Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Miracle Of Child Birth

I was in great thought today looking over my years as a dedicated wife and mom. There is nothing else that I would have rather done with my life the last 13 years. I left a very fun and dynamic career upon the arrival of my first child. I worked the day before she arrived and I felt great. I still remember the felling when she first arrived. I know that it was the single happiest moment of my life. I remember holding her and being so amazed that she was actually mine and amazed at the miracle of birth itself. I held her for a good 20 minutes before they took her away to take her measurements and dress her to present her to rest of the world. I didn' t even think to ask if my baby was a boy or a girl and it didn't hit me until the nurses said how beautiful she was. My husband and I looked into each others eyes and smiled and I think that we were both amazed at not knowing the baby's gender and realizing at that moment that it really didn't matter because we were already in love with this human being the moment we knew of her arrival. You would think that the gender of the baby would be on the top of the list of questions but in those magical moments all we knew was love and all we wanted to know was that she was healthy. Then later baby number 2 arrived. Her birth was considerably different from my first and much more difficult but the feeling when she arrived was exactly the same as when my first daughter arrived. Now I had two happiest moments in my life. I felt a sense of calm and peace and an unbelievable sense of pride and most of all an outpouring of love for this tiny human being. She looked at that moment identical to her sister when she was born. The excitement of having my 2 daughters is still with me today and I am sure that it will always be there. That is probably the one for sure thing in my life. I know that I will always love them both forever.

The other thing that is really cool is that they automatically love and adore me too. Mothers and their children the bond is unbreakable.

I just want to thank God for such incredible gifts. They really do mean the world to me.

Thank You!!!!!!!!

American Idol top 5 elimination night

Well this weeks was Rat Pack Songs Theme (Franc Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin). The Idols were all really good on Tuesday night but someone had to go home. Matt was eliminated and it was too bad because I really like Matt. At this stage of the game I think that they are all really talented. Jamie Fox the mentor was amazing with the contestants. Adam was in the bottom three and that was a bit of a surprise however, this late in the game we will see all kinds of things happening.

Regardless of who actually wins this years American Idol all 5 will have amazing careers. They are all unbelievably talented and are probably the most talented top 5 ever.

Another Thursday

Well here we are again on this Thursday morning. It has become our weekly meeting day. Today we have two missing members Cathy and Louise have things that they can’t get out of so it’s just Carolin and me. The topics change from Swine Flu to The Mom Show, to family life, then to a school trip yesterday, and now as I am typing Carolin is ranting about how she hates kids because she is trying to have a bowl of cereal but her kids have picked and eaten all the berries out of the box. She is crunching beside me as I am telling her what I am writing about and she say’s “ I don’t know if I hate all kids, or only mine right now.” We are getting bored. We both don’t have jobs and we can’t watch TV because it’s somewhat broken and even if it wasn’t we could only get a few channels because Carolin has been to cheap to pay for cable for 13 years now! Wow really, I almost fell off my chair because I thought that it has only been two years since she canceled the cable. Wow poor kids know wonder they are eating just the berries from the cereal they have nothing better to do!!!!!!

Well we are just finishing our tea and yummy caramel apple cinnamon buns, when there is a knock at the door and low and behold Louise has shown up. We are now talking about working and what it will be like going back to work full time and then coming home to more work. Although we all want a job, well really we all need jobs for financial reasons we wonder if we can really do it all. Carolin had her hands full yesterday on a school trip and the conversation is funny and exhausting all at the same time. But the thought of being gone all day working then coming home to children, homework, dinner, laundry, evening activities, and listening to teenagers who seem to have one crisis after another, We all look at each other and think there just has to be another way.

Oh no back to Swine flu and Carolin is now educating us on the Jewish dietary laws and if we think the same way as Paris Hilton (who is reported as saying “I’m not worried about Swine flu because I don’t eat pork”) then anyone who doesn’t eat pork will be safe. Should they change the name Swine Flu to something else so that non-pork lovers understand that they can be infected too?

There are three caramel apple cinnamon buns left on the tray. We are going to sign off for now and eat our troubles away.

Question of the Day

Swine Flu has reached a stage 5 Pandemic, are you concerned?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Planning a Funeral

I have never planned a funeral before but I have planned a few weddings in my time. When you get right down to it, they’re not all that different planning wise. You need:

Guest of honor (not always necessary!)
New Clothes
Alcohol (did I say that already!)

The only difference I can see between the two is the speed in which we execute the plan. Weddings take on average 18 months to organize while I can plan a funeral in 36 hours! I am a list maker by nature so as usual I have my spiral notepad chock full of “To Do’s”.
On our list today is to head to the funeral home and make some final decisions and of course find out if anyone has found Len.

At the funeral home we meet with Brad our personal funeral coordinator. He takes us to the main reception area and he appears to be a little nervous. Guess he’s unsure how we are going to handle the whole “Len is lost” thing. We all assure Brad we don’t blame him for losing our brother, these things happen, or do they? We all sit down and get down to business, we confirm the day of the funeral and discuss how the reception will be organized. Brad asks us how many people do we expect to come. We all look at each other trying to do a quick count and come up with a number of 60 or 70 people.

After a little bit more of this and that, Brad brings up the subject of a casket. In the event that Len is found and brought home we need to have a casket. First we make plans with the assumption that Len won’t be here on time. My mother goes on and on about “buying fabric and sewing something and adding candles and Lens picture with lots of flowers”. Us three siblings look at each other and smile and just let her ramble. Realistically who is going to buy this fabric and sew, and get candles, and have pictures framed, she is in no shape to do anything. Brad mentions to us that we still need to pick out a casket as in most cases when the body is shipped home it is in a cardboard casket. Me, ever the practical one says “we use the cardboard casket and put Mom’s fabric over it”. “NO” says Brad “that is not an option as at this point we have to assume the body and box have been sitting out on a tarmac in the Guatemala heat for who knows how many days”. Everyone is quiet as this not so pretty picture takes form. Brad leaves us at this point to get the casket catalogue, I take this opportunity to mention to everyone that “I don’t think seeing Len is an option now”. My Mom just nods her head, she is trying very hard to keep it all together.

I look around at this family of mine and can see we are all on the edge of uncontrollable emotion. I look at my siblings and think I don’t really know these people. Miles do not only separate us but our day-to-day worlds are so vastly different. For my sister and I there is some history, she and I grew up together, we have memories of Len growing up. But for my youngest brother and I, there is more then 18 years between us, we don’t share childhood memories, we never even lived under the same roof. I think, for him growing up, I was more like is his Aunt then his Sister. And when I think about it how well did we really know Len?

