Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hormonal Imbalance Part #2

First of all I have to mention that this is already our 100Th post - congratulations to us ladies!

Well the last time that I talked about this subject was on April 6 almost two months ago. This week has been a crazy week for me emotionally. I had convinced myself that I was upset about something that happened earlier this week and that that was the sole cause of all of my hurt and anger. I have been in tears and angry and hurt all at the same time. Today we had a birthday celebration for my daughter and as I was preparing it hit me at 2:19 pm. I was out of control and crying once again and this time I finally realized that it is my crazy hormones once again.

I was feeling a little better for a while once I realized this and then my husband said something that once again had me in tears. When he finally realized that I was in tears he asked me why and I answered and it took him about 15 minutes but he gave me a kiss and said that he was sorry. That was all I needed and I felt so much better.

My husband has been away for the week so he had no idea that I was in such a state all week. The last time I talked about this subject he was also away. Hum, I wonder if that is another missing piece of the puzzle.

My out of control hormones are making me act a little crazy.
Please tell me if you feel like this sometimes. My emotions are out of control and my sensitivity is at an all time high when I am like this. Does it ever get better and if so can it get better on its own? How long does it take before it gets better and I am not so sensitive and so emotional.
Is there hope for us women and our out of wack hormones?

Thanks to all of those people in my life who tolerate me when I am like this and help me to work through my feelings and always do so without judging me. Thanks so much for your caring and support and thanks for the chocolate chip cookies, they made my weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

After leaving the bench...

Would I say that it's hard being a friend? No, never, however, sometimes emotions can be overwhelming and that's not a bad thing. It's a sign of the great strength or bond between us all.

We all met today, as per our usual 'Thursday' routine. If you are familiar with our blog you will know that Louise is going though her own personal 'hell' these days. Something was said soon after we all arrived and it upset her and Sunshine. I didn't clue in until we were all getting ready to leave. I was too engrossed in trying to find possible solutions to help out Louise.

This is where I now question myself. There are the four of us, each with our own situations.

I feel the need to apologize to Carolin and to Sunshine for not focusing in on them as much as I was focused in on Louise. By no means do I think that Carolin's or Sunshine's situations are in any way less important than Louise's. But, it's different.

Carolin, as much as you don't think it, you are strong and positive and what I admire is how inventive you can be and when you come up with your ideas, you follow them through and do a great job!

Sunshine, you are so positive and have that, 'get up and just do it!' which I love. When you have an idea you also follow it through to see where it will lead with no regrets.

I hope that when Carolin, Sunshine and Louise read this, they can read between the lines. I have a hard time taking what is in my head and heart and putting it down on paper, so to speak. All I want to say is that they are all dear to me and I hope that I do not piss them off, (on a regular basis, anyway!)

Love you all!

Thursday at the park

Good Morning and Welcome to the Bench, (Carolin)

Well we have been together for about a half an hour now. But I had to eat my cinnamon bun first. As I type (in the living room, they are in the kitchen) they are talking with Louise about her marriage(my marriage that no longer exists). It was her husbands birthday yesterday (I still have a hard time saying ex), so there is tears, and anger, hurt going on right now. At this moment Cathy is talking practical stuff to Louise about things like mortgages/rent, paying bills. Louise's situation is just horrible, I know lots of women are in this situation but that doesn't seem to bring much comfort at this moment. Cathy is going on wondering what programs our government had can help Louise.

Louise is telling Cathy about what she would like to do for a job if she had her choice. Louise would love to be a firefighter. But at this point there is so many hurtles for her to go through. Louise would like to get her DZ license, her First Aid, and CPR course and a physical by June 15. She is so undecided because the deadline is so close. Cathy is trying to talk Louise in going for it. Even if she doesn't get in this time around it we all think it would be good to try. And if she got her DZ there is other opportunity open to her. I just wish I had a little more time, and of course a bit more money to play with.

Cathy is talking about how her niece is coming over this weekend and they are having a family female high tea. Now the subject has changed to the TV show Jon and Kate plus eight. I have never seen this show but it seems to be the news of the moment. I hear about it every where I go. It seems he went out one night with friends and partied. I don't see what the big deal is. So he went out doesn't he deserve to go out without his massive family? I guess this is one of the fall outs of letting the world watch you on TV. Now they have switched to the Octomom (I hate this nick name it just disgusting and disrespectful) I don't understand why the media is always looking for the negative.

(its me Sunshine)Something happened this morning that was on my mind and I wondered if it would be an issue or not and it is and it makes me sad. Sometimes things get blurred in our heart and thoughts and even though our intentions are good and true someone else can see it as something hurtful towards them. I really wish that the world was not like that. Maybe I am naive at thinking that we could all live together harmoniously. Anyways, we are now talking about Carolin's proposal for the cafeteria at the school. She is waiting to hear from the school. Her proposal is now in and in my opinion it is very good and I believe that things will go her way. She will know something in the next two weeks, hopefully. If it does go through then Carolin will have a lot of work to do over the summer and she will be working come this fall. We are all routing for her. Louise comments on how she and Carolin are both in the same situation right now needing to dish out money and not being sure if there is an actual job at the end of the day. The job hunt and providing for your family at this time in our lives and with such an unstable economy is really hard. We are feeling the crunch too in my family. I have been looking for a job for a year now. I started with many restrictions originally such as school hours and days only but now I have no restrictions when I apply but it still has not made a difference. My husband thankfully is employed but things can change and even if they don't we still really need the money because we are so in the red and have been for sometime. It only seems to get worse.

Carolin is looking through the paper and is laughing about an add for,' The Valley Of The Mother Of God', looking for a full time cook. I tell Carolin that she should apply to that. Cathy asks Louise if she has gone to the library and looked on the board for job postings. Carolin says that there is no board. Louise has requested movies and wants to know how to check to see if they are in. Apparently you need to go online and it will give you this information.

Carolin's daughter is a life guard and has a great schedule. Louise would like for her daughter to consider becoming a life guard and Cathy's son is already working on becoming one and she thinks that it is a great job for their age group.

Louise's son is ready for potty training and she says that she needs to get on that. I remember the episode of John and Kate plus 8 and the potty training. Kate was training the girls only first because all 6 at once would be too hard. She had a chart and stickers and was so excited when they actually made it in the toilet and the kids were proud and happy too.

Cathy went to a board parent appreciation night yesterday and it was nice. There was good food and some nice performances. Carolin asks if this is were her hard earned dollars go. She believes that these programs are not very effective because the principals that don't want parent volunteers in the school don't have them anyways.

Carolin's check for the first payment of school is due June 1st but if something don't change she will not be able to make her payments and anything already made does not get refunded but becomes a donation to the school. Carolin seems to understand this and is OK with it because how can any business run and be successful. Personally I think that it is Not OK if the reason for withdrawing from that school is for financially reasons to begin with. If you can afford the extra money then great but under certain circumstances money should be voluntarily refunded to the family.

Now to children and learning disabilities and the daily challenges. Someone is talking about heart mummers and it seems that it can be a pretty common thing but can be more or less severe depending on the child. Braces are the topic for now and 4 out of our 9 children between the four of us have already had or need to have braces. We understand why they need braces but do we all need to have the perfect smile or should we just let them be themselves. Sometimes braces can be necessary for some children though. I know that my husband says that if he had go back that he would have gotten braces to make his teeth perfect. I don't know why that's even an issue. He already had a great smile.

Carolin is talking about some Walmart mess with Kathy lee Gifford and clothes made by child labour. It turns out that it was a set up by someone who wanted to get a union into Walmart. I think Carolin is referring to a book authored by Kathy-Lee. Carolin says it's a good funny book.

Louise's son just had a big fall and we are not sure where he is hurt, we are waiting for him to hopefully settle down to see.

Everything is okay just a bump on the head...........As I'm writing he's back to running around.
Sooooooo my question of the day is...Should I dish out money for something that's not guaranteed?????? Yes getting my DZ is an advantage, but I really can't afford it right now. I only have a window between the 8th and 15th of June, so I have to get my ass is gear!
What to do???What to do?????

The girls are talking about what to make for dinner, that is always something that comes up.
Dinners are such a pain!!!!!

Have a great week!!!!!

Outdoor Soccer Season Has Started

Well last night was the start of the outdoor girls soccer season. It was rain, rain rain. We were at a new field with little parking and many cars. We started out practicing on one field and the convener sent us all to the farthest field which he said was field number one. None of the fields are marked. We took the long walk over and after 15 minutes in the rain at this field they sent us back to the original field because it was field number one.

Being out there is like the start of summer for me. I remember when Louise first introduced us to the sport with my older daughter maybe 3 years ago and I recall not being excited about going. Now I look forward to soccer season especially the outdoor one. You meet so many interesting people, some are a little strange, some are nice and some are very loud.

