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Cadw'r Ddysgl yn Wastad
Sunday, September 12, 2010

Originally uploaded by arlunydd
Saturday morning and the dogs are waiting for me to get out of bed. Chester, the big beautiful boy in front, is 3 years old and as patient and smart as anything. Durban, the youngun on the far side is now 6 months and he is a handful. He is trying to bite my hand to get me to play with him...not so patient, but as cute as the day is long.
Forget Stilettos

Originally uploaded by arlunydd
Whenever I have to wear heals for a dressy occasion I think of these women and their grace and charm. Watching as they passed us by on a busy Cuban avenue, during a festival that I have forgotten, I was struck by the color and life they brought to an otherwise rather grey and barren place. There is so little in the way of luxury in Cuba that even the bigger cities are without embellishments, Buildings, cars, roads, everything goes unrepaired and broken as there is just no money to put back into the country.

Despite the poverty, the people are warm and generous. They earn extra money in very inventive ways and are always thrilled to get anything you are nice enough to leave them. We left our clothes as we had little else to give them. Our suitcases were certainly a lot lighter coming home. We took lots of personal hygiene products there with us, coloring books, pencils, anything we could think of. I wish we had thought to take tooth brushes. It seems that they have a very hard time getting these as well as soaps.

If you are planning to go there, pack stuff you don' intend to keep. Someone will be so happy to have them.
Thursday, September 09, 2010

Originally uploaded by arlunydd
Micks not one for "shows of affection" , so I was thrilled when he was approached by these two lovely ladies for a smoochie-woochie. He couldn't exactly say "no" without seeming rude, so he became a "Mick sandwich" instead. Notice the lovely shade of crimson he is wearing?

I do so love my Mick but we are so very different. Perhaps that is why we are still married. I am extroverted and not-so-modest, while he is proper, quiet and well behaved. He keeps an eye on me to be sure I am not in too much trouble, but despite all his efforts I still manage to find myself in SITUATIONS from time to time.

Ah...to be in that very square, enjoying the sun and the sights of Cuba again. Saving all my Aero miles up and will be in Costa Rica in March (early on so we miss the rains). Right now it feels as though I've been here forever! A very long, tiresome summer. I need a holiday.

Going to the UK in October. I hope to have some nice pics to share with you then.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Something you wont see too often

Originally uploaded by arlunydd
Affection in a dark damp cave! My hubby is such a romantic. The places he takes me have you writhing with jealousy, I'll bet. No roof top, sky line dinners by candle light for me. No river boat night time cruises with gentle music for this girl. I get caves, holes in the ground, bug infested backwood forests where nobody has dared to go! I get dirty, sweaty clothes, bug bites and poison ivy. OH YEAH!!!

A bat took the picture
My Boys

Originally uploaded by arlunydd
Chester and baby Durban getting to know each other the first day home. Chester is three and Durban 6 weeks. Does it get any damn cuter than this?
Monday, September 06, 2010
Baby Durban aka Monkey Jim

Originally uploaded by arlunydd
As an exercise in blogging again I thought that I would share this picture of our latest acquisition and member of the family - Durban. The name 'Monkey Jim' came about in a frenzy of affection and has stuck like glue because of the number of younguns in the family who like the name. Durban is slightly darker than Chester and makes a very aesthetic addition to the family.

Any comments on Monkey Jim are welcome.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Just another word or two
Its always so long between my blog entries. So many things occur in my life that its hard to know what to blog about. Mum died on February 25th and my world went into a tail spin for months. I have yet to recover what was "normal" for me. Two days ago my favorite aunt died suddenly, though not unexpectedly. I had hoped to travel to see her but within days of making the decision, she was gone. My lovely little house is in full bloom and I am having one hell of a time appreciating the real glory of it. Chester, my lovable Golden Retriever, enjoys it so much and didn't even need to be trained to stay on the property. He does a perimeter search for squirrels every morning when I let him out. I can enjoy my surroundings through him when I let myself.

On Saturday, Mick and I visited an Alpaca farm. We have been talking about what we want to do in 5-10 years and moving North is so important to Mick that we need to be creative about what it is we will be doing with our lives when we do move. Raising Alpaca's is a viable option, as long as we can combine it with other things we both really enjoy. The trip was very enlightening and gave us a lot to think about. BUT....And this is why I am actually blogging tonight, on the way home we stopped at a Mennonite farm and became acquainted with our newest family member, "Durban", an 8 week old Golden Retriever puppy that I pick up tomorrow.