No more skunk under my porch

Well originally I had a skunk living under my porch. Your suggestions of rags soaked with ammonia unfortunately did not work as the skunk was still back the next day and the day after that. I called some places that could remove the skunk by placing a 1 way door by his/her point of entry so the skunk could get out but not back in. We would have to dig a trench and place wire mesh all around the cement step and the skunk or any other animal would get frustrated at not being able to re enter and leave and that would be the end of it. Unfortunately the cost for this was $350.00 for the 1 way door and $20.00 per square foot fro the trench digging and wire mesh. When my husband heard this he went ballistic. He just kept putting more and more rags with ammonia and even poured straight ammonia in that area. On Saturday we had my daughters Confirmation and I asked him he could please make the porch area look presentable for our guests so he filled in the whole and put the bricks back in their place. Well here we are on Tuesday evening and guess what 3 days later and no skunk. Well everyone thanks so much for all of your help because of you my skunk problem may be solved. Having a happy husband on top of that is a bonus.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Question of the Day

What was the last GOOD movie you saw?

The Rivers Girls (Celebrity Appentice)

Well I don't know how many people out there watch the Celebrity apprentice but I look forward to Sunday nights. Well this past Sunday was unbelievable. Joan rivers and her daughter Melissa are both on the show and they are on opposite teams. Melissa got fired on Sunday's episode and proved to be quite a soar looser. She said some awful things about Annie Duke(the poker player) and Brandy (the former playmate) but when her mother got involved and started name calling that was even worse. Well I just don't know what to say. I know that we all have that instinct as mothers to protect our children and pounce on anyone who gets in their way but I think that that was a little much. Joan walked off the show with her daughter. Joan Rivers is one spunky 76 year old lady. I wonder if she'll be back this week. She is a brilliant comedian so she can figure out a way back in that would put her in a better light. I hope that she does because for right now they both look like two crazy women.

Take a look for yourself click here......

Friday, April 24, 2009

I am just too busy to get a job

What a busy week, I started it off with an Interview Preparation workshop. There were about 10 people at the workshop. It was a great group of people coming from all walks of life. I sat beside a gentleman who is a trained architect and has worked all over the world, on the other side of me was a team leader looking for a second career. Within our group there was even a young woman who has only been in the country for two months. What was beautiful was as soon as she told the group she was new to the country everyone instinctively welcomed her to her new home.

We discussed the Art of the Interview, from something as simple as do not wear white socks, to how to answer the stressful questions like “what is your weakness” and “what skill do you think you could improve on”. It was an informative morning and I learned a few good tips.

Just two days later I was back for another round of the Art of the Interview. This time we did “mock interviewing”. It was set as if you were going on a real interview but the only difference is they video recorded each person’s interview. Of course today I made sure my hair was done and I had full makeup on. After we all had our interviews we went back to the conference room and our interviews were critiqued. It seems I have a tendency to interview the interviewer. When I was told this I said “yes that is true, because I want to learn as much of the work environment as possible before I make up my mind if I want to work there or not”. Well…… the facilitator started to laugh and my employment specialist Jingling actually put her head down on the table. Jingling tries to tell me as nicely as she can that I am scaring the interviewers. That the people doing the interviews might feel threaten by me and afraid I am after their jobs. It is decided all around that I try to be a bit more submissive (now they sound like my husband!).

So that leaves me with a resume that is a work in progress, I am to practice answering interview questions in the mirror and I still have a handout to read on the art of the “cover letter. I am exhausted and not sure when I will have time to actually look for a job.

Question of the Day

It seems every 20 years of so, an idea or way of life becomes in fashion again. Now of days all we hear about is going green, leaving as little a carbon footprint, etc… Have you changed your ways because of the pressure to be “green” and if so what have you done?

Leave your answer or comment under the label “Thursdays on the Bench”.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cleaning Green

There are so many products and books and web sites dedicated to, ‘cleaning green’. It’s the in thing now and retailers are cashing in.

How do we figure out which products are truly ‘green’? Do we even need to purchase these products or do we have simple products in our own homes that we can use to clean?

I have come across many web sites which advocate the use of various mixtures of water, white vinegar, and baking soda or natural soap. Even the use of cooking oil mixed with lemon juice for wood polish.

I invite you to please let me know what ‘home’ recipes you use to, ‘clean green’. How often to use them and how effective they really are and how long the mixtures last.

Here’s another thought, are home mixtures just as toxic as those we can purchase?

Who is going to be voted of Survivor tonight?

Join us in our daily question. We look forward to your comments.

American Idol double elimination

Well last night was disco night for the remaining 7 idols. Personally I found it to be a very boringl night I guess that disco just isn't my thing. Well as usual Adam was great.

Double elimination tonight but I don't think that anyone was disappointed at least I know that I wasn't. Lil and Anoop were eliminated. I like them both very much and I think that they are both very talented but for the time being I feel that the audience has made some good decisions so far.

Only 5 are left I wonder who will be fighting it out at the end? I think that it will be Adam and Danny. I would prefer it to be Adam and Matt but everyone really seems to like Gokey. Chris is good to but he's not one of my favourites and Allison is always a strong contender. Well we will see only 5 weeks left to the finale.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

This is the most dangerous cake recipe. It has been passed around at work and I wish to share it with you:

4 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg
3 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. milk
3 tbsp. chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add chocolate chips, (if using) and vanilla extract and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip onto a plate, if desired.

Why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?

Because, now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Britains got talent - 12 year old sensation Shaheen Jagargholi

Well week 2 on Britain's got talent discovered a new young talent who is also exceptional. He will be giving Susan Boyle some very healthy competition. I heard it and liked it but my daughter loved it so much that I decided to blog him too.

click here to listen to 12 year old Shaheen Jafargholi....enjoy.......

Dear friend

I have a friend who is struggling and I felt that she needed some good advice but sometimes too much advice can confuse the issues and truth be told no one really knows the essence of your struggles better than you and the person that you are involved with. Sometimes we feel that we have to say something but then we regret it later. Lesson learned from today, give your opinion only when it is asked of you and don't think that the answer is always a simple one just because it appears that way to you. When you trust in an intelligent friend to make good decisions for her own life then all you need to do is support those decisions even if the path is unclear to you because in reality you are not the one being affected or the one doing the work or the one dealing with the fall out of any consequences. To my friend I trust you and I am here to support you in any way that I can and I am sure that sometimes my opinions only frustrate you and confuse you even further. Just know that I am always here for you and I know that any decisions that you make will be the right ones for you and your familly.

