Classic Editor PLEASE, WordPress!

I know many may enjoy the Block editor of WordPress but I only like it if I am writing ONLY a poem…in general I do not like it. I have tried it. I have familiarized myself with it and seen the positive side of it BUT I STILL PREFER CLASSIC EDITOR

What I find frustrating is that I do not seem to have the option to keep it ON CLASSIC.  I do NOT LIKE IT AT ALL!!

THERE..[huffs a long sigh] I’ve vented.

THE END

When it ain’t broke
DON’T
fix it!

blowing in the wind (troiku) Daily Moments

 
weaving all night long
elements rip it apart
hanging by a thread
 
weaving all night long
bedding for her offspring
youths are worth the risk
 
elements rip it apart
claiming better policies
hot air in the wind
 
hanging by a thread
knowing what truly matters
bleeding is the heart
(c) Tournesol '19 04 17

who said life’s even fair? (free verse)

Painting by Mae Giroux, Oakville, On. (my dear aunt)

 
she must get to sleep! 
in less than an hour 
bloody birds will peep 
chirping away with joy 
waiting for a new dawn 
but, 
for an insomniac 
their fervor makes  her yawn 
sometimes makes her go mad! 
 
still 
she must sleep 
in four hours the alarm will buzz 
grating at her every pore 
beep beep beep beep beep 
digging deep under her skin
annoying bleeping thing! 
 
today she returns to work 
a five day break she took 
away from tears 
away from pain 
away from fears 
abusive grownups 
hurting them in vain 
controlling 
and narcissistic 
crushing vulnerable souls
killing all their hopes 
sometimes they want to die 
it seems 
their only way  
out of such misery... 
 
unless 

her colleagues and she
together with the youth
they choose  
another plan 
they’ll live on one condition 
those bleeping grownups 
will be reported 
 
the cops will come 
and bring their troops 
youth workers and the like 
 
 
and yet, 
 
more time will run its course 
over days and weeks and months 
until this youth is truly safe 
from physical, 
sexual 
and emotional harm
 
but n’er from their nightmares
and not from all their wounds 
no, indeed that takes 
an entire lifetime 
they’ll start the healing process 
a little bit here and there 
a break for a while 
trying to ignore the pain 
reprieve from all those memories 
 
and on and on it goes 
the victim pays a lifetime 
assailant n’er enough time!
 
who said life’s even fair? 
the wounded try to mend 
their broken and bruised souls 
abusers lick their wounds 
playing victim of their sins 
pleading time they've served,
too bad, they'll usually win!
who said life’s even fair?

...one last yawn,
reciting her Hail Mary's
an Act of Contrition
and prays for a better day.
(c) Cheryl-Lynn '19/01/06
edited April 17, 2019

things that make me smile (troiku) CDHK

amma mom
(c) Clr ‘157Amma,(Divine Mother) Mom, GrandMaman

TROIKU

song of a skylark 
echoes from heaven’s meadow 
wind in my hair 
 
song of a skylark 
even robins stop to listen 
sweetens the air 
 
echoes from heaven’s meadow 
imagine her lip-singing 
mes chères mamans
 
wind in my hair 
one dove in-flight, startles me  
heart skips a beat
 
© Tournesol ‘19/04/16 

This TROIKU is a new form of haiku created by my mentor, Chèvrefeuilles at CDHK
http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com

French translation of Dove is Colombe which is my late mother’s name 

Written to the prompt on my mentor Chèvrefeuille at CDHK Carpe Diem #1648 skylark (hibari)


Soul train (troiku)

Troiku

Life is a journey
Cruising on different tracks
riding your soul train

Life is a journey
Slowing down on bumpy rides
samsara

Cruising on different tracks
Fleeing from suffering
Albeit — still attached

Riding your soul train
Wrapped in mute introspection
Finding your ‘self’

© Tournesol 19-04-16

Daily moments of painful contemplations April 16 2019

 

TROIKU

pain Ponos
daughter of strife Eris
My life companion

pain Ponos
Relentless suffering
Scent of samsara

Daughter of strife  Eris
Agony your dowry
Attachment my foe

My life companion
Mangled and entangled with me
learning to let go

© Tournesol ‘ 19 04 16

 

different journeys (SoCS)

” Gracie, what ever happened to our friend in high school, Sally whatshername?” 

__Hmm, Salleeee, Oh, yes, Sally Witherall.  I’m not sure, Georgie.  I think she went to California somewhere. Oh my, she was a fiesty one!

“Oh my, yes!  She was always in trouble with the sisters, sneaking out at night to Boy’s Town.  What a scandal she had stirred at on prom night!” 

__Oh my, lord!!! Yes! I remember how Sister Dufferin nearly had a heart attack when she saw her prom dress!  There was not much left to the imagination I dare say!”  

