb where at the top on each side of the short fingernail the dry skin has popped open.   This reminds me that I need to wear gloves as soon as I start using the heater in the car to prevent this from happening.  My thumb reacts to warm air being blown at it as my hand is busy steering.

Then, as I wonder if there is a word to name this area of my thumb and play with the idea of asking one of my daughters, I think that I should not.  They have no time nor patience for such silly questions of their mother.

From there my thoughts wonder to the question of  what is this thing of 'mothers and daughters'?   Why, after the mother is no longer with us, and I know that it applies to many of us, does one feel guilty of not having  shown more patience, more devotion, more gratefulness, more compassion, more love.  I am saying more because we all have given, some more some less.  Did our mothers display love, self-sufficiency, tolerance and strength in order to give us peace of mind?

If so, it does not seem to work.  Not with me anyway.


Actually, I was going to say that I will stop posting and commenting for a while because it takes more time for me to do so than I can afford to use up for that purpose.

Will I be able to overcome this much enjoyable addiction?
          



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day Three



To Val-David again where Mireille exhibited two of her works.  I have seen and bought a smaller one of her creations a few years ago but had not seen any of her larger works.  Our paths cross occasionally in the village. We hug and kiss cheeks.  She recently told me that she no longer sculpts her hands being 'done'.                                                                           She now composes music, writes the lyrics and guitar in hand performs in small places here and there.  


   




A cold glass of sangria while waiting for our food was much appreciated by all.


What you see is not all she got.  The goat cheese made itself invisible.  

  

A few more photos and then back home .





Day Two


35 minutes drive to Mont Tremblant

  

                                                                                       
                                                                                          We took the easy way up
South side
Hard rocks in hiding
North side



Day one with Pasha


She arrived tired from her 6.5 hrs Jeep drive, eager to get into position to capture the blaze of autumn colours.     
                                                      
                                                     Parc des Amoureux - Val David 





Thursday, September 25, 2014

Killing time..........


until Pasha arrives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Arrangements need to be made for Nikita and Dakota to wiggle their tails and Chester to purr when she gets back home and it's a 5+ hours drive for her.  My thoughts are with her on that long drive - 16 lanes changing to 8 and then to 6.     

She wants to preserve our Autumn leaf colours as seen through her camera lens.

If I dare to suggest it, we might even discuss planing for an 'all of the families' bash to celebrate our upcoming big 0s.
"What, who wants to think about that now.  Next year comes soon enough, no rush about that, I don't feel like talking about it".  I can hear it.

Numbers never bothered me until I did not fit into this or that any more which to my delight, for a reason that I am proud of, happened very late in my life.  

Oops, she just called.  Should she maybe do the last stretch on the 117 or should she stick to finishing off on the 15 or or or.....it would be cool to take a country road and blablabla.
I suggested she should come here as usual and take it easy for the remainder of the day. 
It is supposed to get warmer and warmer till after the weekend and the show has not reached its peek as yet.




  






Thursday, September 11, 2014

Who were you


Today I found 15 scraps of paper filled with my handwriting, small corrections and lots of crossed out lines, dated April 9, 1996.  I remember that I wanted to type it all up and hand it to his brother. I never did.  


Can a person whom one does not know well be one's friend?

Can one be fond of a person whom one does not know well?
Who were you, Luc?
You were a special being, a brave spirit wearing the shell of a human body that appeared at my doorstep uninvited but always so welcome and then disappeared again and re-appeared and disappeared.
When we sat together on the doorsteps on a hot summer day - you were the cool refreshing summer breeze.
When we stood at the window and watched the snow melt under the first warm sun rays - you were the first tender shoot of a tulip that announced spring to me.
When you asked me "how is it going?" and reassured me that all will be fine - you were the tiny bud on a stem that promised me roses.
When you offered me this tiny, oh so tiny little straw basket with a rock inside - you were like a child entrusting me with your treasures.  
When you struggled to set my furniture up after my move up here and struggled with the door that did not want to stay in it's hinges - your enthusiasm, energy and strength felt like fire.
The few times you shared painful moments of your life with me, were the times when only your shell was with me - you felt like water running through my fingers or like a rock that I could not move.
Then there were the times you passed by without stopping - just a smile and a wave - like a butterfly  .
                                  You were and still are my soulmate.


Luc was in the process of moving to another province where he had bought a small home together with a woman whom he met when he found her sleeping in her car in a parking lot in the middle of a small town nearby, on his early morning walk.  He talked about tourist accommodation, bike rental and repair and had stored 15 bikes with me which were going to leave a few days after him.