There's a skunk living under my front porch

Ever since last year my husband has been battling with some animal who is living under our front porch. It is a cement landing that is hollow underneath with an interlocking brick pathway to the drive way. Last spring our interlocking brick started caving in by the cement landing because of the animal digging under the concrete. Everyday the problem got worse. My husband on the weekends would spend hours back filling the whole with gravel and adding bleach and limes and what ever else he could think of to make our front porch less attractive to the animal. One day their was a strong skunk odour near our front door in the fall. A skunk must have sprayed near our front door because it smelled so bad outside and inside in a small room located under that porch for about 2 weeks. Well in the fall he filled the whole again and fixed all the brick. It was a weekend project. He also put big pieces of stone by the entrance in an attempt to limit the skunk's access to its place of residence. Well 2 weeks ago the problem was back again. It starts with some noticeable digging that gets more and more noticeable and then the bricks starts to cave in again. Well this morning at about 4:10am my husband woke me and said come quick. I ran down and low and behold their was a very large skunk squeezing under my front porch. We have googled the problem but I don't know if there is much that we can do at this time of year. It seems that skunks like to den under cement porches. I don't know if this is a male or a female who may be expecting. They deliver their babies anytime between the end of April and the beginning of May. Well today he wants me to call pest control to see how much it will cost to trap the skunk. As usual I want the skunk to be removed unharmed or better yet solve the access problem when the animal is officially gone and he wants the animal removed and he would prefer that the skunk be unable to return ever!!!!

The skunk may have been living under our porch all winter. There is nothing to make this an attractive area for the skunk other than the porch access. We do not leave any garbage or pet food or fruit from trees and it is not attracted by larvae because it does not touch the grass it only uses the porch as its home. I suppose that it can be a problem with small kids and a pet. This is our entrance to our home and we come in and out that door countless times during the day. Well I hope that no one gets sprayed today and we will see how the skunk will finally get removed from its home.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We are all together (well sort of)

Our memory can be a tricky thing; we don’t seem to have any control on what our brains choose to keep stored and what it lets go of. When I remember the time before Len’s funeral, my first memory of my siblings being home is our Mom and the three of us sitting at my kitchen table and laughing. I can’t remember who picked them up at the airport or exactly when they arrived at my place. When I really try to remember all that happened during that week, what I recall the most is laughter. When I say laughter I mean roll on the floor, hold your sides, milk out the nose laughter.

As I was saying the four of us are at the table, talking about what ?? I have no idea but more then likely Len. The phone rings and we all look at each other cause this is a good thing. It means that Len’s body has finally arrived home. And now we can finally get the funeral details arranged. We all have ideas for the funeral and through it all we are trying very hard to respect what we think Len would have wanted. It is hard because we know how much Len hated funerals. To the point that Len and I would argue about his refusal to attend anybody’s funeral. I would try to convince him go for the family. But nothing worked and he never went to anyone’s funeral. So when the phone rings I am thinking all right I win, he’s going to this funeral! My Mom is looking hopeful as the phone rings as she really wants to see him one more time and say goodbye.

I answer the phone and it is a good friend of my father’s, she is very upset and at first I am not sure just what she is talking about. I ask her to repeat what she is saying over and over till I can absorb it all. Finally I tell her I have to call her back. Everyone is looking at me, by this time my husband, kids and brothers girlfriend have all come into the kitchen looking at me expectantly. I take a deep breath and just go for it. “It seems the funeral home went to the airport to pick up Len as scheduled but there was some confusion. And for what ever reason Len was not on the plane”. My mother makes moaning sounds and everyone else is talking at once. “Where is he, what happened, how can they lose him, he’s a big guy?” I try to explain, at this point Guatemala says he went on the plane, the airlines paperwork says he is on the plane but when the plane landed there was no Len. In otherwards Len is LOST.

Now you would think in most families this type of situation would send someone over the edge so to speak. And for us we are not very different it is just that the edge we went over was uncontrollable laughter. The comments and wisecracks start to fly, “that boy is never on time for anything”, “wont even go to his own funeral for crying out loud”, “even dead and he won’t ask for directions”, “well enough is enough we will just have the funeral without him”. And we start serious funeral planning, he can come if he wants!


I sit here on this rainy Monday morning wondering if I should continue my blog on gardening. I want to; however, I keep having this same thought intruding my mind. Why am I so fortunate?

I am fortunate to have a great family and that includes all my extended family. We are large in numbers and are all very close. My cousins and I grew up seeing a lot of each other and we are good friends.

The friends in my life are also precious. I suppose that is a redundant statement as if they were not precious we would not have the relationship we enjoy.

I have not had to endure any hardships in my life to date. I hope I have not jinxed myself by saying so. I have my health, a lovely marriage with two great kids. We have no major worries, but around me people I hold near and dear are suffering.

My girlfriends have had to deal with the loss of close family members and I have not. They have also had to deal with a lot of hardships and struggle to get to where they are at now. I have not. My life has not been handed to me on a silver platter. I do work hard and appreciate all I have and try not take anything for granted. I do feel guilty at times that I am fortunate and give myself a slap when I complain about trivial things, knowing that ‘it could be worse’.

I guess I keep wondering when it will be my turn to deal with ‘crap’

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Adam and Eve go to BMO

Well yesterday we went to the bank. I had opened a knew account for myself last year to deposit all that money that I was going to make from my knew job. Well I quit my job after about one month. I saved all my hard earned cash for the month and opened a knew account for myself. They have been sending me monthly statement ever since. Yesterday my husband informed me that they have been billing our joint account over $2.00 a month for these statements that basically tell me that I have made .30 cents this past month. So we went to the bank to cancel the unnecessary statements. We ended up with a male teller probably in his early twenties. We explained the situation and he said that he would promptly change it so that we would no longer receive statements. At this point I asked him for a refund on my previous statements which I never asked to receive and be charged for in the first place. He said that he couldn't refund the entire 11 months but he agreed to 6 months ($12.00). He asked what account to post it to and I immediately said mine because I negotiated the refund to begin with and my husband immediately said the joint account because that's were the money was originally taken from. After a little bit of friendly bantering back and forth maybe only 3 seconds worth the teller said something .... He said, is this what marriage is like? I'm never getting married. He proceeds to go on saying that it is like Adam and Eve. First she takes his rib and then she feeds him the poison apple. I looked at him with a surprised look on my face and asked him if he had a girl friend and he said no. I said aha well that says a lot. He said that he had three older brothers that were all married and that was enought for him. I was originally so angry with my husband that he didn't say put the money in my wife's account and add another $20.00 on top of that. I soon realized that what I was really angry with was that this young man didn't see us as a shining example of a great marriage that he would like to someday have. I know that we have a great marriage. To all the young men out there marriage is about sharing, loving and laughter. If you really think of us women as the evil Eve portrayed by this young man then here is a huge tip for you. STAY BY YOURSELF, MARRIAGE IS NOT FOR YOU!!!!!!