“I read in the paper the other day that her brother passed and Sylvia said she was at the funeral.  She did not recognize her one bit!  In fact, the only thing resembling her now was her voice.” 

__Oh my, has she aged that much? I mean even at 67 people can still recognize you and me, Sis.  Did she have an accident or what? 

Georgie lowers her voice almost to a whisper so the world would not hear her in their living room, “Well, apparently she has had many Joan Rivers.” 

__What’s that, Georgie!  What d’you mean?… 

Georgie stares bug eye at her sister and there’s a long pause… 

__Oooooooh!! Really?! I guess she must have been in Hollywood, California then. So, no one could recognize her, you say? 

“Apparently, her body was still trim after all those years but rumours say she had lipsuction several times.  No wonder! Imagine going through menopause without gaining an ounce…really! “ 

__But what does that have to do with her not being recognized, Georgie!  You can’t suck fat out of your face…” she stops to think about that a moment, “…or can you?  What is it with these people in California putting so much bother on the face and body.  And where does it really get you?” 

“Well it did get her four husbands and lord only knows how many lovers.  And after each divorce, apparently she acquired a sizeable fortune too!” 

__Well, what has that got her except for foolish life choices and destroying her body.  Now, tell me, what about her face? I am curious as to why no one knew her when she came to her brother’s funeral.” 

“Well, apparently…” Georgie whispers now as if the walls could hear, “…Sylvia says she had lots of procedures done to her body and she had botox treatments to her face for years.  The last procedure was a lip Aug-Men-Ta-Tion and tucks here and there around her eyes and cheeks.   She had run out of money, Sylvia says, and she had it done in another country and the results were not very good.” 

__Really?  That is so sad!  What a waste of money as well as time, pain and suffering.  Imagine all the wonderful trips you could have with that kind of money, eh, Georgie?” 

“Looks like she travelled one too many times to EgoCentreVille.” 

They both start chuckling and then quickly cover their mouths, as if Sister Dufferin was spying on them. 

Life is a journey 
Cruising on different tracks 
Riding on soul trains
 
© Tournesol 19-04-13 


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 13/19

Coming back home ~ Haibun

Such a glorious day today and even warmer than the past few days!  It almost feels like spring.  The snow has melted on her front lawn and one would not even believe that it snowed all day two days ago and the lawns were all white yesterday on her way grocery shopping.  She can’t wait to get out and walk to work and if she can manage to leave extra early, she might even sit in the park near her work.


Sitting in the park
Searching for buds here and there
Inhaling scents of spring

Closing her eyes she listens
First season’s concerto 

Swallows have come home
Checking out the neighbourhood
A place to call home

© Tournesol ‘19-04-11
Daily Moments April 11 2019 Coming back home Haibun

© Tournesol ‘19-04-11 

Daily Moments April 11 2019  Coming back home   Haibun 

mid-day lullaby (haibun)

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, cloud, outdoor and nature
midday lullaby – berceuse de midi (c) Clr’19-04-09

Rocking in her chair, her head starts to lean forward, growing heavy to the sounds of the snow plough becomes a mid-day lullaby.


 
short afternoon nap 
purr of the snow plow 
midday lullaby 
~~~
petite sieste 
ronronnement des chasse-neige 
berceuse de midi 
 
~~ 
(troiku)
 
Dancing fleetingly 
in the corner of her eye 
Could that be fairies? 
 
Dancing fleetingly 
Visions of a debutante  
Movements in her dreams 
 
In the corner of her eye 
Chubby hands sneaking cookies 
Mother always knows 
 
Could that be fairies? 
Pulling up that warm duvet 
on heavy eyelids 
 
 
~~ 
 
Dreams are gifts 
refuge from reality 
The Great Spirit gives 
 ~~~
imagination 
Drugs could never compete 
Everlasting dreams 
 
© Tournesol ‘19/04/09 
 

April showers Troiku Daily Moments April 9 2019

Image may contain: outdoor

April snow showers
Looks like magic fairy dust
Canadian winters

April snow showers
Mother Nature’s silly joke
Roll over in bed

Magic fairy dust
Tickling their cheeks at recess
Someone’s having fun

Canadian winters
like a scorned, jealous lover
just cannot let go

(c) Tournesol ’19-04-09

Daily Moments April 9 2019 April showers Troiku

The guest that never leaves Haibun Daily Moments April 6 2019

That relentless guest that entered decades ago,  knows not when to leave or when it is time to sleep. Lately it has risen with such vigour as it gnaws its way in private rooms where it does not belong. Kneading ever slowly, it spreads its venom throughout its host.  No drug can lessen the power of its fists as it insists on making its presence known. 
 
jabbing in her sleep
kneading ‘til she gasps in pain
wakefulness befriends
 
ice packs try to soothe
inflamed neck and shoulders 
healing’s no recourse
 
ice to heat to ice
embracing fleeting moments
chasing small comforts
 
 
© Tournesol ‘19-04-06 

Suddenly Awakened  ~ Troiku ~ Daily Moments Apr 5, 2019 


Lazy afternoon 
Refrigerator humming 
Eyelids giving in  
 
Lazy afternoon 
Purring loudly on her chest 
Worries melt away 
 
Refrigerator humming 
Cars pass intermittently  
Rhythmic melodies 
 
Eyelids giving in 
Measured, dull and hypnotic 
Startled by her snore! 
 
