Sunday, January 31, 2010


I went with my family to see the movie "Nine" this evening.  It is very wow!  I left the theatre envying my children for being half Italian.  It is all very chic, very groovy, very risque. 

The women lucky enough to star in the movie are all fantastic, without exception:  Sophia Loren, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz (my husband's personal favourite...), Judy Dench, Fergie, and Marion Cotillard.  They are beautiful, seductive and powerful, each in her own way.  Daniel Day-Lewis is similarly amazing.  I watched the movie with a sense of envy at the thought of how much fun it would have been to have been a part of it.

"Nine" is beautiful to watch - courtesy of the sets, the lighting, the actors, Italy itself.  What pleased me most, however, was the fact that the women on screen were able to deliver crows' feet, laugh lines, chicken pox scars, curves and solid flesh.  In other words, they were real, they were talented, and they were above and beyond the need to make us think that they are actually younger than they are.  They possess voices that sing, bodies that dance, personalities that shine, and a strength of being that is so admirable. 

It is always fun to be transported by a film; to have a couple of hours away from one's own life.  This is a movie that I would watch again.  Who needs a ten when "Nine" is so very fine?

Wondering what it would be like to be in a beautiful movie some day...

Wondering Woman

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I nearly melted my VISA yesterday. 

A trip to the dentist necessitated my taking the afternoon off work (and hauling out the VISA).  From there, I worked my "to do" list at home for a couple of hours (including an in memoriam donation - on my VISA), then decided I actually had the steam to head to our local mall...persuaded by the promise of January sales and the annual winter antique show in progress. 

I have been in need of a new ski jacket for a couple of years now.  I am rather fussy - it has to be completely right or I'd rather wear the tired, ratty one that I presently own.  I forced myself to try on various jackets for over an hour and finally found "the one".  Sadly, unlike the others, it was not on sale.  However, I will wear it for at least five to ten years and I love it, thus justifying the fact that it would pay for a family's groceries for a month.  Hello VISA... 

My next stop was to have been a celebratory free coffee, courtesy of my brand new Second Cup promotion card.  En route, as I passed display after diplay of antique furniture, figurines, maps, jewels, paintings and the like, I saw it:  a perfect little bronze borzoi, standing in its glass case, surrounded by an eclectic variety of treasures.  Given that I always search for sight hounds when this particular show is on, usually without success, my heart did a little flip.  "How much is the little wolfhound?", I  asked the proprietor.  He replied with a very healthy number for something no larger than the palm of a hand.  "I'll take it please.  It is truly beautiful and reminds me of my own dog at home."  He kindly decided that the price was "including tax" (most appreciated), and proceeded to wrap the little wolfhound in tissue for me.  Did I want a bag?, he wondered.  No thank you.  It would be just fine, tucked into my breast pocked, close to my heart.  Once again, my VISA worked its magic, and a little bronze dog which originated from an estate sale in Montreal was in my delighted care. 

The day was not yet over.  I am a very happily married woman - and most grateful for my lot in life.  Five years ago, my husband proposed to me.  It was high time for me to show him a token of my deep feelings and appreciation.  I made a dinner reservation, called him at work to let him know that he had plans for the evening, and spent two wonderful hours with him, over food and wine, warming in the glow of a relationship that has blessed us both.  Happily, I hauled out my VISA one last time, before we made our way home and wrapped up the day.

There is no way that I can indulge in that kind of spending on a regular basis.  I specualted that my horoscope might have told me that it was "a good day to spend money - especially on those things that bring health, happiness and joy".  Of course, I did not need a horoscope to tell me that.  It simply and truly was a perfect day to spend some money on my dental care, a memorial donation, a new coat, an object of particular beauty, and a perfect dinner out for two. 

Wondering if I should buy a lottery ticket next....

Wondering Woman

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Strong Girls

Today delivered three very strong women to me within a window of two hours after work.  My head continues to mull over the impressive power, care and energy that each of them have displayed in their respective lives.  They leave me feeling humbled by their strength, dedication and generosity of time, love and care.

Strong Girl Number One is one of my favourite coffee servers at my favourite coffee spot.  She's very present, firm in her views and opinions, passionate about her role as a single parent to her young daughter, and filled with an inner flame that burns bright.  I was thrilled to run into her and shared a warm new year's embrace.  Her former co-worker recently had her first baby.  Not only is this new mother relatively new to Canada (and English and the cost of living in Toronto and...), she strikes me as being very unlike Strong Girl in terms of temperment.  However, their relationship is real, raw and powerful. SG proudly displayed the photo of the new baby on her cell for my viewing pleasure (very cute!) and is presently deeply involved in bolstering the new mother's powerful feelings of fear and inadequacy.  I love the fact that two women whose lives crossed in a local coffee shop, serving, brewing, and cleaning, are capable of such depth in their relationship.  The new mother is very blessed indeed!