Well I wonder if you are all up on this knew buzz more than I am. I knew hottest thing out there well it's really about a year old but has now become main stream popular. on Friday morning approximately 1:00 am Ashton Kutcher became the Twitter King. He reached 1 MILLION followers, more than CNN. Oprah's first twitter was Friday live on the air. I am going to check it out and see what the buzz is all about.

I just posted my first tweet on twitter. If you are interested check me out on twitter.

user name atpsunshine (at the park Sunshine)

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Trials and Tribulations of Looking for Employment

Just got home from meeting with a case manager referred through Employment Insurance. She asked what I was looking for in the way of employment and what I have done so far. She seemed nice enough but it was not what I was expecting. She referred me to a couple of agencies. One that might help with training and another that will help with tapping into the “hidden job market”.
What the heck is a hidden job market and why hide it? Would it not make more sense to employers to advertise the need for help in their workforce? Maybe I have just been out of the workforce to long and don’t get it! One thing I thought a little odd was she never asked to see my resume. O well must stay positive and keep plugging along.

P.S. I actually wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but forgot that I hadn’t posted it!

Meeting the Employment Specialist

Today I met with a employment specialist her name was Jingling, what a great name and her name so fit how I saw her, a warm, easy to smile, lovely person. In other words she laughed at all my jokes! Anyway this whole looking for a job thing is a career in itself.

Seems I have my work for “looking for work” cut out for me. She wants me to list all my skills and not my previous employers, on my resume. The 8 years of being home, self-employed and raising my children is a problem. Jingling has given me documentation to read over on writing “The Resume the 15 Second Interview” and “The Cover Letter”. She would also like me to come up with a list of potential companies I would like to work for, including telephone numbers and managers names by the time we meet again. I have three different workshops set up over the next few weeks including “mock interviewing” to attend.

Jingling says I need to sell myself more. I don’t talk about how great I am enough I guess. I don’t know about all of you but I find the selling of myself very difficult and somewhat embarrassing. If I was asked to “sell” my kids or husband (big smile on my face!) I would have no problem telling you just how great they are. But myself it feels a little awkward like I am boasting. It reminds me of when my teenager was around four. We were walking down the beach and she was belting out for all to hear, her version of You are so beautiful to me. In her version she sang “I am so beautiful to me, can’t you seeeeeeeeeeee. I am everything I hoped for, I’m everything you need.” At the time it was very cute and the other’s on the beach smiled and thought she was great. But can you imagine if she sang it now or even more if I walked down the beach and sang her little song. I don’t think I would be getting the same smiles from the beach audience.
I must have sung a similar song when I was young, confident, and proud of just being me. Where did that confidence in myself go, was it a single word or a bunch of little words that slowly eroded the love of myself. And how do I get back to the four year old me who totally adored me, because I can’t see how I am to sell myself to a stranger if I can’t sell myself to me!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I feel good.…

What a great day. The teenager didn’t have school today so I got to wake up on my own without the aid of the nasty alarm clock. The younger one gave me know hassles about her uniform or breakfast and the husband drove her to school. My little ray of SUNSHINE dropped by for a morning visit and brought me a belated birthday gift. And it was just what a wanted, Mickey Mouse cutlery! How amazing she is to send her husband all the way down south to buy me a gift and since he is there I am glad he was able to get some golfing in and watch a little of the Masters.

Now you might think my day couldn’t get any better. But wait there is more, the teenager and I went shopping!!!!! She started off her usual grumpy self but once we hit the clothing stores she turned into a bundle of joy. With bags in hand we head off to the next store and then the next and even the next. Before you knew it there are bags of new clothes, new bedding, a few birthday gifts bought and even a guitar. Now nobody in our house can play a guitar but what the heck maybe the teenager will learn.

By the end of the day I am thinking can’t get much better. I went to pick up the younger one from school only to find her mid-term report card and for the first time the teachers don’t want an interview with me!! Woot, Woot.

I pray that all out there reading our blog is having as great a day as I. HAPPY SPRING ALL

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


We go through our lives trying to figure our who we really are. Sometimes adjusting ourselves to become more main stream and in the end more like everyone else. Here is a woman who dared to dream and who showed us all that you should be yourself every moment of your life because true love can only be felt by being the person that you were always meant to be. It would be such a boring place in this world if we were all the same.

Click here to feel the magic of Susan Boyle.

A Blank Canvas

I remember when my passion for gardening started. I was 17 or 18 years old and for my birthday one year my girlfriend gave me 6 packs of herb seeds and a book on herbs. That’s all it took! I bought seed trays and took over our kitchen table as the kitchen was the only room with ‘good light’. I even fashioned mini greenhouses with coat hangers and plastic wrap. Most of the seeds grew and as they grew they took up more space in the kitchen. Boy, my parents were very tolerant and I thank them for that. I wonder if they knew that gardening would grow to be one of my favourite hobbies.

Fast forward about 14 years - now married and pregnant with our first child and all moved in to our new home in the new subdivision. A blank canvas!

Once the grass was in it was time to think of the first garden. It was to be against the front of the house which faced north-west. In my mind’s eye I pictured a broad border informal garden. Some flowering shrubs as a foundation with perennials and annuals to compliment. I would also plant kitchen herbs there. As for colours, blues, purples and yellows caught my attention.

I asked my husband to dig out the garden for me. I used a garden hose to mark the shape and advised him to triple dig. He looked at me and asked what I meant. As the ground was clay I wanted him to lift off the turf and place it in a pile. Then he was to dig a spades depth of topsoil and place it in another pile. Finally, he was to dig a spades depth of clay and place it one last pile. It took him almost a day and near the end he kept commenting that when he dropped dead I was just to fill in the hole over him!

Well, he survived to fill in the garden bed – in reverse order! It was fall and by preparing the garden this way, the clay now being on top would break down over the winter and the turf layer would compost under the topsoil layer. Great for the root systems of any plant planted the following spring.

All I needed to do next was to choose the plants!

Idol Watch Top 7 (performance night)

Well everyone what a show the remaining idols put on tonight. Some are getting so much better. "Anoop Dog" really surprised me tonight. He was pretty good.

Sorry Lil you may be going home tonight.

As usual Adam took the show. I have never heard anyone reach the notes that this guy reaches.

Sorry no you tube idol performances available at this time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's Time!

Time to sow seeds and tidy the garden and plant and...and...!

I find this time of year very promising! It smells good. The soil is waking up and the world is greening. People emerge from hibernation, stretch and greet each other with smiles. There is hope, potential and positive energy.

