Thursday, August 30, 2012

~Another Summer flies by...

The wind is cooler...the nights are longer...and my sunflower that I did not plant has surpassed all but the roof of the house.

Our summer is over.  Even though we didn't go swimming or do any of the summery things this year...I still enjoyed it.  I worked in my garden, I rested in my hammock, I went for nice long walks.  But as nice as Summer is..or can be...Fall is by far my favorite season.



As soon as the wind picks up, the leaves turn color....I'm filled with the urge to pick apples or bake pies.  Why is that?  All of a sudden I'm thinking of Halloween decorations and freshly sharpened pencils.  Then I get a sudden thrill deep in the pit of my stomach that knows it won't be long till we're counting down the sleeps till Santa comes.
I start to wonder 'what will I make for gifts this year?' 'What do they need?'...the turkey will need basting...

All because of a cool breeze that hits me... in August?

Now I can finally slow down on the watering & weeding part of the gardening.  I will have to look up what I should do with my plants & flowers to help them get through the winter.  I look forward to picking and drying my herbs from the Kitchen garden the most.

Have I mentioned that I planted apple & cherry trees last summer?  Well, I have.  Last year, we got one cherry.  This year, the cherry trees seemed to have died off...yet, they have rampant growth at the bottom of the trunk.  The leaves are the same as were on the tree the year before.  So maybe it's re-growing itself.

My apple trees have done a bit better.  I have apples.  On one tree.  This is not them in the picture.
There were four apples.  Two of them seem to have fallen off over the summer and disappeared.  Now there are two.  So now I have to decide what to do with them.  Apple pie?  Apple crumble?...a tart?  Decisions, decisions...

And of course, now sleeping comes much easier with the cooler nights.  There's nothing better than a cool breeze blowing over your head to make you snuggle down under the duvet.  I haven't had much time in the hammock this year.  So I thought I should try and squeeze in some time before I have to take it down.  I grabbed my book and trotted over to the side yard in my bare feet...quite conscious of what might be in the grass, but nonetheless...stubborn.

As soon as my feet went up into the hammock, it swung to the right.  I swung to the left.  Apparently when I hung it, I didn't lay it right.  Next time I will use a level.  Once I was all stretched out I realized that I would also need to bring a pillow next time..... I opened my book.
 Crack.  Smack.  Thump.
Squirrels...and birds...knocking nuts out of the Butternut tree.  Then there were the screeches and squawking among them over who would get which nut.
~deep breath~

I can do this, I thought.  I've been a mother for 20 years.  I can tune out almost anything and force myself to relax.  After a few times of being distracted, I finally stopped hearing them.  Then Son #1 drops by for a visit.  With Dog #2.  Back from their walk.  He's amiably filling me in on things he's done and interesting facts he read that day.

I smile, I close my eyes...when I open them, he's smiling at me.  Still full of information to share.  I close my book and rise carefully off the hammock.  We walk around the house, up the stairs and through the door.  Amazingly enough he's still talking.  Without a break.  I head to the bathroom, stopping at the door to turn and look at him.  He had to back up a step to keep from bumping into me.

'You're not going to follow me, are you?'
'No,.... I ....wasn't.'
'That's good', I thought, 'cause otherwise this trip is redundant.'

If there's one thing this Mom of 20 years has learned...it's that the bathroom door with a lock is my best friend.  Whether it's a bath, a break or just some peace & quiet....sometimes it seems like that's my only haven.

I'll be out in time to bake that 2-apple pie.

Friday, August 10, 2012

~No Comment!

Ok, I would just like to point out the blatant lack of comments on my Blog posts.  What is the deal?

Is there anyone out there? :-) I know you're reading.  And I would love to see some feedback.  Hear a laugh or two.  Maybe a question?
Ok, not too many questions, but still....I'm sure someone has something to say.  No one keeps quiet anymore.  Especially not me.  I added the feature for comments for a reason.  Please use it.  Come on!  Everyone's got something to say!

Sometimes people can talk and talk and have nothing to say.  Don't you hate that sort of person?  The ones that just go on and on and you start wondering to yourself if they would even realize if you walked away.  Sometimes if I'm wanting to do something else...or I was interrupted from a task...and this person just keeps on talking as if there is all the time in the world....you start to envision punching them in head.  Just for fun...would they stop talking?  or would they continue?

One of the most annoying things in the world (in my world) would have to be someone who breaks into your thoughts while you're reading or writing...like a letter to someone.

And they come along, 'whatcha doin?'
'Reading'
'Writing'
'Watching something'
'Thinking about something'
'Relaxing!'
'Having a BATH!!'
'ENJOYING THE SOLITUDE!!'

'Oh...that's good...well I was just wondering....what do you think I should do about.....which movie would you like to ....I'm bored....did you notice the dog did.....I heard this joke the other day..would you like to.....how about we....I never got around to......wow, you would not believe what happened...'


And all the while you want to peel your eyelids off and throw them at them.  I'm not an unreasonable woman.  I'm well aware of the importance of human contact.  I know children need their parents to listen to their thoughts & dreams.  I'm all for that.

But just once.  Once.  I would like to be able to finish writing a letter, finish reading an article, finish a trip to the bathroom... one movie without a surround sound commentary....a bubble bath....enjoy one moment of silence, without having someone bumble in and break the sound barrier.

Is that too much to ask?!!

~deep breath~

Where was I?.....
oh yes...looking forward to hearing your comments!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

~Panic on a cellular level

I was one of those people who didn't need a cell phone...would never HAVE a cell phone...couldn't be bothered with having that anchor tethered to me!  I couldn't understand what everyone was all excited about.

Then I got my first cell phone.  I was dating someone who also had a cell phone and wanted to be able to have a private conversation, wherever I was.  I dropped it, I forgot it, I lost it a few times.  Once it was gone for 2 days.  I finally decided to 'call it'.  And no, I didn't say 'Here phoney phoney!'
I called it from my home phone.  Then I had to turn everything off, tell everyone to hush and run around quietly listening for my ring.  Of course each search only lasted 30 seconds before voicemail picked up.  I'm sure that feature had a grand time laughing at me.

It was after the 7th frantic swoop around the house, that I realized the worst possible scenario.  It must be on vibrate.  I would have to wait until dark and hope that I could see the light from it.  Once again, turn off all the lights & anything that made noise, including the kids.  Nothing.  Nothing upstairs, nothing downstairs.  I decided to check the van, once again.  What harm could it do?  I asked one of the kids to call the rogue cell phone once I was outside.  As I was approaching the van, I saw a faint glow in the driveway.  There was a section of snow that was lit up.  Could it be?  I scooped up the snow and there it was.  Alone, cold & shivering.  Two days in the dark (well, not always in the dark) but cold & covered in snow...no wonder I couldn't see it.

Well there, I'd managed to kill my first cell phone.  Nothing worked on it.  Just that one courageous last burst of light to show me the way...then it was gone.  I felt bad.  I had been irresponsible and now someone had suffered for it.  Wait a second, it's just a phone.....isn't it?

After a day of 'drying out' after it's wild adventure, the phone had come back to life.  I was shocked.  But I promised that I would take better care of it...from that day forward.  I took it with me everywhere.  It slept on the nightstand next to my bed.  And if I left to go somewhere without it, I turned around and went back as soon as I realized.  It was my new best friend.

I am now on my second cell phone.  This one has also been through hell and back with me.  But it's worked when I needed it.  But it's old.  I see everyone else with their iphone and blackberry, taking pictures & uploading them to the internet with one button, chatting with friends & making fancy plans...mapping out their important lives.  I WANT AN IPHONE! ~pant, pant~

No, no...I don't need an iphone.  That's too much.  I don't need all those fancy features.  But I would like something new.  Something that allows me to call anyone I want, whenever I want.  That's my most important thing.  I was tired of having a good conversation with someone only to see a $40 charge for that call added to my bill.  I needed something bigger...I needed Unlimited Canada-wide Long Distance.

