Oda al vino

Welcome! Here’s a bit about me and what I do here

Welcome to your place to unwind with a glass of wine while your kids may or may not be wrestling.  I hope you stick around to get some insights on good wine to buy now and drink now (mostly from the LCBO because I live in #Ontario), or to get some happy thoughts and do #mentalhealth checks (I love helping parents stay sane because #ittakesavillage), or just keep the tab open while your eyes glaze over due to lack of sleep. I got your back no matter what.

Real life for me. I get people squinty eyeing me all the time. 

Here’s my absolute favourite poem about wine to kick off this journey about practicing parenting. It’s by a Chilean author who really gets it. Ya know? 

ODA AL VINO- Pablo Neruda

Day-colored wine, night-colored wine, wine with purple feet or wine with topaz blood, wine, starry child of earth, wine, smooth as a golden sword, soft as lascivious velvet, wine, spiral-sea shelled and full of wonder, amorous, marine; never has one goblet contained you, one song, one man, you are choral, gregarious, at the least, you must be shared. At times you feed on mortal memories; your wave carries us from tomb to tomb, stone cutter of icy sepulchers, and we weep transitory tears; your glorious spring dress is different, blood rises through the shoots, wind incites the day, nothing is left of your immutable soul.  Wine stirs the spring, happiness bursts through the earth like a plant, walls crumble, and rocky cliffs, chasms close, as song is born.  A jug of wine, and thou beside me in the wilderness, sang the ancient poet.  Let the wine pitcher add to the kiss of love its own. My darling, suddenly the line of your hip becomes the brimming curve of the wine goblet, your breast is the grape cluster, your nipples are the grapes, the gleam of spirits lights your hair, and your navel is a chaste seal stamped on the vessel of your belly, your love an inexhaustible cascade of wine, light that illuminates my senses, the earthly splendor of life.  But you are more than love, the fiery kiss, the heat of fire, more than the wine of life; you are the community of man, translucency, chorus of discipline, abundance of flowers.  I like on the table, when we’re speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine.  Drink it, and remember in every drop of gold, in every topaz glass, in every purple ladle, that autumn labored to fill the vessel with wine; and in the ritual of his office, let the simple man remember to think of the soil and of his duty, to propagate the canticle of the wine. Translation from poetryconnection.net

How to Chill Your A#$ Out a Week Before Christmas

Need some helpful tips on keeping you sane through this next week? I’ve got you.

So this post is running about a week ahead of Christmas on purpose.  I was going to get to wine but since I feel SUPER run down, I figure so do you. It’s just that dang time of year that you want to be all happy happy smiley smiley but Janice over here is on your ass at work and then you forgot to buy  some gift online and now have to ACTUALLY WALK INTO A MALL, and your children, bless them, they’re feeling the pressure in their own way.  Thus, I’m attacking the #mentalhealth side of life first. Obs I’ll still have something about wine up in here. Come on. 

To re-reach your own personal level of zen I suggest you:

1.  Take some REALLY deep breaths. Like the ones you take to stave off tears. Seriously deep. Try 5 breaths from the belly and 5 from the lungs. It will increase your oxygen levels and get your system out of fight or flight mode. Repeat until you’re good to face another human who probably has a bunch of stress all over their face. 

2.  Drink water. It sounds stupid but dehydration raises stress levels too. Even minor dehydration. So if you’re feeling off, sit your ass down and drink some H2O. And stop with the coffee. Even the fancy stuff. 

H2O happens to be really good for your skin too

3.  Smile. Even if it’s the worst fake smile ever, smile. Like, smile at nothing. Its funny how the body can trick the brain and vice versa. When you fake smile it actually mimics a real smile, releasing all sorts of good stuff into the brain (endorphins, dopamine and serotonin). So sit in a bathroom stall and just smile your butt off like the crazy person you are and get back into the “functioning human” game. 

Yes, this is my face in all it’s yesterday’s makeup glory. 

5.   Remember you can only control your own behaviour, and no one else’s. So if everyone is being a dick around you, don’t hesitate to ask if someone’s “okay”. I did it a few times this weekend because I actually had to step into overcrowded insane malls and stores where the staff working looked like poor chickens who were half roasted and they’d rather their heads be cut off than work another second the week(ish) before Christmas.

6.  If you can, hug someone for more than 20 seconds. Breathe into the hug. You may want to cry. It’s okay, its just your body releasing tension, there’s nothing REALLY wrong with you. You’re just a stress case at the moment. Which most people are.

Kid hugs are the best hugs. And I generally don’t like being touched. 

7.  Turn off the Christmas lights if they twinkle. I sound like a troll and I promise my house is so full of twinkly lights that I understand the appeal of having them go all day every day, but give your senses a moment to catch up. Yes twinkle good. For a bit.  If you’re losing it, turn them off and just be one with the darkness. Flashing lights of any kind are designed to elicit a fight or flight reaction to our good ol animal selves.  So unfortunately, Christmas decor, in all of it’s glory, if on all the time, actually stresses you out a bit. If you’re determined I have no bloody clue what I’m talking about, no prob. Leave them on but now I want you to focus on the silence between the noise. Watch as one light flickers on and off and time your breathing with a few cycles of the darkness. 

8.  Last but not least, have a glass of wine.  Cheers!