The Perfect Gift for Her

You can never find the perfect gift when you’re looking for it. Never.

That’s why I hate Christmas shopping so very much. I hate feeling like I have to buy something for someone.  I prefer to see something that makes me think of that someone special and snatch it up.

Alas, no one is perfect, not even me, and we’re smack dab in the middle of the busiest shopping season of the year. Yikers.

I’ve personally never been told that I’m hard to buy for, but I’ve heard the cry from my friends, their spouses, and the singles among us who are inspired to use the romantic leverage of this time of year to spring something wonderful on their true-love.

I don’t pretend to know the love of your life, but I can tell you this; women, unless you know them extremely well (and if you did, you likely wouldn’t need to read this) all enjoy similar things.

Never forget that just spending time with you is what makes  her truly happy.

If you feel bound to buy a gift, unless it’s gawd-awful or an engagement ring, with jewellery, you really can’t go wrong. White gold, yellow gold, whatever gold. Diamonds? Meh. That may not be the message you wish to send. How about sapphires, rubies or emeralds? And remember, the strength of the stone represents the strength of you love for her. If you’re not thinking of taking the relationship to the next level, do not buy jewellery.

unstoppable

 

 

Perfume. Know what she wears, or what she likes to wear, and splurge on her favourite scent. Most perfumeries offer sets at this time of year, and we love them. What could be better than travelling with a miniature vanity stocked with your favourite frangrance?

elie saab

 

 

If you’re just not really that serious, but you feel like you should buy her something, try alcohol. Chances are she knows you’re also not the one, and could use a little liquid therapy. Buy her something bubbly and delightful.

les etoiles

 

 

If she loves her spa time, give her a generous gift-certificate to her favourite escape. Always, always, always accompany this with something soft and snuggly like a teddy bear or a stuffed reindeer. Silly can be cute. A stark envelope cannot.

blitz.jpg

 

A weekend away. If you can both manage this one during the holiday season, I tip my hat to you. Giving of your time is often the most coveted and most difficult gift to give.  Make it romantic. Bring champers, roses, candles, and a be well rested so you can….well, you know…

room

 

Of course a beautiful bouquet at any time will let her know that you’re thinking of her…

peony

 

These are all terrific Christmas ideas, but what every woman really wants is just to spend time with her sweetie.

Stay tuned for Being Jolly on a Budget….’cause that’s how you’ll win and keep her heart.

HO-HO-HO!!!

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Cat Vomit & Alarm Clocks: A Meditation

buddhist catI love no-alarm-clock days. They make me feel like I’m spoiling myself a little bit.

No-alarm-clock-days are few and far between in this house, and today was no exception. Although, just before my alarm was set to wake me up to the sounds of weekend jazz, the wild-cat we adopted this year began a lovely chorus of guttural vomiting. It’s a good thing he’s so darn cute.

For some reason the cat vomit made me think about some of the people I’d interacted with this week.  Isn’t if strange how our minds work?

Anyway, my unsupervised mind turned to those folks who had spoken or acted unkindly and/or unethically. The needle for arse-holes has been pushed into the red this week.

I began to wonder what on earth made them tick, and then I stopped.

You see, all of the yucky stuff boils down to insecurity, greed, anger, jealousy…which really further reduces to one singular element; fear. Fear must feel exactly like our little wild cat felt this morning – gut-wrenchingly nauseated.

Despite snuggling into my big, soft, duvet covered bed, I couldn’t get back to sleep. Instead, I picked up my Fall 2015 edition of Trycicle magazine which features buddhist perspectives on how to deal with difficult emotions. This quote from Daisy Hernandez’s article, Envidia made me laugh out loud;

It was the second or third night of the workshop, close to midnight, when I sat on the very cold bed in that dorm room in Texas and realized that I hated at least three of my friends and a woman I knew only marginally.

