Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Short Folks Invade Tobbit

"Can we go in Tobbit?"

I nanny-ed my morning away, today, and it was blissful. It was the morning where, the first time I finally checked the clock, it was 12:29 - time for me to bid farewell.

Today we all hung out for over an hour in Tobbit. I read them stories and they made art. We listened to Jackson 5 and pretended that we were driving Tobbit to North Korea. N made pictures of her sister and her and put them in my locket. More pretend. More blankets.

Back home, we waltzed around the house for a longer time than the attention span of most children. The five year old practiced dips and different moves and the 2 year old mastered every lifted I threw at her, or threw her at...

Afterwards, we went to their room and spent the next hour snuggled up in the hammock.

It was good, so good. I love these kids and I like spending time with them. It was a drizzly day, and our cozy-day was a great counter to the grey skies.

Happy 29th Birthday To Me

There was a knock on Tobbit's door.
It was G.

He told me he was getting coffee with Y & N at 1 PM and I was invited to join. I did.

As I finished tidying up Tobbit, he went to the thrift shop.

"I got you a birthday present Susan!" he told me as he came back out.
"How did you know it was my birthday?" I asked.

He calls me Susan sometimes. Sometimes not.

He handed me a Leap Frog toy with plastic pages and buttons that sing me the sounds of the alphabet. I love it. Buttons were pushed as we strolled across the lawn to Isabelle's.

There, we met up with N & Y. I was grateful as he bought me a chai tea, my birthday celebration continuing with engaging conversation.

This entire post is empty of the actual substance of our time together. It's void of chemistry and laughter and amusement. I could try to capture that, but it almost feels too personal for words, right now. I feel like if I try to captured G, Y, and N, I'll only do them injustice.

Thanks G!
This was my best 29th birthday yet!

Hot Water Bottle and Hot Water Tea

Yesterday I found myself feeling awful. It was a collision of cramps, sleep deprivation, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. I drove Tobbit to my favourite parking spot by the water, parked, and hopped into the back and curled up into a ball as I drifted into a nap while listening to my favourite soothing album.

I heard a familiar sound, that of my friend's motorcycle, and looked out the window as they drove by. About 5 minutes later I heard it again and, as it got closer, they slowed down and pulled up behind Tobbit. I opened the door and they had a seat on the tailgate and I got to enjoy their company.

A bit later, the cramps came back, forcing me back into a ball. I reached for my hot water bottle but it was cold. I contemplated going off to find hot water but I didn't want to leave my safe curled-up shape.

That's when my friend spoke up.

"Want me to go get some hot water?" he offered.
"Would you?"

I was really grateful. I was pretty settled in that bed.

He took my hot water bottle and tea thermos and rode off. In his absence, I turned on Chris Rice and read my favourite childhood book, Good Night Mr. Tom. I've read this book over 15 times since 4th grade. It's as soothing as a cup of tea and definitely a source of comfort, which was all I needed in this moment.

Not too long later, I heard his motorcycle again. He crawled inside Tobbit and handed me the tea and the hot water bottle which I quickly placed on my abdomen. With him he had also brought a movie. We watched it on his laptop and I soon I felt comfortable again - soothed and peaceful.

I felt really grateful.

Lately, I've been talking to a few friends about the topic of a frequent common desire to be comforted and taken care of. A lot of folks seek it out in one way or another in different seasons. Some folks put themselves into the situation and others find themselves there. Regardless of the path, I think that it's important, in moderation, to share comfort with folks who express a need for it.

It's important for me to have friends, wherever I am, who I know I can call upon when I'm feeling off. A week ago, I felt a bit miserable without knowing the cause. I just knew my stomach was peculiar and my emotions low, likely a result of the time of month. My friend let me jump into her shower, telling me to sprinkle peppermint oil around the room. When I got out, she had a warm tea and a mug of hot lavender tea ready for me. Within a short amount of time, I felt steadier again. I still felt like keeping a gentle mood, but I felt better.

Yesterday, I really needed comfort. I desired company and was grateful when it showed up. I was grateful to have a friend who was willing to sit with me for a few hours and go out of their way to get me hot water for my bottle.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thoughts Become Reality

Lately, I've been thinking thoughts and doing nothing about it and then they've been coming true.
It's been pretty rad.

The first one has to do with hours work.

These past few weeks have felt like summer, all play and no work. It was great for the time being, but I realized I wasn't working my goal number of hours. I didn't have regrets, but hoped that I could get enough for the next week. My aim is to work 20 hours each week. That's enough for me to practice, learn, play, connect, and also make enough cash to sustain my current needs and save up for the future (just a bit).

A few hours after thinking, "I want to work 20 hours this week," I went to check my email where folks had told me when they needed me the upcoming week. Three emails.

5 + 3 + (6 + 6) = 20


20 hours.

Exactly how many hours I had in my mind was just what was asked of me this week.

The second one has to do with eggs.

I like eggs and wanted to serve eggs with other stuff for a meal on Patos Island. There's a box where eggs occasionally show up for sale on the side of the road, but, I've only seen eggs there once before.