So I went to town, shopped for phones...looking at everything available, I decided on an HTC android with Koodo as my carrier.  It provided me with a $50 Walmart gift card to buy some new sneakers.  I was happy.  Then when I got home, certain features didn't work.  I could only get signal in certain parts of the house.  I took it back.

My daughter suggested I go with her carrier, Fido.  So I looked online to see what phones they had.  The only one that really caught my eye was the LG Optimus.  I anxiously awaited it's arrival in the mail.  Finally it arrived.  I was blown away.  Big gorgeous touch-screen.  It took beautiful pictures, I entered everyone into my contact list from my old phone.  And gave everyone their own personal ring-tone.  I was able to download extremely cool ringtones off of a website for the Android phones.  Songs, quotes, particular voices to suit everyone's personality...I even found one that says, 'This is your work calling, you probably don't want to answer'.

I transferred all my numbers & info to my new phone.  And by day two when I knew for sure I was keeping the new one, I deleted everything of mine from the old phone and handed it over to my sons.  They were going to take care of it now.  Together.

I was thrilled!  It had excellent sound quality and I got service in every inch of our house, even outside.  Then on the second day....the touch screen stopped working and my fantasy was over.  My perfect phone was sitting by the door in a bag waiting for the guy in the big brown truck to take it away.  I was sure the phone felt like an adopted child that was being sent away for bad behaviour.  I tried not to think about it.

Now it has been seven days since I last saw my phone.  I know it won't be coming back.  It will be a new phone.  And I do so want this one to be just as perfect.  Because now I know I am hooked.  And I fully understand what all the excitement is about.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

~Day #2 of my Captivity

I had my sneakers on and tied.  It was a beautiful day outside.  The birds were singing.  We've finally been getting the rain we so badly needed.  The dogs were all leashed up and ready to go.  Walking out the door I inhaled the fresh warm air.  Down the steps.  Flanked by my two strapping young boys, who are now both much taller than me, I thought to myself life couldn't get any better than this.

As I rounded the corner to walk between my driveway border garden and my truck, I admired my flowers.  The brilliant colors, the pretty petals, the new flower with the dark brown centre contrasting with the bright yellow petals, the bright yellow stripe on the back of the snake.  I let out a blood-curdling scream and ran to the end of the driveway.  To the boys amusement, I completely lost my mind for the next three minutes.  I couldn't breathe, I couldn't stand still, I kept swatting at parts of my body that felt as though something was crawling on it.

Nothing made sense anymore.  I wasn't happy about anything.  I couldn't hear the birds sing, nor see the sun shine.  It was all gone.  And I would have to move from my lovely home.  I would never be able to walk barefoot around my yard again.  Leisurely picking weeds on my hands and knees.  All the best parts of my sanctuary were now far away.

Once I could think clearly again, I heard the boys saying 'Let's go for the walk'.
And I thought, 'Good idea, the further away from the house, the better!'

But as we walked, the conversation turned to where the snake was now.  Just before we walked away, I looked back and he was no longer there.  I couldn't see him anywhere.
'Maybe he's gone into the house,' one of my former sons suggested.
'Yeah, he may have crawled up into your truck, Mom,' the other traitor implied.

So now I've lost my truck too?  All in a matter of minutes?
Life can be so cruel.

As ridiculous as this sounds, my only clear thought was to get back to the house.  And get inside.  I would lock the door.  Snakes can't get through a locked door.
Can they?

The boys had to resume the walk for the dogs.
'Good idea, Mom!' one of them shouted...'You go back with the snake!....'
'Yeah...keep an eye on him, Mom!'

Mom?  Why were these two complete strangers calling me Mom...I wondered.
I stepped very heavily on my way back to the house.  Slamming my feet into the pavement would scare away anything on the ground.  While keeping the rest of my body as far away from the ground as possible.  Even my arms were up.  Between steps it was almost as if I was flying.
'This is good,' I thought, 'he'll never catch me now..'

I didn't dare look toward the garden.  If he was back there, I didn't want to know.
'But what if he's somewhere else? Wouldn't I want to know where he is?'
So I started turning my head searching for the yellow stripe.  I could still hear muffled shouts coming from the lost boys.
Whatever they said made me run faster.  I made a wide circle around my poor truck, who had likely been overtaken in my absence.  I would miss her the most.  Realizing I couldn't go too far around the truck without getting into dangerous territory of grass.  Damn the tall grass!

Why hadn't we cut the grass since it started raining again?!  Damn the rain, Damn the drought, Damn the lawnmower....damn it all.  Once I reached the house I was never coming out again anyway.  I had lots of pictures to remember how pretty it all was.

There was now grass & weeds growing between the rocks in the pathway.  I don't remember them being that tall.  What is that on my NECK?!
Hair...just hair!  I slapped at my arms & legs again...batting away invisible monsters.

I would have to leap over the strips of grass between the steps...grass just tall enough to aid and abet a legless fugitive.  I realized at once that I had been speaking the whole time, nonsensical gibberish just to keep from hearing the grass move.  I wondered what I would be able to bring to my new rubber room.  Definitely my books.  I would need to read.  Or I would go insane.

At last!  I reached the steps.  Thump, thump, thump, thump!  I was up them in less than a second.  Without looking back, I tore open the door and flung myself inside.  I brushed every part of my body to make sure nothing had come in with me.  Kicking off my shoes, I went straight for the kitchen and my chocolate.

It was a nice world outside.  While it lasted.  I really used to enjoy my gardening.  What a rich fantasy life I led for that two years.  Two years, believing that I was in a safe place.
It's like I always say.  Safety is an illusion.
Trust no one.
Especially the man that tells you a house in the country is a snake-free zone.

*PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE NO IMAGES IN THIS POST ON PURPOSE - I CANNOT LOOK AT A PICTURE OF A YOU-KNOW-WHAT WITHOUT LIFTING MY FEET OFF THE FLOOR*

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sweaty Eyeballs!

I remember camping when I was younger, something always told me to wake up before it got hot.  Sometimes before the sun was even close to waking up.  That way we were comfortable and not stuck in a tent in the blistering heat.

Lately, I have been waking up with my eyes sweating.  I'm not sure if that's how I should explain it.  They feel puffy, swollen & it's hard to see.  I have a hard time keeping them open and blink often.  I say, 'my eyeballs are sweating' and no one seems to respond.  Is it because I've also gone deaf? or is it because they don't know what I'm talking about?

Yesterday in Ontario, it was 38 degrees.  Some days lately the air is so thick I find it hard to breathe...as if my lungs are trying to filter a thick cream.  I don't remember it ever being this hot when I was young.  I grew up in New Brunswick.  Sweetie says he does remember it being this hot.  He grew up in Montreal.


Is it possible that it is getting hotter?  People keep talking about Global Warming and the authority figures would like us to believe it is a hoax of some sort.  So I decided to do a bit of research myself.  And here's what I found.

The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 57.8 degrees.  That was in Africa, but it was in 1922.  The highest record in Canada was 45 degrees in Saskatchewan.  And that was in July of 1937.
(Wikipedia World Record Temperatures)
 If those are the hottest temperatures recorded for the areas and we're in the middle of a Global Warming...why were they so long ago?  Shouldn't they be getting gradually hotter now?

I think the real issue here is that it has been getting hotter, for quite some time now.  Over a much larger scale and long before we were able to record such facts.  Although some would argue that we're causing it by all the pollution & so-called 'progress'....I believe that the warming of the Earth would be happening whether we were here or not.  But I also believe that we are speeding it up.  Or perhaps we as a population, are just becoming more aware of the situation.  If you would like to learn more about this theory, please watch 'An Inconvenient Truth' from Al Gore.  It's a documentary that is entertaining in a frightening sort of way.