The reason that I thought it was so funny was because I could totally relate.  I’d been that woman, in retreat, alone at midnight in her dorm room. I’d been held captive with my own mind in silence for days at a time within a group of people, who in silence made me think that I was, they were, that we were somehow above feeling anything but blissful-unicorn-joy-and-loving-kindness toward the world.

inthemomentWhen I first started attending longer retreats I had difficulty. By the second full day of silence, my mind was like a heroine addict going through withdrawal, and the sound of anyone shuffling in meditation, or masticating during our silent meals made me want to stealthily creep out of my perfectly-spiritual skin and glue their ass to the mat or cram their vegetarian-tofu eggs down their throat. Needless to say, days three and four got incrementally better.

No one that I know of ever went home in a body bag because they were suffocated by tofu-eggs (tofu eggs by the way, are a sin against nature), nor did anyone have to have their meditation cushion surgically removed from their hiney.

I wish I could say I  was immune to all of the wonderfully difficult emotions that I was mulling over in my early-morning-cat-vomit-addled-mind this morning. I wish I could say I am always kind and angelic, and gentle. I’m not.

I do my best, and yet I still cherish my  fiery Irish-tempered side. It protects my heart and gives me something to hang on to when it gets broken. I believe in balancing light and dark and observing those thoughts. This is one of the most effective, inexpensive, therapeutic techniques to keep us living a meaningful existence.

Sometimes, it’s the cat vomit (fear, anger, jealousy) of life that serves as a meditation bell, bringing us back to our own thoughts, our own space, and our own choosing how we wish to show up in the world every day.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Sending you a great big ol’ Happy Thanksgiving from up here in Canada!

Wishing you a peace, abundance, hope & joy….xo

happy thasnksgiving

 

 

Landscape of a Writer

williegreeneyeIf you are a writer, poet, musician, crafter, baker or any other type of creative creature, you likely have  piles, drawers or closets full of things you’re ‘going to get to’.

Today, I set aside time to work on a presentation for ‘work’, and was expecting to find some material exactly where I thought I had left it in the little corner of my world that I reserve for writing.

Long story short, I did not find the binder I was looking for.

I did find however, (in the pile where I thought the binder was);

1) six of the books I bought at a seminar a few months ago

2) my Leonard Cohen 2008 world-tour poster

3) a half-written article I was going to submit to a Buddhist blog last March

4)a baby shower gift that will likely arrive at its destination about the same time that the child turns 12

5) my watercolour paper and paints

6) a box of cheques with my address of 8 years ago

7)  my death cartoon collection (yes, I have a death cartoon collection and  a Pez Dispenser collection, they balance each other)

8)  pamphlets that I forgot I wanted to give out with the presentation I was supposed to be working on

9) a book that a dear friend gave to me when I was busy working on my writing dream while other women my age were stuck at home with screaming babies, unfaithful husbands and prescriptions for mother’s little helper.

Inspiring, non?

If you are a writer, this pile of paper is also your landscape, your security blanket, greatest source of anxiety and inspiration. All artists have a creative mess in which their ideas are buried and fertilized.

I’m finished the presentation for tomorrow, even without the material I thought I was so desperately in need of. Now it’s time to have a little fun and get to the good stuff.

 

 

 

Easy Like Sunday Mid-Morning

"Just because I'm awake at 6am, does not mean I'm ready to go and do things." ~ASL~

“Just because I’m awake at 6am, does not mean I’m ready to go and do things.”
~ASL~

“Not a morning person”, does not even begin to describe me.

Nope. My mornings start early, and as soon as my alarm goes off (not my eyes open, well, because they open about 20 minutes later), I run a sequence of my day through my head. After that, I think about what I’ll wear, and after that, I press the snooze button a couple more times. Just to make sure it works.

Don’t worry my lovelies, I get my gratituding in before I drift of to sleep.

My days are non-stop, and can run into the wee hours of the morning. Alas, my alarm clock is a cruel master, and I must, no matter how late I stayed up working on a presentation or meeting material, get my sorry petunia out of bed and carry on the next day.

A Twitter-Pal recently asked; What’s your favourite part about waking up early on the weekend?

First of all, early usually involves work or some ‘have to’ activity. So, waking up early for me (without alarm clock or agenda) means getting out of bed and staying out of bed before 10am or, getting out of bed and achieving one cup of coffee before my teenager wanders out of his room.