© Tournesol `19-04-05 
 
Daily moments – Suddenly awakened (troiku) 
 
 
 
 

Winter lingers (daily moments) haibun – April 3/19

(C) Clr’19

It was so windy today, she almost lost her balance a few times and her walking stick lifted off the ground as well. She still managed to walk 8 km but it felt like 16!

March winds in April
Black snow an urban virus
Longing southern breeze

© Tournesol ’19-04-03

Daily Moments – winter lingers (haibun)

flowers for Mommy (haibun)

©Clr”17

Six weeks of battling a winter cold or is it a spring cold?  Sipping her ginger tea with dollops of honey she savours the sweet taste.  An image of a bee comes to mind and she can’t wait for the first dandelions so bees can come back and do their magic.   

Chubby stained hands 
Gathering dandelions
A mother’s bouquet
© Touronesol ‘19-04-02 

Daily Moments – April 2 2019  flowers for mommy 

like an old duvet (haibun) Daily Moments April 1 2019

 

Image may contain: cat and indoor

It seems that yesterday, she was back with her long underwear, winter coat and tuque. Today she looks out her patio window at that pale blue sky. She walks over to her feline friends who are basking in the sun. Stroking their warm fur is soothing both to human and felines.

All in all, it’s a gorgeous spring day today. The snow melted from yesterday. The sidewalks are clear and there’s no need to strap on those cleats today. Yes, it is a glorious sunny day. As long as she can wear her tap dance shoes for Mother’s Day, she’ll settle for cold but sunny.

Blissfully they purr
Just like Nanny’s old duvet
Sunrays on their backs

© Tournesol 19-04-01

Daily Moments – April 1 2019

Justice for youths

child abuse
violence, rape and incest
time served’s NOT enough!

children’s rights
smugly shouting “youth’s Justice”
have we really tried?

children crying
empty bellies aching
in the night

child soldiers
fighting their fathers’ wars
victims of our sins

lost childhoods
never reaching puberty
justice not for all

youths’ injustices
landfills filled with promises
adults’ failing youths

(c) Tournesol ’19/04/01

late bloomer (haibun) Daily Moments March 31 2019

A friend invited her on a social network page called ‘women in midlife and older’. She had crossed mid-life two decades ago yet a flood of thoughts came in waves.   Her first thoughts were “I was reborn at 45 or was it… finally awakened from a life of “should’s and if only’s”

lazy morning rise
awakened by a deep sleep
crossroads at midlife

midlife crisis
G-d’s gift for second chances
spring cleaning and loss

She remembers trying to write her story from birth to the present not realizing it was never her tale to tell. It was all a dream belonging to too many characters and her true “self” started much later.

MIDLIFE

rousing at sunrise
shedding dreams of should’s and if only’s
midlife morning dew

wakened from a dream
filled with “should’s and if only‘s”
midlife mourning due

© Tournesol ‘19-03-31

Daily Moments March 31 2019 – late bloomer

random thoughts (haibun)

It was raining outside and to add sunshine in her home, she put on  jazz. Listening to Andrea Motis and her band made the apartment glow.

Random thoughts were running through her mind. Spring cleaning was well overdue and an excellent way to work through the cobwebs of her brain. There was therapy in clearing closets.

showers clear debris
season’s past washing away
open to rebirths

© Tournesol ‘19-03-30

Daily Moments March 30th 2019

if only cats could speak (Troibun) Daily Moments March 26 2019

cats
Kali and Bette playing make believe

Looking at her two bff’s (best feline friends) watching something moving among the decayed leaves, she wondered how life was perceived for her feline friends. They were indoor cats. How does a shut in see the world? Is there curiosity or envy? Is there fear or relief?

Spring dredges us such good feelings of her youth. That first bike ride to school giving her an extra fifteen minutes to skip rope with her peers. The first walk without boots  and feeling so light on her feet. That walk hand in hand with a new crush, feeling nervous and excited at the same time.