Her coach this year is very nice and really intense. His wife and close friend also help with the coaching and they are really into it. The manager must have a soar throat today because she didn't stop yelling thought that hard rain for the entire hour. Even though they are all yelling the comments are always positive and the girls had a great time. That's all that matter to me.
It was a fun night out and I look forward to it for the rest of the summer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Proposal

Well I finished writing the proposal and went to Staples and had it photocopied and bound. I made 6 copies, one for the Principal, 4 for his department heads and school book keeper, and one for myself. While I was waiting for the copies to me made, my proposal was up on the screen of the copy departments computer and I noticed a spelling error. Some how I had written Cihristan instead of Christian and spell check never caught it. I was able to get the photocopy consultants attention and she fixed it and recopied it for me. It was a close call.

I was so paranoid after that, talking to myself in the car about how fortunate I was to see the typo before I dropped it off to the school. When I got to the school I sat in the car and read through it one more time and felt it was the best I could do. I then brought the copies into the school and after a look around I found the principle and he asked me to leave them on his desk and said he would look at it a little later.

So that was it, I picked up the little one and we drove home. When I got home the husband was back from his golf game and I showed him the proposal. He sat down and read it through then told me he found two typos! I was devastated, and so angry with myself, I read that stupid proposal at least 4 times and Sunshine read it, as well as Mr. Sunshine. I corrected the typos in the electronic version for the future. It will be teachers that read this proposal and looking for mistakes is what they do, that’s their job! I sent an email to the principal the next day thanking him for the opportunity to submit a proposal and a brief explanation on how I came up with some of my assumptions. Also I attached the corrected proposal.

This hang-up I have on expecting perfection with myself can’t be good. When the teenager was small I worked for a marketing company, the job was very enjoyable but the owners well… lets just say after only a couple of months I started looking for a new job. One day while at the marketing job one of the owners called me into her office and said that "I lacked attention to detail”. I remember leaving her office and at first being very angry, then wondering if that was true. I always thought I was good with the details, I prided myself that I could juggle many things at the same time and I remembered the small things that made the difference. I guess I was wrong, I wonder if she had any idea how her simple statement changed the way I saw myself. Now I question everything I do and find I am even more critical of myself. So every time someone says you made a mistake or you forgot this, or your writing is ‘Vanilla’, (yes I did have someone say that to me after we started the blog. And what’s the funny part of that vanilla comment is there is so much I could write about, but felt the blog was not the place to spill the ‘skeletons in the closest’ as they say) my instinct is to shut down and not bother anymore. It takes a whole lot of self-talk to get me to try again.

Why are we so quick to point out others mistakes? Does it make us feel better, or do we really think we are being helpful. I will be the first to admit I bug Sunshine about her typos but sometimes they are so funny cause it changes what she is trying to say and makes it funny. But I am going to really try to keep my mouth shut and only say positive things like how much I appreciate my fellow bloggers and though we are not perfect we try to do the best we can. Maybe it's good our followers and readers can see our mistakes and not judge us but remember we are only human and doing the best we can with the time we have.

It has been two days since I handed the proposal over and have heard nothing. So I guess it is back to square one and searching through websites, scouring newspapers and, and, and…

Stuff, Stuff and More Stuff

There are times when I write and I can bang a blog off in minutes but those times are not the norm. Usually it can take me a day or two and in this case I have been working on this story for a couple of weeks. I find when I am trying to write about something painful I need to take a break every few lines and walk around the house to collect my thoughts or maybe cause it is tough and my instinct to run and hide is even stronger. This time though when I do my walk through the house and tidy as I go or touch stuff it just makes the pain worse. At times I wonder why we as North Americans are so consumed with accumulating more and more stuff. I think my family has just way too much stuff. There is stuff everywhere and as much as I try to declutter, whenever I turn around it feels like we have accumulated more and more.

After Len’s funeral my brother Chris and sister Kerry stayed with us for a few more days to help out. We all knew they really wanted to get back on the planes that brought them here and go back to their lives but they sucked it up and stayed. I am forever thankful they didn’t just leave and were here to help with the cleaning out of Lens home, dismantling his life.

We arrived early in the day, at Len’s home and spent some time with pleasantries with our Parents. It wasn’t till our parents left to go out for lunch (I think to really just get away from what we needed to do) that we were able to get down to the task at hand. It is a very strange feeling going through another person’s life and making split decisions on what has value or what to toss. I have heard stories of parents or spouses who after years, still have there loved ones clothes in closets. I guess it is different when you are still living in the same home, you don’t have this pressing need to put closure to the situation because of finances. We spent hours going through each room making piles, what to keep, what to donate and what to toss. I remember doing Len’s laundry and then thinking why? Its not like any of us are going to sleep in his bed or use his sheets. But for some reason it was important to me that I washed everything before I threw it out, crazy I know.

By the end of the day we had taken a truckload to the dump, two truck loads to a charity resale store and we had a truckload that was to go to family members. Though we tried to clean out as much as possible and we didn’t really want anything, all of Lens furniture stayed. My father wanted all of it and kept insisting most of it was his anyway. We questioned how that could be, as I had receipts from stores of stuff Len had just bought before he went on vacation. We didn’t want to argue with him if it was so important that he have just about everything then fine we had our memories and knew we could talk about Len with each other when ever we felt like it. Everyone handles their grief differently so I guess for some they need to surround themselves with stuff. I have never lost a child so it is best for me not to judge. But let me just say it was very difficult for me to keep my mouth shut and my temper under control that day.

By the end of the day when we left we had loaded up the truck with bits and pieces of stuff including groceries. It appeared that Len had just gone grocery shopping before he left for vacation as he had a freezer full of meat and cupboards full of dry goods. We filled about 4 large bags, I figured my family would use it. On our drive home the three of us made a vow that when we got home we were going to go through all our stuff and have a major clean out. We didn’t want anyone to have to sort through all of our personal stuff once we were gone.
I remember lying in bed that night going over the day’s events. And thinking just how sad I was and how sad that 38 years of life can be cleaned out in a days work. We spend our whole lives accumulating stuff. We save our money for things, we are a society of shoppers. We can’t even have one day a week without shopping, we need to buy, buy, buy. Only to have after we die, others pass judgment on its value and toss it in one of three piles.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I am presently looking for a job. I know, I know, who isn't.....
I am just so discouraged!!!! I'm not even sure what I'm looking for anymore. I feel like I can't breathe or even think clearly.
Right now I just feel like I'm the only one here. I am. If I can't find a job, well, I don't know what will happen. I've never been totally on my own before, and I must say, it's really scary.
I don't think I would be so upset if it was only me.......but it's not I'm responsible for my beautiful children too.
I have so many different feelings going on right now, anger being one of them. Frustration being another. I guess I'm angry because this is not what I want. I never planned to have a home and family on my own. Frustrated because I'm tired of being angry!!! I just want to go on with my life, get a good job, be stable. Most importantly Be Happy!!!! I just can't figure out if I'm not happy because I feel like I don't have a place anymore. What I mean is, this doesn't really feel like home, I don't have a stable job, and I'm not really sure what my future holds right now.
I'm not sure if I'm not happy because everything I've known for so long has come to an end. How do I start over??? Or at least continue on????? I just hope that the future holds something positive for a change.
I read this article, and this women said every situation has a silver lining.........
I just cant seem to find it........

Only Five Weeks Left of Elementary School

My oldest daughter is in her last five weeks of elementary school now. I can't help but reminisce about the last ten years of our lives at the same school. I can remember the first day of Junior Kindergarten. I can remember every teacher and any every parent teacher interview. I remember how she struggled with reading in grade two and how concerned we were and now I can't get her to stop reading. I remember every boy that she ever liked ( at least the ones she talked about). I rember the years after I had my second daughter and how she took the school bus for a few years. I was lucky that the bus stop was right in fromt of my house and we could all wait inside if it was cold out. I rember how on warm days the kids would play on the stepping stones in the garden while they waited for the school bus. I remember her performance in Beautify and the Beast and she was Bell in grade 5. We were shocked that she got the part and so nervous for her but she was amazing. It was in this school were the teachers saw her talent even before we did and they encouraged and nurtured her and it is now her passion in life. I rember when she sang for the trustees and superintendents for the school as part of there morning prayer. I remember how sad we all were when we went to visit the kids potential new school because we had moved and after the tour we unanimously decided that we would stay at our old school. That was a great decision. I rember each time we had car trouble and had to now walk the long way to school. Sometimes it was bitter cold and there was lots of snow but it was always an adventure. I remember every project and all of those school speeches. I rember the countless times that I have gone to scholl to deliver something that was forgotten or pick her up because she wasn't feeling well. I remember her reconciliation, communion and most recently her confirmation. Each time I was so happy for her and I always had a little tear in my eye. I remember each and every performance or play big or small and each one always put a smile on my face. I have been on virtually every school trip with her and each and every day I have had the pleasure of seeing her off to school and being there when she returns. She use to come out of school and want to play now she takes so long to meet us because she is socializing and when she finally comes she prefers to listen to us parents chatter away. Sometimes she has so much to say and I wish that she would wait until we didn't have an audience listening to our every words and other times she plays soccer or gives us a grunt and goes in the car and reads one of her books which she always carries with her. I feel that it has been a gift to be able to witness the shaping of of a another person and see how they can really shine. I am so proud of her and I look forward to being a part of her bright and shining future.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rain Barrels

I have just emptied my second rain barrel. I hope it rains again soon! I think I am going out to buy a third rain barrel. The city sells them for about $50.00 at the recycle depot. My dad thinks I'm crazy to continually fill my watering can, (which I received for a birthday gift and love!) and then proceed to walk around my garden watering the containers and anything newly planted. It's so peaceful to water by hand and take the time to notice what plant might need a trim or deadhead a flower before it goes to seed to prolong bloom. All the bending and squatting just has to be good for my waist, legs and behind!