On this Sunday morning, I offer you a list of things that I love about waking up early on the weekend (using my definition of early)

1) Opening my window so I can feel the cool morning breeze, and listen to the rain (like this morning).

2) Not rushing my morning coffee… x2.

3) Catching up with the social media my friends post.

4) Reading in bed.

5) Listening  jazz music while I make breakfast.

6) Crawling back under the covers and being fully awake and aware of how cozy it is at home.

 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend to wake up at your leisure. Wishing you sweet daydreams…XO

 

Wednesday Rawwwwr!!!

dinosaur

Lost Inside Myself; AKA New Year’s Resolution Fail

Well, we’re 19 days into the new year. How are your resolutions going?

Mine is down el toiletto.

Since having fun was on the agenda, I thought I’d made a pretty easy-to-keep resolution…and then the universe had other ideas.

Having been lucky enough to get a virus that managed to even attack my eyes and salivary glands, the most fun I’ve had is lying still and having a warm cloth rest on my eyelids. Combined with the sudden death of my cat, it’s been one heck of a challenging month for having fun.

I saw this little meme today;

lost inside myself

…and I thought, “That’s it! That’s exactly how I feel.”

It’s that cold, muddy-grey time of year, when most days are a palette of black and white smudged together into some icky-thick grey that’s hard to wade through. Yah, that’s January in Toronto, folks.

Being sick can make anyone feel a bit lost. Being a woman of many fascinating hobbies, and wonderful friends, having to stay in does not lend itself well to fun.

Fatigue trumps hobbies, and staying warm inside trumps heading out into the cold. Furthermore, duel-layered flannel somehow just feels like the right thing to do under the circumstances.

Too tired to read, too congested and sore-eyed to clean with anything that might be an irritant, I rediscovered my stash of chick-flicks and needlework.

Fun. Yah, seems like a great resolution for the new year.  When you’re housebound, mourning your cat, and the best thing you’ve worn in days looks like something someone’s grandmother died in, fun is an elusive creature.

I guess I’ll get up tomorrow and try it again.

 

 

Farewell My Friend

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ~Robert A. Heinlein~

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
~Robert A. Heinlein~

A few months ago we adopted a kitten.

True to his namesake, Willie Nelson is a mellow, laid-back version of any other cat who made their way into my life.

At nine and a half years old, we figured Leonard Cohen (our older cat), would be a wonderful mentor, and train the wee one in the ways of catdom.

Since all of my cats have lived well past fifteen, Willie Nelson would also grow to  be the caretaker to faithful old Leonard as Leonard was to Whiskey.

But that wasn’t to be the case. Poor old Leonard was taken from us this weekend very suddenly.  He had yet to teach Willie Nelson the art of napping quietly on my bed, stretching out on my belly while I read, or curling up on the footstool while I meditatively stitch my needlework.

There’s something about an old cat. Well, something about my Leonard anyway. We were attached at the ankle as soon as I woke up,and as soon as I walked through the door from work.

Leonard was everywhere I was. He saw me through broken hearts, surgeries, and long bouts of gut-hollowing sadness.

Leonard had a man radar that I could only hope to have; he knew the good ones from the bad ones with just a few short passes around their legs. He knew when I was sick or sad or just plain tired out, and he loved me unfailingly despite my shortcomings.

Friday night, just after he left us, I curled up in my soft flannel sheets and cried.

I missed the bulk of my big, fifteen pound mass of kitty fur and purring. For nine and half years Leonard stretched out on my tummy while I read just before falling asleep. I only had to say, “Ok, Leonard” and he knew it was time for lights out and to crawl onto the passenger side of the bed.

I feel an echoing  ache whenever I think of my old pal, and I miss him terribly.

Willie Nelson seems no worse for wear, batting around toys and chasing his tail until he collapses in a heap of legs, tail and ears, and falling into a deep sleep like only a kitten can. One day Willie Nelson will grow out of his bouncy kitten curiosity and take to the ways of an old lap-cat.

I remember Leonard’s kitten antics; setting his tail on fire (not once, but twice), falling into the toilet, falling into the bath (while I was in it), and doing flying stunts from the top of bookshelves.

We’ll always miss old Leonard. He was a once in a lifetime feline friend.