The pen is mightier than the sword

Hey kids!

Now, before we get down to business, you’ll all be happy to learn that I’ve redone my nails, and that they now look only look fifteen per cent terrible. (As opposed to their usual ninety-five percent.)

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I really must learn how to take my time and not do dishes when the polish is still drying…

But either way, progress!

It has been a terrific last few days here in Halifax, filled with great food, lots of family, some great runs, and tons of face time with my mum’s kitty cats.

Simon has really been practicing his best sun-god impression

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What a cutie!

Yesterday afternoon my cousin Bridget came over and coloured, cut, and styled my hair.

Talk about superior service!

It was a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours and I absolutely love the end look.

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The chestnut look is in folks.

SO IN.

If any of you live in the HRM, hit me up and I can give you her deets.

NO CREEPERS PLEASE.

Anyways, what got me thinking when she was blow-drying my hair, was how growing up, my mum would always tell my sisters and I to never go outside, nor go to sleep with wet hair lest we wish to catch a head cold and likely succumb to a tragic, early death.

(My mother in-law actually told me the exact same thing last weekend, horrified as she was to feel that the ends of my ponytail were still damp from my earlier shower.)

I’m pretty sure this was a thing that many mums have told their kids (as I’m sure their mums told them, and theirs, and theirs) and I started to think about all the other old wives tales I grew up with, and how they’ve shaped me to be the bonkers young woman that I am today.

For instance, every time I eat raw batter I am sure that I am going to contract worms.

I am also terrified that if I don’t eat a particular foodstuff that contains mayonnaise within one hour of preparation I will likely expire from botulism.

(This is probably also why I don’t ever eat potato salad. That stuff will KILL you!)

But probably the nuttiest thing of all, is my irrational fear of ever getting pen on my skin.

(Don’t even THINK of writing your phone number on my wrist buddy-boy! That offense will land you in the nearest lake.)

Let me explain.

In 1995, the province of Quebec held a referendum asking its residents whether or not they wanted to legally separate from Canada and form their own nation.

It was a crazy-close race, with the federalist supporters narrowly squeaking out a win (51.1% to 49.9%).

As a young gal desperate to see Quebec stay, I was more than relieved and exuberantly happy with these results.

Now, one of the leaders of the Parti Quebecois and chief separatist at the time was a man named Lucien Bouchard. I despised this man on principle, and was horrified to learn that he had lost a leg the year prior due to necrotizing fasciitis (or flesh-eating disease if you will.)

I remember asking my mum how someone could contract such a scary disease, and (in a likely effort to stop my sisters and I from drawing on ourselves) she told me that he was infected from getting pen on his skin.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT.

What a ballsy move.

Anywho, this put the absolute fear of god into me, terrified as I was to get anything close to resembling ink on my skin.

I liked my limbs, and I sure as heck was going to keep them.

Whenever anyone asks me to relay a time I felt true terror, one of the stories I share is the time in grade five when Marc Rutenschauser grabbed my right arm and drew a smiley face on my wrist.

The feeling of my blood running frigid is a sensation which I will likely never, ever forget.

I really did feel like that was game over for me, right then and there.

It’s probably also why I have a weird dislike of smiley faces, and have a really hard time whenever :) is changed to J when I write e-mails.

SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME?

Isn’t it crazy the things that shape us as human beings?

I tell ya.

So, what are some of the things that your parents told you as children that have stuck with you until this day?

Let me know, and I’ll read them when I get back from my walk.

And don’t worry – I took the pains to dry my hair. After all, I wouldn’t want to get sick, would I?

Waking up to a sleepy sun

This morning I caught the sun before it went back to bed.

Sunrise

I often have the privilege of witnessing the early dawn sky.

Unfortunately, the reason that I am this lucky is because I struggle with anxiety, and the majority of the time it manifests itself in early morning heat attacks.

Seriously, it’s like my whole body is engulfed in flames.

Often times it’s very difficult to fall back asleep, so I instead just get up, and get a really early start to things.

So this morning, instead of subjecting Marc to my sauna-inspired tossing and turning, I slipped out of bed and tiptoed downstairs.

I sat quietly on the sofa, with a cup of coffee in one hand, and watched as the sun got up, stretched, and then lay back down to sleep, in (what I can only presume to be) its bed of rest, located just behind the Fraser River.

As someone who finds this sort of thing practically impossible (falling back asleep after getting up), I was more than a little jealous. If I only I could learn its secrets!

So knowing full well that there was no way I could possibly go back to bed (even if my life depended on it!), I decided instead to lace up my runners and go out for a fast 4.5km run.

I managed to complete my route in eighteen minutes, which is a good time for the number of hills that populate the course, and it made me think that maybe (just maybe!) I will be able to run a sub-40 10km at the Fall Classic on November 19th.

The weather was just perfect – the air was cool, but not so much to make the insides of my ears burn, or make my lungs ache. A slight breeze to bring bounce to my ponytail and pink to my cheeks; fallen leaves crunchy underfoot, while the balding trees overhead presented a delirious kaleidoscope of greens, yellows, and browns.

I could smell the magic aroma of coffee and other miscellaneous breakfast delights, drifting from the different houses that mark my path to the park and back.

Sprinting the last four hundred, a lone tear slid from the corner of my left eye.

It’s funny.

I can’t for the life of me remember what I thought about while I ran.

I’m certain there must have been a few musings about Halloween, and the party Marc and I are attending tonight.

The lovely dinner we had with friends last night.

Michael Chabon’s latest novel, currently taking up real estate on my bedside table.

My stride length, and whether or not I was landing on the balls of my feet.

A series of short vignettes, starring a sleepy sunrise.

I remember when I was a little girl, I would always try and wake up as early as possible on the weekends, because Saturday and Sunday mornings were the only times my sisters and I were allowed to watch TV.

The earlier we woke, the more episodes of Inspector Gadget, or Rescue Rangers, or Duck Tales, we could watch.

I don’t know when exactly I stopped racing out of bed, and started sleeping in, but I feel as though I have now come full circle.

I am back to being that girl, that pre-sunrise child.

I just need to make sure this is due to my love of cartoons and not the heat of a worry that’s setting my alarm.