I will admit that most times when confronted with these types of scenarios, end-of-the-world movies and breaking news...I feel extremely overwhelmed & discouraged.  Yes I want to help.  Yes I want to save the world, if it's at all possible.  But how can I do it alone?  And how could I possibly get everyone else on board?

The important thing we can learn from watching these movies and documentaries is the little things we CAN do that will make a difference.  If everyone made some small changes, it could literally mean the world to all of us.  It isn't always easy.  We tried to stop using plastic bags.  I approached the grocery stores to see if we could use re-usable rubbermaid containers to get our bulk items.  This would eliminate a large amount of packaging for our food.  But many stores refused.  They said there were health issues.  The one store that allowed it, even encouraged it, was Foodsmiths in Perth, ON.  We like to indulge in Iced Capps from Tim Horton's once in awhile for a treat.  But our local recycling organization does not allow those cups.  Not wanting to give up our treat, we decided to buy re-usable double walled insulated cup with covers & built-in straws available at Canadian Tire.  I checked ahead of time to make sure they would allow us to get our Iced Capps in these cups.   I was ecstatic.  However, they still used their plastic cups to make the drink, then poured them into our cups.  And proceeded to throw out the plastic cups that we were trying to eliminate the need for.
~sigh~
We have bought an ample supply of cloth shopping bags...and even remember to bring them with us to the store now regularly!  We try to buy our groceries with the least amount of packaging possible.  And when we can't avoid it, we do try to come up with another way to use it afterwards.  We recycle as much as we can and try to keep our garbage to a minimum.  We try not to use the air conditioner unless we absolutely need it.  We grow our own vegetables & fruit and try to have at least 2 or 3 reasons to go to town before we use the fuel.  I'm sure we could do more...and we are trying to implement a smaller footprint in baby steps.

For now, with the extreme heat wave I try to make sure that myself and everyone around me drink plenty of fresh clean water.  We don't avoid being in the sun, but we do try and limit our direct sunlight time.  Stay in the shade as much as possible.  If you can, plan your outdoor activities in the morning or evening.  Try to avoid being outside between 12:00 noon and 4:00pm.  That's my guideline.  Try and keep your pets safe & comfortable by having fresh water & shade available to them at all times.

Oh and I almost forgot...try to get up as early as you can to prevent sweaty eyeballs.
It is known to cause extreme crankiness.  At least it does in our house.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Welcome to Canada

How is it that someone that was born in Canada, lived & worked here their entire life can be refused a job or a chance at education....while a new resident, from another land is given money, a home and access to jobs & schooling?

Where have we gone wrong?  And who exactly is 'we'?

I was born in Canada, New Brunswick to be more specific.  I've lived and worked in both New Brunswick and Ontario.  I've worked such long days that my children were all asleep by the time I got home & I was so tired I cried.  I've also run into bad luck a few times, lost my home and been unable to find work in almost 2 years....I find it quite appalling to find in my mailbox a brochure from my local MP asking for my vote on whether newcomers to Canada should receive better health/dental benefits & opportunity than Canadian citizens.  How did this even become an issue?  Why should it be a question?

Does it make sense that the government should be handing over thousands of dollars to 'new' Canadians.....when 'true' Canadians go hungry or homeless?

Who has made these decisions and what could they possibly be thinking?!  The worst part is, the wording of the flyer suggested that it was already going on.  Not asking if it should start, but if it should continue.

I have a very hard time with the way the system works as it is, let alone having new issues like this arise.  We Canadians, work hard for our money, (most of us) long work days, short vacation time.  Raises are few & far between.  Most of us can't even afford to go anywhere on our time off.  I saw a picture online the other day that showed a man sitting in his backyard with his feet in a kiddie pool.  The caption said, 'I can't afford to go on vacation so I'm just going to drink until I don't know where I am'.  It was meant to be a joke.  But sadly, it's not funny if it's true.

You can be sure that the politicians' families are not going hungry.  Or without anything.  They have private jets, after all.  They have to spend our tax dollars on something.  And what exactly are they working at to earn this money?  Oh yes, their job is to listen to the people's needs and make things right.

Last Fall, I tried to arrange college tuition for myself.  There was so much red tape to go through to get funding, I ran out of time.  Yet there are countries that offer secondary education at no cost.  Each step I took seemed to cause more steps (if that is possible and I know it is). I contacted our local members of parliament to see if any of them knew of grants for stay-at-home Mom's or single parents wanting to get back in the work force.  They simply turned me towards other organizations that also had no answers.

The only way I could get funding was through an OSAP loan, which would need to be repaid.  For the 2 years I would be in school, I would not be working.  My only income would have been that tuition loan.  And then once I had my degree & began to work (hopefully) I would have to start paying off that loan.  At which point are we supposed to feel that we've finally gotten ahead?

By the time I was 3/4 of the way through the process, I was told that it was too late to start the class...as it had already began 3 weeks ago.  It was about one month later that I received a flyer stating that our government was awarding $10,000 to 'new' citizens for business start-up & education costs.

We work our asses off to pay our taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, taxes on services, taxes on our food...and then we even have taxes taken off of our income.  People that have had their home for years, generations even...having the mortgage long paid off are now losing their homes because they can't afford the taxes due to the government.

With all the money that is going to the government from every little resource....shouldn't they be in a surplus by now?  How is it that the government is always short on funds?  Re-paying loans, which oddly enough, we have to make the re-payment payments for them.  I remember seeing on my Hydro One bill that a portion of my bill was paying off debts incurred by the Hydro company.

Wouldn't it be great if I could pay my phone bill and include a breakdown of portions of it that are missing because I had to put it towards another loan or bill....and have that amount forgiven?

I used to work for a bank in 3 different locations.  I had first hand knowledge of what people were paying, what they had in their accounts & what they were doing with their money.  It didn't take long to realize that the banks were rewarding the rich and penalizing the poor.  Did you know that if you have thousands of dollars in your bank account, that you don't have to pay your monthly fee?  The people that can afford to pay the fee & not miss it, don't have to.  But the people that are living paycheque to paycheque on a tight budget have to worry about having enough left in that account to cover their bank fees.

We hear all the time in the news that the Canadian government is so very helpful with the rest of the world.  We send money to Africa, Uganda, money to help disaster victims & third world countries.  It sounds as if we are doing great, doesn't it?  To be able to afford the luxury of having so much that we can share with the less fortunate.  Unfortunately, we have men, women & children right in our own backyard that can't afford new shoes or food for their supper...let alone a trip to the movies or a new car.

And where do you think the money comes from?  The taxes that we are forced to pay.  So that we don't become criminals or heathens in our own home.  Our own children are being told it's not right to sing 'O Canada' in the schools because it is offending these newcomers.  Our own children can't afford to go to camp or play hockey.

I read an article recently that said newly arrived immigrants are encouraged to get involved in politics.  So some day, and it could be soon, our Canadian decisions could be made by not-so-quite Canadians.

We need to stand up and get our voices back.
The government is supposed to be 'of the people' .... 'for the people' .... to represent our thoughts & beliefs. To be the voice of the Canadian logger, the fisherman, the school teacher and yes, even the stay-at-home Mom.  People all over the world come to Canada to visit.
They fall in love.  For many reasons.
But if we continue making changes to accommodate each new arrival, what will we have left that is truly Canadian?

Speaking of greener pastures....

I wanted to let you all know that I have branched off to another blog.  It involves green thumbs, gardening & flower identification.  So if that interests you, please feel free to have a look.


 Help! My Thumb is Green!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Follow me into greener pastures....

Follow me across the great divide...
Follow me because you trust me...

But most importantly follow me :-)

I now have figured out how to have a button on my blog for you to 'Follow' my posts!

This way you will be alerted when I publish a new post, and never miss another of my amazing and utterly ground-breaking articles!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I want my Mommy!

Yes, I'm having one of those moments.  They used to come more frequently after my Mom passed away.
You would think that after 19 years I would be over it by now.  Doesn't time heal all pain?

