Log in

16 April 2013 @ 10:54 pm
well friends, I am still doing a 2nd undergrad degree for no particular reason. I have the exam on Friday, then I begin my final course. I will be finished in August. In 2 weeks, I will be going back to work, 3 days a week.

So naturally my thoughts are going to PROJECTS!!!!!!!!!! The tragic optimism that I seem to have that I'm going to be struck by the inspiration to paint my vestibule after the kids go to bed/ before I write several pages. Also, quilting. And reading all the books.

I think the PROJECTS!!!!!! problem is exacerbated by the lack of spring. Gardening just kind of becomes the priority.

So there are a lot of things that we want to do around the house:
- redo soffit and fascia, paint exterior wood trim
- repaint front foyer, back door vestibule, living room, kitchen
- install rain barrel
- Add 1 more garden box, near the north fence in front of the garage
- Paint basement floor
13 April 2013 @ 09:36 am
well friends I am feeling ranty and hopeless at once, so I might as well do my part in improving the world by POSTING ON LIVEJOURNAL.

I keep reading about Rehtaeh Parsons in Nova Scotia, who killed herself subsequent to sexual assault / shaming for sexual assault including by social media and I am super frustrated by how this is perceived, when I see it so unequivocally as a victory for misogyny. There is such a focus on the social media aspects of the case that it seems to make people unable to see that this is just the same old shaming, but with a historical record via smartphone. Too bad most of us don't know women's history, there has been a fuckload of sexual victimization / assault/ exploitation, people might be less surprised.

I keep hearing Rehtaeh Parson's story attached to the word "bullying." It makes me feel like I have a very different understanding of the word and also of the dynamics of the world at large. Calling this "bullying" is so minimizing, so trivializing, it seems to me ridiculous.

It's not the technology it's the people/ misogyny. The institutions we build can often victimize our most vulnerable: women, transpeople, children.

A couple of examples: when the sewing machine was invented, people said "the poor need never be naked again" but instead we built clothing factories and empires that frequently exploit women and children in it's raw material production, assembly, marketing, retailing, etc.

NATO peacekeeping forces are seen as a victory for international relations, and can reduce military violence and protect a country's infrastructure and economy, however the reality on the ground for women and children frequently means still more soldiers moving in to victimize them sexually.

Another aspect I think is central to the issue is the failure of abysmal failure of police to respond to allegations of sexual assault without revictimizing people. Very few victims of sexual assault report to police, and few wish to proceed with charges after initial contact with police. The police can't and won't enforce the laws we have with any effectiveness, and sometimes people want their abuse addressed and they want healing, but maybe they don't want the police in their lives, and they may not (or may think they do not) even want known attackers to be sent to jail (in the cases of domestic abuse, this is a huge fear: wanting the abuse to stop but fearing reaching out because it might tear the family apart). Why don't we have any other options? Victims need to have some agency over their situation. Fuck.
24 March 2013 @ 11:29 pm
Hi friends,
I am feeling a bit scattered in the brain. I am down to the last few before I have to go back to paid work and it's hard to imagine integrating it all, or just how I will handle daycare days, especially since my dear little small baby does not like to even be held by anyone but me most of the time. But I suppose she will adapt, as we all will. She also doesn't want to be held as much, as she is almost walking.

But there are still days when I'm like "omg am I the mother of 2?"
07 January 2013 @ 10:25 pm
oh hi there lj. I am resisting the urge to make to do lists or resolutions, I am trying to just do my best. 

I kind of have some plans, but I think I also need to stop putting pressure on myself and tell myself I should be making quilts and spanikopita for everyone I know or some such thing. But I did finish a great owl quilt this year! And a baby quilt. 

I am hoping as always to finish some writing projects, so I'm going to try to focus on that, but then I will be taking courses (two half courses remain, finishing that degree, then apply to begin another degree maybe HAHAHAHA SCHOOL FOREVER!) 

But mostly I'm trying to spend more time outside, the weather's been lovely this week, it's made it much easier. Frenchie's been around the house a bit, I've been even taking walks on my own, which are usually not long but refreshing. I like taking the kids outside, Sly seems so much bigger and sturdier now I feel like we can go further afield, Edie is pretty good at holding her in the sled now too. The only thing is I never manage to get Edie any exercise, and she generally needs to be plied with ice cream to continue to comply at some point in the excursion. 
Current Location: outer space
Current Mood: aged
Current Music: Ruin - Cat Power
29 November 2012 @ 11:24 pm
I can't believe my small baby is so big. She has all her front teeth and she is totally grown out of her age size. 6 months old in 12 month pajamas!

Now I have to go to bed, because she will probably wake me up repeatedly tonight.

That is all. 
24 October 2012 @ 07:39 am
I've long thought that eating nutritiously/ sustainably was important, and best done by eating locally and/or organically and by supporting small farmers and urban agriculture, but this growing season seems to be the best that I've ever managed to follow through on those intentions. 

I was a member of a CSA, something I'd tried before, but this time was much better, quantity and quality-wise so I tried as much as possible to eat the veggies as quickly as possible. The first couple of weeks I didn't get to a few things and there was some spoilage, which feels terrible considering it was the labour of 2 good friends that brought the chard that went straight to compost. Anyway I think that also shows I am more connected to my food.