There is something magical about mornings. The air is clean and the birds are singing. It's not yet too warm and the sun feels good. I am definitely not a morning person as any of my friends can attest to. However, when I get up with the kids in the morning to get them off to school...... that time seems so precious to me. A time to appreciate the work which I've put into our garden and sit down with a cup of tea!

Good Morning All

Well it is Sunday morning almost 9:30 AM. I am up showered and ready for church but am waiting for the rest of the family. So I thought I would share with you what was discussed last night with Sunshine’s and her husband.

Firstly let me say of course dinner was great, BBQ T-bones and Chicken breasts, Seven Layers salad and this great Rice/Vegi dish that Sunshine made. Was simple and good, just as it should be. Even met the ‘Teenagers’ boyfriend as they stopped by for a minute or two.

So we crunched number (business talk for we guessed on what the cliental would be). We worked out best case, mid range and ultra conservative numbers and in all cases I would be able to make enough to keep the ‘Little One’ in the school. Of course that is with some big assumptions like the construction at the school will be done by the beginning of the school year, the school will pick up the tab of outfitting the kitchen with appliances and everything meets code. I come in with the service and supply the small equipment that I would need. The ‘Husband’ is supportive but is concerned about the initial outlay of money, as it would put us further in to debt. Which I totally get but I am thinking along the lines as “I might as well try, the worst the school board can say is “no” and we are no worse off for trying”. Meanwhile I will still send out my resume to prospective job. My motivation is to keep the ‘little one’ in the school and pay off some of our debt. I understand it won’t make us millionaires but it will allow me work the school schedule, which would benefit the whole family.

A good point was made though, I wanted to have a menu of healthy foods, but high school kids want pizza, french-fries, and easy food. So if I want them to buy from me and not brown bag it, then I have to offer both. Sunshine’s husband (sunshine can we come up with a name for him please?) left me a binder of a proposal that I can look through, to give me inspiration while I write mine.

This morning I went on a web site for commercial kitchen equipment (looking at prices of convection ovens and mixers. The ‘Husband’ laughed at me cause he said I get as excited about a mixer as he does when he is looking at motorcycles. But let me say it was a real sweet mixer, it was big, with lots of shinny chrome and the motor heavy duty but still quite, well lets just say I think I might be in love!

This whole business thing was the last thought as I fell asleep last night and the first thought even before I opened my eyes this morning. After church I will start to write the proposal, I would like to give it to the principal Tuesday morning.
So friends what do you all think? Do you think this is a viable opportunity or am I grasping at straws? Can you see me, as one friend said to me on Facebook, as the ‘Lunch Lady’?

Friday, May 22, 2009

An Update on the Job Front

I guess if you would like the quick update “I still have no job”. If you are one, who likes all my little details then I will give you the two-page update. So grab an ice tea and get comfy, we could be here a while.

So first, as some of you might know my husband is an autoworker (I can hear the collective ohhhhhh), yes ohhhhhh is right. He has been working for Chrysler for 22 years and at this time is on a layoff. Now understand we have been through layoffs on and off for years, for the first six months after our first child was born he was home with us on a layoff. The difference now is the way the media carries on, putting so much fear in everyone and also I am not working. And of course our expenses are much higher now.

He has been home since the May 4th and is hopping to go back in July. The one great thing with him being home is our front and back yards look amazing! He now has the time to get every weed before it even has the chance to bloom. I wish you all could see the yard it is green and weed free. It looks great and he is doing an awesome job.

Now enough of him and back to me (it is my blog after all). I went yesterday and spoke to the principle at our youngest daughters school about setting up a sandwich bar for the students and teachers in the 2009/10 year. She goes to a school that is kindergarten to grade 12 and they have no food services in the building but a few vending machines. At this time they are in the midst of adding a new wing to the school, which will be the new home for the high school, new senior level gymnasium/auditorium and a commercial sized kitchen. The hope is for it to be complete for September 1st.

I have had friends in the past suggest I do something with the school along this line. I am a confident cook and have worked in food services in the past even managed cafeterias back in my day. I now do a fair amount of cooking for the school for fundraising events, staff meeting, and school events. The principal and I talked I made an informal proposal (really to find out if it is worth my time even bothering), he liked the idea and felt it would be a great and a much need service to the school. We talked about what the school numbers are looking like for next year and a timetable. Sunshine’s husband has offered to help me with the proposal as he has extensive knowledge in this field in exchange I will cook the family dinner on Sunday.

But you all know me I just don’t know about all this. It scares the crap out of me, I did a little research on the Internet and spoke to board of health and kinda freaked myself out. I think if I could have someone else do all this pre-work and I just have to come in and run the day-to-day then I would be good, this unknown stuff is scaring me. Sunshine’s keeps asking me what I want out of it? What am I looking for in this opportunity? That woman always makes me think about stuff I don’t want to think about. I guess… what I want is to be able to keep my daughter at this school (is a private school, in which we pay for her to be their) and make a living that covers the cost of tuition and helps to pay off some of our personal debt. The plus with this job opportunity is the hours would work for the family, and I would still be available for the school holidays. I would be around people I already know as we have been with the school since the teenager was four years old. I would be doing work I enjoy (always like being around food) and I have experience in this field.

What freaks me out is #1 the threat of REJECTION, #2 the start up cost and #3 the big one for me, the unknown. But as what has been pointed out to me, what do I have to lose, I can’t find work anywhere else, the most the school can say is NO. And in either case means we are going to have to pull ‘the little one’ out and send her to a public school. I just don’t know maybe when Sunshine and her family come on Sunday and we crunch some numbers and put stuff down on paper I might feel not so scared.

Now on to other developments, I got a phone call this morning from a headhunter. My husband spoke to her as I was at Louise’s eating quiche this morning. He gave her our email address and she sent me an email which I replied to and attached my resume (new revised Jingling resume). So I don’t know what will happen with that, probably nothing.

Sunshine’s says I am all negative today, and she is right. It has been a rough week for me, I actually broke down in Church this past Sunday crying (felt like a fool). But it is so much work trying to stay positive all the time. I’m not supporting the family, he’s on a layoff and the industry is so uncertain, is the teenager getting out of control, will the little one be able to stay at her school, do we need to sell the house etc…. and I don’t see any end is sight. I am afraid to go online and check the bank balance as ever time I do I have to transfer from the line of credit to the chequing and then I feel like a bigger loser. I feel, though my husband has not ever come right out and said it, that a lot of our money issues now are my fault because I didn’t want to do daycare anymore and wanted to go back out to work.

I have tried to look at this time, as an opportunity to do things I could never do before like class trips, be on my own, write the blog, etc but it has now been over 8 months and I don’t know how much longer we can hang on. I am not sure what to do keep the ‘little one’ in the expensive school, sell the house and move to something smaller, or crawl under a rock and hide. Now if I want to get myself really worked up, I can think that we only have one more year of high school left for the teenager and then university starts. Where is that money going to come from?

Well I have almost filled up two pages of my negativity. Kids will be home from school and I need to start, pretending anyway that I am great and wonderful and happy, happy, happy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What to do about Clay.

I have just spent a great week in my garden! It has grown now to include many more perennials than annuals. I have now started to include native plants as well. The hope is to create a garden in which I will just putter in, tending to pots of annuals and weeding and deadheading.

The thing about gardening is that it is never ending and always evolving. I am constantly learning something new. Where we live is mostly clay. People spend tons of money adding topsoil and peat moss to their gardens to try to amend the soil. However, by the heat of august, most gardens are brick hard. If you water the garden it becomes mud! The thing about clay is that it is water logged as opposed to sand which is extremely porous.

We recently moved to a new home and we were happy to see that the established gardens there had many of the same plants that we had been nurturing at our previous home. Some of the garden beds were full of crumbly loam as the previous owners used homemade compost freely. However, the lawn and some of the other gardens were brick clay. It would rain and mud would be everywhere. What to do? Do we add topsoil and peat moss? No!

Sand - concrete sand to be exact! If clay is compacted earth, by adding concrete sand it will help to loosen the soil. Then water will be able to flow better and there will be no brick- hard earth come august. Concrete sand is important to use rather than playground sand as it is coarser and will not blow away.