That's what it was supposed to do.  But it really doesn't.  Not for everything.

I'm alone in the house right now.  Well, by alone, I mean I'm the only one awake.  I can't sleep.  I'm stressed out, I'm anxious, I'm overtired.....whatever else kind of excuse I can use.

On a normal day I am the most upbeat, happy individual going.  People have told me for years that my smile has gotten them through the worst of times.  And for the most part I am always smiling.  At least when I'm around others.

But sometimes, like now, I just feel like crawling into bed and crying...for days.  Why is that?
Am I depressed?
Am I crazy?

Some people have suggested it's due to my 'time of the month'.  But it's not every month that this happens.  And it's not always at the same time.
'Take a pill' is mostly what I hear.  There's a medication for everything.  Unfortunately, taking a pill doesn't fix the problem...it simply masks the symptoms.

I have a home.  I have a man who loves me dearly.  I have three beautiful children who are all healthy.  I have food in our fridge and money in my pocket.

I have more than a large portion of our planet's population has.  What could I possibly have to be sad about?

As I said, for the most part I am great.  Laughing and smiling, joking around with everyone.  But every once in a while....
all I can think about are the bad things....people that I've lost.....hurts that I've endured.....things that I haven't  yet achieved....and on top of all that....I miss everyone....I love everyone...even the people that I have chosen to not have in my life anymore.
I picture them....and they're smiling at me....and I feel such love.  And it makes me so very very emotional.
And then I cry.  I don't want to cry.  But since when are we able to stop that from happening?

And once I start, I cannot stop.  And then I want my Mommy.  I feel like I'm 5 again and I just know that being in Mom's lap will make it all go away.  There are so many people that still have their mothers in their lives.  They take them for granted.  They complain about them.  They avoid the phone calls.

I would give almost anything to have my Mom here again, telling me I need to do something with my hair.  I try really hard to remember her voice....or how her hand felt when she touched my cheek.  It seems to get harder and harder every year.

I want to introduce her to her grandchildren.  So she can see how Cecely has grown into such a beautiful young lady.  Nanny spoiled her little granddaughter something fierce in that short time they had together. I want her to meet Justice who is so much like her that it scares me some days.  And I'm thinking she might be able to help wrangle Braeden sometimes when I feel that I can't.  I want to show her my garden and see the excitement in her eyes.  I want to sit with her on my front porch and have a tea.

More than anything I want to see who she would be today.  How would she have her hair?  What kind of clothes would she wear now....and what would she think of the internet...so many things I want to tell her, ask her...share with her. I never got to know her as an adult.  Would she be proud of me today and who I have become?
I'm sure she would adore Peter, who also misses his Mommy.  Maybe they're together, having tea or watching 'Another World'.  I wonder if they know we think about them every day.

And now that the tears have subsided...the tiredness sets in....I am always exhausted, feeling my tense muscles relax.  Now I can go to sleep.
Where my Mom will be waiting....for that much needed hug.  And all will be better tomorrow.

Love you & miss you Mom

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Are green thumbs hereditary?

And if they are....where did I get mine?

I have to admit, it is not something I was born with.  My first home, I think the only thing I planted was a tree.  It was a red maple.  We called him 'Red'.  I ordered him through a catalogue.  I was so excited.  Picked the perfect spot for him in the yard.  I named him.  I watered & spoke to him every day.  Then Dad ran over him with the bulldozer. 
And I never planted anything else.  At least not while I lived nextdoor to Dad.


Our next home was a rental, so I didn't really put much love or effort into making it mine.  Besides we were surrounded by concrete in the city.  And I was still a bit stung from my last planting tragedy.
My third home, five years after 'Red' I finally ventured out to make a statement.  This was also a rental, so we weren't allowed much space for creativity.  And I knew nothing about gardening.  All I knew was I wanted something that looked pretty in contrast to the brick.  Oddly enough, I was proud enough to take a picture.

I knew absolutely nothing about flowers or what to buy.  I didn't know a perennial from pomegranate.   So all I bought were annuals and I was devastated when they didn't grow back again the next Spring.  When we bought our first home out in the country with lots of room for anything.  There were two existing flower beds and another that wrapped around the veranda.   I remember ripping out dead things & buying lots of 'perennials' (still not knowing what they were).  But I had no idea how to properly care for them.  I was learning as I went along.  By the second spring/summer I was finally getting the hang of it.  I knew that the 'dead things' that I pulled out were probably perennials waiting to come out again. ~sigh~

Sadly, I had moved out before the 3rd spring, so I really didn't get to see the fruits of my labour.  It seems with each move though, I gained more and more knowledge.  I searched the internet, I lugged home book after book from the library about plants, flowers, trees, gardening...you name it and I fell asleep with it on my chest.

I was almost bursting the first time I went to a nursery and was able to identify plants without looking at the tags!  And now...in my 42nd year...with my most important seedlings growing strong and moving away, I have more time than ever to tend my 'plant' gardens. 

I have apple & cherry trees, rhubarb, raspberry & strawberry bushes.  I have a veggie garden with everything from onions, lettuce & spinach to tomatoes & watermelon.  I have not only plants with names, but entire gardens.  I have birdbaths, rock formations, hand-made cedar fences (thanks to Sweetie) ornamental objects in each garden, some even with a center conversation piece.  But most of all, I have plants that are growing, thriving in a bulldozer free environment. :-) Sorry Dad, I had to say it!

I can't tell you how excited I was to see my plants sprouting up this Spring saying 'hello'.  Bigger, stronger and spreading from last year's crops.  I can sit happily and watch my flowers & plants for hours (if life didn't interrupt as it usually does in the form of 'what's for supper?')

Some people don't understand the ultimate joy I feel from working in the dirt, soil under my fingernails, watering late into the mosquito infested nights....
But there's no way to say in words, how it feels to see the little petals of absolute purple or shocking pink peeking through at you, blinking in the sunlight...saying their 'thank you' for believing in me.
The only thing that comes close...is that first time your newborn baby opens their eyes and looks into your own.

Call me crazy...but I love my thumbs being green.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Raising Cecely


This has been a wonderful journey so far. 
Bringing my first baby into the world, helping her grow in to a beautiful young lady
and then watching her as she spreads her wings, leaving the nest.
I look forward to seeing her continue to grow and start her own family.
Being a Mom is the hardest job in the world...but no other job gives back as much as hearing
'I love you Mom'

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One woman's junk....

Ahhh...Summer..
The warm breeze, the blue sunny skies....the blooming flowers....and dragging your old junk out to the end of the road and setting up post for the day to see if anyone will bite.  Only to drag it all in again at the end of the day.  The upside? you've got a few extra coin in your pocket at the end....hopefully!

That's right, Yard Sale Season.

In my personal experience, I never look forward to having them.  I grunt, I roll my eyes...I even stomp my foot...but then I finally agree to it.  The entire family is on board to 'have a yard sale'.  Then, I find myself being the one standing in the sun, washing & polishing our old items we don't want anymore.  I find myself writing up the price tags, cutting them loose and deciding which item should be worth what.  I'm the one dragging everything out to the end of the driveway (usually with help...but the help quickly disappears once everything is set up)

I find myself picking & choosing what goes & what stays.  You can almost sense the tension among the bottles, books and paraphernalia in the garage. 
'What will happen to me?'
'Am I going out the door?'

I can see the panicked expression on the silver thermos carafe as it is yanked off of its perch and out of the garage...wincing...only to change direction and be left on the front step to go into the house.  ~whew~

What a break!  Almost every weekend, Goose & I venture out to auctions, flea markets & yard sales...I absolutely adore going to these events.  You just never know what you will find.  Sometimes we come home with treasures, sometimes we come home empty-handed.  Sometimes we come home with an extra hitchhiker that had the good or bad fortune to 'come with' the purchase of another item.  Something we have no idea what it is...or what to do with it...maybe it doesn't even know itself.

