Friday, November 16, 2012
I left the prairies for the ocean 4 months ago. Dust is settling, but I have felt lately that I am giving myself a quiet slow burial in order to 'fit in'. I am burying the things that make me who I am. Is it because I am a peace maker and a people pleaser? I do know though, if I want to find kindred spirits, I have to be true to myself and live it out. Why is it so difficult some days? I don't know if this makes sense at all, but here is my introduction. This is me. I needed to remind myself, because somedays, I feel like I am fading away.
My name is Makiko. My friends call me Kiko. I like the ocean, so I am happy that I moved here but I left many many good friends behind in Alberta. I like to cook really great food. I like ethnic food. I like good red wine and microbrew beer. Dark stuff. I get annoyed when men don't offer me beer. My most favorite moment is when I can share carefully prepared food with good friends while sipping a glass of red. Maybe I will play my favorite jazz or Samba in the background. Some friends bring instrunments to my house and I like that.
I like artsy stuff. I have tried my hands at many art mediums. Painting, pottery, mosaic to name a few. I have taught myself to sew. I was surprised I was pretty good at it--Good enough that people wanted to buy what I made.
I like music. I actually have a music degree. I like singing in a choir. I have enjoyed touring with choirs and being challenged musically. I have also been in musicals. I like being on the stage as long as I am not alone.
As an adult, I am proud to have attained a brown belt in Shotokan Karate and learned to jog as far as 10km. But don't drag me to play any team sports. I catch like a girl and I throw like one too.
I love dogs. I love the nature and animals. I would rather be on the hiking trails near my house with my dogs than in a mall any day. I do like to look at pretty things though. If you come to my house, you will see some pretty things. I don't buy random pretty things though. Ask me about anything in my house. Most things have some stories behind them. I hang onto things with sentimental value. I like vintage glass. Bright colors in 60's style.
I value my family, friends and my faith. I like my alone time but am not very good at being alone. I don't like eating alone or going to movies alone. I like photography. Something I'd like to invest more time in. I dream of living in a strawbale house. I like foreign movies.
I would love to travel. I would love to see the world. So far, I haven't had much chance to do that. One day. Italy, Spain and Greece intrigue me. I like history and art. I like hearing people tell stories. I like stories of the land I've never seen. I like old people's stories. Stories you can't read in history books.
I'm a pretty good company. I've been told I am a good listener and have a wicket sense of humor. I will try anything once and I am not stuck inside a box. I am a loyal friend.
You wanna hang out sometime?
Monday, September 17, 2012
It was after school. I picked up the girls and decided they could use a cold drink. So we went to the corner store for 'slushes' and drove down to the Maple Bay beach.
We unleashed the dogs and walked down the beach. Girls are enjoying their rare treats as they told me about the a cappella group that came to perform at the school. Sun is shining. Water is cool. Rowing club is training on the water. All in all, it is a very good day.
My middle child is running ahead with the dogs. "Come on guys! Hurry up!!" She is beaming. She wants to show me the tree she climbed the last time she was here with her dad. I wave. As I get closer, I see her frowning. "Mommy, I got to go....oh wait, I am already going....." By the time I have caught up to her she was drenched, no chance of turning back and a little embarrassed. I tell her to go in the ocean and get her clothes wet. I burst out laughing. She laughs. She is wading in the water laughing.
The oldest turns to me and says nonchalantly , "well, I got to go too...." and drops her pants and goes on the beach. Fortunately, she know how to do this without getting herself wet. I see a lady with a dog in the distance. She pulls her pants up quickly and all is well.
I sat on a drift wood to take in the beauty of my world. Sailboats are bobbing on the sparkling water. It's so beautiful. I breathe in deeply. I love the smell of salty air. That is when the youngest said, "Mommy, I got to go number two". "No, you don't" I dismissed her. She is the youngest. The copy cat. She has to do everything the older sisters are doing. I have taken many trips to the bathroom when it was 'urgent' but with nothing to show for. "I really do have to go, mommy" "Okay, if you do have to go that bad, take off your pants and do it." She is starting to take off her shorts, forgetting that she has a pair of sneakers on. The pants get tangled with shoes and she is falling, rolled up like a ball with her bare bottoms hanging out. I tell her she should take off her shoes first. She gets up laughing and pulls up her pants. She says, "I actually don't have to go". See, I knew it. Copy cat. We start to walk again. Two seconds later, she has to go again. Okay, if you really have to go, you know what to do. This time she takes off her shoes and pants and she is squatting. She DID have to go. Real bad. I think it was the 'slushie' that gave her the runs. Oh dear God. I have no tissue. I used up the last poop bag. I tell her to put her clothes back on and we will give her a bath at home. She is obeying me beautifully.
I am looking for some drift wood to scoop up the 'number two'. That is when Penny, our 6 months old weimaraner puppy jumps off the tree and lands right in my child's poop and starts eating it. I chase the dog into the ocean and grab the nearest tree bark and successfully scoop up everything and toss it into the ocean. I even had enough time to gain my composure back to say a friendly hello to that lady with a dog in passing.
"Good thing I love you guys so much". We laughed until it hurt. It WAS a good day after all.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
On the home front, it has been a constant reminder of the love and community we are gifted with. I have cut back to working half time, which still means getting everyone ready and out the door before 8 am. This can be a big challenge for a night owl like me. My two girls are in school, while Tori gets to hang out with my dear friend, Ranae who loves her as her own. I have a dear lady who drops off homemade loaves for me every now and then with a sweet note. Another reminder that I am not forgotten. Two friends knocked on my door yesterday morning to tell me they are raking and cleaning my front yard. A bucketload of beautifully cooked mussels were dropped off just for me. "I am at Costco, do you need anything?" Play dates and dinner invitations. I am loved. I am part of this beautiful community.