For lawn care, use an aerator to remove plugs of clay then add about an inch of concrete sand over the lawn. It is ok to walk on the lawn as this will just help the sand to work its way into the lawn. You will see good results the first year! For me, it’s all about achieving a balance. If you have clay, add sand.

Question of the day?

Does what you wear underneath make you feel better on the outside?

Thursday at the park

Good Morning (Carolin)

So we have been together for over an hour, sorry but sometimes with the chatting we forget to write. At this moment Cathy and Sunshine are talking Victoria Secret Bras. Cathy loves them, Sunshine says the problem with VS bras is they are for only the smaller chested women. Now they are talking about how often do you change your bra. Might be a good question for the week, have to think about it. (Louise) I think a better question would be.......Where can you find a good, affordable, and not a mumma luca looking bra either, a nice make you feel good and perky bra?????

Sorry I can't type anymore because my hot husband just showed up to fix Louise's toilet. All the ladies are excited cause he showed up on his motorcycle!

Some of you out there might have noticed that Mommie has not replied to any of the blogs lately. Just so you all know we spoke to her on the phone today and she was having chest pains yesterday so has been admitted to the hospital for observation. Sunshine and Louise talked to her. She is doing well but really wanted to know more about American Idol. I did speak to Mommie today with the excuse of American Idol, but it was really nice to hear her voice. I'm so grateful for all her comments and I love the fact that she is so involved with our lives. Thank you Mommie and I can't wait for you to come home to be part of this very special thing that we started.

Now the conversation is about transvestites. We all have different opinions, are you surprised? Sunshines feels we should just let everyone do what they want. I, on the other hand say, "fine, do what you want but realize there will be consequences to your actions, and you might not see them till many years later". My husband is walking around, of course the toilet is acting fine now. Cathy just passed me a piece of quiche that Sunshine made. Yummy. Louise gave me my tea, I could get used to this service. Yes I do agree that quiche is delicious.....I just can't stop eating it!!!!!

We are at a quite lull now as everyone shoves food in their mouths. Cathy and 'the husband' are talking solar panels for her pool. Boring, 'the husband' is leaving now, can't take it much more all this chatting.

Earlier we talked about me trying to get a business proposal together to present next week. Sunshine and her family are coming over for dinner to so her husband can help get the presentation finalized. I am about to lose my mind because of Louse's stupid dog wont SHUT UP!!!!!!!!

OK, I'm back now (Sunshine) Carolin decided to start the conversation today. We decided to have a real breakfast today, fruit, yogurt and some homemade quiche.(great quiche!) It was probably the best breakfast that I have had all week. It's busy morning so far. Kids off to school, some gardening, some work and now our meeting. We all look forward to our weekly get togethers because there is some definite bonding and we are happy to make it a priority in all of our lives. Best wishes to Carolin's mom we want her to be home again soon. Talking about school and shows and bands. Cathy has to go to the school for a show and although she is happy about that, she says it is a nice night to be outside. Louise will be on the soccer field and Carolin we really don't know what she is doing. I am doing nothing tonight!! I will be doing what ever my birthday girl (my daughter ) wants to do tonight. How about herbs asks Cathy. Louise has an herb garden at the side of her backyard and she will be planting in it again. Her oregano is still overtaking her garden as is Cathy' s and Carolin's, I don't know what's wrong with mine, it never comes back.I'll dig up some of mine to give her on Sunday. One of our daughters thinks that she is a real boy magnet and wants to know if her clothes make her look sexy and she has to be careful that the boys aren't all attracted to her. She's only 9! We talk about girly girls and tom boys and little girls and what they like. They go through different stages. We remember ourselves and have seen our girls go through the pink phase where everything they own is pink. They have all outgrown that for now and are into different colours.

Cathy is making salmon tonight. Louise says she is not cooking tonight and Carolin says that salmon sounds like to much trouble and her daughter won't be home for dinner anyways. Cathy saw an on the go meal (a tortilla wrap, spread with peanut butter and sprinkle with granola and place a banana in the centre and roll and eat). I don't know I'm not one for banana and peanut butter. If you tried it please let us know what you think. Carolin now makes brownies with spinach and carrots pureed. She says that they are good and you cannot tell the difference when you eat it. Cathy talks about her boys, the older will now eat some vegetables but the younger who is a dramatic actor will still fight her on eating vegetables.

Louise asks if Cathy's boys eat a lot because her son is always hungry and Cathy says that they are good eaters but not always hungry. Who loves potatoes? Louise's little one won't eat potatoes at all. The rest of us all love potatoes. Cathy's boys can eat pizza every day. I'm down for pizza every day and I love potatoes. My oldest daughter is not a potato fan either.

Cathy apologizes for not being on the blog since last week but I say unacceptable, unacceptable, unacceptable. This is suppose to be a shared blog and some of us I don't know. Is it a lack of commitment or what??????????????? (Cathy) It's gardening time!! All my free time is spent outside in the yard. I think and compose great blogs, in my head, however, they never seem to make it to the the post!!!

Cathy says that she has given the blog to some people at work and asked them to read it. She describes us as four normal women with everyday problems. Carolin says what do you mean normal, we are not normal we are way above that. Cathy changes and calls us dynamic, interesting, etc. women. I agree with Cathy that we are all pretty normal.

There are some tears now and we are sad over something about the blog. Louise's blog titled 'life'. so we try to change the conversation back to something not so painful. Just so you all know, we appreciate your involvement and your interest and comments on our lives. Somethings are painful and we know that, but we encourage each other to share. Sometimes we talk about what was shared and how it made us feel and how others have felt about it. It's hard but necessary and I believe very therapeutic. Life is filled with challenges and most often, ones that we are not ready to take and don't want to be faced with. Yes sometimes life can suck. However, for what it's worth, it can always be worse.

Someone is talking about oil and Robin Williams and the Tamels. I don't know, I missed most of the conversation as I was in my own deep thoughts.

Cathy says that she will post this week, Caroline says by the end day. OK says Cathy she will take her laptop outside in the garden with her. Carolin says it doesn't work because you can't see the screen.

Cathy says that the hot sweats are back and things are changing and she is in early menopause.
Ohip (For all our non-Ontario readers OHIP is our provincial health care coverage) is screwing things up says Cathy. You apparently need to book different things at different times which will make our lives much harder. Can I get a pap during my routine physical or not?
Apparently it is a separate gynecological exam. I'm not sure yet, my yearly physical is due now. Cathy says that she is very moody because of her changing cycles but Carolin says no its because she has teenagers.( I say it's all of the above.) Our periods have changes. Some are non existent and some are very heavy and scary. We are all in our early forties is it possible that menopause is really starting. Hot flashes and other things. Despite what Carolin has to say about hot flashes and it being an old thing and don't talk about is around her because she is too young. I am with Cathy on this. Things in my body have been changing for about 10 years now and I think that it is perimenopausal. If we keep wanting menopause to happen then it will, not me don't come visit me till I am in my late 50 thank you. I may be 43 years old but I still feel like I am in my early 20 (regardless of what that nasty passport picture looks like).

I wish you could be here when we are typing this up. Sunshine and Carolin are always arguing over how our opinions are written down. It's very funny! One of them will start typing and when one of us sits down to reread we all have comments on what and how it was written. The law is that we cannot change how anything is written. We will correct spelling and punctuation. We all say we write the same way we speak.

We are speaking now of the number of followers we have and we seem to also have a lot of people who read and are not followers. We are very grateful to all who read and appreciate all comments, anonymous or otherwise.

Sunshine would like more of her 'people' reading our blog. She hopes that they share an interest in her life.

Carolin is now complaining that this post is too long.. First they complain that I'm not writing and now that I am, it is too long!!!! Carolin says she wants comments to advise us if this post is too long or not! I will now hand this over to Louise.

I will try to get on this blog more too, I just want to say Thank you so much to everyone that has followed my "Life" story, and Thank you so much for your comments. I'm learning to take life one day at a time, which is not always easy. I'm so glad to have this morning to share with great friends, and it really gives me something to look forward to each week. Although it may not sound like it, I really am feeling better today and even this week. I guess I'm just tired and tired of being tired!!!


What an incredible show it was last night. The array of stars performing was endless. We were graced with the talents of Fergie and the Black Eyes Pees, Keith Urban, Cyndi Lauper, Kiss, Queen and Rod Stewart. There were even more that I am sure I can't recall at this very moment. It was the best Finale yet. The energy was high and the show was incredible. In the end after having receives a record just under 100 million votes ( I think that that's a third of the entire population) the new official winner is Kris Allen. I was surprised as you all know that Adam was my favourite and to be honest Kris was surprised too. However the country voted and lets all support Kris as their winner. Congratulations Kris Allen!!!!!! Kris's duet with Keith Urban was so sweet and very well done.

To Adam Lambert, you rock we know that your career will be incredible. Adam's performances with Queen and Kiss were incredible. ( I think that Queen should sign him up as their lead singer today after his performance last night).