I thought, "I hope there's eggs. I hope there's eggs," as I drove by.

Sure enough, there in the box for the second time in my time on Lopez - there were eggs! So good.

The third one has to do with Waldron Island.

For three years I've wanted to go to Waldron. I recently started thinking about it.
This last weekend, life lined up that I could go.

Back to Patos Island

I felt pretty blessed that going to Patos Island wasn't just a one-time event. In addition to my weekend in June with my brother, I also signed up for a weekend in July. I had thought that one of my "old" friends would be joining me there, but was honoured to have the company of two folks I've only known for about a month or so. Going over would be Jesse, Hans David, and I. I was super stoked for this crew because together we'd make a trio of musicians.

Armed with our instruments, we all jumped in Tobbit and caught the early morning ferry to Orcas where we drove up north to meet up with Ranger Steve who gave us a ride across the Salish Sea to Patos Island. Someone recently told me they don't like the name "Salish," which I found a bit sad. I think it's a beautiful word.

Once we got there, time slowed down, as it does, and we settled quickly into camp and the lighthouse. Instruments were uncased, music was made, books were read, tidepools explored, grapes eaten, and feet got dirty.

I was grateful to be in such fine company - I really enjoy spending time with Jesse and David, they're pretty solid folks who I can have a wide range of conversations with. These past few weeks, I've seen both of them multiple times each week, frequently for extended periods of time (and with the addition of Kiré, whom we all missed the entire time away) and gotten to know quite well. In a short amount of time we've become comfortable with each other in a typical summer-season-style. You know how summer friendships can go -- well, maybe you do. Maybe you don't. I feel safe with these humans and am slowly learning to trust them.


We each took on a meal. David was assigned to dinner. We ended up having a pot-full of a mixture of canned okra, canned spinach, canned chili, canned baked beans, dried instant beans, and... that's it. After a day of running around, we were all satisfied. For breakfast, I served up Field Roast sausages (vegan, but really good..) with eggs from Lopezian chickens, and avocado. Breakfast by Jesse was peanut butter, jelly, carrots, yoghurt covered pretzels, and all the leftover food we'd accumulated.

The highlight for me with this group was sunset when we all went to the lighthouse with our instruments to make music. I'd go on about what that was like but I think I've just about given up on describing jam sessions in words - it never comes out right.

Grateful for another weekend out on Patos Island.

Morning View from Tobbit Post Awful Night

This morning I woke up on D.B. Farm on Lopez Island. At 6:25, when I open up my doors, this is what I saw:

It was a much needed consolation prize after an awful night.

By 9:30 PM, last night, I was already crashing and half asleep (in my sleeping bag and eyes closed) -- but at around 10:40 PM, a intoxicated human decided they wanted to sleep in Tobbit as well. Rule #1 of Tobbit is, "No men are allowed to spend the night in Tobbit," which I informed him of over four or five (or seven) times. It wasn't until 5 hours later that I got to go to sleep.

I got only two hours of sleep and was already in the process of getting sick (swollen, sore lymph nodes on the neck), having my body work through an allergic reaction to a peach, starting my period, and.. I think that's it.

Note: I did let him inside Tobbit for a bit. He asked permission and I was alright with it. As he entered, though, I let him know that he wouldn't be spending the night.

Hey folks, here's a simple guideline:

If, when you drink, you can't respect the boundaries of other folks -- that is a clear sign that you shouldn't drink that much. Drinking is not an excuse for being dismissive of my physical boundaries and my property boundaries and it upsets me a lot.

Here's another guideline:

The end of the night, when we've all already verbalized that folks will be going home, is not a good time to drink copious amounts of alcohol - especially if you're driving yourself home. If you feel the need to drink a lot when we're all about to go to bed, make sure you have someone lined up to get you home or figure out an alternative sleeping arrangement. Don't assume you can just sleep in Tobbit. If you want to ask about sleeping in Tobbit, ask at the beginning of the night. If you need me to drive you home, I can do that -- just before 3:40 AM.

What? You want another simple guideline? Here you go:

If I ask you to not fall asleep in my truck, don't. Especially don't in a way that keeps me from sleeping. If you're super sleepy and you know you're susceptible to dozing off, go jump in your own car (you know, the one I put a thick wool jacket, a few blankets, and a sheepskin in to keep you warm) before you fall asleep.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Adventures with Sophie

Kiré was making dinner.
I had a short errand to run.

As I dashed off, she handed me Sophie, her beloved rabbit. I didn't take this lightly, as I know how dear they are to each other. I was actually pretty surprised that she would trust me with Sophie.

With Sophie as a passenger, I headed out to the Southend. I didn't know she was such a keen traveler when we started - no idea she was an idyllic companion.

She bounced around the truck, tried her paws out at the wheel, got in the way, got out of the way, balanced on top of East of Eden...

Overall, a good trip.

By the time we got back, the sun was setting and Kiré had dinner ready for us (amazingsoup, yo!). Solid evening.

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