We bring them home and they go into the garage to be sorted.  To keep, to sell, to use, to throw out...
The current residents in the garage are eager to see the new arrivals.  You can almost feel the excitement.

The problem with constantly bringing home all the new stuff, is that we eventually have to get rid of some...if we want to be able to breathe.

So yard sale, we do.  Some people drive by and try not to notice the yard sale.  Some look in and turn away quickly because it might cost them something for a long glance.  Some slow down and scan to see if they can see if there is anything they need.  (like you can tell from the road)  Some go right on by....slowing down about 100ft down the road, clunk into reverse and put their lives in danger roaring back up with little or no regard to the blind curve on the other side of our house.

I sit, almost invisible...in my lounge chair, reading my Diana Gabaldon novel about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish marvel of muscles, red hair & kilts....under my sunglasses, no one knows that I'm watching them.  I quietly observe, not a fan of aggressive sales...it's fun to watch different personalities.  Different ages.  Different sexes.  What they pick up, what they pass by...what they take home.  Should I be offended that something I held onto and loved for years, didn't warrant a pick-up by the stout lady with the purple hair?  Nahh...after all, one woman's junk is another woman's treasure.

I was thrilled that one lady adopted 3 of my Christmas signs....in the blazing sun.  They are now on their way to Kansas.  Something that I cut, sanded, primed & painted is going to be written on with chubby little fingers, counting down the days till Santa arrives....in Kansas!  Isn't that where Dorothy's house blew away? hmmm...good my signs are sturdy.

Well, not much went on Saturday....a few things on Sunday.  And since I have such an emotional connection to all the psyche's of the unsellables....I can't possibly consider taking them to the dump.  So what will I do?
Haul them all back into the garage and wait patiently for the next sunny Saturday.
Just like any good Yard Sale Mom would :-)

Happy Saling~

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Peeling my skin off...

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to peel your skin off and run down the road screaming at the top of your lungs?
No?

Well I have...maybe you're not being honest.  I'm sure I'm not crazy. 
I have days where I've eaten too much, slept too long, whined inexcessively and wasted way too much time.  Those are the days that I want to run away and hide.

Today is one of those days.  There are so many things I'm supposed to do.  I have a list a mile long.  And I manage to convince myself (and those around me) that if I complete one or two tasks, I've had a full day.
Why do we do this?  hmm? oh, I'm still alone here?

Ok, fine...you're sleeping well, getting up in plenty of time to get all your things done, pleasing everyone in your life, keeping a smile the whole time and feeling fulfilled.  Do you have any idea how rare you are?  And how much the rest of us hate you?

Hate is such a harsh word.  But I feel it edging in more and more lately, making itself comfortable in my mind.  The problem is that it is commonly aimed at myself.

I need to regain my focus. 
My best days have always started early.  I know that if I eat only fruit from the time I get up till noon, my body will be able to function with elimination processes uninhibited.
I must drink plenty of water.  And I actually carry around a re-usable plastic cup with cover & straw to enable this.
I try not to eat red meat.  I have been known as a vegetarian in the past. Yes those have been my healthiest points in my life...but for some reason I get weak at the scent of a BBQ.
When I indulge in sweets or 'junk food' I try to keep it homemade.  We don't drink pop at all.  Juice & water only.
And I walk the dogs twice a day, down to the corner.

So....sounds good right?  I should be the picture of health, right?
WRONG.

I'm still overweight.  Is it because I'm getting older? Is it because I have stopped running?  Is it because of the stash of dark chocolate in the kitchen that no one is allowed to touch but me?

I used to be on a cleansing program that regularly rid my body of toxins...but it was expensive.
I used to run every day, rain or shine...but I damaged my knees and can no longer run.
I used to get up early every day and do yoga...but now I have a hard time dragging my sorry butt out of bed in the morning.

What is it?  What is happening to my body?  Is it the dreaded 'M' word that every woman faces?

Or is it that I am simply making too many excuses....
Maybe I'm getting too soft in my world.
Maybe I need someone to push me harder...
Maybe...it needs to be me.

That's it, I'm getting up early tomorrow, I'm going to do my hour of yoga, eat my fresh fruit and walk the dogs.  Then I will sit at my desk and write to my heart's content.  I will have a wonderful start to a beautiful day!

Unless......it's really hot tomorrow morning....or I forget to take my phone off vibrate and don't hear my alarm...or....



Believe in yourself....Believe you deserve better...

Just believe...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Keep your head up! ....or not...

For the last year and a half, Thursday mornings have been spent at the barn. I volunteer for the Lanark County Therapeutic Riding Program. At first I had no idea what it would be like. All I knew was that I like horses and I wanted to get out and meet new people in the community.

The organization provides mentally & physically challenged adults & children with the opportunity to go horseback riding. The volunteers get there ahead of the riders, to groom & tack up the horses, getting them ready for their sessions. Once the horses are ready & the riders have arrived, we help them onto the horses and then either lead the horse or side-walk to support the rider.

At first I was working with the children. Most of them were quiet, some were funny…but the majority of them didn’t communicate verbally at all. The rare moments of eye contact were all we could look forward to. There was one little girl that literally screamed from the time she got into the barn till the time she left the barn. That was stressful for all of us…especially the horses.

Then one day I was asked to fill in for a volunteer on the adult session. This was totally different. I didn’t think it would be as fulfilling. I was wrong. The adults seemed so much happier. When the weather was nicer we would go outside in the field. And when it’s not too muddy, we could take the trail that follows the river.

Absolutely breathtaking, it’s so peaceful. You can almost imagine you’re in a different time. The first time I went back to help with the adults again, I was shocked to realize that some of them remembered me. That is something that I never expected. Having never worked with mentally challenged adults on an ongoing basis before, I had no expectations whatsoever.
The first time ‘Alexander’ hugged me. Or when ‘Cal’ remembered my name. I came home those days, dirty, dusty, tired and sore….but I was floating. Sweetie noticed it. The kids noticed it. And when I explained to them what happened, they understood why I kept going back.


There was a young girl ‘Annie’ that has Down Syndrome. She didn’t speak or communicate very well. And when she was on the horse, she would squeeze the side-walker’s hand till it was blue.

This year when the Spring session started up, I was so excited to see them again. When I saw ‘Annie’ walking towards the shed, I called out ‘Hi Annie!’
She looked up at me and waved!
We were all blown away.
‘Did you see that?!’ ‘Yes, what’s up with that?’

This year she’s not holding on for dear life to the side-walker’s hand. She’s hanging on to the reins. And during one exercise, she had both hands up on her helmet while the horse walked slowly from one cone to the next.
‘Wow, that was great ‘Annie’….did you have fun?’ I asked.
She let out a raspberry sigh and added, ‘yeah’ after it.
I let out a Whoooopp! and held up my hand…she high-fived me and then giggled.

I was even lucky enough to talk Sweetie into joining me on Thursdays this session. The very first day he was there, the lady in charge got his name mixed up. One of the riders a young girl ‘Jessie’ thought that was funny and joined in to call him ‘SpongeBob’. Everyone laughed, and it stuck for the rest of the day.

But the next week, when the riders remembered him. They laughed & teased SpongeBob. You could see his heart smiling. They loved him. And I knew he was hooked.

A few weeks ago, we were headed down the trail along the river. I was leading the lead horse. I noticed a snake on the trail. I had to stop everyone. If you know me at all, you know I am terrified of snakes. And I don’t care if it’s ‘only a garter’! So don’t bother.

I had to stop the caravan because I was worried that if the horses didn’t spook from the snake, that they might pick up on my fear. So I switched spots with someone that wasn’t afraid. I was now with the third horse. I figured all snakes would be safely out of sight by the time I got there.

I was wrong. I was noticing them everywhere now. By the time we got to the end of the trail, there had been 4 snakes and a snapping turtle. I politely asked my rider how much room she had in her saddle…as if there was just one more on the way back, I might be joining her. I had been joking the whole way and had everyone laughing….however, underneath it all, I could have died I was so scared.