I look forward to seeing both Chris and Adam in the future and to hearing both of their wonderful voices.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


All I can say is that Adam is SMOOTH, SMOOTH, SMOOTH. He has an incredible talent. When he sings he has the ability to make you feel endless streams of emotions. I look forward to him being the new American Idol tomorrow night. Kris is sweet and also talented but in my opinion he is no match for Adam.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


It's the long weekend, I used to love this weekend....It was the first real party weekend of the year.
This year is so different for me. I'm just so sad all the time..........I wish I could make myself be happy and really look around and appreciate all the good that's in my life. This is my first year as a single mom. My first year of being single again, and it's the hardest thing I've had to deal with. I was with my husband for 17 years, and about 6 before we got married. I grew up with him, he was my best friend and my closest person forever. I'm just not sure who I am without him. It's so hard for me to understand how he could walk away from all that. I know it happens everyday, to all kinds of people, but I never seen myself in this position. Everything I look at I still see through the eyes of "us". I never planned to raise my children on my own, or to plan my whole future that only includes just the kids and I. The most frustrating part is that I just can't seem to go on. I have so much emotion and I just can't seem to straighten it all out in my head. I've always believed that things happen for a reason, and things always work out.........I really hope that's true, but I no longer feel so positive about that. I can't wait for the day I actually wake up and feel good, please tell me that day will come!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Question of the Week

It's the first long weekend of the summer.

What are your plans for weekend?

Saturday and I am home ALONE

Here I am all alone, don’t women crave these kind of days, when we can be responsible for no one but ourselves. Do what ever we want, when we want, eat a row of cookies for lunch, hell, eat the whole box it’s not like anyone is watching and we don’t have to set a good example or anything.

So why then am I at a loss of what to do. The teenager is gone for the day and doesn’t need picked up till late tonight, the husband and little one have gone to the circus for the afternoon, so here is my chance to sit in front of the laptop a write uninterrupted for hours. Just sat back down from my walk around the house, put moisturizer on my hands, looked out the front window and the grass is still green, noticed my lilacs have blossomed, contemplate cutting some for the teenager room, as they are her favourite, but decide against it as I am still in a snit with her.

Back to the laptop, tried earlier to write some more about ‘The Death of Len’, got a page done, but I am not happy with it so I save and close it, maybe later. I then go outside water a planter that doesn’t get the rain, and start to plant a few seeds. The rain starts so I pack up and head back in. I look at the gardens and think how pretty they look, when it is just about to pour, everything looks so green. I start thinking of ways I can fill up the planters with flowers and greenery the cheapest way possible. I really can’t spend money this year on flowers. Rub my hand on my chin and notice it is time for another wax, ugh. I start to think I should add to Cathy’s blog and type about gardening and how to do it creatively on the cheap, but I am not feeling very creative right now. The house is sooooo quite.

Maybe I should go rent a girly movie, but that would mean I would have to brush my hair, put a sweater on, and go drive to Blockbuster, and that just seems like too much work. I could go lay on the couch and read a book, but the books I have right now are not that great. I am waiting for one from the library called ‘Push’ by Sapphire. I received a email from the Tyler Perry film company promoing this new movie for the fall and it looked good so I thought I would read the book first. I look around the kitchen/family room and think I should do some tidying. Especially after the crowd of people that were here last night for our ‘small group. It s funny calling it a ‘small group’ when there are 9 adults and up to 13 children. It’s amazing we can get through a chapter of our latest book or topic we are discussing with all the noise and interruptions from the kids.

I wonder what the three other bloggers are doing this weekend. I left a message on Louise’s phone to call me. She wanted to pick my brain about something???? Don’t have a clue what the others are up to this long weekend. It’s odd that when I have this time to myself I can’t seem to let my body or brain just relax and enjoy it. Why is that, is it just me or do others feel the same way? I just realized I could go shopping for a wedding gift as we are going to a wedding tomorrow and I haven’t bought the gift yet. Or I could just write a cheque and shove it in a card, yea that sounds easier.

It is getting a little lighter outside, I think I should go back out there and try to plant a few more seeds while I can. Or maybe I will grab a blanket and lay on the couch…

Friday, May 15, 2009

American Idol and then there were two

Well Tuesday night the Idols sang two songs each. The first song was chosen for them by the judges and the second song the idols picked on their own. It was an interesting night. Danny did well and Adam did well as usual. Kris's first song was not so great but his second song was spectacular. On elimination night on Wednesday Danny Gokey was sent home. Danny is such a sweet guy with an incredible story and his expediences make him a very heart felt performer. We are sad to see him go. Next week is the finale and it should be a good one. Kris has delivered some outstanding performances in the past and Adam is always good. If Kris can perform at his best next week it should be a good show down. You all know that I love Adam and that he is so insanely talented but the last few weeks I have been a little bored. I hope that he can bring something new and spectacular next week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Teenagers, Can’t live with them but would like to try living without them

So it’s been over 15 hours since our latest screaming match. Not sure if I am going to cry or put my fist through her face or maybe both.

The teenager comes home from school and tells me she is going out. I say “be home for dinner at 5:30” She then says, “if you are eating at 6:00 then I might be home”. I can feel the tension in my back start and try again by asking her “where are you going”? In all her snarkeyness she say XYX’s house with some other friends” and walks out of the house. By this time I am standing by the front window watching her sister make a hopscotch on the driveway, the teenager gets on her bike and rides down our street but at the end of our street she does not turn right to XYX’s house but turns left.

I suspected when she came home from school she was lying by her attitude and now have it confirmed by directional skills. I let it go and start making pizza for dinner. At 6:15 we leave the house for our Wednesday night activities (she is not home yet), when we get home at 9:00 pm she is still not home. I am now angry and call her cell but of course in her usual fashion she does not answer the call. I wait till 9:15 and send her a text to “get home now” (might of put bad word in there for good measure). She now calls home all sweet, I on the other hand am so sour, I start screaming at her to get home now.!!!!!!!!!

After we hang up I tell my husband (who is trying to put the younger one to bed) that I am going for a walk to cool down. I start walking and here she comes riding her bike but not coming home as if she was coming from XYX’s house. I growl at her to get home now. As I walk back to the house I can see a neighbor outside on his lawn yelling at someone on his phone and think Wow must be a full moon out tonight.

We get home and I promptly loose it as she is still lying, everything out of her mouth is lie, lie, lie. I raise my fist and am screaming and my husband stops me. He tries to tell her she has crossed the line and we do not believe anything she says. I then grab her shoulder close to her neck (I have not lost total control but am damn close) She keeps crying she is not lying now and tells us really where she was. Do you see the crazy in this? She goes on how she “we never believe her even when she is telling the truth”. Uh, dame right we don’t believe her, and just how are we to know when it is a truth or a lie.

I look at her and wonder where did our daughter go, this past year has been hell. I can’t trust her for anything cause she lies about everything, even stuff she doesn’t need to lie about. She told us earlier in the week she was failing English and would have to take summer school. To be honest I wasn’t upset that she was failing English I was upset that, that meant she would not be away at camp all summer and would be home going to summer school. It makes me sad that I feel this way about my daughter.

By this time she is now in her room talking to a friend on the phone and I can hear her telling her friend “I don’t know what happened I get home and my mom goes ballistic and hit me and tried to strangle me” I open the door and call her a liar again. Then I think I better go have a shower cause I need to be alone. After the shower I check my email and there is a message from a mother of a friend of the little one. Who wants to tell me that the little one is asking her friend to pay for her dress down at school next week (they wear uniforms) cause I wont pay for it. I go marching in the younger ones room and confront her, she says “I think that was a little fib maybe mom” I yell back “no that was not a little fib it was a lie” and stomp away in all my mother maturity.

So its now the next day she is home from school and is not speaking to me, but will be leaving for work in a few minutes. Not sure what to do next, try to talk to her, keep my mouth shut, act as if nothing has happened. My husband and I went to donate blood earlier today and talked about it, but really we are lost at what we should do. We both look at her wonder where did our daughter go and will she ever come back. Because we can’t keep going they way we are now

Question of the Week

For the past few weeks the Tamil people have been protesting throughout the city, blocking highways, major streets and hospitals.

How do feel about the Tamil protesting, have they got their point across or have they gone to far and made the city population angry?

Leave your comments under Thursday's on the Bench.

Thursdays at the park

It's a rainy Thursday morning and once again, hurray, we are all here. The Tamil demonstrators are a very hot topic for today. Carolin's life has been interrupted by them twice now, coming and going from the downtown core. We don't even really know what their actual cause is because we are too upset with them keeping us hostage in our own city. It's all over the news and what's happening in their country is awful but what can we here in Canada do about this? We are a peaceful country and why are we subjected to this from this organization? Carolin says, can you imagine if one of the bridges in New York were closed down because of this? Cathy says, that it would never happen anywhere else. So why is it OK here in Canada? It was supposedly a spontaneous gathering but we all think 3,000 people in a spontaneous gathering. Give me a break. It is so similar to the whole Christmas thing, says Cathy. We have to be careful not to say, 'Merry Christmas', and to be politically correct about it. Carolin says its the corporate money and the liberals not the actual cultures and religions. Carolin read something that said that the Muslim religion is growing in numbers very quickly more so than other religions and that someday the other religions and cultures will be almost non-existent. It's not about conversion from one culture or religion to Muslim but rather the expansion of their families or population. The Christian religion is actually the most converted religion says Carolin. So why is that asks Louise? What religion are the Tamils anyway I ask? We don't know. I don't even know what a Tamil actual is says Carolin. Cathy has an explanation and I will let her speak to that because I can't type that fast....I don't know exactly what they stand for, all I understand is that they are in the minority in Sri Lanka and they are wishing their own political border and land within Sri Lanka. Is it similar to the situation in Israel? Can someone shed some light on this for us???