Then the reality of her work comes to mind and what takes place behind closed doors, come spring, summer, fall or winter…

spring is in the air
fast cars and motorcycles
sweet scents of freedom

spring is in the air
watching it all come to life
indoor cats just dream

fast cars and motorcycles
kicking up a cloud of dust
April rains will clean

sweet scents of freedom
first loves or devil’s cunnings
too bad cats can’t speak

© Tournesol ‘19-03-26

recalling (haibun) Daily moments March 21, 2019

Ah finally spring has arrived!    Along with the scents of decay and images of black snow melting, there is still hope in the air.  Once the old is washed away, the new will start to thrive.  Trees are starting to form those amazing buds, birds are flying back home, animals are mating, teens and adults falling in love again. It is all so mesmerizing and inspiring.  It is not just new love, new life but also rekindling memories .   That is the beauty of the mind that can wander, imagine and travel back in time that will make you sigh and smile.

 

Image may contain: text

walking in a daze
bedazzled by the chaste moon
recalling his scent

(c) Tournesol ’19/03/21

seasons (5-7-5)

© Clr’15 October
©Clr’18 March

Today I noticed a photo of falling leaves from a poet/artist from Australia and it inspired me to write about it. I find it fascinating to see how our northern and southern hemispheres move in opposite directions as seasons change. It is probably more apparent now that I blog and read poems of different seasons.

 
giving tranquil pause 
days relinquish time to nights 
autumn rests a spell 
 
northern lands in spring 
sun takes over day by day 
melting season’s past 
 
(c) Tournesol '19-03-13

mother & daughter (haibun)

They spent the day in the sun planting seeds of various vegetables. Bent over with their straw hats, mother with her white Ralph Lauren sunglasses, the little three year old in her polka dot sundress and heart shaped sunglasses.

“Ah phew! That’s sure a lot of vegetables, Mommy!”

She beamed at her little helper, “Come, sweetheart, let’s sit in the shade. I`ll bring you a Popsicle.”

Sitting under the old maple tree, her chin in her chubby hand, staring at the garden for a long moment, she asked, “Mommy, when will the green beans start growing?”

“It will take time, sweetheart, about sixty sleeps depending on the weather.”

Obvious disappointment painted on her sun kissed face; she quickly lost interest and ran to play in the sandbox.

rose tipped buds
tender beginnings
nature’s way
one moment in time
coming to flower

©Tournesol’17-02-01

life ~ Troiku daily moments March 12 2019


nature finds its way 
enters like a hungry beast 
casualties of March 
 
nature finds its way 
showers wash winter’s debris 
April’s housekeeping 
 
like a hungry beast 
captivating pheromones 
it’s mating season 
 
casualties of March 
feeding grounds with nutrients 
ends a life cycle    
 
© Tournesol ‘19-03-12 

	

longing (haiku 5-7-5) Daily Moments March 8 2019





soft sounds of longing 
travelling through each brittle branch 
buds can’t wait to burst 
 
soft sounds of longing 
snow is muffling cries below 
impatient tulips 
 
travelling through each branch 
dripping sap to quench their thirst 
maples on my street 
 
buds can’t wait to burst 
Mother Nature sings her song 
“there there, won’t be long 
 
© Tournesol ‘19-03-08 

YOU are special… Celebrate your greatness!

Happy Women’s International Day today!

To be a woman IS wonderful and for years now March 8th    has been designated to celebrate our greatness.  This is not because men are not to be celebrated and it is not even that we, women, want to be compared or measured in any way with men.  Men too are aware of this huge change…for the better, well except for the few who may be bred and wired to think that women are second class citizens but this blog is to celebrate, to praise and a feel good piece, so…

me-at-4ishBeing raised in the 50’s and 60’s, the media portrayed women as passive, mediocre and not always too intelligent human beings.  Oh, but they were glamorous, they could sing, they could dance and boy oh boy they could dress real fine and cook too!  I was fortunate to be raised by my mom and my maternal grandmother. Both women worked!! In the 50’s not many women worked especially in small towns in Quebec.  Being raised by strong willed, nurturing and amazing women, I had good models.

My grandmother, Gervaise Robert Daudelin, was a midwife andgrandmaman-et-grandpapa known as the village nurse.  She was a strong willed women with a huge heart and brilliant mind.  She understood people and they all loved her.  I learned, at a young age, to give back and help my community…not out of religious obligation or guilt but out of compassion.    She was also an amazing cook, had boarders in her home during the depression and during WW 2;   she actually supported the family through tough times but in those days, a woman did it in the shadows.  She was an amazing woman, friend, wife, mother of 7 children and greatest grandmother.  She raised her family and raised my sister and myself and encouraged my mom and taught her that there was life after divorce (another thing that was rare in the mid 60’s in a small French Canadian town).

Colombe (Bette) Daudelin
Colombe (Bette) Daudelin

My mom, Colombe Daudelin, was a beautiful, glamorous and loving women, wife, mom and hairdresser…the latter that taught me just a bit about glamour…my mom, however, had it down pat alright.  She was nicknamed Bette, after Bette Davis as a child and frankly she was much more beautiful than Ms. Davis and had aged much better without any cosmetic surgeries.