I told one rider that if she kept laughing, I would switch spots with her and she could walk back. She came in a wheelchair. This had her in hysterics, laughing. Yet I was still serious. No one had any idea.

I decided that I had to stop looking down. I was seeing the grass move everywhere! I could hardly breathe. So I was just going to continue hanging on to the horse and look up. Wayy up! Then if there was a snake or a turtle or a lizard on the trail, I would have no idea. And no reason to be afraid.

And it worked.
For awhile.

Next thing I know, my feet were out from under me. I slipped in a mud puddle and almost went under the horse. If I hadn’t been hanging on to the saddle, who knows what might have happened.
I explained to them why I didn’t see the puddle and for the entire rest of the trail ride all I heard was quiet giggles & tee hee’s.

I told the rider, ‘You know I’m not a professional….I’m just here for comic relief’.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

There's no crying in Racing!

Saturday night at the races. The dirt oval track in Brockville. A little more expensive than the drive-in…but at least there’s no fear of falling asleep!

I absolutely love the thrill you get when a racecar roars past you and you feel the rumble in your chest. I grew up in a drag racing family…so it is in my blood. The louder & more powerful the engines, the higher I am (cloud 9 high, that is)

We went to the races last night with our neighbours. Their grandson races a stock car. This is only his second year but he is doing great. Last time he took in a 1st place and 3rd place during the different heats.

There are many different classes at this track. They start out with the smallest engines and work their way up. I was having a great time. I always do. When the sun went down, the huge flood lights came on. There was a cool breeze blowing through the grandstands and I found myself wishing I had changed out of my shorts before leaving the house.

The modified stock cars came out to do their warm-up laps. As they passed in front of us, they revved their engines….and my heart. That sound always gives me a rush beyond most people’s imaginations. I put my hand to my chest to feel the vibration. Sweetie asked if I was alright.

‘Yes….I just' choking….I managed ..'God….I forgot how much I love that. I miss it so much!’

Then I was taken back 30 years to Pennfield Ridge. To an old abandoned airport runway….it was our drag strip. I could see Dad standing leaning up against ’67 Camaro waiting in the staging lanes. Helmet in hand…with the biggest smile on his face.  Then I could hear his 454 big block screaming with impatience….’Get me to the Christmas tree!’

I remembered packing the food into the camper and loading up the car….either the Camaro or the ’67 Chevelle. And heading to the track. My Father was a God on the drag strip.

It seemed like nothing could stop him. And no one could beat him. I couldn’t have been more proud.
Then I remembered how it felt when he said he was ‘too old for this’ and he sold his cars. I thought of how happy he was when he was behind the wheel of a modified super stock. My heart beat so loudly that my ears hurt. Then I realized I was crying.

‘Are you ok, Doll?’ I heard again…
I looked at him and but I couldn’t speak.

Grabbing a tissue, I finally got out, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen my Dad truly happy since he raced.’
Well, other than when he was playing with the kids when they were little. Taking them around the yard on the 3-wheeler or listening to them read a story to him. :-)

I heard myself thinking, then realized it was out loud.

‘I would give almost anything to be able to have him here in one of those cars right now.’
Once the dam was broken I had a hard time stopping the tears. I never realized at the time what an amazing gift it was to see my Dad race…and win.


I didn’t know until it was over, how much I really enjoyed it. And how much I would miss it. I’m the luckiest daughter in the world to have been able to witness such skill & performance under the hood or on the race track …. and tickled pink to call it ‘Daddy’.

And I’m forever grateful that when he was on his way to the track, that he wanted me riding shotgun.

Thank you for sparking the love of racing in me, Dad.
I love you.
And you’ll always be in my Winner’s Circle.

Friday, June 8, 2012

You wanna do what in the rain?

I looked again at the text.

‘Drive-in tonight?’
‘Isn’t it going to rain?’ I answered.
‘So?’
~sigh~

Ok, so we went to the drive-in…in the rain. The last time we went, the popcorn wasn’t the best. So we made our own and smuggled it in under a blanket on the front seat.

Bathroom breaks had to be carefully timed with the ebb & flow of the rain or else cuddling in under the blanket would turn into a damp uncomfortable task.

The first movie was ‘The Avengers’. It’s a great reunion type movie for comic book superhero lovers. I however, am not. I recognized a few of the characters from other movies that I’ve watched with Sweetie. After all, he watches chick flicks with me….I can watch superhero capers with him.

I decided that it wasn’t that bad. I had popcorn, and a cold drink. I was warm & snuggly under the blanket. I enjoy Iron Man’s witty humour…and Thor is not too hard on the eyes….it almost didn’t even matter that I was unsure of the plot. And every 5 minutes or so Sweetie operated the windshield wipers so the blurry spots were intermittent at best.

Next thing I know, the credits are rolling. My immediate thought was, ‘wow time flies when…..’ then I realized I had tipped over and was leaning against the pillows in between us…looking around…..’when…you’re sound asleep!’

I stretched and scrunched my face….being sure there was no drool with a quick wipe of my hand.
‘Well good….I’ll go to the washroom and get ready for that Johnny Depp movie.’

What was it called again? Shadow People….? Dark People…? Dark Shadow?….

Anyway all I knew was I haven’t seen a Johnny Depp movie I didn’t like. And it looked amazing…The first few minutes were great. The picture, the music….the story was great….I loved it and even laughed more than once.

However, Sweetie was now getting tired….and I had to nudge him a few times to remember the windshield wipers. Then I realized I was nodding off myself, I tried to re-position myself so I could stay awake. After all, this was a good movie…and I didn’t want to miss it.

This time when I stirred, I realized that the rain was so bad that I couldn’t see the screen at all. I looked over and saw that he too, was gone.

‘Screw it’ and I curled up against him and found myself running up alongside him on the road to La-la land.

The next thing I remember is the credits of the second movie rolling while the two of us sat up and looked around…eyes blinking.

‘Pretty good movie huh?’
‘Yup’

As we’re driving home….I said…’you know…we just paid $26 bucks to sleep at the drive-in…I say next time we just spring for a hotel room and get some rest!’

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Daughter's new Family

From the time they take their first step, we start to worry about them growing up and leaving someday. And as much as we try to love and protect them, we know that they will eventually make that step out the door towards their new life.

When that day came for me, I was horrified. My baby girl was leaving home for the first time. I couldn’t hug or kiss her to say goodnight. I wouldn’t get to see what she was wearing the next morning before she left the house. She was only 15 minutes away, but it seemed like an ocean grew between us overnight.

A week and a half later, she was moving back home. I was relieved and concerned all at once. Yes, she was back under my wing….and it was very hard to let her go in the first place. But how hard was it going to be to have her leave the nest and stay out?

A few months later she was planning on flying again. This time getting her own place, more independence….more freedom….more responsibility. We had just celebrated her 20th birthday and were moving her furniture the next day. This seemed much more permanent. Last time she took her clothes and her TV. This time, she took her dishes, her bed, her everything.

Just three months later, she was back home again. This time it was for good reason, her landlord was exhibiting inappropriate behaviour. She and her roommate were being put into dangerous situations. We needed to bring her home this time. And we were happy to do it!

She did seem different this time. No longer a child. She would wash the dishes and clean up without being asked. She got along better with everyone in the house, even her younger brother. She hugged me more and seemed to enjoy spending time with us. It occurred to me that being on her own, even for a short time, helped her to appreciate her ‘home’ and her family.

It made me feel great. She started looking for jobs & a place to live. Each time she thought she had found the perfect one, it would fall through. Being her Mom, I was feeling so many emotions. I wanted her to venture out and achieve her dreams. But I didn’t want her to go too far. I knew when she finally did leave for good, it was going to hurt. My heart already ached for the little girl that would sit on my lap & giggle while I read to her.