By the way Cathy's hair looks really nice today.

Now talking about gas in our bodies and the discomfort that it can cause and how it can sometime be mistaken for other things in young children who don't know any better. (Carolin) Let me say we all were not talking about gas just two of them. This topic is almost as boring as the next one you will read.

Cathy bought a new reel mower at Canadian Tire yesterday one of the manual lawn mowers. Funny thing is that I was looking at the same thing as my sister and I went shopping for the same thing yesterday. I actually had the same one in my hands yesterday and went to the cash but put it down at the last moment because I thought that even though its a really good deal I would check with my husband first as it is on sale for the rest of the week. I would like a manual lawn mower because I would mow it twice a week and the clippings left on the grass are actually good for the grass. When I talked to my husband he said not at this time we have two lawn mowers in the garage right now (news to me) and we can't spend that money at this time. Well Cathy said that one of her children actually put the mower together within minutes and was off and going, No says Carolin, off and mowing!

Now to work and finding a job again. We are the three of us the non workers who are constantly sending off resumes and not getting any responses. It is so difficult to find a job right now with this economy. Louise needs to find a job yesterday. She is presently working part time but she needs a good full time job. She also will need daycare for one of her children and part time for the second. It's finding something full time which will make enough money to cover all of the expenses and be ahead after paying for day care costs.

We are all complaining about our utility accounts and why when we call to change something, our husbands names are first or the primary and we have no authority to change things on these accounts. It's funny how we have all had this angry conversation with our husbands about when we set up accounts and I am not with you make sure that you put the account under both of our names. Why are we even having this conversation. It is something that we just assumed was already set up that way.

And insurance, with this loss of jobs, insurance coverage is dwindling as the months go by. So we are trying to get the dentist appointments in before the end of the month before the coverage stops.

Money seems to be at the heart of many issues in our homes. We are all a bit frightened with what the future will hold. We hope that things will resolve themselves.

Now to kids and activities. Track and soccer and costs and time and transportation. Life is busy and it's a lot of running around. Louise says, that she feels like she is running around like a chicken with her head cut off.

Now to getting fit. Running, walking, jogging and forms of exercise. How about marathons. It's a nice thought but pretty unrealistic we think. I am considering a marathon in the fall. My husband just ran a half one on mother's day and I am thinking about joining him in the fall. Maybe I will start off with a 5 or 10k and maybe I'll see if the kids and I can do the smaller one together. Blah, Blah, Blah we have heard this before. (Carolin) I don' t know about running it all the way but maybe walking it. Cathy talks now about body cleansing, should we do it? Does it work? How about the 100 mile food diet on the food channel. I did see that and I thought that it was pretty difficult. What about our fruits and vegetables?

Kid's in high school, so different now from when we went. I think it is a lot more intense than when we went. The kids leave middle school where they had no control or choice and enter high school where they have to already know what they want to do with their future. They are given so much freedom and we as parents have to try to balance us and them. And let me say I am losing the balancing between teenager and parent. (Carolin)Teenagers and hormones and knowing when to draw the line in the sand! How do we stay sane?????

We stay sane by ALCOHOL and lots of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cathy is talking about how drunk she was a few months ago and her husband had to take her for a walk to clear her drunk, she even woke up drunk. Only in my dreams would be I able to get that drunk! Two glass' of wine and its heartburn city for me.

Its a hour later and Sunshine and Cathy are back on the lawnmower subject (boring) Now the two are discussing how a garbage man makes more money then a teacher! Now on to mothers and sons verse mothers and daughters. Sunshine has decided that women and girls are just to much work. Amen to that!

Now this discussion is on enviroment, eco crap. And planting a vegetable garden. I will have a vegi garden this year for the first time since we have lived in this house (8 years). Cathy says she has alot of her vegies already in the ground but it seems a bit early to me, I think I will plant after this long weekend.

Everyone is to keep the Sunday of Labour Day weekend free for Cathy's house for a swim and bbq. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute! Thats our Cathy.

I'm just happy to be feeling good today. The last few days have been very hard and very blue.....We are coming to the end of our meeting, and it's been nice to get together and have some adult conversation.

Until next week...........

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Happened?

What you are about to read is the story told to us of the last few minutes before Len died and what happened shortly after Len died.

Len and his fellow scuba diving friends were on the boat having breakfast. It was a beautiful day and they were on a boat, out on the Belizean waters, the group sitting around the table were making plans for their first dive. Some of the guests complained they felt the breakfast sausage was a little too spicy, but Len said he liked it. He then mentioned to the person beside him that he had a little heartburn and others said it was from the spicy sausage and everyone laughed. Someone passed a few antacids down to Len and he put them in his mouth. Len picked up his glass of milk to help wash the pills down. At that moment while the glass was in his hand he collapsed forward. All of the guests were shocked at first but then quickly realized the gravity of the situation and started CPR. Fortunately a nurse was one of the guests and she helped to arrange the call out to other boats in the area and called to get medical help for when they arrived back to land. A fishing boat heard the call and came to help as it could travel back to shore quicker then any other boat around. Len was brought to shore where medical personal were waiting as well as personal from the Canadian Consult.

Len died instantly while on the boat and was already dead by the time he was brought to shore. His body was then transferred to Guatemala as that was the closest coroners office. The friends, Len had on board tried to gather up all of his personal belongings and luggage, they had hoped to bring the luggage home with them and return it to my father as they knew him from other scuba diving trips. But the Canadian Consult said “no” and took charge of Lens luggage and passport. It would be months later and then it was only after paying over $400.00 and arguing with Canadian Customs that my brother Chris and I were aloud to take his luggage home. As you can imagine the group of scuba diving friends were devastated and discussed canceling their trip. I am glad they didn’t cut their trip short and tried to salvage what they could of their vacation.
My mother, siblings and myself stood around this stranger as he told us the last moments of Len’s life. Because we never saw the body I think it helped to put some closure on the situation. Now that I look back I can’t tell you what the man’s name was or even what he looked like, but I thank him for coming to Len’s funeral and was willing to share Len’s last moments of life with us. I sometimes think if only things where different maybe Len wouldn’t of died. If he were home would medical help have been able to arrive more quickly? But I am a realist and I know I can’t change anything and there is no point living in a world of ‘what ifs’ so I am grateful that he was doing something he loved, he was with people he liked and was enjoying himself. And as selfish as this might sound I am thankful it was instant for him, there was no pain, no fear, it might be harder for us who are still living because we couldn’t say goodbye to the physical Len. But I am able to remember his life and because of that, it is somewhat bearable to say goodbye to his spirit.

Are They Real?????

Are they real? This is a question that I get asked all of the time. It’s asked of me most often when I am at work. However, I could be just walking through a mall and complete strangers will stop and ask me as well.

Trust me when I say that they are not looking where you think they are looking. When people stare at me, which they do incessantly, it’s not below my neck they are peering at....... it’s my eyes!

You might at this point think that I am very vain. Not at all! Quite the opposite in fact! If you read my blog about the troubles with my hair it’s not vanity but a very self conscience personality I have. I am always worried about how my hair looks in public. With people always staring at me, I assume there is something wrong with my hair and I cannot wait to get to the nearest mirror to check it out! Well, my hair seems to be holding its own for now, (until the humid months of summer arrive), as I have just been to the hair dressers. So, why am I being stared at!

It’s my eyes! To me they are just eyes, blue eyes and you can see them now as I wear contacts; clear contacts not coloured ones. However, to the masses my eyes seem to be unique, very, very blue and very, very large and very, very intense. Women will approach me and ask if my eye colour is real and then they will compliment my eyes and say that they have never seen anything like them. Men will approach me and ask first if they can say something personal to me without being arrested! They will then proceed to tell me that I have beautiful unique eyes and they just needed to tell me.

So, if this eye watching happens all the time.... why do I still feel like there is something wrong with my hair? You would think by now that when I see people staring at me that I would assume it’s my eyes they are looking at and not my hair. In fact, if my eyes are such a draw I could have a ‘bad hair’ day and nobody would notice!

I guess it’s a leftover from when I was younger. Heaven help me the day when someone approaches me and I think they are going to compliment my eyes and instead they let me know that my hair is standing up on end!!!!!