Strong Girl Number Two appeared ten minutes later at the grocery store.  Again, new year's greetings were exchanged and we did a quick catch up on each other's lives.  Hers has been less than simple of late.  Both of her parents are seriously ailing (cancer, blindness) and her brother (not yet fifty) has been fighting his own war with cancer.  Despite being equipped for what could be an easy, leisurely life, this Strong Girl has embraced a life of duty and care for her compromised family members.  She is now a shopping, meals-on-wheels, get-people-to-appointments expert.  This was not a path she expected to be on at this point, I am sure.  However, she radiates positivity (while admitting to hidden inner struggles) and has clearly accepted and embraced the packages that life has delivered to her.  Should I ever find myself in similar circumstances, I can only hope to have the positivity, energy and resilience that she displays.  Her life has been a grind of late by many measures and yet, somehow, she injected me with whatever is keeping her spirits high and her smile bright.

Strong Girl Number Three is a true hero for me at this time.  Her former partner was diagnosed with terminal cancer less than three months ago, precipitating a journey that was surely a far cry from anything that she ever might have imagined.  She quickly became the prime agent of care and support, having to wrap her head around watching him decline rapidly, learning to navigate the daily rhythm of hospital life, looking to a future which sentences her young son to a life without his father, getting "affairs in order", planning a funeral, allowing herself to take temporary leave of a job that she loves, and some how finding the strength to rise every morning and face the day, no matter what challenges and difficulties awaited her and hers.  Her son's father passed away this week, bringing some closure to their situation, as well as  the very present tasks of funeral preparations, bolstering her son, and acknowledging the abundant expressions of love, grief and support offered up by the multitudes that care so much about her and her family.  Tonight, while receiving guests in her home, she was radiant.  Tired, thin but radiant.  She had the look of pottery that had been fired.  She seems to have evolved into a completely new person, courtesy of this experience and loss.  She now possesses the expanded heart of one who has said good-bye for the last time.  This Strong Girl is shining brightly tonight.  She has been through the fire and has come out the other side.  Peace to her and her son.

I am humbled but happy with the encounters that I had with these three formidable women today.  Good things do indeed come in three's!

To their strength!
Wondering Woman

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Nice number, huh? 

Our hot water heater has been broken since New Year's Eve.  We are expecting that it will be replaced tomorrow - Januray 3rd - three days later...  Thus it was that this afternoon, enjoying a very necessary bath at my childhood home, I had cause to reflect on today's date.  This little number pattern won't occur again until November 2nd, 2011.  I have passed my "number" gene on to some of my children.  They are torn between mocking my systemizing brain and the pure joy of resonating with any little numerical epiphanies I manage to have.  Life's little pleasures indeed!

Today is the day that our Christmas tree made its way to the curb, number one son headed back to university, our main floor got thoroughly cleaned - helped in part by my managing to spill a pot of coffee all over the kitchen floor (remembering that we have no hot water in our taps to assist with the big wipe up), and I watched "About a Boy" (Hugh Grant) with my husband.  We all felt a bit more awake than we did yesterday. 

January 1st is definitely not the best day to make plans or presume to be in peak performance mode.  However, January 2nd is different.  Christmas is packed away, the vacuum has done what it can, and the canines have decided that things are now back to "normal".  The fog of the new year's arrival is disappearing and 2010 is coming nicely into focus.  The new calendars are hung, the new work week is looming, holiday goodies are nearly all consumed, and resolutions are being pondered....

The past few days have been challenging without hot water, given that there are seven people at home, all wanting showers, clean clothes and washed dishes.  It was pointed out to me that at least it wasn't a problem with our furnace.  Too true!  Perspective in all things is worth its weight in gold.  Our furnace works, our toilets flush, our phones work, we have electricity and running water.  We've discovered that life goes on without hot water.  (Buddy, can you spare a shower?)

I am entering this new year with the steadfast confidence that all is well - even if it isn't.  For as we know, it is in dealing with the potholes that we become more agile.  I will take agile over fragile any day!

Wishing one and all a happy, healthy 2010!

Wondering Woman