Sunday, 11 December 2016

A Celebration of Spirit

I love this old photo of my dad, my aunts and my uncle. My dad is the oldest one in blue. Look how serious they all look! I think that was typical of the times because you usually don't see such serious expressions in today's photos. It is a sharp contrast to the more recent picture of them all together in front of the tree at my aunt's where they are all smiling happily. My dad was usually smiling the widest in family photos. Nothing made him more proud than his family.



I am missing dad something fierce lately. He loved this time of year. He found so much joy in the simple things. He loved his trees- he had multiple! (I wonder where I get my obsessive love for my Christmas tree from!?) He loved to decorate. One of my favourite childhood memories is when we would spend the night at my grandma's at Christmas time and on our way home, dad would drive us all through the neighbourhood to look at the Christmas lights on all the houses. Family traditions were so important to him.

When his health was failing he urged me to carry on our family's Christmas traditions. I'm sure my response was something along the lines of "obviously, dad" (more like "ooooobbbvvviioouusssslllyyy daaaad!!!" -complete with an eye roll, I'm sure). I didn't like him talking about life after his death. I didn't want to hear it. But I knew in my heart what I had to face. Last year as I shopped for his Christmas present, I had a sinking feeling that it would be his last. I paid for his gift with tears in my eyes.

This year my sisters and I plan on putting his tree up in his memory and decorating the basement as he would have done. It brings me comfort to know that we will be keeping the Christmas spirit alive in his honour. The truth, is that his essence is still here... and in a sense, he hasn't gone far. We will celebrate with him in spirit and although it's not quite the same, dad would have wanted the season to remain merry and bright. I can almost hear him whispering "Merry Christmas, sweetheart."

Merry Christmas, dad. 

"and when the sun
descends the clouds,
the light of stars
shall keep"



Love,

Lindsay






Sunday, 20 November 2016

Yule Tree

the spirit of the season
is a glowing altar
in the corner
of our living room

a temple of folk-art and fir
and fragrant body
a tangible heart
adorned





Monday, 14 November 2016

Tantrum Moon

Back strapped to the black
Of a midnight throw
Tantrums ease the restless moon
Wake from silent worlds of endurance
Obedient, by nature

The moon climbs
She climbs
The deepening skies
And she opens
She opens
Her swollen brown eyes

Back strapped to the black
Of a tired song
Moonlit exposure
Lights on her tongue
And the memory of tears
Escapes in exhale
Into the naked field
Thoughts run on end

The moon climbs
She climbs
The deepening skies
And she opens
She opens
Her swollen brown eyes

Back strapped to the black
Of the tantrum moon
And the blue wind carries
The memory of tears
And the bright night spots
Her lover's grave
Still visited and adorned
By his faithful slave

The moon climbs
She climbs
The deepening skies
And she closes
She closes
Her tired brown eyes


My Journal- 2003
Written in the mountains, many moons ago


Saturday, 12 November 2016

A Working Man: A tribute to Leonard Cohen

(For Marc, on his 48th birthday)

A Working Man
- By Leonard Cohen

I had a wife and children
I got drunk on Saturday night
I went to work everyday
I hated the rich
I wanted to fuck a college girl
I was proud to be a working man
I hated the assholes
   who run the revolution
The ones like me will win
We do not need words
You are all on your knees
Looking for the lost nipple
We stand here
We are already above you
Soon the law will be ours
Soon you will experience our mercy
I have no friends
I have no class
There is no we
I had to play on your social illusions
   to get your here in the middle of the night
Dip your flags in the blood
Light your torches
The women are waiting
   in high-buttoned white dresses
Your dignity is restored

We don't give a shit about all this so don't try and threaten us with hints of a New Order. The beings that hover round this table have already overthrown the world and shoved it back up your asshole exactly the same as it was before.

----

Happy birthday to the man
Who is more than a working man
More than a father
More than a friend
More than my man
   who means more to us
(down here)
 Than could ever be known

So eat, drink and be merry my dear
   (my dear, my dear)
Because all that is clear
Is that you are here

Your,

Lindsay



Stranger Music
Selected Poems and Songs
By: Leonard Cohen






Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Fresh From The Farm: Healthy Fundraising for Ontario Schools

I don't know about you, but the election today has got me spent. At the time that I write this, I have not yet tuned in...but in time my friends- I will be right there with you (I think!) I probably speak for many of us when I say that I will sleep much sounder once this is all said and done. But what better way to calm some presidential anxiety, than by cooking a "Farm Fresh" root vegetable soup! Cooking is good for the soul. The scent of the vegetables roasting in the oven is soothing my senses, even as I type this. As long as I have a  good batch of soul-food ready to go, I'm confident that I will be just fine, no matter what the results.

We placed an order with "Fresh From The Farm: Healthy Fundraising for Ontario Schools" and our order came in yesterday. In it we received a couple pounds of carrots, sweet potatoes and onions. To my delight, it came with a great recipe for a 'Roasted Carrot, Squash and Sweet Potato Soup.' What a perfect way to use up all those veggies...and I didn't even have to go looking through google!

I started by preparing my veggies, and I was just loving the way they looked in the bowls, along side my autumn arrangement and my fruit bowl (currently stocked with our 'Farm Fresh' order, along with lots and lots of ginger root). I just had to take some pictures.