But I thought at least she wouldn’t be far away. She was looking in the towns close by for an apartment. And a job. As the weeks passed, I think panic set in as she began to think she would never leave Mama’s nest. She needed to get out, she needed to have an adventure. And I had to let her.
I smiled and I hugged her…and I helped her pack her things. She was going two provinces away to stay with her Grandfather. During her stay there, I worried about her more than any other time in her life. Why? Because she still couldn’t find work or a place to live….but I wasn’t there. I couldn’t touch my finger to the end of her nose and make her smile. I couldn’t give her a hug when I knew she needed it.

But we did have Skype. An online program that allows you to see someone that you’re talking to that is far away. But as I told her one evening after we said ‘goodnight’…I found it extremely hard to say goodbye to her. It was very hard to see her, but not be able to see her. Does that make sense?
Then came the day she told me that she was hired as a nanny. This is her dream position. She was so excited. And I for her. :-)

But this isn’t just a job. She’s living with this family. These people that I don’t know. And she’s moved an entire other province away. I didn’t think I would be able to handle that.

But when she contacts me and I hear how happy she is, it makes my heart smile. My little girl has grown up. She’s found her adventure. And I am so proud of her for being brave enough to make this move.

I know she’s going to be great at this ‘job’. Because to be a good nanny, you only need a sense of humour and a huge heart. And my daughter has both of them.

I love you, Sweetie.
And yes, I miss you. xo

Monday, June 4, 2012

What we really see....

The other night, my oldest son & I were watching TV. A show called ‘Secret Millionaire’ came on. For those of you who are not familiar with it…someone with lots of money goes to a place where there’s not much money, they get to know people and hang out to find out who needs the money the most. At the end of the show they give out cheques for anywhere from $5000 to $100,000 (from what I’ve seen so far).

I found myself very emotional throughout the episode. This is not the first time we’ve seen this show. It truly does make me ill to think that there are people in this world that have more money than they know what to do with….yet, there are people that don’t even have beds to sleep in at night or food in their bellies.

Of course society would like for us to believe that this only happens in ‘third world countries’ They show the commercials for all the pretentious organizations that supposedly help these people.
“Look at this poor starving child with the flies crawling on her face…..don’t you want to help her in any way you can? All it takes is pennies a day to feed, clothe and school this child.”
Are they serious? How stupid do they really think we are?

I’ve known hundreds of people in my life that have sponsored these children. And they’ve sent more than pennies a day….much more. For many years.

And in the commercials, they show these celebrities, actors & musicians over there with the sad faces….why would they waste their time making these commercials? Why bother asking the average joe like you and me for our pennies a day when they have people already there that could hand over a paycheque. One paycheque for $2.6 million and apparently feed this whole village for a lifetime.
Every single time I’ve seen these commercials, my immediate thought is, ‘Put down the damned camera and swoosh away that fly! HUG that child, don’t put a camera in it’s face!’

How do we even know that the money being sent from our country is getting to the people that need it? We don’t know. I’ve been to a friend’s home and seen their ‘adopted child’ on the fridge with their happy smiling fly-free face with a handwritten note (in English, no less) thanking them for their money each month. Their ‘pennies a day’ have changed this child’s life.

Then I go to my Aunt’s house in a different province and see the same child on her fridge. Hmm…. Stop and think of how many years these organizations have been begging for money. Think of how many people you know or have heard of that actually send money. Then multiply that by 1,000,000…easily. Do you honestly think that for that many people, for that many years, sending that amount of money….that there is still no one over there that can swipe that fly out of that child’s face?? And the only thing they still have to eat is rice?! The cost of the jet that got that camera crew there would have helped alot.

I think the people in the commercials, the celebrities should be ashamed of themselves. There are days in my own life where I have not been able to feed my children. I know many families that struggle with day-to-day expenses. And to ask us to send them our money that we so desperately need….when there are people in the world, in this country that could easily share the bounty they have.

Do you have any idea how many multi-millionaires there are in this world?

When the lottery jackpots are up to $650,000,000 (in the US) why, for the love of Pete, would they not draw 650 sets of numbers?? Why?! What does one person need with $650 million? I just don’t get it. Wouldn’t changing the lives of 650 families or individuals make so much more of a difference than one person or family?

I could go on and on about this subject…but I want to get back to what I started on. The Secret Millionaire, this man and his daughter go to the slums of New Jersey and meet people who are ‘down on their luck’ and homeless.

The majority of the people they met were war veterans. These men & women sacrifice their lives, to fight in the wars, going to other countries not knowing what to expect…or even what they will come home to. Some losing limbs, some losing their sight, some don’t make it home at all. And this is how the US gov’t/army thank them for their contribution? To toss them aside and leave them out in the cold. Do you think those politicians would ever end up that way?

Does our gov’t/army discard their people in the same manner?

The people that make the decisions to go to war or to ‘fight for peace’ around the world are never the ones that go onto the battlefront. They are not the ones that are risking life and limb. But they are making all the decisions….

And they also make the decisions that leave these people to fend for themselves. One TV show I saw, I can’t remember the name of it…but a man wanted to help give a facelift to a shelter that provided food for homeless people in a community. He provided a work crew and supplies to gut out the hall and make it all new, including appliances…and then he made it a goal to have it all done and have a meal ready for all of their patrons that evening.

The mayor of the town. The mayor! Showed up at the hall to give his appreciation to this man for what he was doing. And he challenged this man to make enough food to feed another large group of people by a deadline (which was before his previous goal of feeding the homeless people in this particular neighbourhood)

This mayor….did not offer to help, offered no money to contribute and virtually did nothing to help the group in any way. I was appalled. It makes me sick to see people like that in a position of power. He walked in, in his 3 piece-suit….and drove off in his $60,000 car….and did nothing to help anyone.

If you too are tired of seeing this type of behaviour, why don’t we do something about it?
There is a revolution growing worldwide as I type this blog.

Occupy groups all over are doing whatever they can to fight against this type of behaviour…to take the power away from money-hungry politicians and huge heartless corporations. Find a group in your own area and see what they are doing.

Let's tell them that this is not OK.

Friday, June 1, 2012

How do I look?

It was date night again. We went to the local theatre. I was excited…and with good reason. I had a pretty good notion we would break our sucky movie streak. PLUS…I was no longer cleansing. I could have popcorn.

‘Would you like anything else?’ the pretty young blonde behind the counter asked.
Did I look like I wanted something else? Did I look like someone that would have to go into the theatre arms laden with junk food? Did she not know that I had just spent 7 days ridding my body of all the forbidden fruits (that’s just a figure of speech…pretty much my whole diet was fruit)

What exactly was this girl trying to say? She was really starting to get on my nerves. Just as I was about to give her a piece of my mind, my eye caught an Aero bar. Normally I don’t like the common chocolate bar….however, this was Dark chocolate. It would not make me break out.

‘Yes please…’ I sheepishly pointed to the Aero Dark and proceeded to the theatre juggling my drink, popcorn & treat.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did in fact like the movie. Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones are two of my favorite actors. Sci-Fi is not usually my passion, however this was a silly sci-fi. And I do do silly.

When I had my fill of the greasy popcorn, I moved onto the chocolate. Only breaking off one section and putting the rest back into my purse…because usually dark chocolate was quite strong in flavor, I was sure that was all I would need.

I chewed & swallowed the chocolate without alot of notice to the flavor until afterwards. It was delicious! I thought I would have another section, this time not using my teeth. I would slowly savour the flavour.

Oh my!

I reached into my purse for a third section…again, slowly letting the chocolate melt & fill my mouth. I can’t remember the last time I had an Aero bar…but it never tasted like this. Was it because it was dark? or because I had eaten it so fast, it didn’t have time to melt? who knows! Another section…

At this point, I look sideways at Sweetie with his sour peaches…..usually we share our treats. He offers me some of his. I offer some of mine. Then I realized I only had one section left. I waited till he had a mouthful of sour peach….and realized this was the perfect opportunity. He would never chance ruining the flavor explosion of the fruity peach with a dark depressing chocolate bar.
I casually passed it in his direction. He looked over…and shook his head.