Why is spring the beginning? Maybe a better description would be, ‘the awakening’. Whatever you want to call it, I’m glad it’s here. I feel better for it and ready to go! As a Christian, spring coinciding with Easter might have something to do with the good feeling. So, what to do with all this good feeling?

Well, as I said before – time to sow seeds and tidy the garden and plant and ...and...!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Weekend

The weekend has arrived, I usually look forward to this time, no work and just the family, stay up later, sleep in longer. Not this weekend though, it is early Saturday morning and I get myself ready to go pick up my Mom. We then start the hour and half drive to my brother’s house to meet up with my Dad. Something to keep in mind both Len and our father lived in the same house. Len was on the main floor my father lived below.

It is the first time I have seen my mom since the day of Len’s death. We have talked daily but it still comes as a shock, just how quickly she has diminished. She looks smaller, older and I feel this sense of protection. It is like we have reversed roles and I am the mother and she is the child. We talk about nothing important while driving there, she tells me what she ate that day. I nod and make confirmation sounds but really I just don’t care. I’m not really listening. I want this whole day to be over and done with and it’s only 10:00 am.

As we get closer to the house I can feel my anxiety level rising. I’m nervous to see my dad and be in the house surrounded by all of Lens stuff. Though my parents are on speaking terms and get along fairly well there is still over 30 year of divorce and many years were he was not there for us. I have maintained a relationship with my father over the past 15 years, but that has not been the case for my siblings or my mother. The relationship with Len and his father is only a few years old and has had moments of intense stress for both of them. As we ring the doorbell all I want is to find a sandbox and bury my head. I try to stand behind my mom but since she is now what appears to me to be half the size she was, that’s not really working so well.

The three of us are in the living room and I can sense that Dad is just as nervous with this whole thing. My mom wont sit down, looking, touching, and smelling Len everywhere. It’s killing me to watch this as I can only imagine what she is going through. I wonder if I would I be able to cope half as well if it was one of my children. Dad is looking lost and really not so sure just what to do. He’s making nervous chat, just filling up the air with words. I am only half listening, my mother is in her own world. Everything about this moment just sucks. What I would love right now is a drink, a big glass, some ice and a massive bottle of white wine would go down perfect.


Holidays................I remember as a child I couldn't wait for the holidays. It was a chance to get together with all my cousins, get a extra day off school, sleep in. Oh the bliss.......

As I became an adult, (Yes, I am an adult despite the way I may act sometimes!) holidays got to be a bit more work.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is he or isn't he a s#**head??????

This story starts with Facebook..........Yes we all know why we go on! I'm not getting into that right now though.
So I've been on FB for a few years, and it's alway nice to speak to, or hear about people from your past. (Okay maybe not alway, but sometimes!!)
This guy that I once knew sent me a friend request, the picture was really small and he has one of those names that could be anyone. Yes I have a very suspicious mind. Anyway, I don't just let anyone on my friend list......I have to feel comfortable allowing a person into my personal space. (Yes I have a bit of a control issue too) Anyway, we start off with the usual. What's new in your life? Are you married? Do you still live in the same place??? My questions were never really answered...........So of course I'm naturally vague with my answers too. I'm starting to wonder who I'm writing to. Now this guy as I remember him, was a sweetheart. We sort of dated, you know light stuff. He wrote me many times as he lives far away and we only seen each other when I would visit my friend up north. I still have those letters.....Yes I keep everything!
But this guy........he just didn't have the same feel, I know that sounds crazy but it nagged at me. He also kept asking me to add him as a friend...Yaa Right!
So now it was time to get more specific. I came right out and said. "You just don't sound like the same guy, I need you to tell me something specific, something that you remember about us."
Okay......Are you sitting down?????........His only response to me is..."I remember you never used to wear a bra."
I know.......Are you as shocked as me?????
Yes, maybe there were a few times I didn't wear a bra. I think!!! I'm just shocked that that's the first thing that came to his mind!!!!!
Did my bra, or lack thereof, leave that much of an impression??????
To say the least I don't think I'll be adding him to my friend list any time soon.

Our very first (non family) FOLLOWER!!

I cannot believe it, so frustrates me, here it is a day I can sleep in a little, I don’t have to be ruled by the annoying alarm clock and I am up. Up before the stupid alarm clock even goes off. As the fog of sleep clears from my brain my first coherent thought is what’s new on the blog? I dreamt of our blog on and off through the night. I am so excited to get down to the computer and find out.

Coffee in hand and click there it is. O my gosh we have a new follower and there’s a couple of comments. Do I read them now or have some breakfast and wait, let the anticipation build. It ‘s like Christmas time to a child. And just like a child I read them all first!

This new follower, I don’t know her, very cool. I have a zillion questions for her, like how did she find us, what did she think, is she going to come back? And the big one for me what exactly does it mean to be a Follower? This whole blog thing is new and my mind can’t grasp all the different applications and “helpful hints”. I can’t seem to remember that my “dashboard” just means my profile page. I have to learn this adsense, Iblogger, there’s gadgets, monetize, edit html, blah, blah, blah. I find it a little, ok maybe a lot overwhelming. But who cares we have a follower!

Our first follower who is not my family, can this get any better. I wonder did this follower realize just what she did when she made the decision to follow us. Maybe I should check her out, will be right back.

She’s from like a totally different country! I read some of her blogs and very much enjoyed them. Now what is the protocol on the “follower” thing, do I have to now join her blog, do I have to thank her, must I make comments on her blog? What happens if we get other followers, I could spend all day just reading other people’s blogs. I won’t have time to even eat, hmmmm… now that’s a diet I haven’t tried yet.


For all of you American Idol fans it was a rough week this week. The contestants had to choose a song from the year that they were born. You know by now that Scott was sent home. Scott was one of my favorites. He is blind, he plays the piano and the guitar and most importantly, what an amazing voice. He is so heart felt. Every time he sings it gives me goose bumps. His enthusiasm is so contagious. I know that the judges did not enjoy his performance but I loved him even more the last 2 weeks and I loved his performance on Tuesday night. I really wish that the judges had used their "save" on Scott. I think that it was the right time to do so. I really think that Scott should be in the top 4 for sure. It should be Adam, Allison, Matt and Scott. I am not a big Danny fan. I really like him as a person but his performances never wow me. I really think that Lil is an amazing singer but I am waiting for her to do something great on that stage. Chris is OK too but there's something about him that puts him at the bottom of my list. I'm not sure what. I think that "Anoop Dog" should have gone home this week.
I have no doubt that the American Idle experience will open a lot of positive doors for Scott. He is an unforgettable person and there is magic in his heart and in his soul.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Well I made my decision. I told the teenager yesterday that I would NOT buy her alcohol for the party. She seemed to take it fine, probably new I would say no. She did put up a little argument, saying but I have let her drink in the past. Again I tried to explain there is a difference between a glass of wine at a family dinner and a mickey for a bush party. I guess if they are going to drink, there going to drink. But that doesn't mean I have to make it easier for her.