Another Disturbing incident

Last night at about 9:00p.m. I was having a nice evening with my family. The kids and I were sitting at the kitchen table working on various activities. I had just gotten off the phone with a friend of mine when the phone rang. It was a male voice and he started off by saying things like what do you think that you're doing, I know who you are so F*** OFF. It was obvious to me that he had dialed the wrong number and I asked him who he was looking for because he got the wrong number. Well he very quickly and angrily said that he was looking for me. I realized then who this person was. About an hour before this phone call I had called a good Friend of mine and I had misdialed her number by accident. I remember the voice now. When I had called this number earlier the person on the end of the phone sounded as thought they had dozed off. I knew that it wasn't the correct person but I thought that someone else may have been answering her phone so I asked for her by name. He told me that I had the wrong number and I apologized. He said no worries and that was the end of the conversation.

Well this was the same voice. I proceeded to tell him that I made a mistake in dialling his number and he very irately told me that I did not. He proceeded to tell me that he knows who I am and what I am up to and once again told me to F*** OFF. Once again I explained that he must have a similar number as one of my good friends and I was simply misdialling it. I know that I have miss dialed it on a few occasions that I could remember. He told me that his phone said that I had misdialled it 11 times in I don't know how long. I said that I did not recall 11 times but that once again it was a mistake. He said that it was not mistake and that he knows what I am up to and that we will see where this goes. I said that it will obviously go no where because it was accidental. Once again he irately told me to F*** OFF. I said well that's nice use of language and hung up as I didn't want to have this conversation with a lunatic any more.

Well I got off the phone and the kids said mom are you ok? Who was that? I stood still for a second so angry and a little scared. I realized that my heart was beating a million miles and hour. I went upstairs to see what number had called me back from on my call display phone upstairs. Well it was a private number.

I decided to call my phone carrier to see if there is anything that I could do to block this from happening again. I am concerned as obviously we have misdialed this number several times and some of those times may even be other family members I'm not sure. I want to block us from misdialling this number again and block him from contacting us. What if he calls and one of my kids answerer's next time? I also wanted to know what number had dialled me. Well the representative told me that there was no way to access his number as he is a private caller and therefor is protected from the release of any information. I said fine then can you give me the number that I dialled at approximately 8:00 tonight, the number that I dialled directly before my friends number. This they could do so now I have his number too. Well it is one number off from my friends number.

The representative told me that I can purchase for $4.00 a month a call screening service that would allow me to block any numbers that I would like from calling me. There is no feature to block us from dialling a certain number. Well I can spent the money and block him from ever calling me again but it does not solve my problem in terms of never misdialling his number ever again.

Well I call my sister who laughs and says that it's the funniest problem that she has ever heard and that I probably gave the phone carrier representative a good laugh tonight. She also said that it's amazing how effective intimidation can be. She said that he was trying to intimidate me and that there is nothing to be worried about just stop calling that number because I have obviously pissed him right off.

I call my friend whose number I was obviously misdialling (this time I called her on my phone
that has a directory feature and used that so that there will be no mistake). She agrees with me that this phone call was awful and does not know whose number this maybe. She proceeds to say what a terrible way to speak to another person, especially a woman.

I didn't sleep very well last night as I couldn't get his angry voice out of my head. When I tell my husband the story he wants to call this number back as he has a few choice words for this person . I don't want him to call this person back as I think that it will make things worse. I just want for this man never to call here again and I want to never call his number again. I decide that I will program my friend on speed dial which I have never used before and call her only in this manner. I am just so upset that someone has the capability of calling you in your own home and saying such mean things which I feel are so unjustified.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's Show Time

It is now 10 days since Len’s death and today is funeral day. We have arrived at the funeral home and most of my extended family is already there. I take a quick look around at all the people and quickly put my game face on. I will be completely in charge of my emotions, I will be strong for mother and children, and I will get through this day with my dignity in tact. My mother has spotted me and is making a beeline to me. I try to put a smile on my face and stiffen up as she wraps her arms around me, she is trying to tell me something through her tears and I am not sure just what she is saying. She starts to pull me towards the chapel where we will have the actual service and I am not wanting to go. I would rather not go in there till I absolutely have to but there seems to be no stopping her.

We step into the chapel and she points to the front and at first all I can see is flowers. Bouquet after bouquet, there are flowers everywhere, they really are beautiful. But my mom is persistent and keeps pointing to the middle of the flowers and then I see it. There amongst the flowers is a casket, it is beautiful, deep mahogany finish with silver fittings. It has smooth lines and is beveled at the ends, it reminds me of a car. The first words out of my mouth are “whose casket is it”? She looks at me kind of funny then says “it’s Len”. I look at her and it still is not registering for me and I say, “What do you mean its Len”. My mother smiles and tells me “Len arrived late last night”. When I question the casket she again smiles and says this is just how he arrived. I am speechless and can feel the tears starting to flow. If there is such a thing as a beautiful casket then this is the most beautiful of all.

I stand beside the casket and it finally hits me that Len is here, this is all real, he really has died and we I will never see him again. For the past 10 days I have wanted this day to arrive so we could put closure on everything but now that it’s here I have to face the fact that Len is DEAD. His last words to me the day before he left for vacation were “we will get together for dinner when I get back and I have arranged for Dawn to drop the pumpkins at your front door for the girls Halloween”.

A young woman from the funeral home comes up to me and introduces herself as Shannon, she will be my funeral coordinator for the day. I ask where Brad is, hoping we didn’t get him fired, Shannon assures me that it’s just his day off. We start to get people into the chapel and settled. My mom, brother, sister and my family are sitting in the front row together. My father and his sister and husband are opposite us. We make eye contact and give weak smiles. My mom’s oldest brother has agreed to make the introductions and keep things flowing during the service. Some music starts and the entire front row start crying, I look to my husband, he is taking care of our children. My brother and sister are sitting with their arms around my mom, the three of them are sobbing. I sit there feeling very alone and think I want to get out of here, if I stay any longer I won’t be able to get up in front of all these people and say the eulogy. I notice on the right of our pew an alcove; I get up and walk in there and pull myself together.

In the alcove I find Shannon, she gives me a smile. I use this opportunity to ask her a question that my sister has been asking. “Did anyone from the funeral home open the casket and check that it is really Len” Shannon tell’s me “Yes, we checked and made confirmation with the photo’s you have set up”. By this time my uncle is introducing me and I take a deep breath and walk out to the podium. I look at all the people who have come there is well over 100 and people are standing around the back walls. I then look at my brother and sister expecting them to get up and stand beside me. But neither one of them is making eye contact with me. I take a few deep breaths and start to talk, I have tried to memorize the eulogy but still find I need to refer to my printed sheets. As I am speaking to the mourners, in my mind all I can hear is "speak slowly, speak slowly". Before you know it I am done and once again look at my siblings thinking, “you didn’t come up with me, you didn’t have my back like you said you would”.
For the most part the rest of the service is a blur, except one person. I can’t at this time remember their name but they were part of the scuba diving team and on the boat with Len when he died. This man wants to talk to us and tell us what happened. I need to hear his story, as he was the last person to be with Len while he was alive.

Celebrity Apprentice Finale

Well last night was the three hour finale of the Celebrity Apprentice. Annie Duke and Joan Rivers went head to head with some helpers. Annie had Dennis , Tom Green and Brandy. Joan had Melissa, Hershel and Clint Black. There task was to run a silent auction while branding the Kodak name as well as selling Cirque Du Soleil tickets for one of their new shows. It was an interesting night. Joan was concerned with her events coordinator and she expressed that to him and subsequently at 7:00p.m. on a Friday evening the events coordinator for both Annie and Joan called it quits. Annie went ballistic and took great pride in making it known how much Joan doesn't know how to deal with people. The board room was vicious as usual. The audience had a clear favourite in Joan Rivers and Joan also won three of five criterion for the assigned task. In the end Joan Rivers was crowned the new Celebrity Apprentice. All of the celebrities raised both money and awareness for their chosen charities. Well it was a very entertaining show and I look forward to the next season.

Question of the Day

Last week we asked you what you would like for Mother's day. This week our question is what did you get for Mother's day and was it an enjoyable day for you?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Little moments........Well here's one. Mother's day is tomorrow, this day is always such a emotional day for me. It always has been. I lost my mother when I was eight, really seven turning eight the next month. It was quite sudden, so very unexpected. That was the first and only time I seen my dad cry. The following few years is really a blur for me, between all the babysitters, friends and family that I stayed with. I really don't remember feeling like I had a home. Looking back it really was like someone came and pulled the rug out from under our feet. We just went with the flow, but I don't remember ever crying or talking much about her. I remember going to the cemetary all the time. Then our life just became routine. Just the two of us. The thing is, we missed her so much. We seemed to put her memory in a glass box and we looked at it, but we never opened it up.
When I became a mother I couldn't keep that box closed any longer. I wished more than ever she was here to share these feelings with me, because only a mother can really understand another mother. I would like to think that she is the reason that I am the mother I am today.
My children are the most important things in my life, and I love them more than myself. I believe she has given me all my love and patience for life's up's and downs. I also must believe that she will give me the courage and strength to be the best person and mother I can be, even when life is so, so hard.
Mothers day really is everyday, because everyday we are the best mother's we can be.