I am starting to pack our stuff and get organized. I am planning two road trips. One is to Princeton, BC to join Scott for Young Life National Conference and another to see my best friend, Bonnah in Flin Flon, Manitoba. I spent the last evening in Drumheller with the cast of 'Joseph'. We shared a meal and hiked up the hill which takes you to the top of a small ski hill. Standing on the top of the world with good friends looking over the vast valley of the beautiful Badland while the full moon came up. I have always loved the badland. I realized then that it will be a long time before I can return to see this beautiful sight. I am trying to take in all the beauty of Alberta, not taking it for granted. Last night was the perfect way to remember the badland. It was an incredible night. I was once again reminded of all the beautiful gifts. My life is simple, but I love it. I would not trade it for all the riches of this world.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Poor men. Sorry we put you up to this all the time. ;)
Makiko: (emerges from the bedroom dressed in jeans. After months of exercising, she thinks the jeans are fitting better)
"How Do I look?"
Scott: (Oblivious to her inner thoughts, fixing lunch for the kids in the kitchen. After a quick glance.)
"You look fine"
Makiko: (gives him the *stink eye)
"I mean, HOW DO I LOOK?" (now, the capital letters mean louder voice)
Scott: (stops his hands and takes another look)
"I mean, your hair needs to be combed, but you look fine"
After a little silence......
Makiko: "DO I LOOK SKINNY?"
Scott: (disappears for 2 seconds, runs back into the kitchen, with hands up in the air, gives Makiko a man hug, wide eyed)
"HOLY SMOKES! LOOK AT YOU!? YOU LOOK INCREDIBLE! LOOK AT YOUR SKINNY LITTLE WAIST!!!!!!!!!"
Scott & Makiko: Burst out laughing......
It's September and officially my garden zucchini production has become an annoyance than a joy. After staring at a huge mountain of yellow zucchinis and pattypan squash for a week, I finally decided to make zucchini loaves to put in my freezer.......at 10:30 at night.
Now, I do not own a food processor. My little food grinder broke last winter. So I am left with a cheese grinder. I start shredding my zucchinis by hand--the old fashion way.
Scott walks into the kitchen. "Do you want me to help you with something?"
"Oh sure". "Would you mind just starting the batter while I shred these? I can take over and finish later"
So he cheerfully starts on the loaf batter. This recipe makes two loaves. I have one loaf pan. Each loaf takes 1hr to bake. You do the math. While the first cake is in the oven, we decided to pick a movie on Netflix to pass the time. Scott picks a movie. He assures me it's a light comedy. I don't like it and I told him so. Without a word of complaint, he starts up another movie which is more girl-friendly.
I remember the first 10 minutes of the movie and I was gone. Fast asleep. I don't remember anything after that.
Next morning, I woke up. Scott had gone to work already as usual (he's usually gone before 7). I walk into the kitchen. I saw two beautiful zucchini loaves politely sitting on my kitchen counter.
This makes me either the biggest jerk or the luckiest woman on the entire planet....or maybe both.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I always wanted 3 kids. And there she was. She is nothing like her older sisters. She is spirited. She is unpredictable. To be honest, she has been the one that has most frequently challenged my patience and made me question my ability as a mother.
But perhaps because of her, I will be more patient. I will be more accepting of the unexpected. She will make me a better mother.
The world is a beautiful place through the eyes of a toddler.
This past year, two of our good friends became very ill. Tori was the one to pray for them. Everyday. Every chance she's got. She said some profound things in her prayers. We saw miracles and they are now healed and well.
It is a beautiful thing to watch your childen make this world a better place by just being who they are. I hope my eyes are open to see it, instead of focusing on the troubles and inconveniences.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
My friends' dog is dying. This particular dog has been a part of our family for several years now. 'Zippy' would come stay with us when his owners were away. I personally had never had a close encounter with border collies until I met Zippy. I always found his neuroticism rather entertaining. Zippy is such a 'homebody' he hated being away from his home and owners. He pouted and went on hunger strikes when he came to my house. Once I found him sitting up on Maya's bed with his snout pressed into the corner of the wall.....pouting. He has this uncontrollable urge to howl at the train. He loved chasing bubbles. Eventually, he accepted us. We loved having him around. When we got the word that he has aggressive cancer, we went over to say 'good-bye' to him as a family. Today, he will go to doggie heaven. I asked my friend, "is it weird to choose when he will go?"--playing 'god'.....strange.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
When I was in college, I decided to spend two summers working at Upward Bound Camp in Oregon State. It is a camp for persons with special needs. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I knew I was supposed to be there. Knowing that I was supposed to be there did not make it any easier for me. Many times, I wanted to quit. But this is where I fell in love with these beautiful people. People who live with developmental and physical disabilities. The work was hard. Majorities of our tasks were looking after the campers' daily physical needs, such as hygiene, medication and assisting them with their meals. It was while changing soiled diapers of a grown woman and holding a drool covered hand of a man, I saw my pride. Filthy pride....but they showed me what love was. They did not judge me. We became friends and made wonderful memories together. We went fishing and hiking together. We skipped rocks in the river.