More notes:


Luc arrived at my house around 17.30 for a good-bye supper and to view the community video that had been given him by Moselito's home away from home to thank him for his helping hands. He brought three muffins for desert - 
his aunt had made them - and was holding a big white carnation that he shyly held out to me.
He ate well.  We boiled young potatoes, prepared a green salad and some crab meat mixed with Mayo.  He enjoyed the dinner and commented how little efforts we put into meal preparation when we prepare it for ourselves only. Like - take one thing, slap it on another and eat.  While we were having our second herb tea and while I was puffing away on my cigarette I asked him if he ever smoked and drank and hung out in bars.  He smiled and said "of course I have done all those things but as we get older we don't have the energy
for that any more and we look for an easier way of living". 
He talked a lot about this good conversation he had with his mother and brother a few days ago.  How they talked a lot about the past and how difficult it had been for his mother.  Many moves because of his father's job, 4 children to take care of etc.  He talked about being sent to pensionat, him and his brothers and had it not been pensionat , it would have had to be reform school or such.  He felt that they or maybe him only (I'm not sure) had been a bad bunch for a while.  He disliked pensionat.  He was very happy to repeat over and over again
how happy his mother was in her new place.  The house being now rightfully his but he was leaving most things behind so that his mother would feel good when going there on a week-end visit.  His aunt and uncle would stay in the house each week-end and his sister would be able to go there when she came over from England during the summer.  He also talked about leaving small nick-knacks behind because he wanted to detach himself from the past and start a new life in a life that now scarred the shit out of him.  He told me how terribly he panicked after he had decided to move up here from Montreal and how frantically he tried to get his Montreal place back, that it had already been rented to someone else and that if this had not been the case he would still be in Montreal.  He wanted to hear me talk about moving up here and how I feel about it.  He was worried about having to make new friends in B., about having to subsidize part of his business and life there.  How easy it was for him to spend big money but how hard it was for him to pull small amounts out of his pocket for his daily needs. No, he did not have to worry financially and even if he lost it all in that new place he would still be able to survive decently.  He admires how his father was able to plan all so well and retire at age 55.  Yes, it's about time he undertook something and took up some responsibilities.  Sure he knows how to count and, do I think he could get a kick out of keeping records on a computer?   " But, one can get addicted to it!"    No, he won't use it to withdraw - it was now more important to put energy into building a relationship with C. and looking after his bike shop.  He wants to cut off part of the building and build a small bachelor apartment.  He bought the kitchen cupboard here. 
He enjoyed the video but did not make many comments.  We were both sitting on the couch with blanket around our laps - he joked and said "just like a grandfather".
He called the mover and confirmed that the move was still on and then walked back to me and talked about re-establishing trust - that he told the mover a lie when he cancelled and told him that he had lied to him when he reinstated the move.  Movers must have seen it all he felt, since most people must have big emotions when they move.
At one point he asked me if he could rent this room, and pointed to a room, if he ever had to come back.  "Anytime Luc"!  He was pleased to hear that and seemed content. 
I did not ask him why he would rent here since he has an empty house in Ste.A.  Later on, shortly before leaving he asked if he could look at HIS room.  I opened the door, he walked around inside it and said "this is very nice, you used to sleep here I guess, I need a mother".
I did not know what to say except that if he really wanted to be here I would be pleased to have him and would leave him to do whatever he wanted.....talk or read in peace.
Luc had mentioned to me that he would come to visit early because he did not like to be out late.  When I felt that he was getting ready to leave I offered him to sleep in HIS room since he did not like to be out late.  I offered it twice but he kept saying that he was al right.
His good night and good-bye hug did not feel as warm and quite as hugging as other times and his upper body felt stiff and cold.  
He was dressed in beige pants, beige wool pullover and a yellow/light brown jacket.  A small, serious looking figure walking through the porch light down the steps into the dark for ever.

                                 May what is true in you dear friend

                                 arise beyond the treshold
                                 despite the ruins of your self-destroyed habitation     
                                 and we
                                 who follow your destiny
                                 wish to be mindful
                                 that you too are mindful
                                 and standing upright 
                                 look back on the ruins with the decision
                                 to build them up once more into a firm new dwelling

                                                                         Rudolf Steiner


I think I was the last one to be with him and hoped that by writing each and every word of his down, I would find something that indicated his intention to drive back to his house, do what needed to be done for being able to sit in car and fall asleep.

I usually visit his grave once a year or more to put things in order.  I will go there tomorrow and will look at dates. II want to know how old he was.                