Mind you it would of been nice for just a few moments to be the "Cool Mom" for a change. O well I'll take some pleasure that at least she is still talking to me, sorta, kinda. Its been a rough year between her and I so far but through immense prayer hopefully we will get through it and be strong in the end.

Lucky me just as one ends the teenage years the other will just be starting!

Launch Day!!!!!

Thursdays on the Bench

I am back home now after, what has begun as a standing date with the neighbors. For the past 6 weeks we have been consumed with the “blog”. What started as how can I get a job and make some money but still keep my family intact? Through all the chatter and laughter I hear this voice. “My cousin has this really neat blog thing and was able to find employment from it.” Three puzzled heads turn to Cathy “what’s a blog”? Cathy tries to explain but in our usual way we talk over her and start having random conversation with each other. Every once and while through the laughter you can hear Cathy trying to get back on topic but for her to finish sentence is just about as impossible as we each go off on different tangents. For an untrained observer you would find this chaos overwhelming, but to us, it just another Thursday morning. It most resembles a fractured chaos, but for a well-trained eye you will see the pattern, the complete order of, US. Every one of our sentences is eventually completed every thought and feeling is explored. By the end of the morning you leave with a knowledge of being heard, accepted and unconditionally loved.

After a lot of back and forth we somehow come to the conclusion that we want a blog and of course the world want to hear what we have to say! We register an account, start playing with names, begin coming up with great ideas, we want links and pages and subjects. We go on and on and on. Then one of us comes to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, we should start small and work our way to the on and on and on.

So what you are seeing and reading today is just the beginning. Come and join us as we explore the past that makes us “US”. Share as we all live the present and dream with us as we all head into the future. We’ve saved you a spot on the bench.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day Three, four, five etc…

My memory is playing tricks on me and the next few days are a blur of phone calls and tentative arrangement. Both my siblings are calling regularly wanting to know when they should fly home. I keep putting them off till I have more information from FA (foreign affairs). I want them home, but somehow instinctively know I will need them more after the funeral then before.

The FA caseworker assigned to our situation has been wonderful and calls regularly with updates. But still not much is happening and he does try to explain we are dealing with a third world country and may never get full answers to our questions. The government’s priority is to get Len body home.

Our household returns to a somewhat state of normal, meals are made, kids are at school, we return to work, plans for Halloween are being made. For me as long as I stay busy I am fine. I find I don’t handle it well when people want to hug me and express their condolences but on the other hand if they don’t acknowledge my loss I am offended. It is a no win situation for all.

What I found the most frustrating during this time was trying to keep control on the situation. Why I felt I needed to be in control is beyond me but I was adamant that we keep a chain of command. Because I was dealing with the painful grief of both parents whom live two very different separate lives. It felt to me that both parents were getting advice from others who meant well but for me I really wanted these decisions made as a family without the outside influences. I was concerned that we handle the death and subsequent estate as private and legal as we could. I didn’t want anyone having hard feelings about what was going on or feeling like their voice was not heard.
As much as I have never been involved with an estate I needed to be in charge of it. Both my parents were in know way able to cope with the details, and the issue of trust was ever present. Both siblings don’t live in the province and didn’t want the job. So I somewhat insisted on the job of executor. I justified my reasoning, as I was the most flexible with my time. It was important to me that the executor be a member of the immediate family. And when you really get down to it how much work could it be!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


well, I said that I would let you know, so here I am back today. It was an OK day. I think that I am feeling what many women at my age and in my situation probably feel. I'm not sure at this stage in my life where I fit in anymore. I have been at home raising my two kids. I have enjoyed every moment of it and I would not change a thing about that. But, sadly now they are growing up and they don't need me between the hours of 9-3 any more. So, taking into consideration driving time back and forth from school I have approximately 5 hours of time to myself from Monday to Friday. In that time I need to grocery shop, clean, do laundry, cook, make appointments, schedule events, see friends and anything else that happens to fall under the umbrella of being a mom and wife. My husband works very hard and very long hours. His job takes him away from home often and our life has always been like that but it has always worked. He would go to work and I would do pretty much everything else. I appreciate his work ethic and I can just imagine how hard it must be to work a minimum of a 15 hour day every day of the week and sometimes even weekends. I have to thank him for all of his hard work. I have worked over the course of my 13 years at home with the children. I worked from home for the first 5 years and it was a full time job. I quit after the birth of my second child. So many things happened at that point in my life that changed my day to day living immensely. I could not work anymore for the time being and here I am 9 years later still without a job. The economy is now bad and my husband is frustrated at our financial situation. He would love for me to get a job. I have been looking but there is not much out there. He says that I put up road blocks like the hours that I am looking for (9:30 - 2:30) Monday to Friday and following the school schedule. I on the other hand believe I am limited in my availability because of our situation and I don't want not to be home on weekends and holidays. As it stands we don't have much time as a family already. Last year I took a job that paid minimum wage and worked for a short time. The hours during the day suited me perfectly but the weekends and holidays were a problem. I was miserable not being there and to top it all off on some of the holidays my husband ended up having to work so I had to ask my husbands parents to step in with the kids. They were great but it was not what I wanted for my girls and for our family. What is the answer? I'm not too sure but there is so much value in what we do as wives and mothers. Its too bad the rest of the world had trouble acknowledging that. I would gladly go get a great paying job and work 9-5 and find a way for my children to get to and from school in a safe manner. But I am reluctant to do that for a job that will only pay me minimum wage. Am I being selfish? The answer that I hear is that millions of women do it every day. Is a great career and children and a happy home really a doable thing and have I just convinced myself that its not? Well time will tell for now things are what they are. I look forward to seeing my husband this weekend as he has been away for 5 days now and I am taking care of everything at home. I miss him so much!!!!!!! For now the frustration continues.

Day Two

I wake up and for a moment or two I‘m OK, my mind starts on what needs to be done today, which kid needs what and what I need to do for work, just another Tuesday. Then, it hits me, yesterday starts to come flooding back and I realize its not just another Tuesday. Everything is different now, I have to make and receive phone calls. Arrangements have to be made, people have to be told.

I get the younger child off to school, it’s best she go and keep things as normal for her as possible. My teenager says she is not going to school and I don’t have the energy to argue with her. I know word is starting to spread the phone has started its incessant ringing. I drink my morning coffee and ignore it. I just can’t deal with this yet.