One of the other CSA members suggested freezing the kale and chard as soon as I get them, so I have, washed and chopped into baggies (I didn't even label them, so let's hope that I actually manage to use them up, instead of shamefully putting frozen plugs of miscellaneous greens into the compost) .

This year I also bought a lot more than usual from the local market gardener, Jardins St. Leon, which is mostly local (not the dozen baskets of Ontario and B.C. peaches we've put away as a family, but like, a lot) with some conventional, some "pesticide free," some organic, some organic uncertified agriculture, as well as wild berries and mushrooms. They buy direct from farmers (I saw Hutterites delivering all the time, including an elder with a bluetooth headset picking his own lock with a wire hanger). Other than the stuff we've been consuming, I also froze a quart of blueberries in plastic containers, plus that's where I got the produce for the pickling. 

The CSA box contained a lot of basil, some of which I washed and minced, then put into ice cube trays, once with water and once with oil.

Other than the preserving by freezing, I also found some time to do some preserving for the winter, and I feel particularly pleased about that. An old friend recently moved into my neighborhood (after 7 years in To.) and she's been teaching me to preserve, it's been great to catch up and learn a new skill at the same time. We've had two pickling nights so far, where we did 12 pounds / 11.5 litres of cucumber garlic dill pickles and 8 bunches (one from the CSA) of carrot garlic dill pickles. (The garlic my mom brought from a cousin with a garlic farm in the Ottawa Valley.)

There's such satisfaction of a larder of good food for the winter. 

I have also great promise for my future food - I received a lovely baby gift of two saskatoon bushes from prairiecity and wreckingballand I planted 2 apple trees, a Goodlands and a Honey Crisp, plus I am starting to work/ enrich some new areas of my yard to grow food. One unproductive corner is hopefully going to become the mint corner.
14 April 2012 @ 02:06 pm
oh yes friends.

I have 2 more weeks of work left until maternity leave, and I've just come through a very busy period. Although my last 2 weeks will continue to be fairly intense at work, there will be a lot of things for them to remember me by when I'm gone. Just kidding. But it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for programming and the timing of this pregnancy/ the opening of the facility were not favourable conditions for PRODUCTIVITY, so I had to do SOMETHING before I left. 

Also this past 6ish months I was part of organizing a western Canadian/ Northern tour of an exhibition of Palestinian children's art done in an art therapy program. The opening was last night, reasonably well attended, featuring one of the markers of success of such a niche (I won't say FRINGE) event - some people I didn't know personally attended, more than one group!

I also had an exam for a year long pre-19th century Romantic/Gothic literature earlier in the week, aaaaaaand the Friday before was a dance party a fundraiser for Palestine that I helped with and attended. I had an essay due that day too. I 

And now to complete the substantial remaining house rearrangement pre-baby, but first, a nap. I think I need to jettison a few more (imagined/ self-inflicted) responsibilities before the new bundle of joy/ demands arrives. 

Also, some writing.
03 January 2012 @ 11:41 am
10) NOT WHAT prairiecity suggested, GAWD! Instead, read lots of good books

11) redo my room to make a shared room for 2 kids/ playroom (SIGH, this is a bit sad) but we've decided to give up our large, lovely upstairs room to make a shared room/playroom for both kids. I am getting started on this right away, since it actually will be a huge project, but acceptance will be the first step. This will return to being MY room as soon as those stinkers don't want to live together any more, so around the teen years when they will prefer to be in the 2 smaller bedrooms downstairs so that they can sneak out to meet their robot boyfriends and girlfriends and do cyberdrugs once I've gone to bed at 9 p.m.

But I am poring over design I especially want to make a couple of pieces of the furniture and sew some items (simple things like tiny kids' chairs, maybe a little play tent, and lots of big floor cushions). I am going to try to use up a bunch of my fabric stash too! It should actually be fun, it's a neat space with low ceilings, I think it could be so cute.

Anyway, this doesn't change my previous #6 resolution, my small new downstairs room also needs new room darkening curtains.

12) Eat only delicious food that I enjoy, and try to make some of it sustainable and local.
28 December 2011 @ 01:36 pm
I tend to make lists of 100 resolutions that are quantified, like, do yoga for 200 hours or something, and even if I do a lot of yoga, I'm really not the type to time or record that kind of thing. So I'm going to keep it simple this year, be less focused on my failings and more focused on putting things I like into my life. Also, trying to put in some things that might be reasonable considering there will be a new baby in the house in late April/ early May, so I give you:

1) finish text for alleged graphic novel
2) set up sewing area in the basement
3) finish owl quilt
4) complete Romantic era lit course without asking for any more extensions (haha - I got an open-ended extension for my first paper and handed it in a full 2 months late, stupid, because it make a 2000 word paper last ALL TERM for NO REASON. Annoying for all involved. I am trying not to include any resolutions I can't control though, so this doesn't count if I have to defer the exam because I was giving birth.)
5) go see some live flamenco dancing
6) make room-darkening curtains for my bedroom.
7) start new quilt
8) get outside often
9) go to Brazil (my sister will be there for 6 months of 2012ish)