My Father's Daughter

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Tips for living alone

I think that the longest that Phil has been away from home is 5 days (on a few occasions). But I think if you eliminate the “nights” he’s come home to sleep for 1-4 hours we may have gone longer. How can you REALLY say I’ve ‘seen’ him when he’s just this man who crawled into my bed at 1am only to crawl out at 4am – leaving me feeling a bit like a mistress? Actually, I shouldn’t complain – I get to sleep with him without having to feed him and clean up after him, and it’s perfectly moral. In any case, I’m logging a lot of hours living alone (excluding cats and mice). In a desire to be helpful to others, I present the following tips:

  • check to make sure there is enough toilet paper on the roll BEFORE you sit down.
  • make sure you’ve removed the keys from the front door BEFORE closing and locking it.
  • make sure the cat has nothing in its mouth BEFORE letting it in.
  • if you find yourself talking aloud or carrying on conversations with the cats, it is time to call a friend.
  • that is YOUR dirty glass. You do have to clean it up.
  • yes, staying up late with no one to tell you to go to bed is fun, but you will pay for it the next day at work.

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Yes they do.

A few months ago I stated that Phil and I would learn whether or not dreams do come true. Turns out they do.

Phil called me this morning to breathlessly tell me that he was standing on the basketball court at Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana. Where the Hoosiers play. (This after dropping a wad of cash on Hoosier-wear). This was a dream come true for him. He’s longed to see the campus, to see the court. I think he might spontaneously combust if he were to go to a game.

And, while I did make fun of him (make every opportunity count I always say), I do know how he feels. I got all tingly and excited when I walked through the “Haunted Wood” of Lucy Maud Montgomery lore. I walked trails she would have walked, where she would have thought up stories, and dreamed dreams. That was pretty meaningful to me – my love of the woods, and my love of Lucy and her Anne-stories combined in one lovely package.

Where would you stand? What hallowed ground do your feet long to touch? (FYI – it has to be somewhere you can realistically get to — no foot of the cross for those who want to be clever and very righteous).

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My sister and I went swimming last night (trying to get some of that ‘exercise’ everyone is talking about these days — I hear it is all the rage; all the kids are doing it). I had forgotten just how uncomfortable it is to change in front of other people (even those of the same gender). There is all this maneuvering with the towel to keep the important bits (mainly one’s entire trunk) hidden from view while pulling on intimate bits of clothing; the desperate attempts not to make eye contact and to keep one’s gaze away from the nakedness of others. It is unnecessary torture. And I don’t know what was more painful – seeing a number of naked bums, or knowing that my bum was out there for others to see. Shudder.


Gender Differences

My husband is hot. And I don’t mean physically, well, I do mean physically, just not in the way you’re thinking (though that is true too). No, I mean, he radiates an unbelievable amount of heat (imagine a 75,000 BTU furnace, and then double it). I’ve heard this is common of men, and that women are always cold.

If this is in fact true (and right now my sample size of one of each gender with all other evidence being anecdotal only, I do not place much faith in the scientific value of my statements herein), I can see a sort of need for this back when men were hunting and gathering and women were staying home to tend to the home fires. What doesn’t make sense, then, is that (and again, this is in my experience without any scientific rigour) men can’t see what is right in front of their faces. And if he can’t see the watch that is less than a foot from him, and all shiny and glinty and stuff, how is he going to see a deer at 500 feet when it’s camouflaged in its environment?

So, while I may never discover the reason for it, I guess, as the temperature wars wage on at 63 Westmount Mews (I don’t know how to change the scheduled settings on the thermostat, but I do know how to jack up the heat and use that hold button), I will take advantage of my very own private heat source. I have discovered, for example, that I can use his back as a heating pad for my back, as long as my pj’s are flame-retardant; and that on those cold nights on a May canoe trip, sharing a sleeping bag with Hot Phil sure does keep the hypothermia at bay.

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Man, that STANKS!

Why does hockey sweat smell the same? Everyone has their own particular body odor when they sweat (though I do smell exactly like my Dad when I sweat — but this is something I’m not willing to explore the why’s or ramifications of). But Phil had his sweaty hockey t-shirts and socks airing in our bathroom and it smelled like my Dad’s hockey equipment, and my brother’s hockey equipment, and my hockey equipment (oh the glory days of high school when I thought I was an athlete). Why is that?

No real profound conclusions, or analogies — just wondering.

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Things I like

My morning coffee. Fresh, crisp, fall air. Cool breezes. The smell of gasoline (mildly). The skunk smell (mildly). Quiet moments. The sound of my husband’s voice. Sunlight. The sound of my younger brother’s laugh. Starting a new book. Stories about my nieces and nephews. Watching movies by myself. Being with my older brother. Smiles exchanged with strangers. Driving on country roads. Talking with my Mom. Holding a newborn baby. Trees. Rocks. Water. Listening to my sister tell a story. Paddling until I ache for a portage. Portaging until I ache to get back into the canoe. Waking up in a tent. Sleeping in a sleeping bag. Sleeping in a hammock. Swimming in a lake. My Dad’s love look. Swinging on a swing-set. My kitten’s pink wet nose. Music that transports me. Helping my family. Dinners with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Soft touches of my kitten’s paw. Laughing. Curling up under a blanket on a cold, rainy day. Cuddling with my nieces. A starry sky. Being in my husbands arms. Warm socks.

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Women’s clothing

Why is women’s clothing so complicated? The pants I am wearing today feature two clasps, a button, and a zipper. Is all of that necessary? Men’s pants — one button and a zipper. And they don’t seem to have a problem, what gives? All the buttons, clasps, belts, and ties double my time in the bathroom — it’s affecting my productivity! Perhaps that’s why there is a glass ceiling for women…while we’re spending all that time in the washroom (oh and then there is fixing your mascara, freshening your lipstick, touching up your hair — not that I do it, but I’ve seen others primp…), the men are appearing busy at their desks. Again, I blame the fashion industry.