Following the recipe, I tossed the veggies with some oil and spices and then prepared them for roasting.



Once my oven was preheated, I threw them in and instantly my home was filled with the most sensational aroma. The combination of these foods are truly delightful and suited for this time of year. I will say that I had to leave out the squash portion of the recipe, as it turned out that my squash was not ripe enough for cooking, so I added in some more sweet potatoes. By the time my veggies were roasted, my appetite had been kicked into overdrive because of the aroma so I had to make a quick snack, using the last apple from our apple/pumpkin picking at Great Lake Farms. I sprinkled them with some cinnamon and voila- a delicious snack to hold me over until the soup was ready!


Finally- tadddaa! I worked my batches through the blender first and then with the hand-held blender. I had to add more water and spice to suit my taste but it was a tremendous success. I topped mine with parmesan, some greek-style feta and with some freshly ground pepper and sriracha. It was DIVINE. One of the best soups I have made to date! Trust me on this one.



For the complete recipe, place your 'Fresh From The Farm' order today, and support your local schools. Supporting local farms for the sake of our children's education is always a good call, if you ask me!

Happy soup-ing!

Lindsay




Monday, 31 October 2016

Hawk's Scream

It's patio hot now in early November, or early summer? You wouldn't know. I'm tank top clad and stuffy with cough/cold, I can't even name the illness for the season: summer cold, fall cold...you just don't know. I look down on our neighbourhood: bustling hive under the bleached-out sun. Artificial period. If you don't have to work today, you're having your coffee outside beside the construction site. It's heavy with dust and the noise assaults my senses- yet still they sit. Oblivious is bliss. I go out for groceries and walk by the work. I'm almost offended. The mid-day sun is too high and too hot for construction. In the summer it wouldn't matter, but this isn't summer. At work there is construction too, for months now the entire perimeter of the school has been ripped apart and now they use a massive drill, like they are extracting oil from the church. What ARE they doing? The children are so accustomed to playing in the sounds; sirens and diggers excite them, and they never know what to wear. Ragamuffins in the yard dressed in mismatched seasonal clothing shouting: "I'm too hot, can I take off my coat!?" At home, the restaurant across the street has a patio that has been packed every night since april with fire pits a blaze and the rockin' band til 11. From our apartment, it has become a silly masquerade...for the costumers, it's a great first time show. "Business is booming. It has been the same line-up of songs for 8 months now. They are still out there, huddled around the fire. They will be out there until winter, I swear. I want to move to the country." I wait. I wait for hibernation. For the first time in my life, I'm settled into a nest of domesticated dreams and I agree with the cold. The muted colours comfort me. I love the muffled blankets of leaves and the soft-edged scenes. The air is too brisk to linger long and the snow will force us still. But now. Beautiful day, anyway, I suppose and it won't last long. Tune-in. Look around. Look at our paper-crisp, spring potted grass and the bare-naked trees clinging to the last of their burnt-out leaves. Look up. Expansive blue: beach-like sky. Listen! A cry? A hawk flies overhead, and swoops down so low I can see the opening of it's hard-beaked mouth. Fire engine-red calls over me and the scream echos down the street.

I welcome it's noise.




Hawk's Scream

It's patio hot now in early November, or early summer? You wouldn't know. I'm tank top clad and stuffy with cough/cold, I can't even name the illness for the season: summer cold, fall cold...you just don't know. I look down on our neighbourhood: bustling hive under the bleached-out sun. Artificial period. If you don't have to work today, you're having your coffee outside beside the construction site. It's heavy with dust and the noise assaults my senses- yet still they sit. Oblivious is bliss. I go out for groceries and walk by the work. I'm almost offended. The mid-day sun is too high and too hot for construction. In the summer it wouldn't matter, but this isn't summer. At work there is construction too, for months now the entire perimeter of the school has been ripped apart and now they use a massive drill, like they are extracting oil from the church. What ARE they doing? The children are so accustomed to playing in the sounds; sirens and diggers excite them, and they never know what to wear. Ragamuffins in the yard dressed in mismatched seasonal clothing shouting: "I'm too hot, can I take off my coat!?" At home, the restaurant across the street has a patio that has been packed every night since april with fire pits a blaze and the rockin' band til 11. From our apartment, it has become a silly masquerade...for the costumers, it's a great first time show. "Business is booming. It has been the same line-up of songs for 8 months now. They are still out there, huddled around the fire. They will be out there until winter, I swear. I want to move to the country." I wait. I wait for hibernation. For the first time in my life, I'm settled into a nest of domesticated dreams and I agree with the cold. The muted colours comfort me. I love the muffled blankets of leaves and the soft-edged scenes. The air is too brisk to linger long and the snow will force us still. But now. Beautiful day, anyway, I suppose and it won't last long. Tune-in. Look around. Look at our paper-crisp, spring potted grass and the bare-naked trees clinging to the last of their burnt-out leaves. Look up. Expansive blue: beach-like sky. Listen! A cry? A hawk flies overhead, and swoops down so low I can see the opening of it's hard-beaked mouth. Fire engine-red calls over me and the scream echos down the street.

I welcome it's noise.



By: Lindsay Ronald