YESSS! It’s mine.

I pop the last section into my mouth and settle back to enjoy it…..and the movie. Let’s not forget the movie.

As we were coming into the lobby, I realized that I had some powdery popcorn flavoring on my chin. I hastily wiped it away and greeted perky young blonde behind the counter. She asked us if we enjoyed the movie. We both said ‘yes!’ She went on to talk about how she hasn’t had a chance to see it, but she knows people who had. We laughed, we interjected, we made our exit.

Going outside seemed like walking into a warm bath. And it’s May! I love it. There were people everywhere, walking their dogs, walking hand in hand, jogging. I was thrilled that it was still light out. We passed people & smiled, saying hello….I love living in small towns.

Getting into the car, I pulled down the mirror to check my hair and saw the almost-black smudges of chocolate on my cheek, on the side of my mouth and on both hands.

‘HOW could you….??!!’
‘What? I didn’t even……!!’

but you know what?….it was soooo worth it :-)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Damn the Lilac Bush

For the last two years I’ve heard nothing but complaints from Goose about the lilac bushes. They’re too big! They’re in the wrong spots! They smell too much! They make my allergies worse! They’re staring at me! And then finally …They need to go!

One day about a month ago, we were working out in the yard. It was a Saturday I believe. He walked past me with an axe in his hand and a look in his eye. I knew he was up to something. I paid no attention and continued on with my weeding.

Then I heard it. Whack! Whack! WHACK!!

The lilac bush on the side of the house was no match for Goose with his axe. It was a blunt cut through the trunk and he chopped off the larger branches just for good measure.

I watched him triumphantly carry the carcass to the top of Mount Crumpit to dumpit. (for the non-Jim Carrey fans, it was around behind the garage)

When I finished with all my yard & garden jobs I realized that I hadn’t seen Goose for awhile. Had the lilac bush gotten it’s revenge?
Was he lying in a heap behind the garage??
Was he tangled up in the roots and unable to MOVE?
 TRYING TO CALL FOR HE….oh no, there he is.

And he’s still smiling. What IS he up to?
‘Stay over there!’ was all I heard.

‘Do NOT come behind the garage.’
So I didn’t. I stacked wood. (ok, I really didn’t stack wood, but it sounds like a helpful wife, doesn’t it?) So in the middle of my ahem…stacking…he came over & said he wanted to show me something.
I was amazed! While in the storage shed, he had found my bathroom sink that I had bought for my last house and never got to install it. Last year I had an idea to make it into a birdbath, standing it on top of a tree trunk that Goose had also cut down. Hmm…I’m beginning to see a pattern here.

Anyway, my idea didn’t fly…since it fell over and broke when the ground thawed this Spring.
However, this new idea found my sink all crack-sealed & cradled in the remaining branches of the lilac tree. After Goose’s suggestion, we used grapevine to weave in and out of the branches to create a beautiful bird’s nest spa & bath. When it was finished, he decided he would dig a hole and stand it in it. I chose a spot next to the oval garden in the front yard.

We could not get over how lovely it looked. I kept using the word ‘amazing’ over and over. I could not believe that he had thought of this. A man. And I mean no disrespect whatsoever. But I have never come across a man quite so creative as this one. I’m a lucky woman. Luckily he does NOT read my blogs.

The next day we came out to take pictures of the new Bird’s Nest Spa (sounds a bit French don’t you think?) :-)

Goose thought he noticed more leaves on the tree than yesterday.
‘No! It must be your imagination.’
‘Yeah, you’re right.’
Two weeks later, the lilac tree was in full bloom of beautiful purple flowers. And Goose is sneezing into his sleeve.
Guess the damned lilac got his revenge after all…..

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Running out of ideas?

I have one question….

Have you been to the movies lately?

Goose & I make a point of having a date night each week. We usually go out for dinner or grab something quick and catch a movie at the local theatre. For a while last year it was going well. We thoroughly enjoyed everything about our time alone.

Then one night we arrived at the theatre and there was only one movie playing. We usually get to choose between two of them. So we took a chance, as we had nothing else to do with our evening.

We spent more time looking at each other wondering if the other was going to be sick or not. The only laughs were at the end when we both blurted out at the same time, ‘Well there’s 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back!’

In the past year, we’ve seen probably 20-30 movies (rentals, theatres, drive-in) and I can honestly say I can count on one hand how many I actually said, ‘Wow! that was good!’
There was one movie that was so bad, we ended up entertaining ourselves by making fun of it. Quietly of course, we were in the theatre after all.

What is happening? Are the movie people truly running out of ideas? Shouldn’t they maybe stop doing it instead of continuing to put out ‘crap’? We tend now to stay home and watch movies from our DVD collection, which include our favorites from the last 20-40 years. How many times have we said, ‘They just don’t make movies like they used to.’ ?

Once in a while they do try to re-make a movie…but that is very tricky. Like trying to change Grandma’s apple pie recipe to update it. It might be better, but not likely and you’ll just piss Grandma off.

Maybe some new ideas will come, but it seems like they’ve made a movie about pretty much everything you can think of…from time-travelling aliens, baseball legends and the first woman of drag racing to a man that controls his life with a remote control and a group of high school boys that make a pact to lose their virginity before graduation.

Will something new come out? Something fresh that will knock the popcorn out of our laps? Who knows….

The fact is…we live in smalltown Canada….with not alot of options for date nights. Eating out. Bowling. Movies.
That seems to cover it all. 

So for now….we’ll keep giving the movie industry a chance. It gives us a night out of the house. No kids, no dogs, telephones. And who doesn’t like buttery theatre popcorn?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Breakfast Blog

So I’m just coming off a 7 day cleanse…and how do I celebrate it?

By going to Dairy Queen of course. Yes I am aware I am lactose intolerant. Yes I am aware I spent a week ridding my body of toxins and that I probably added a day’s worth back in. But I deserved it….didn’t I?

I’ve often wondered why we bother doing diets….to make ourselves more healthy, lose weight, fit into that new little dress….all the while we’re watching over our shoulders as someone dips their cookie into a big vat of chocolate as we’re being dragged away kicking & screaming…
~sigh~

For 7 days, I got up in the morning and had a shake for breakfast. In it was a sweet sandy powder, my fruit juice and usually a banana or some strawberries. Drink water. If I was still hungry I could always have more fruit. Then for lunch I had another sandy shake with more fruit. Drink water. If I was still hungry, fruit. Two hours after each meal if I could always indulge in 3 or 4 raw almonds (which I don’t mind, normally) For supper, I was allowed a healthy meal of fish or broiled chicken with fresh or steamed vegetables. Drink more water.

No dessert….which I am so programmed to have I thought I would surely die. However, I even survived ‘date night’ with the sweetie. It was an odd feeling, I remember thinking that I would barely be able to concentrate on the movie with him crunching buttery popcorn in my ear. But I made it…and without giving in to the tiny rubbermaid container in my purse carrying the raw almonds.

On the 4th day, the cleanse program kicked up a notch with a different shake powder. Green. At first I thought the color would be the only difference. I was wrong. The taste was much more powerful. And I was to use double the amount of the first flavor shake.

As I choked down the new ogre shake, trying not to make eye contact with the color…I had no idea that the color would show up in another inconspicuous area…during another morning ritual.

On the bright side, I did notice after half-way through the week that my face looked thinner and my clothes fit a little less snug. So was it all worth it? I can’t see my internal organs to see if they are running more smoothly or with less interference. I do feel better, but perhaps that is only psychological, knowing that I’ve helped my body in some way.

I do however know that I was very excited to wake up today and eat normally. It’s a wonder I slept! Back to my normal breakfast…

fruit :-)
...oh well….once a leopard…