July 30, 2013

better late than never.

I'm usually about one month behind when it comes to celebratory holidays. This isn't completely true when it comes to Christmas -- I usually find myself tangled up in a frenzied Christmas haze until the world comes screeching to a halt on Christmas Eve, everything finished just in time.

Ugh. I so wish that wasn't the case.

The other holidays aren't so lucky -- and by other holidays, I mean Mother's Day. I was fiercely determined to make a Mom's Day card for both my mom and my mom-in-law this year... I started in April. That's right, one month before the big day.

I finished them at the end of June.

But... better late than never! I don't know who coined that phrase, but whoever it is -- your phrase has helped generations of unorganized peoples apologize for their procrastination. Thank you, kind stranger.

Without further ado, the cards.

July 22, 2013

two and counting.

In the fall of 2002, a classroom seating arrangement was responsible for placing me next to a 5'5" tall basketball and baseball-obsessed Star Wars-loving teenage boy with shaggy red hair. I had no idea who he was. 

Dear reader, I married him. 

Two years ago today, to be exact. Alas, he didn't greet me this morning with memorized phrases from over-quoted 19th century English literature. Instead he said, "You know what I be, girl."

It's my fault. I've encouraged the gangster tendencies. 

There was a time when I was sure I wouldn't ever get married. It wasn't that I didn't want to get married -- I just figured that 6'2" girls who belted out Rodgers and Hammerstein ballads while mowing the lawn didn't find husbands that easily (very loud and sporadic singing is a hard characteristic to adjust to; Wayne can confirm this... as well as our neighbours). I had convinced myself of the fact that I was going to be one of those single girls who gets a career and a golden retriever puppy and lives in an apartment in a city somewhere, spending weekends reading classic literature while drinking tea out of an old teapot with a vase of wildflowers at her elbow. 

Over eight years later, I can now confirm that prophecy is not one of my spiritual gifts. 

While I was thinking these single girl thoughts, Wayne was busy growing as tall as he could as fast as he could. His goal in this, however, was not for me to notice him -- it was more so his intention to improve his baller skillz. Very romantic. But, in the words of Lucy Maud Montgomery,

"Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps... perhaps.... love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath."
             - Anne of Avonlea

Happy anniversary, dear. 

July 07, 2013

a wee bit o' thanks

Have you ever tried drawing tartan? HAVE YOU?

Pure torture, my friends. Pure Scottish torture. Drawing it is hard enough -- I can't even imagine trying to figure out how to actually weave a blasted kilt. All personal illustration impairments aside, on display today are my new Scottish friends. I think they're cute. 

Tapadh leibh means 'thank you' in Scottish Gaelic. Don't ask me how to pronounce it, I haven't a clue. What I do know is that my thank-you cards are getting all international up in hur! Holla!

Perhaps I shall draw a kimono next. 

July 05, 2013

the other side.

This past Monday marked a really huge milestone in my life -- a milestone I'd never really anticipated. It wasn't even on my radar.

Wayne was gone to Men's Bible Study. I was home alone, my hands held half a green pepper stuffed with leftover couscous (dinner of champions!), and my eyes were reflecting the soft glow of the computer screen. We don't own a television, so we depend on the internet for all our entertainment needs. Tonight? The Toronto Blue Jays were playing ball.

At first I thought, "Oh, I'll just have it on while I'm eating my dinner." Then a few innings went by. Couscous devoured, I made myself some toast. Watched some more innings. Did a little happy dance when DeRosa hit a three-run homer. Watched the whole game. Kept the website tuned into the FAN590 so I could laugh into the dish soap as Mike Wilner sliced up moronic callers on the Jays Talk post-game show. Suddenly, I realized something serious had happened.

I had turned into a baseball fan.

Okay, I get it, this doesn't sound like that big a deal, and in the grand scheme of things, it isn't, really. Weirder stuff is going on out there in blogland. But if you knew what sort of environment I was raised in... think hockey-hockey-hockey, hockey all the time. We didn't have an option. Saturday night was Hockey Night in Canada with Don Cherry and Ron McLean. Don't even THINK about watching a Disney movie, kids. We were taught to skate as soon as we could walk, and though none of us ever played in an official hockey league, we thought we were pros when it came to pond hockey (which presents its own challenges -- uneven ice and pressure cracks can really blow your breakaway, as can getting a frozen tree branch in the eye). Somewhere around the age of 12, I morphed from a compulsory Maple Leafs fan into a full-fledged all-consumed hockey devotee. 

I lived and breathed the Leafs. Those were the days when you could tell how Pat Quinn was feeling based on the way he chewed his gum and when Mats Sundin still had a full head of blonde hair. I spent the weeks during the playoffs on edge, nails chewed, both dreading and anticipating that 7 o'clock puck drop. Goals scored against us were taken personally, even more so when it resulted in playoff elimination.  We would furiously proclaim our undying abhorrence to teams that got in our way -- I still feel a little grudge against New Jersey thanks to the 2000 and 2001 playoff seasons. 

But baseball? First of all, I was (and still am) terrible at playing baseball. And the Jays? Who are they? Why would anyone pay attention to them? Bunch of old guys who stand around in a field chewing tobacco and swinging at balls -- and losing. Boring. 

University arrived. Now consumed with endless schoolwork and projects, Bob Cole and the Leafs had to take a backseat. I'd occasionally watch a weekend game, but when at Wayne's house -- it was the Blue Jays. Wayne loved baseball. Yes, I'd found myself a man from the other side. 

I didn't mind much. If you were going to fall asleep on the couch on a Sunday afternoon, you might as well fall asleep to a Jays game, right? Right. It was kind of nice, actually. Alan Ashby had a pretty soothing voice. 

Throughout our dating years and into marriage, Wayne has devoted himself to teaching me every single possible thing there is to know about baseball. I listened politely at first, then with slight interest, now with unabashed fascination. I really, really, really like baseball. I like its rich history and its calculated, silent strategy. I like its etiquette and its unwritten rules and player codes. I like its lingo -- backdoor slider, moonshot, uncle Charlie, snow cone catch. I like watching the interaction between opponents, whether it's a head nod acknowledging a good (i.e. filthy) pitch, or a solid plunking to let the batter know what everyone thinks of him. 

And now I don't even know the name of the Leafs' head coach. I'm so incredibly fickle. 

Wayne came home from his Bible Study and asked if I knew how the game went.

S: They won! I watched the whole game!
W: You watched the whole game??! Alone?!?!! 
S: ...Yes.

He was pretty proud of me. Then when I told him I'd listened to Jays Talk alone as well, he just started laughing. Disbelief, I think. 

Anyway, the game is starting soon. Jerry Howarth, how I've missed your voice!