Yes BB.....I expect you will be calling me just as soon as you read this! I am very happy and can't wait to bring him home. I have been so low and depressed and hopeless for so long that this is the first time I have felt any optimism for months. I am truly excited and want nothing more than to spend time with my Chester and his little brother Durban.

Wish me luck!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
How refreshing am I?
Though my posts are read by only a few, I want to share some of what I am feeling right now. If I were the analytical type, which I am not, I might say I am in the "Intimacy and Solidarity Stage of Eriksons 7 Stages of Development. I believe that my siblings and I all managed to make it through these stages adequately and without being seriously stunted anywhere along the way(Its a flipping miracle, I tell ya).

So Point 1; I think I'm doing OK and am where I ought to be socially and psychologically (man, try to spell that one when you've had a few) for this stage of my life.

I cannot say the same is true for my Mum. I believe that life (her earlier life) dealt her some pretty lean nurturance that resulted in her feeling somehow lacking in all things. These things are carrided over into other stages, leaving her feeling always left behind, defensive, insecure and righteous. Thank God for peers and Fathers! We may have turned out a great deal differently, had we only one parent to teach us of the world.

My poor old Mum has spent a lifetime worrying about meeting the approval of others. She tried very hard to teach me to be equally as concerned, but failed to do so, causing her no end of misery. I am, as anyone who knows me would agree, unfazed by the general opinions of others. This has always caused my Mum distress, but she may be getting used to it or at least, too tired to keep trying to change me.

Point 2; I do lack a healthy sense of accomplishment. This is largely due to my "Fear of Failure", and I inherited that little gem from Dear Old Dad who, like me, worked very hard to hide his talents from the world and to never risk too much. I am aware of this and would truly like to strive to change it, but need intensive therapy for this that I cannot afford at this time. So, we all have to live with my lackluster impression of me for the time being while I cope with every day shit that pummels me into submission.

This brings me, once again to Mum, who is once again lying in a hospital bed with a variety of ailments that are brought on like clockwork every time anything new or stressful is introduced into her otherwise dull schedule. I will also state that this same scenario plays out every time I express a negative emotion to my mother, who does not cope well with having to confront her manipulative behavior. Ooops, I said what I felt, (I dont like to be manipulated) thereby causing no end of piteousness and sadness and ultimately sending my Mum off to the hospital where she can be tended to by "professionals" who really care.

Phew! I feel better now. I think I'll head off to bed where I will have fabulous dreams and wake refreshed and ready to take on the world....HA! I dont think so.

I am off to bed but I wont dream and I will wake up wishing I could just sleep a few days longer.

Nighty Night.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
"Ty Gwyn" revisited
As a child, I had a very active imagination. I would spend hours and hours alone with a stream, a couple of leaves and a stick and create an entire scenario that involved pirates on the open seas. I lived for a time in Llanfechell, North Wales with my Auntie Mair and my Nain (Grandma), and across from their tiny cottage "Ty Gwyn" sat a large boulder in a field. Upon revisiting the boulder, years later, it had shrunk considerably. I played for many hours on that boulder, having tea parties, treasure hunts and all manner of exciting adventures. The house (or cottage), "Ty Gwyn", which translates to House White, was THAT PLACE of my childhood that held all that is dear to a child. It was where I was loved unconditionally by an entire family of others, a place full of promise of adventure, a place a kindness and comfort. It was my favorite place in all the world.

That is what my new home will be to my new niece Gianna. My little cottage in Guelph is hidden and secret and full of promise. Its garden will be filled with flowers of many colors and vegetables to be eaten straight from the ground. It has a big old birch tree that hangs low and creates a cooling shade while the wooden boardwalk that wraps around the house is like a little road to nowhere in particular. My sister put this idea in my head and I believe it is a perfect likeness to that wonderful place called "Ty Gwyn".

To finish off the picture perfectly, my little home will always welcome Gianna with a big sloppy old Golden Retriever laying around on the grass or lazily following her around in hopes of a treat.

I will maintain your little piece of "ty Gwyn" for you Gianna. All you need do is visit it as often as your Mum and Dad will allow.