She had quit school at 14 to take care of her baby brother and then went on to hairdressing school at The Bay (Hudson Bay at that time).  She devoted her life to pleasing people but she taught me to think of me for a change and have fun.

She supported her family throughout her entire marriage and thereafter.  She blessed me and my children with such joy, spontaneity and her joie de vivre. My kids and grandson talk about “Nanny” with fondness and always with a smile or a chuckle.

Mae Roberts Giroux,
Oakville, On.

My dear aunt, Mae Roberts Giroux, was my father’s sister and she has been an inspiration as well.  She is an amazing artist and wonderful person.  Her passion is  art since she was a child having gone to École des Beaux Arts throughout her youth yet denied to further her studies because  in art because “women just did not do that then!”  Women in the 40s and 50s could go into teaching, nursing or definitely secretarial.  So Aunt Mae put her dream of being artist on hold for a few decades.

Speaking of secretaries, they were largely men who performed these duties, before male management realised they could get a woman to do the same job for less than half the salary.  My father was a secretary with Canadian Pacific Railway years ago before women were hired to do it for much cheaper.

Aunt Mae raised 3 boys and returned to the Ontario College of Art in Toronto to get her art degree in her 40`s. I admire her determination and her talent.

Her husband encouraged her and he too was a man way ahead of his times…being a nurturer as well and having faith in his wife.  Both have inspired me in so many ways.  They encouraged me to risk change and believe in myself.

Of course I was also influenced by amazing women growing up like Dr. Marie Curie, my grade school teacher, Mrs. Grant, in high school, Sister Dufferin,  Professors Marilyn Taylor, Mia Lobel and Pauline Gross from Concordia University.  My mentors are many such as Selma Corobow (former Family Life Educator and manager CLSC Metro, Montreal), Dianne Goodyear who taught me to believe in myself and to trust my instincts (Family Life Educator), Diane Richard, a friend (Social Worker) and mentor who believed in me sometimes more than I did; Of course I have amazing friends, women who have enriched my life and taught me so much and I have learned from as many in my age group as from younger friends.  Wonderful women like Rolande, Huguette, Annette, Dominique, Debbie, Maria, Michelle, France, Beatrice, Jenns (there are 4!), Pat, Jay, Pascale, Sara, Margie, Nicole, Peggy,  Cécile, Jane and Joyce, Giséle, Janice, Donna, Valérie, Marie-Hélène, Judith, Sue, Kathie, Shelly, Sandy, Lise (2), Louise, Ghislaine, Karen, Denise, Pauline and many more many more.

 

art by Mae Roberts Giroux,
Oakville, On.

So pay tribute to YOU first and foremost, to the wonderful woman you are and share a bit of that special person that YOU are so your “specialness” can carry on.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, March 8, 2019

To view Mae Giroux’s Art check on her facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/mae.giroux/photos

sighs of sweet content (troiku) daily moments

blue skies
sun rays beaming hope
sighs of springtime

blue skies
billows move in tandem
winter’s softest breeze

sun rays beaming hope
looking winter in the eye
walking on thin ice

sighs of springtime
tapping giant maples
where sweetness flows

© Tournesol ‘19-03-04

Winter s captive Daily Moments March 1 2019

Day 7,
silent chisels fill her head
ears that cannot hear

winter cold and flu
mockingly whisper
“Ha Ha, I got you!!

sleepless nights
coughing
chasing germs away

hope is in the air
taste slowly returns
first cup of java

© Tournesol ‘10/03/01

Daily Moments March 1, 2019 winter’s captive

silent sighs in the night (troiku)

Inspired by the haiku of a talented poet/haijin,  Celestine Nundanu.

moonlit night
a shooting star fades
into sounds of silence © Celestine Nundanu ‘19-03-01

moonlit night
lovers skate on frozen pond
tracing figure eights

a shooting star fades
in abyss of ecstasy
echoes from her lips

into sounds of silence
nestled gently
on virgin snow

(c) Tournesol ’19/03/01

The river flows (haibun)

Patient river flows

Rich and fertile

Ever slowly

After reading a chapter from a friend’s book on her years of trying to have a child filled with losses, disappointments, frustrations, self-denigration to a miracle, I was inspired to go over my own journey. Of course I did not suffer like so many women have and do to have a family but I do remember my personal hopes and desires to become a mom…

Motherhood

God’s gift to humanity

Perfect miracle

I remember when I felt ready to start a family. We had married young. I was a 19 year old bride, having married my teenage sweetheart I had met at 15. He was just 21. Our marriage started on rocky grounds but when the paths seemed smoother, I felt ready. I still don’t know why I changed my mind since going back to university to get my degree had always been on my mind but my body was begging for something different. And why not, I thought to myself. Most of my friends were just getting out of university and starting their careers but my new friends I made had started from the age of 18 to 24 years old. So I guess there was no right or wrong here but what suited each person…in a unique way. For me, my biological clock was ticking, oh so early, and yet, it was blocking the sounds of logic and long lost career dreams. I could become a teacher or counsellor later, that’s all. What did I have to complain about? At 22 I was working for the CEOs of a multi-million dollar steel company? People dreamed to get so far at a much older age…and so my journey began.