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Looking down



Moselito loves going for long walks and replied with yes yes yes and a broad smile when Ellena suggested to go up to the top of L'Aiguille and look down to Val-David village.  His pottery  and weavery workshops are located in that village. 

Little did he know how slowly Ellena would make it up to the top.  He does not know that she suffers from  'window shopping syndrome' .  She walks a bit and needs to stop a bit. 
Consulting a specialist about the soreness in legs confirmed that carotid arteries are fine and that fixing the leg arteries would be as risky as leaving them alone.  So, Ellena reduced her long and up the hill walks to short walks for the past 2 or more years but, decided to try one more time to do what she always did.    


Moselito patiently waiting for Ellena


In this area of the Upper Laurentians we live on the oldest rock on earth and this is one of them rock pieces.

"Moselito...out of breath... wait for me.......out of breath...... not so fast!!!"


Each time someone passed us on the trail I asked how much further the top was or I stepped to the side and made gestures that invited them to pass.  
Moselito and I snacked, he went back to the edge where he could look further away and I stretched out on a bench and closed my eyes.  The tap on my shoulder was not Moselito's hand.  It was Guillaume, a young ranger, asking if I needed help. No thank you was apparently not enough for him to hear.  He decided to leave me his walking stick for just in case.
Guillaume caught up with us on the way down.  I laughed when I saw him coming and his reply, when I said that I was not surprised to see him again, was "and this time I'm staying with you all the way down".   And he did - with a helping arm from time to time, a friendly smile during our conversations, pointing to an easier trail towards the end of the descent and........also with a smile "you two are a double I can't remember the kind word he used, I suggest you bring a walking stick, you carry a cell 'phone, you teach Moselito how to dial 911, you register in the book at the entrance to the parc and you sign out on your way out".  
I wonder if someone reported this old lady on the trail, huffing and puffing.
I am so proud of myself and feel very much alive and am looking forward to seeing Guillaume when signing in next time.     

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hot summers and humidity


The story of the skirt relates to the time I was working in a bank.  My female co-workers just nodded their head when I answered "Madame T" after having been asked my name.  I did not know that French Canadians, at that time, addressed each other by their given name, used 'tu' on the first meeting and expected to hear me say "Ellena".    Bad start, I was considered to be the arrogant newcomer from Europe.       
I gave the girls an occasion to get back at me when I told them that I want my circle skirt to stand out in a circle as wide as their skirts and asked what to do about it short of inserting whatever it was they inserted into the hem of the underskirt.  Their kind advice was  "wash, rinse in sugar water and dry in sun". Smart- me did so.                                                   
The little branch of big TD bank was not air-conditioned then.  Do I need to explain what happened on the day where heat and humidity climbed extremely high?  Sitting in place all afternoon was a very sweaty/sticky situation.

Soon after and shortly prior to leaving the bank, I realized that I had become a trusted and in their eyes experienced friend.  One of the girls was getting married and asked me specific questions concerning the night of the wedding, another girl came back from their honeymoon and shared with me that her husband asked her to do such and such and did I think it was OK.  A young man walked me home after work, talking about Elvis P. whom I had hardly heard about, to then casually pose questions concerning abortion.  I was not much help to any of them being very uncomfortable talking about personal matters but, I was pleased that I had made friends that trusted me.  

 Today is the first time that I notice the man sleeping on the bench but Pasha always makes me smile the way she moves proudly down the catwalk with purse on arm.
(Shaking my head in disbelief that I bought a purse for her). 
 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

???

This is for whomever had not seen it 2 years ago and especially a riposte to RR's comment on my last post.

          The cologne
          Splashed over his face and neck
          In the morning
          Well fitting suit with buttons of same cloth
          Tie in place
          Well heeled

          Nothing could cover the smell of
          Anxiety and depression

          His hands very soft
          His eyes piercing
          Blue ring circling brown iris

          What were his thoughts
          On his 7 km daily long walks
          From the small hamlet
          To the nearby town

          Umbrella in hand in case...
          "skata spiri" (shitty pimpleface) when unhappy with me
         
          I do not know my father




Take away the chain and add umbrella is 100% him even the face.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A ray of sunshine




Yesterday was my what I call 'biblio day'.

We are three female volunteers guided by Goldie Locks, our librarian.