I have this strong feeling to protect this situation. I know everyone just wants to help but at this point I want to close the blinds and shut the outside world from entering my life. The phone won’t stop and now the doorbell is going. I take a deep breath and shut my feeling down and get on with it.

One of my closes friends has arrived. Sunshine brings muffins and out of the four of us I think she would understand what is going on the best. She has had to deal with death within her own family and we all were there to witness and do what we could. Though for me it seemed inadequate at the time. My oldest daughter sits with Sunshine, I just try to keep busy. I can’t sit, I need to create some kind of normal, and I need to be doing stuff. Cook, make lists, and make up beds for when my siblings fly in. I just need to keep moving.

Foreign Affairs have called and they are telling me that they have been speaking with the authorities in Belize and Guatemala and before the body can be flown home they must do an autopsy. And before they can even do that they must have a credit card to cover the cost of close to $5000.00 to ship his body home. I am floored by this cost, I don’t have this kind of money and I know my late brother didn’t. After a flurry of phone calls it is arranged to have my father take care of the expense, as my mother (who was not even aware that Len had gone on a vacation) insists she must see the body. We need to get him home ASAP.

Sunshine has left and others come by, a couple of friends give us gift certificates for restaurants so I don’t have to cook. My teenager is impressed with, this she is like “I didn’t know we get gifts when someone dies, Cool”. I laugh at her and think it is the first laugh in two days.

Monday, April 6, 2009


So while my 17 year old daughter and I were talking about the upcoming Easter weekend and what was planned so far. She tells me she is going to a party on Friday night. We talk about drinking and drugs at this point and I make my view very clear, in my most nagging mother way. I don't have a big problem with the drinking just the getting plastered part I don't like. And I am totally against any drug use.

She says she wont get drunk-drunk just a buzz. (yea right!) And then asks me if I would buy her some alcohol

So do I buy her a couple of coolers or tell her to take a hike. For sure I wont buy for friends so if I decided to do it, it will be three coolers max and she will pay for it.

What is everyone else opinion?

Day One

I have had some friends ask me to write my story of when there is a death in the family. I’ll try to do my best from the beginning.

Two and a half years ago October, I got home at lunch from errands. There were a number of messages left on the phone. As I listened to them first I thought something has happened to my aunt, then after another message maybe my mom. Finally the last message was to call another aunt. I was starting to get anxious and called my aunt, she would not tell me anything but did say my mom was there. She insisted in talking to my husband. At this time I handed the phone over and when he hung up he informs me that my brother who is two years younger then me had died while on vacation in Belize.

I have to digest this and come up with some kind of plan. We wait till the end of the school day and pick up the kids, We then proceed to tell them. And try to answer questions we don’t have answers for as we drive across town to be with the rest of my family.

Once we are there I talk with my mom who of course is a mess. Her thoughts are not clear she is crying and rambling. I try to get her calm and find out just what has been happening. Because my parents are divorced things are a little more tense as different sides want to help. One relative is talking to Foreign Affairs trying to find out protocol in situations like this. Then I am talking to FA office in Guatemala getting confirmation that yes they have his body and we have to wait till the next business day for further information.

I come back to the living room where more family and friends have arrived, There is a lot of back and forth of what to do next but no decisions are being made. I need to be busy, I can’t just sit there while everyone talks in circles. Everyone has an opinion on what needs to be done. I can feel myself getting angry and try to just talk to my parents. As we can make know decisions tonight, my focus turns to my other siblings. They have not been told yet. Because of time changes I have to wait till I know my sister is home from work. I then call my youngest brother’s father (our ex-stepfather) I hide myself in a bedroom and make the call. For me to keep it together I have to be very formal, very to the point, very business. I tell John what has happened, as we know it. Of course he wants to do something but at this point there is nothing that can be done. I hang up, compose myself to call my sister. It takes her a minute to get on the phone as the family is celebrating her sons birthday. I tell her the best I can and of course the tears are starting now. I tell her I will call her tomorrow when I know more. At this time my youngest brother calls. My cousin had arranged to have a friend go to his work and tell him. Fortunately for me I don’t have to actually say the words "Len has died". We talk for a while he is obviously upset and again I tell him I will call him tomorrow when I know more.

Back downstairs with the extended family I get names and numbers for Foreign Affairs, and the number of a funeral home that can be agreed on. We gather up our kids and head for home. I just want to go to bed and not think about this anymore.

Hormonal Imbalance?

The interesting topic of that time of the month and changes in hormone levels at this time in my life is either fascinating and I am living proof of it or is just one big lie that excuses our behaviours for many things in our lives. For insistence. Some days I wake up happy and excited to face the world. Other days I know that I am looking for a fight. A good old fashion tongue lashing and my opinions would not stop flowing. And by the way, in case you haven't figured it out yet I'll be the only one doing the talking thank you very much. It's like I can feel it in every fiber of my being. There is anger, frustration and just a feeling of having to let something go. I'm sure that those are the days that my husband stays away. That's when he looks at me and says, "Oh no you're pretty feisty today". He says, as he's leaving for work, have a great day he says with a chuckle in his eyes and his usual don't spend any money today hon! Wow what an original thing to say as he leaves for work. I love him so very much but lets be honest those are the days that I would love him to be home because who else can I go off on with my crazy irrational behaviour and still be loved by in the morning? And lets face it on days like that men are the only ones who seem to do everything wrong anyway. Why should I take it out on some other poor iInnocent schmuck when it's really my husband's fault that the refrigerator is not working, I have about 10 loads of laundry to do, one of the kids forgot their spelling at home and I have to go back to the school to deliver it, the scale reads 2 ponds heavier, the grays in my hair are starting to show and to top it all off Oprah's been cancelled because of some political mumbo jumbo. I mean come on how much disappointment can a girl handle in one day? No wonder I'm freaking out. Who can I complain to? Thank goodness my poor schmuck can take the after shocks of my erupting behaviour and laugh about it later, well, we be both laugh later. To bad it doesn't change the future though because I know that there are future irruptions coming. However, for the moment I have to thank you all because I really do feel better. Wow I think that a very tense day has been averted. I am actually going to go work out on the tread mill and see if that will calm me even further and take me over the edge. Who knew maybe those days can be averted with simple things like this. I'll let you know tomorrow. Thanks for letting me talk.

P.S. This insane weather is driving me crazy!!!!!!!! April 6th and a crazy winter storm, I actually
can't see through my window anymore because it's covered in slushy snow.