The first two years, I blamed my inability to conceive to those damn contraceptive pills. They were so damn strong in the ‘70’s! Women were such guinea pigs in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s on so many levels. And we continued to hand over our bodies and minds (how my mother was exploited with her mind and stuffed with valium). In those days, most doctors did not listen to women but they shut them up with pills.

After over a year I started getting hormone shots. The doctor never explained how this might affect my moods…you did not dare ask too many questions then either…and so I endured the shots and discomfort it gave me in my thigh and my legs. After several rounds of shots and multiple “negative” pregnancy tests, I was almost ready to give up.

Let’s step back a moment to talk about those tests. There were not any home pregnancy tests then…at least I was not aware of it and I would go to the same pharmacy because monsieur Lasalle had such a sympathetic face when he would come back to whisper to me discreetly with a sympathetic look on his face, tilting his head to the side, “C’est négatif, chère madame.”

The first few times, I was disappointed but since this Pharmacie was in the town where I worked, I was able to busy myself in my work.

Another year went by and I could not understand what was going on. Everyone was telling me that I thought about it too much. Some would laugh about it. One of my good friends who also happened to be my friend and HR manager at work told me her story. She had tried to conceive for 10 years and finally she and her husband gave up and planned a trip to Western Canada. When she returned she was pregnant. Moral of that story, according to every friggin busybody who pissed me off was that you just have to relax and stop worrying. I was so angry that everyone was blaming my mind and worry nature (GAD was not a term anyone used at that time) for not conceiving. My mind, apparently, was controlling my body, my ovaries, my womb. Fine! I was getting frustrated. When I would see a woman who was pregnant walking on the street, I started crossing the street to not cross paths with this fertile queen. It made me feel so sorry for myself. I was a mess.

Then I heard from our local CLSC (Local Service Community Clinic) that some women were using the Billing’s Method as a natural contraceptive. Hmmm, that might be interesting to take my temperature every morning to see when I DO ovulate. So when most women knew, “tonight is too dangerous”, my motto had begun, “Tonight is the night!” I still do not understand why the first doctor I saw never suggested I do this to understand my cycle. I had never been regular…it was always 35 to 56 to 65 to 90 days between cycles. I was quite ignorant but slowly began to take things in my own hands to get to know my body better. Lord only knows my maternal GrandMaman who was midwife tried to explain to me how to examine myself to see the difference when I was ovulating but I just did not get it.

Within six months I learned that I always ovulated between 14 to 18 days from the first day of my periods. Well, now, there is something consistent here. I also learned to see how the lines on this temperature graph would stay up and steady for severe days and weeks (sometimes) and then dip suddenly when I started my period. Alrighty now, there is a plan of action on my part here. I felt a bit more in control. I knew when was the most optimal time to conceive!

A year and a half passed with no success. My husband refused to even discuss adoption so I finally decided to go to a fertility clinic. It was interesting to see the people waiting in the waiting room. Everyone seemed so quiet and even a bit self-conscious or perhaps I was projecting my own feelings of inadequacy. I was only 27 but already felt a decade older. That year, I decided to go back to school and took two courses in English literature just to see if I was smart enough to pursue further studies for a degree.

The doctor suggested my husband take the first test since it the most least invasive…just spilling his seeds in a jar seemed quite harmless compared to the poking and prodding women went through. He felt embarrassed but for once, I was sort of happy that he was finally participating in this chapter of our lives. We learned that his sperm count was slow and low, whatever the heck that means. Yet, they said it was not a reason for my not conceiving after I had shown the doctor my ovulating graph.

The doctor examined me from head to toe and when he noticed I had colostrum leaking quite easily from my breasts when he squeezed them a little, he had me hospitalized a few weeks later. Two whole weeks of resident doctors wanting to probe me, squeeze my breasts and then murmur to the side with serious looks on their faces. I was a wreck by the end of the first week and lost 10 pounds. My roommate told me I was allowed to refused to be touched by these doctors since their teacher had already performed several examinations in front of them. So the next time one doctor came up to me to squeeze my breasts, I said NO. He asked, “How are we to learn since this is a teaching hospital?” I still did not budge and simply responded, “You were there when Dr…..performed an examination yesterday. Have you forgotten already?!” I was sore and tired of feeling like a lab rat.

I still did not quite understand why so much blood was taken out of me daily and one day over twenty times in a special unit where there was another girl next to me. I told her excitedly, “I’m here to pass test to get pregnant!” When I asked her why she was here as she seemed so young, I was shocked and confused. “Oh, they’re checking to see about a tumour on my brain.” My mouth dropped…I was passing the exact same tests!

