Saturday, September 27, 2008

Things to Do: Wash an Elephant

Our trip to India and Nepal is getting closer and closer: it's just over a month until we go!

I'm starting to make a mental list of things I want to do, am really going to do.... We've already signed up for an elephant-back safari in this national park (it's the best way to get close to rhinos around that neck of the woods) so why not take the whole elephant thing one step further?

Number One on the List of Things to Do: I'm going to take a bath with an elephant in Chitwan Park, Nepal. Apparently I'm going to get very wet. Have a look at these people doing just that. I'm going to be just like that girl who had a bit of trouble figuring out just exactly how she was going to climb up on its back, I'm betting. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bug Whisperer

Today it was gorgeous and sunny and as I walked around the playground at work an enormous dragonfly with luminous blue eyes landed on my hip.

I called the children to come over and have a look at it, and quite a little crowd of three year olds toddled over to peer at the large insect on me.

The dragonfly stayed put for quite a while, and two of my co-workers drifted over too. I cupped my hands gently under the dragonfly and lifted it up so the children could see better.

The dragonfly seemed quite at ease while I touched it gently and showed it to all the big and little people gathered around and only flew away when I lifted my hand up into the air above my head.

"That was magic!" said one little girl. "You are magic with bugs!"

Yes, agreed my co-workers, bugs seem to really like me. This sort of thing is not an isolated incident.

"She's the Bug Whisperer!" said Terri.

I kind of like that thought actually.

My co-worker told me of a story she'd heard about a man who one day had a butterfly land on his clothing while he was at work. The butterfly stayed with him all day, and then stayed on him as he travelled home. It was still with him the next day, and, much bemused, he placed the insect carefully in his garden.

It stayed for quite a while among his flowers, lighting on his clothing every day before fluttering away again.

At last, on the very last day he saw the butterfly, it sat on its shoulder for a while before flying up and up and up until he couldn't see it any more.

While it may or may not be a true tale, there is something deeply appealing in it to me.

Sixteen Years

Sixteen years ago... Jeff and I were still shaking the blasted flower petals out of our formal clothes---it's amazing how the pretty little confetti can fall right down one's wedding dress into the most confounded places.

Sixteen years ago.... we were sharing our first meal together as married couple---ravenously wolfing down sandwiches made by the B.C. Ferry Corporation because we were so busy running around smiling till our smile muscles were sore and posing for pictures at the wedding that we barely got to taste the wedding cake before zooming off to catch the boat.

Sixteen years ago...we were flying off to Disneyland on our honeymoon to ride on the teacups and visit Tomorrow Land and stay in a hotel themed like a castle with a stream running through the lobby.

The wedding day went by really fast and the honeymoon was lots of fun: it's kind of like the last sixteen years with Jeff.

It's gone by rather fast, and it's been rather fun. Happy Anniversary to us! :)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Shopping Binge

What?! Spider Girl went on a shopping binge?!

Yes, armloads (two) of stuff came home with me in a unprecedented, out-of-character consumer frenzy. It was hours of trooping from shop to shop with my friend Sherry, and the shopping beast was temporarily unleashed within me yesterday afternoon...

The good news is, of course, that the stores were all second-hand ones and no credit ratings/bank accounts were drained in the process.

Do NOT, do NOT buy clothes at retail prices.It is INSANE how much they are charging for things when you can get the same thing in brand-new condition for three bucks.

It's amazing, actually, how much a girl can wring out of a twenty-dollar bill: two pairs of shoes, five tops, a very pretty skirt, two sparkly dressup purses for my preschool kids, two bags of building blocks (also for the kids), and this amazing bright and beautiful-ugly prism bead curtain which I am planning on taking apart so I can hang strings of it in a window at the preschool to catch the light.

And the good thing is that when I buy stuff for the preschool I can pay myself back from the recycled-bottle fund that I take care of. Excellent use of a frighteningly huge amount of empty juice boxes in my garage.

So, all told, I didn't spend a whole lot of cash....but I was reminded of why I stay well away from thrift stores and garage sales usually. Note to self: I BUY stuff. Good gravy.

It was a very fun day though,and I managed to catch up on things with an old friend. Also, we had dinner at the Gatehouse in Cumberland: their wild mushroom salad is divine!