To all of my good friends and family members and to all of our readers and to all of the mothers out there. May we all have an amazing day tomorrow and all of this week end really. May our Mothers Day weekend be filled fill joy, and love and may we take this time to celebrate women everywhere. Let's thank our mothers everywhere and give them a great big hug and cherish them as the women who nurture us and those who gave us life. I will be doing this for my mom in my prayers. I know that she can hear me and that she can feel my love from heaven.

For you Louise and for me and anyone else, our moms are alwyas with us......

Friday, May 8, 2009

Weighty Matters

At the beginning of the week my family and I went and had our passport pictures taken. It was a fairly painless event, the youngest went first and she was funny as she could not keep the smile off her face, then the teenager went and for her the only issue was she had to wipe her lipstick off. Next was my husband, again no biggie then it was my turn. It seems I was just two shinny and clouds and clouds of baby powder was needed to reduce my glow. Then the photographer kept asking me to lower my chin, not just once but three times I was asked to lower my chin. Finally the photo was taken.

A few minutes later we paid the $60.00 fee and picked up the photos. None of the photos are overly attractive but let me say mine????? Because the photographer kept asking me to lower my chin, my goodness the photo shows not one, not two, but in my opinion 40 chins! It is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. So now when our blog takes off and we are traveling the world talking about our fabulousness, every customs agent throughout the world will have to count my chins to confirm it’s really me!!!!!!!!!!!!

So with this photo now being processed on my new passport I am thinking about my weight. I can remember the first time I felt fat, I was 9 years old and sitting in the park with my friend Lisa, one of the other kids said lets play marble basketball. Lisa and I were sitting together on the curb, we were sitting so our knees where touching each other and the other kid would toss the marble so that it would fall through Lisa’s thighs like a basketball net. But for me my thighs touched so when the marble was tossed my legs would catch the marble like a net. One of the kids yelled you have “fat legs”. Was that memory the beginning of the end of my confidence in my body? I can remember another comment as I entered my teens, a boy in high school saying I was “a cow” cause I weighed 125 pounds! Another time my father and I were shopping for clothes for me and I asked the salesclerk for a size 7 pant and he looked at me and said, “you should go on a diet”. I just wish I could fit in a size 14 now.

I have been on so many diet and life style changes that just those words are enough to send me to the fridge. I have lost a huge amount of weight only to gain it all back plus more! Last fall Sunshine and I attended a ‘Losing weight the healthy way’ group. We would walk for an hour 4 times a week and try to make wiser food choices. I lost 6 lbs in that 12-week program but as is my usual way, I have gained 9 back. I am now afraid to loss any weight cause when it comes back it always comes with an extra 20 lbs.

Last night while trying to fall asleep I thought since my husband is on a couple month lay off (yes he is an autoworker) and nobody seems to want to hire me, we should go bike riding three or 4 times a week for a hour or so. Doesn’t that sound like it would be good, we could bike the paths through out our city and spend some time together and maybe I could get in better shape. I woke up this morning but realized that we couldn’t go today, as the day was already booked with commitments, and the weekend is out as we have company all weekend and the kids have their activities. I hope the spark of motivation will still be glowing come Monday and we can try a ½ hour bike ride.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Writing A Eulogy

It’s 11:30 at night, I am sitting in my bed with a glass of wine and the computer on my lap. I guess that’s why it is called a laptop. I need to come up with a eulogy for Len’s funeral. I have never written one before, the only thing I have written is notes to the teacher and even then my kids have always needed to translate them.

Why, did I agree to this, this is what I get for wanting to have control and keep the planning within the immediate family? I start to write the usual stories of Len, stories from our past, but the problem I have is I don’t remember much and really why do they need my memories when they have their own of Len.

So I start again this time I try with a bullet form list of characteristics of Len, but again its just not working for me. I get frustrated and decide to put it off till tomorrow. I turn off the computer and close the lights. While I am lying in bed just about to fall asleep it comes to me, I think I know what to write. In my usual procrastination I decide to write it tomorrow. I soon realize I must write it now, because I will probably forget the thought tomorrow. So up I get and I turn on the lights and boot up the computer.

Writing a eulogy can be a tricky thing and I tried to make it personal but not too sappy. I tried to get what I felt out but I also was trying very hard not to cause a big crying fest (for the mourners or myself). I wasn’t to worried cause if I couldn’t pull off the eulogy, I knew that my siblings would be standing alongside me, and they would step in where ever needed. They told me numerous times, “not to worry we got your back”.

I have the first draft written and I asked Kerry and Chris to each read it and make suggestions so that we were all comfortable with what I wrote. I was feeling more confident that what we wrote was good and we could pull this off together. I am actually feeling a little excited and nervous at the same time, as I have never talked in front of a crowd before.

Thursday's at the park

Thursday morning and we are all here. The arguments are already happening. Cathy has gone to take a picture of the actual park that we have spent so many countless hours conversing over many different topics. Our friendship has developed at this very spot. Once we load it up we will post it as our new picture overtaking the old generic park picture. I never really liked the picture we have......I think it looks like a giant elephant nose!!

We talk about a new follower and we are so pleased when we see any new activity from the outside world. We are talking about the man who was urinating in his backyard from one of our posts and both Cathy and Carolin tell me how it's not a big deal at all. Myself and Louise totally disagree, however, it is our children's school, maybe that's the difference. For me (Louise) I think that any man standing outside, I really don't care if he's on his property or not, should not be naked, and especially fondling himself.......Yes when you pee...your usually touching it!!!!

The funeral posts comes up and Cathy says how much she really enjoys Carolin's honesty of the past events. We tell Cathy that she needs to start to be much more interactive with our blog, no excuses. Now to how do we get the blog to grow and be more successful? Magazines, friends, how do we get the word out? There is a hub of activity. The dog is barking, the toddler is running around and us four women are competing to be heard. Back to the pictures of the park. We all like different ones. A decision needs to be made. What angle, do we want to show the houses, how about more greenery. Well let's wait 2 more weeks so that the leaves fill in and we have more greenery.

One of the husbands is at the passport office because their passports have all expired. Cathy says wait until September because it's not so busy there. Why are our passports only valid for 5 years when in the States and many other countries its 10 years. We decide it's all about money.

Cathy wants to discuss breast cancer. Someone she knows has just been informed that she has stage 2 breast cancer. They see shadows in her other breast. The doctors say lumpectomy and she wants both breasts removed. She won the battle against the doctors and had the surgery yesterday. We hope that she is ok. There are many women at Cathy's work who have now developed breast cancer. Cathy says it is everywhere. Cathy's doctor says that she needs to wait until she is 50 years old to get a mamogram and so does mine. We are all a little scared but not sure what to do.

Now to family issues. Health and well being. Louise asks how do we attract more men to the blog? Why more men asks Carolin? Well, how do we get a bigger readership. Carolin is trying to get Cathy's attention but Cathy is occupied with the dog. Cathy asks what she should write about. She is not sure what topics to talk about. She feels that she needs to talk about something deep. We all tell her, just write. It doesn't matter what you write about as long as you are interested in it. Just share your thoughts. By the way, Carolin says that as for last weeks cereal and missing berries it was actually her husband who ate berries because apparently they rise to the top of the box. Another important topic.......finding work!!!!!! Will anyone ever hire us??? We are three smart, confident, women, and we have lot's to offer any lucky employer. We would just like a chance to prove it to someone.....anyone!

Cathy here, they are all bugging me that I need to write, so here I am. Ok, I have decided that there are a few topics that I would like to write about. First, I would like to tell you all about the time when one of the kids was born. It was a group event! Secondly, I would like to discuss how I feel when I walk around at work, (I work with the public), and people approach me and ask, 'Are they real?'. Finally, I would like to continue writing about the evolution of our gardens. I hope you find this interesting!

Carolin speaking this time. and let me say I don't know about this 'write as we talk thing' . I would like to edit and clarify everything Sunshine says! About the guy peeing in his private yard. He was peeing not doing 'other' stuff, I agree it was not appropriate but distburbing not so much. He was in his own private backyard, it bothers me more that Sunshine was looking between the slats of the fence! Okay I need to comment.......We all know how well Sunshine can see, so really he could have been doing anything!!! Bottom line, zip up and keep it in your pants!!

Sunshines phone has just rung and it's her husband to inform her that the Skunk is back.

Sunshine seems to have another problem (no surprise) she is having issues with Ants in her kitchen. Cathy says to leave cucumber around your kitchen and the ants will not cross the cucumber. I am looking forward to going to Sunshine's just to see cucumber all over her perfect kitchen.

Well it is 11:30 and I am just about finished my tea and then we all need to get on with our day. Each of us has something different going on tonight, school open house, High School music night, School play, and even one of our kids is in Italy in a running competition. Life is busy, but good.
Life is definitely for good.........well it's getting there!