Apparently my doctor felt this must be checked before any further fertility procedures since he felt my pituitary gland was overactive, hence the colostrum easily leaking form my breasts. It took several weeks to get the results but all was well, the doctor announced and I would be going for the real “tests” after the Christmas holidays.

That summer we had planned our first trip abroad. We had never taken an airplane or gone any further than road trips to the Maritimes and New England states. My husband wanted to visit Germany and Austria but I wanted to visit my roots…England, Scotland and Wales where my paternal grandfather was born and gee, wouldn’t it be nice if we conceived in the UK? Okay, it was obviously still on my mind.

What a perfect trip to take since I had finally gone back to school and taking Introduction to English Literature at Concordia University. I had to know first if I passed this course if I was smart enough or college material still at my age.

On our trip we visited Lake District and William Wordsworth’s cottage, Shakespeare’s house and so many places where famous writers and poets had lived.

We also became closer to one couple on our tour that came from Montreal. They were about our parents’ age and they suggested we purchase a home now before the prices go up even more. And so upon our return from this trip, we decided to purchase a home that would be ready the following summer. Since we were both working, it was time to do something with our lives besides trying to have a. baby. And if I did get pregnant, we would be ready with a home.

The holidays passed and no news from the hospital yet. There was a long waiting list. I was still taking my temperature every day, just in case. This time I wanted to save the money for useless pregnancy tests. If the graph showed differently only then, would I take an other test. My neighbour downstairs was four months pregnant and she told me she thought I was as well. She kept saying my eyes were different and so sparkly. I really didn’t want to believe this and be disappointed with a negative test again. She promised to come with me and so the following morning we did go…the pharmacist comes over to me saying the test was “Positif”. I could not believe it! I asked him to repeat it and then asked him to write it on my receipt…POSITIF so I could show this to my husband.

I was so excited that my hands and legs were shaking so much, I could not drive yet so for several long minutes, my friend and I were giggling like silly teenage girls in the car and waited for my shaking to stop. I will never forget that moment…EVER. Just like I will not forget the morning we were in our new home and the basement was flooding and my husband was so irritated. But I had a big goofy smile…it was June 1978 and I felt the movement of my baby bouncing around inside my womb. I could feel life inside of me!

After seven years of marriage, the seventh grandchild in the family, our beautiful eight pound baby boy was born.

The universe smiles

Bonding with her bundle of joy

Blue eyed treasure

© Tournesol ‘19/02/23

Winter daybed (troiku) Daily Moments Feb 23/19

honey ginger
scent of peppermint
lingers on her lips

honey ginger
battling winter germs
always on duty

scent of peppermint
opens pathways
breathing with ease

lingers on her lips
oh for the memories!
that sweet first kiss

Daily moments Feb 23rd 2019 winter daybed

© Tournesol 2019/02/23

So much more than an uncle (haibun)

I was away when my cousin was kind enough to phone me about the sad news but I had to write about it…will add photos when I get back home.

He was a father and a friend, a comforter and a teacher but most of all he was my protector since I was a very young child.

I grew up looking up to this handsome “James Dean” lookalike. I followed him everywhere when I could even when he was with his girlfriends. One winter night, it was a full moon and he decided to go out skating with his new girlfriend on the river behind the house. They both invited me to join them. How naïve I was to follow these two lovers but I did and I loved them both even more for it.

One Father’s Day, my sister and I bought him a necktie. He looked so shy and awkward and all he could say was, “But I’m not your father.” That year my parents had temporarily separated, so what did we know, right? Thinking about that now, it must have been odd for a 17 yr old to be looked up to as a father! Ah, kids!

I remember when I was very young before I went to school, my mother punished me for being rude and impatient with my GrandPapa. I responded to him just like my father used to talk to me when he was impatient. My mother probably knew where this was coming from and wanted me to learn that it was not acceptable. She sent me to my uncle’s bedroom to sit there until she felt I had learned. As I was walking to the bedroom, I still remember seeing my GrandPapa rocking in his chair in the living room and smiling at me. I knew then, he had forgiven me.

I sat on my Uncle Bernie’s bed and cried. I did not like being shut in and of course, I just felt sorry for little old me! My uncle came in and sat on the bed next to me and looked so uncomfortable seeing me cry. He offered me a WHOLE dime to stop crying! Now you have to understand that a dime bought a lot for a child my age! I could get a bag of chips and five gum balls!

I remember watching him from the kitchen at GrandMaman’s when he would be getting ready to go out…probably on a date. He smelled so good of Old Spice! My grandmother and he would argue like mothers sometimes do with their older teenager. He must have been about 19 because GrandPapa had already died. Poor Bernie, having lost his father so young. GrandPapa was the best father and grandfather on the planet…no, really!