Since the library is closed to the public when our gang is at work, I was surprised to see a nun standing at the counter talking with Goldie Locks.  No idea who heard the knock on the glass of the door and who was allowed to let her in and less of an idea as to the content of the conversation that I observed since I can't find any time to get my hearing checked.  I am only 7 steps away from the counter and and all else that is happening around me is also very close it being a small library but, when I work I usually concentrate on what I am doing and it being the monk's job that was assigned to me, I was minding my business, did not notice that the nun was gone nor ask why she had come in.                     Then, as the lawn mover started his usual Thursday-moan, and as I lifted the blinds away from the window to sneak a look outside to see how far lawn manicure had advanced it is this that came into my view and made me grab my camera. 

A ray of sunshine that will last me till next biblio day.



picture taken through window in front door

Nuns bring good memories back to me.  


Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The architecture of the Kansas City Public Library 

svejiy_vzglyad_na_zdanie_v_literaturnom_


inspired a group of young people to create this in Russia.

svejiy_vzglyad_na_zdanie_v_literaturnom_

I wish they were my snapshots.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A spot



This is the culprit.  A spot in a bathroom tile.

Ever since I moved into this apartment 6 years ago this spot in a faulty bathroom tile causes me to be troubled and not only when I do my house cleaning.  Seeing this is as bad as seeing each dust particle flying in the air through the rays of sunshine inside my apartment.  Nothing I can do about these bothersome things short of putting the blinds down or changing the tile or tell myself how lucky I am to have nothing more to fret about.
Finally today I opted for the last-mentioned after I had proceeded to clean the next room where I banged my head on an open cupboard door.  Whenever I bang my head I question the thoughts I was entertaining at that particular 'bang' moment and always realize that they were thoughts which I needed to stop immediately or as soon as possible.  Thoughts such as in this instance "what will people think when they see this spot?"   
My sister-in-law came out of the bathroom after her first visit to this new dwelling of mine
laughing as she was telling me that she tried to clean that spot.  



Now l look at it and see the sun and ask for more appropriate but soft head bangs.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

KAVADI


The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp and their Temple are nestled in the woods on the mountain across the street from here.  Yesterday they celebrated Kavadi, a religious Hindu festival.  Offering of a Kavadi  filled with self-torture and suffering at every step promises peace and good luck.
It is said that thousands of devotees attend - yes, no parking to be found in a radius of 3 km.  They drive in from near and far and all hope to be amongst the first ones to arrive in order to park as close as possible to the Ashram.  The  procession starts at 9.30 in the morning and ends at  3 in the afternoon. They walk on gravel and asphalt. 


                                             The first ones are arriving

the young ones flashed their feet in a different way








This man rolled down the entire stretch of more than 1 km paved road


and this devotee seems to have needed to impose the severest penance on himself

Maybe I should have photographed more of the beautiful dresses but I overcame my shyness to late to do so.  
  






Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Arriving in Canada



Laszi batchi, a friend of my Magyar husband, who had arrived in this country months earlier, was waving at us from the landing pier as we disembarked the SS Neptunia in 1956.  He took us to his apartment and suggested we walk up the street and find ourselves a room to rent until we know in which area of town we want to settle.  I had never met this man nor his German speaking wife who I later learned had left her husband and Russia some time ago with the extremely huge diamond which she wore on her finger, hidden in some part of her body.                                                                                               Magyar translated the conversations between his friend and him for me occasionally. Although we all spoke German, the two men liked to speak Hungarian with each other.... and who was I to stop them.  Apparently the area here was inviting because a young couple from Austria were living across the street and further down a Hungarian couple had moved in not long ago.  We found a room the same day not far.

Alois, our next door room-neighbour with whom we shared bathroom and kitchen facilities babysat little Pisha aka Pasha or La Puce the day I decided to get my hair cut.  I walked down our street past rooming houses, duplexes, the hole in the wall known as Chinaman's laundromat, the butcher who carried no European cold cuts, the tavern where Magyar liked to stop for a cold one but where no women were allowed to show their face.
We lived one street over to the east from the street known as the Main which divides east side from west side Montreal. I did not know that then nor was I aware of the fact that we had settled down in the red light district. Yes we had.  I was a naive 21 year old  who had no idea why men gave a second look  when I strolled down the street or when I sat on the benches in CarrĂ© St.Louis around the corner or on the steps of the rooming house with baby on lap nor did I know what I was doing when I walked into a barber shop asking for a hair cut. I think he was Italian.  I know he was handsome and polite the one that lead me to a back room, cut my hair, asked to be paid and escorted me back to the front door. 


  
  



    

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

???????



What the schnuck happened here?

The only thing that I knowingly did was edit words underneath my name.  All else happened by just looking at what was available.  


Did not succeed fixing it so will leave it alone for now.