Do you think that if I call my husband that he would come home and just be with me and
hug me and hold me for the day? Oh ya I forgot he's not even in town today.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Story of the death of Len

I am reading the words of the three women I love the most. I am touched and proud to call theses women my friends. I know I now need to share, but just like me, I my mind comes up blank! Now that it is crunch time how do I get the words in my head on to the screen and what could I talk about that anyone would want to read.

After much thought I have decided to tell the story of Lens death. Some might be shocked by this story line. But there is so much in this story that is familiar to all of us. It will take me time to tell it all and it will be very emotional at time (I am tearing up as I write this) but there are some over the top, laugh your head of moments. Moments, that if the people in my life had not actually witnessed, you might think it was made up. To my friends and family it is not my intention to hurt anyone feelings or to misinterpret the events. I am going to try to be as honest as possible (as I remember them) and the feelings I write are mine alone.

My hope is when you read this story you..... I really don't know at this time what I want you to get from it. I just have this very deep desire to tell it.

My third friend at the park

My third friend at the park is another very remarkable woman. She has faced so much adversity but her strength and determination have always kept her afloat. She is so happy with the smallest things in life. Going to a movie, a bright sunny day, a bunny in the back yard, they all make her light us with joy. I hope that she realizes the strength that continues to lie within her. She is strong and sensitive. She really feels the trials and tribulations of others in a very deep manner always wishing that she could do more to help. I have witnessed her life change in so many ways but no matter what she always stays true to herself. Her love for her family is unparallelled. She is welcoming and giving but at the same time very cautious and private. When you take the time to break through her inner shield you will find that you not only have a true friend but you will have a friend for life. We love you Louise and we all see you as a pillar of strength and determination. You have very special qualities and gifts that will help you climb any mountains.

My second friend at the park

This woman was the second woman that I met at the park. She has one of the biggest, kindest hearts that I have ever met. Her inner beauty can sometimes go by without enough credit because she never draws attention to her helping nature. There are many thing that she does daily that I bet no one even knows have occurred because of her. She is a very selfless person. She wants us to believe that she is tough as nails and bothered by little but we all know the softness that lies within her. She is one of those women that are constantly searching their hearts and souls for a way to make the world a better place. She doesn't realize that the world is a better place just because of her existence. You really need to get to know her to appreciated her and her humour and candor. If you ever run out of eggs, she will deliver them to your door!!!! Thanks Carolin we love you and we wouldn't change a hair on your pretty head. It still amazes me that she has done so many jobs for being such a spring chicken. She loves her family very deeply and she is constantly working to make things happy for them. She is one of a kind. She is the friend that everyone should have.

My first friend at the park

My first friend at the park is the person who taught me that it takes a village to raise a child.. She is a wonderful woman. She is a very thought provokingi individual. Everything that she does is planned and well executed. There is very little margin for error when she does something because her plans are full poof. Sometimes I could listen to her talk forever because she is so descriptive. Her story telling of even the simplest of events are told as though they were written by a world renowned poet. She is happy with the little things in life and her memories are loving and captivating. She is concerned with how others see her and I wish that she could understand that we see her as a very caring, respectful and visionary soul. She can feel and see thing that the rest of us cannot and she does not fear the unknown. She welcomes spirits and is confident in her abilities to connect withe them. She is caring about the planet and the state that we will leave it in for our future generations. She does more than her part to live "green" I admire and respect her courage and determination. Thank you so much Cathy for all of the wonderful things that you have taught me over the years but most of all for your friendship. I hope that you know how much we love you and need you and your family to be a part of our lives. You have always been there for me just steps away and even though now you are a drive away I know that if I ever need you that you are never too far away.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Rare Gift

To feel truly and fully accepted is a rare gift. We all have foibles. Those ‘things’ we stress about inwardly and at times openly. Some may call it an ‘Achilles’ heel or even a fault. To the person who is feeling it, it can be life changing.
I immigrated to Canada as a baby from an island in the Caribbean Sea. Sounds grand yes, but in reality it has taken me some thirty plus years to come to fully appreciate how it made me different. I grew up in a great neighbourhood. I had great friends, no worries or concerns. I didn’t realize that I was different until midway through elementary school. I suppose that is when true socialization starts. Kids can be cruel without realizing that they are.
You have probably made the assumption that I am dark skinned. There would not have been a problem if I was. I am very light skinned with freckles and bright blue eyes. So far not so bad, until you add light brown, almost blond afro hair! It could not be tamed. My hair never grew long enough to braid or be scraped back in a bun! So it just flew around my head, free. I tried to keep it under a hat as often as possible, but it became a playground game to steal the hat off of the top of my head! I was called many names, teased constantly and often compared to a broom and they would try to pick me up to demonstrate!
I survived through the years, only developing one phobia... hairdressers. Some would think they would help, however, they would see my skin colour and assume they could cut my hair. Every time I would explain that my hair is afro curly and it ‘bounces’ back, and every time they would cut it too short until it stood up straight on top of my head!
Finally, in my twenties I met up with a hairdresser from the Islands who understood. She took the time to show me, teach me how to understand and deal with my hair. Becoming comfortable with my hair has lead to me being comfortable within myself which in turn has given me the confidence to show on the outside just who I am. This has also lead to an acceptance and even pride of my ‘rootz’.
My friends would say I worried for nothing, that they accept me as I am and they are true to their word. They have all seen me in my various hair states and I am comfortable with them, even when they tease me. There is a purely happy feeling knowing that you do not have to run to put a hat on because one of your friends is at the door.
That is one of the greatest gifts given to me!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Little Moments you need to listen

My new favourite song. Enjoy and cherish those special moments which really make a difference in our lives.

Brad has so many other great songs on youtube.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Four Women

Four women, different backgrounds, similar ages, former full-time workers, new home owners in a new suburban subdivision....all at home accepting their new responsibilities as stay at home moms.

Let's set the stage. Scene one...a small park surrounded by new homes. A few newly planted trees, paved pathways, a big sand area with swings and a climbing playground. Oh, and let's not forget the two benches facing the playground!

Each morning, at around ten thirty, these women would meet in the park, unaware at the time that they were laying the foundation for a unique relationship that would see them share in the joys and sorrows of their personal lives.

Each woman has come to realize that the four together make up a whole. Each woman having a strength in an area that the others are able to use, for support in times of stress or to use unabashedly at times of joy.

Is this something new? No, we are not the only women to find themselves creating an intimate supportive friendship. However, we four decided to create this blog so we can share some of our stories. We appreciate that there are many people who do not have the ‘outlet’ that we have. It’s important to understand that thoughts, feelings and situations are shared, not isolated.

Our goal is to share our thoughts, feelings and situations in the hope that they will be read and appreciated and maybe some-one will no longer feel alone.