I remember when I was still quite young and my uncle had seen me trying to take a cigarette from GrandMaman’s pack. I was only about 6! I know, how bad is that?! I loved the smell of fresh tobacco and especially the scent of pipe tobacco. (Uncle Bernie would add a piece of apple in his tobacco pouch to keep it moist but I think it also gave it that nice aroma too.} Anyway, Bernie, lit a cigarette and blew smoke on a tissue to show me the colour it turned into and warned me that that was what would happen to my lungs if ever I smoked. I knew he was worried for me. Yeah, well I did still smoke eventually for three decades. And every time he saw me as an adult, he would say, “You are still smoking…you know it’s not in style anymore, right?”

I remember his wedding so well. I was 14 years old. I had just become a woman that morning (and you ladies all know what that means). I felt so grown-up that day! Later, when I was 17, his wife, Denise and he asked me to be the baby carrier for their first born, Annie’s christening. I felt so proud. I used to babysit Annie since I lived next door at GrandMaman’s. Aunt Denise would ask me what I wanted to get paid for babysitting and I said, a bottle of Pepsi and BBQ chips was fine with me. I would sleep in Annie’s bedroom next to her crib and I loved being awakened by her smiles and cooing. That was the first time I experienced what it was like to wake up with a beautiful baby.

That same year I got engaged. I know, so young and my family were not too pleased but Uncle Bernie and Aunt Denise bought me my first set of sheets for our engagement that Christmas. I felt I had bonded with my Aunt Denise, that year.

Uncle Bernie walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. I felt so proud having him by my side. My legs kept shaking and he kept whispering to me to calm down. It helped, since I was just fine by the time I got to the altar but my husband was the one who seemed dumbstruck.

That year he taught me how to drive. My husband tired but that always ended in tears since he would get too impatient. Uncle Bernie trusted me and I know I did not drive that well but he gave me the impression I was fine. I finally got my license when I was 20.

One spring day my car stalled on a country road. There were no cell phones then. I remember walking to a house nearby and calling him to tell me what I should do. He came over and got on the wet cold ground and temporarily fixed what was wrong (I still have no clue what it was) and told me to go see his friend who was a mechanic, who had a garage, to have it fixed right away. What did I tell you? He was my protector!

A few years later I moved just a half hour away but I would see him less and less by then…life went on, I guess and he was such a homebody. He welcomed everyone to his home but never accepted my dinner invitations. I understood though. My uncle was the type of person who was always used to giving.

When I would visit with my children, he would tell me to let them be kids and have fun. He had lots of property at his home and he noticed that I worried too much. My kids…well, especially, my son, loved the freedom running around there. And we all loved Aunt Denise’s fudge. We would call her to say we were coming over and she would have the fresh warm fudge ready by the time we got there!

Time went by…life happened all too quickly and I moved six hours away. I was lucky to see him when I came down to see my mother. He always checked up on her to see if she was okay.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s the same year my mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. It was sad to see him when he visited my mom because he was surely seeing himself slip away eventually.

He passed just before Valentines, early morning on February 13, 2019.

May he rest In peace and tease my mom and all his siblings now. (Jan. 4 1940 – Feb. 13, 2019)

Another petal
How he will be missed
Has fallen

Another star
Twinkling in the sky
His winning smile

Another angel
A welcome committee
For me

© Tournesol 19/02/17

Goodbye Mr. Monk Troibun Daily Moments

I am going to miss this show. I used to watch it when it first came out when I lived in Toronto. At that time, it just felt too weird watching a man who had similar behaviours that one of my colleagues had. Granted, Mr. Monk’s were more exaggerated but I remember how this particular colleague got on the nerves of many of my peers. He was sweet….no, not Mr. Monk, but my colleague but like Mr. Monk he bordered on annoying, brilliant and absolutely frustrating.

So a month ago I started binging on Mr. Monk’s 8 seasons on Netflix. I laughed, cried, connected and warmed up to this guy in so many ways. Last night was my last episode and I am saddened to have had to say goodbye yet, knew it was time. There are just so many more you can add to his situation of chasing the murderer of his wife, Trudy.

I loved that guy and everyone associated with him. It is a great show on detective work and mostly on tolerance and true friendship.

So tonight, I decided to write a blurb to say Goodbye, Mr. Monk, you will be missed.

routines 
obsessive patterns 
dependable 
 
routines 
repetitive 
safety in numbers 
 
obsessive patterns 
annoying rituals 
yet comforting 
 
dependable 
always accountable 
Goodbye Mr. Monk 
 
© tournesol ‘19-02-05

same old, same old (troiku) daily moments Feb 2, 2019

Another snowy day
winter enthusiasts cheer
others read

another snowy day
low on coffee cream
trapped inside

winter enthusiasts cheer
shut-ins chanting
same old same old

others read
barefoot on sandy beaches
sun kissed cheeks

 

(c) Tournesol ’19-02-02