just to hang on

i got an iphone a few weeks go and now sometimes i post things on instagram although you’ll have to send me a (friend? follower?) request. here. most of the photos are from last weekend when i went birding at ruthven.

i have been the same.

what are you waiting for

you might be surprised to learn, as i was, that when that person in your life decides to quit smoking via the public-health-nurse route and is brave and makes (and attends) an appointment expecting to get the patch that very day, that very day that she decided was her quit date, amen – that public health just lumps all addictions into a big bundle and so puts everyone into a waiting room – the smokers, the drug addicts, all of it i mean, i know i have a problem, but some of those people were fucked well, that person will go through the paperwork and will then be told that in order to be given the patch she will have to come back on another, different day (and miss another 5 hours of work, holy cats) and have a second meeting. this does not seem particularly fair or helpful.

some updates: i had a birthday. it was a pretty good day, all told – coffee cake; a trip to ikea; tacos and enchiladas at that new place on james street south; a quick trip through the art gallery and then home for a glass of wine and a very long nap.

i have been learning how to play the hand bells in a hand bell choir. tonight is the second week, the first week being mostly technique and also jingle bells. the third week (the last week in our little introductory workshop) we have been threatened with the possibility of a recital, should we care to let anyone else hear us.

i paid off my student loan at the end of march. it was a combination of savings and my 2014 tax return. it feels dumb to tell you that my hands were actually shaking as i did an internet bank thing and transferred the money. going to new york in october feels like less of a pipe dream, suddenly.

my mom is in the midst of cancer treatments right now. she has now hit the point where she never feels well, even though the treatments are two weeks apart. i was supposed to have lunch with both of my parents this past saturday but she wasn’t feeling well enough to go, so it ended up being my dad and i eating sandwiches in a nearly-empty chain restaurant while basketball blared from the tv over the bar. so many things have happened over the past year that i have no idea where to start and so choose to say nothing, or nearly nothing. yes, things are fine. church is electing deacons; the weather is beautiful; my birthday was lovely. i led one of my coworkers to christ this year and have watched and held her up as she turned her life upside down for the better and it has been the hardest, scariest thing i have ever done. i have never felt so confused or inadequate but all everyone wants to do is heap praise on me, which is awful, because if anyone knew how badly i wished i could have just stayed out of the shipwreck she was making of her life even as it was happening, well. i don’t know. i think that this idea that god suddenly decides that you are ready to do something is a big fat lie. i was not ready then and i am not ready for whatever is going to happen next.

sweet company

i seem to have the internet back, suddenly. i’m not sure how that happened but i’m going to go with it.

in december i learned that both my mother and my grandmother have (different kinds of) cancer. my grandmother is 90 years old and seems to have also suffered a stroke in the last 6 months, although nobody in my family has been very forthcoming about when that happened. she doesn’t speak anymore except to answer (slowly, with a lot of concentration) direct questions (are you finished dinner; here is your medication) and she is now in a wheelchair full-time. we (my family) went to visit them in january and she did not acknowledge our presence except at the very end, when we were all putting on coats and shoes and my mom thanked her for dinner (even though it was food prepared by the staff; my mother is nothing if not polite). there was a long pause and my grandmother said, deadpan, “i slaved over a hot stove.”

my mother is somewhere in week three of chemo treatments for colon cancer (with something like 12 more to go). my father suggested that this year perhaps i could do my own taxes, which was a surprise (i admit i am a spoiled daughter who was ready to just throw a bunch of paperwork into a shoebox and hand it over). i’m not sure if he just doesn’t want me to come over or if he is still feeling a bit guilty about goofing up last year’s return, or some combination of both. in any case, i said ok. hello, turbotax online.

church is gearing up to start deacon training. at one point during the (fantastically boring) budget meeting last week the toddler in front of us reached up and without warning slapped her father in the face with both her hands, as though she had decided suddenly to start clapping and he happened to be in the way.